USPL Reviews Provided by
Izaak Walton Inn
bgibbs38 from: Williston, North Dakota
Trip Type: Couples
Published Date: Apr, 17, 2019 Travel Date: Apr, 1, 2019 Rating: 4
The food was superb!!! Best dinner and breakfast we had on our trip around around Glacier park in this off-season. April isn't the best time to go sightseeing and have delicious food. Unless you stay here.
Christina was a GREAT HELP with all the issues that could arise.
It was an experience to remember
GratefulMedSB from: Fort Lee, New Jersey
Trip Type: Family
Published Date: Apr, 4, 2019 Travel Date: Mar, 1, 2019 Rating: 5
Delightful Lodge and Tribute
I stayed here with my family in March 2019. It is a very well maintained Inn, bar, restaurant and tribute to everything trains. We stayed in the main building and loved our warm room and liked the meals in the restaurant. The staff was great and helpful for day excursion advice. We toured the renovated train cars and can't wait to come back and stay in one of the beautiful trains.
We took the train in from Seattle and got picked up and rented a car for the day trips. It was a great vacation.
- Location: 5
- Cleanliness: 5
- Service: 5
F474GXmaryp from: Madison, Wisconsin
Trip Type: Family
Published Date: Feb, 13, 2019 Travel Date: Jan, 1, 2019 Rating: 4
Rejuvenation in x215 Caboose
We decided to take a post-holiday winter vacation in January to a familiar place and created a simple itinerary for rest and rejuvenation. This destination is most desirable for those who appreciate silence, nature, and being outdoors. It is not a good fit for those seeking constant connectivity and convenience.
We rode the Amtrak train from our home in Wisconsin to Essex MT to avoid driving our entire vacation, avoid flight delays, airport security lines (Govt shutdown was in effect at this time) and travel at a slower pace. The lodge staff were waiting for us at the train stop and transported our luggage and us directly to the caboose.)
We had booked our week in the x215 Caboose, which was a perfect fit for us. My husband and I enjoyed the king size bed and fireplace, our child-the full size bed up in the cupula. The furnished kitchen worked well for us, we cooked a couple of breakfast meals, most lunches and one dinner. Upon arrival, we did ask for a few needed kitchen items and they were quickly provided. There is a neighboring caboose on one side of this unit and a cottage on the other. The short road it is on, ended at our caboose and the 3 units form a U. We had ample privacy.
There are a lot of trains that go by daily, but the trains are at a lower level than this caboose and the train sounds were very faint and welcomed.
We brought our own snowshoes with us and rented cross-country skis twice. The rental terms seemed flexible and we were able to go out twice on a 24-hr rental. We were told we did not need a reservation for ski lessons for our son, but this proved not to be the case. We were also encouraged to obtain outfitter info for guided tours into the NP upon arrival only to find out they go out on tours for full-days only. IF this is important to you, obtain the #s in advance, call and reserve. The staff are laid back, but you may miss out on your opportunities to make the most of your vacation days.
Our favorite spot to ski as beginners was across the busy road near the Flathead River. We did walk carrying our skis and carefully crossed the highway, but it was well worth it. We saw no other skier on these groomed trails and with the sun, mountains, flowing water-was so beautiful.
The Lodge noted amenities-outdoor hot tub, indoor sauna and sledding. Correction-there is no designated sled hill or area. They have sleds available, it is up to you to find a safe place to sled that does not cross ski path, walking path, train path-I would not advertise this as a provided amenity. We did use the sauna, but it was awkward. The mens and womens bathrooms connect to changing rooms that connect at the sauna, but the mens bathroom was out of order the day we wanted to use the sauna, so I had to sneak him in through the women's. The bathrooms/changing rooms all could use a beautification update. The hot tub outside seemed to full of men that I wondered if they were guest at the hotel or weary railroad workers at the end of their day. We did not venture in.
There was a train artist staying at the lodge while we were there. He had created train art that was on the upper floor hallway. If you love trains, this is a fun place to visit with lots of railroad history books in the lobby, a safe bridge to watch the trains pass under.
