At an elevation of 5,500 feet, Red Meadow Lake Campground is a primitive site on the shores of a small mountain lake. It can be accessed from the east on the rugged and primitive North Fork road on the west side of Glacier National Park or from Highway 93 to the west. No matter which way you go, you want a minimum of 6-ply tires, an early start and no rv or camper in tow. It is perfect for tent camping or a truck camper, but the roads are steep, narrow, rocky and not suitable for rving.
Red Meadow Lake has a few campsites that basically sit on the edge of the lake, a vault toilet, a few picnic tables, and unparalleled beauty. There is no water available, so you need to pack it in. Nestled between the Rockies to the east and the Whitefish range to the west, Red Meadow is one of our favorite places in the area. Sitting at the bottom of a steep mountain with a meadow running from one side up to the treeline, the lake is clear in the shallows and cool green in the deepest part. We have caught grayling and trout here, and it is grizzly country, so we are always on our toes when we are enjoying the scenery. Bear spray is a necessary part of our picnic supplies.
This place is very special to us because we have spent many a summer day here for picnics, fishing and just soaking up the magificence. Robin has even taken an annual picture of her daughter, Cheyenne, on the same tree stump by the lake. Her dad, Jon and his wife Pat live off the grid, just up the North Fork road, so Red Meadow has always been a nice meeting spot to spend the day.
There is nothing like being out in the wild, with very few people passing by. The serenity always makes us sad when we have to pack up and leave at day’s end. Red Meadow is a hidden treasure and, due to the elevation, cold temperature and large snowfall, it is only accessible by road about 3 months per year, in an average season.
Though rvs are an impossibility at Red Meadow, for those of you who do rv, be sure to not miss the quiet beauty of mother nature. We love the rv lifestyle, but recognize our motorhome cannot possibly access some of the most beautiful places on earth. When unfamiliar with a location, however, spend time learning about the area you are driving into, because treacherous roads, wildlife and climate can be dangerous for those not used to an area. In addition, pack out anything, even a gum wrapper, that you bring up to the lake. There is no garbage service here to clean up after you – and with so many beautiful places being paved over and built up, you need to treat the area like the gift it is.
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