Izaak Walton Inn

2- or 3-Night Stay at the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, MT

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Historical Railroad Chalet in Glacier National Park

In 1939, the Great Northern Railway built a chalet to lodge snow-removal crews working along the railroad in Montana's Glacier National Park. Now called the Izaak Walton Inn, the property draws visitors from around the world for its location in the park as well as abundant hiking and whitewater-rafting opportunities. But the inn hasn't neglected its past; railroad-themed décor, vintage train schedules, and restored railcars pay homage to the historical Great Northern Railway. Amtrak and Burlington Northern Railroad trains chug past Izaak Walton Inn each day, sometimes pausing at the nearby Essex stop before journeying into the snow-capped wilderness.

With no telephones, televisions, or coffeemakers, guest rooms maintain a peaceful rusticity. Inside Empire Builder rooms, duvets are trimmed in locomotive engineer stripes and emblazoned with the Burlington Northern Railroad's logo. At the onsite Dining Car restaurant, entrees range from bacon-wrapped buffalo meatloaf to pistachio-crusted sea bass. A heated patio provides a scenic setting in which to sample the inn's signature huckleberry cobbler.

Cross-country ski trails surround the chalet, and ski instructors are on hand to give lessons or guide fledgling skiers along custom routes. Half-day snowshoe tours trek past centuries-old larch trees and over suspension bridges. In warmer months, the meticulously groomed trails thaw and wildflowers bloom for picturesque hiking. Nearby, Flathead River rushes with rapids for whitewater rafting or washing Godzilla's swim trunks.

Essex, Montana: Historical Railroad Town in the "Crown of the Continent"

Nearly equidistant from northwestern Glacier National Park's eastern and western entrances, Essex began as a tiny town along the Great Northern Railway and has changed little since its humble beginnings. Snow-capped pine trees still surround the remote village, now the only flag stop on Amtrak's Empire Builder route.

Called the "Crown of the Continent" by naturalist George Bird Grinnell, the surrounding Glacier National Park spans more than a million acres with blue-tinged glacial mountains and more than 700 miles of hiking trails. Weather permitting, the park's signature red Jammer buses cruise from the inn and into the western entrance via the picturesque Going-to-the-Sun Road, famous for its tight turns tucked along the mountainside. Sights include Lake McDonald and Wild Goose Island, where migratory geese vacation for spring break.

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What You Get

Stay for two in an Empire Builder room

  • Option 1: $99 for 2 nights (up to a $318 value)
  • Option 2: $139 for 3 nights (up to a $477 value)

Stay for two in a cabin or caboose

  • Option 3: $199 for 2 nights (up to a $498 value)
  • Option 4: $289 for 3 nights (up to a $747 value)

Policies and Fees

Book by: 1/3/14
Travel window: 11/15/13–5/20/14

  • Blackout dates: not valid 12/24/13–12/31/13, 1/17/14-1/19/14, and 2/14/14-2/16/14
  • Cancellation policy & fees: 30-day cancellation notice required or fee up to Groupon price applies
  • Taxes: 7% tax not included

Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.


  • 20 miles of ski trails
  • Ski and snowshoe tours
  • Onsite restaurant and pub
  • Gift shop with railroad memorabilia
  • Hot tub and sauna

The Fine Print

  • Must book by 1/3/14 or promotional value expires
  • Valid for travel 11/15/13-5/20/14
  • Not valid 12/24/13–12/31/13, 1/17/14-1/19/14, and 2/14/14-2/16/14
  • Limit 3 per person, may buy 3 additional as gifts
  • Limit 3 per visit
  • Valid only for option purchased
  • Reservation required, subject to availability
  • 30-day cancellation notice required or fee up to Groupon price applies
  • Must be 18 or older to check in
  • Credit card required at booking and check-in
  • Not valid for luxury caboose or empire builder family room
  • 7% tax not included.

Other Details

Room Details

Empire Builder Room

  • One queen bed and one futon
  • Standard occupancy: 2
  • Maximum occupancy: 3
  • Adding occupants above standard: $15 per night for a guest 12 or older; no charge for a guest 11 or younger


  • Two full-size beds and one sleeper sofa
  • Standard occupancy: 2
  • Maximum occupancy: 6
  • Adding occupants above standard: $15 per night for each additional guest 12 or older; no charge for guests 11 or younger


  • Bed configuration varies by room
  • Standard occupancy: 2
  • Maximum occupancy: 4
  • Adding occupants above standard: $15 per night for each additional guest 12 or older; no charge for guests 11 or younger

Hotel Policies

  • Check in: 3 p.m.
  • Check out: 11 a.m.
  • Parking: free
  • Rollaways: available for no additional charge, call ahead to request
  • Smoking policy: no smoking inside the property
  • Pet policy: pets are not allowed inside the property.
  • Accessibility: handicap-accessible rooms are not available.
  • Room upgrades: not available

Getting There

  • By plane: 51 miles from Glacier Park International Airport (FCA)
  • By transit: Essex flag stop via Amtrak Empire Builder route
  • By car: about 44 miles southeast of Columbia Falls
  • By shuttle: shuttle service to and from Essex railway stop

Customer Reviews

177 Ratings

100% Verified Reviews
All reviews are from people who have redeemed deals with this merchant.


Sherrie H. · 3 reviews TOP REVIEWER
Reviewed June 10, 2014
A wonderful setting for an historic inn, that also offers cabins and cabooses as lodging options.


Reviewed June 9, 2014
The solitude - we were away from our phones and television so we had nothing to do except relax and enjoy the hospitality of the staff - they are very friendly and helpful.


Teresa G. ·
Reviewed June 9, 2014
Peace and quite. Lovely scenery.
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