The Lodge did not provide any printed directions on the heating unit, housekeeping or other basic information usually provided to guests when lodging. The housekeeping staff come right to your door of this caboose and ask if you need anything. I did ask for towels midweek. My husband noticed someone out collecting garbage so he emptied our cans and set the tied bag outside our door and it was picked up.
This Lodge has wonderful cros-country ski trails, minimal snowshoe trails, friendly staff, a cozy and quaint feel to the place.
The only significant problem we had was with the restaurant. 2 of the 3 of us are strict vegetarians and we were told the restaurant can accommodate. This required exhaustive requests every meal. Sometimes we were charged inproperly more for an entrée (adding the cost of a side of tofu onto the full cost of a dish with meat, which was absent). They did not maintain a vegetarian soup option throughout the week. They did not charge for their vegetarian dishes fairly and make them easily. For instance when my son wanted buttered noodles with a side of veggies (couple of sprigs of broccoli) they charged for the side of broccoli on top of the pasta dish with meat.
IF you do not bring food in with you and are vegetarian, ask a whole lot more specific questions than I did before committing. You are totally dependent on the restaurant working for you, there is no concession stand, grocery store or other diner within 30 miles. In our case, we were not renting a car. If we had not brought quite a bit of food with us, we would be marking this stay at poor.
The restaurant needs to understand that vegetarians need a vacation too and to be hassled and uncertain how their needs will be accommodated at each meal takes away significantly from a peaceful and restful break. It creates uncertainty and stress.
- Value: 4
- Sleep Quality: 5
- Service: 3
Mark O from: Bagley, Minnesota
Published Date: Feb, 13, 2019 Travel Date: Jan, 1, 2019 Rating: 4
Amazing Location, Tough Conditions
We stayed in the Orange Caboose for an anniversary getaway in early January. Staff, facilities, and the setting were wonderful. We enjoyed snowshoeing, hot-tubbing, the sauna, and the trails, especially where they crossed picturesque mountain streams. One cannot control conditions, but on one day the trails were not groomed, and on another the snow was so sticky that it gummed up both the groomer and our skis. That led to less-than-ideal skiing conditions for skiing on both days, and snowshoeing on the day that everything stuck to the bottoms of our feet, skiis, and snowshoes. Nonetheless, one should not shy away from this wonderful destination, just because Mother Nature chooses not to cooperate. Hot tub & sauna time, games in the lodge, good food, and visits at the bar helped lighten our moods and contribute to the adventure.
We traveled in and out on the Amtrak, which allow for TWO checked bags, and carry-ons. We brought eggs, milk,lunch meat, condiments, bacon, sausuge,beer, cheese, and lots of perishables in a small, well-packed cooler. One of our checked bags held our dry goods-pancake mix, bread, more crackers, boxed wine, etc.. Snacks, buns for sandwiches, and other goodies went in our carry-ons. The Amtrak tickets indicated that no checked bags could come on or off in Essex our destination, our Detroit Lakes, MN, our home terminal. What I think that means is that no bags should be taken into the cargo bays that lie under the train--compartments that the conductors must lock and unlock. Otherwise there is plenty of room for "checked bags" on board the train. We had our skiis and snowshoes in a long (8 ft?) ski bag. Nervous, after reading the fine print, I worried that the conductor wouldn't allow the skis on board, and we would end up renting. But, both coming and going home, the conductor(s) opened the larger storage areas, and allowed us to load up and take our skis--just be sure to let them know, once the skis are on board, that they will have to help you retrieve them well before the scheduled stop.
We had a fine, quality experience at the Izak Walton Lodge, and would recommend it. Our experience with lodges in Minnesota (Bearskin, Garmisch Inn [WI] Gunflint Lodge, Maplelag, and others) would compare favorably to our time at the Izak Walton Lodge.
Trip Type: Solo travel
Published Date: Feb, 1, 2019 Travel Date: Jan, 1, 2019 Rating: 3
I WILL Ski trip
I had planned to ski on the Inn's trails for 3 full days. Found out the skate-ski rentals were complete junk. The striding skis were only a little better. The trails were groomed for skating but did not have any striding tracks. So it was pretty much a waste of time.