Two mountain goats near Glacier National Park

Goat Lick Overlook: Need To Know

The very beautiful Goat Lick Overlook is a unique stop during your time in West Glacier. It’s a perfect, family-friendly place to stop, stretch your legs, and maybe even see some mountain goats. This is a great attraction outside of Glacier (NO ENTRY TICKET NEEDED!) and more often than not, a sure way to see wildlife. Don’t forget to add Goat Lick Overlook to your Glacier National Park itinerary!

What is Goat Lick Overlook?

Goat Lick Overlook is a popular mineral-laden cliff created by the strong currents of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Exposing steep drop-offs and mass amounts of gray clay, the cliffs are full of minerals these goats and other wildlife crave. 

The Goat Lick Overlook is an exposure of the Roosevelt Fault composed of gypsum, kieserite, and sulfate. Wildlife tend to crave these due to the switch in diet in the springtime to the succulent green vegetation. The drastic change in the mineral balance in their bodies causes this strange appetite for these minerals. The amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus also help replace the elements the goats typically lose from their bones during the winter months.

Where is it located?

Goat Lick Overlook is quite a wildlife “hot spot” located right off Hwy 2, about 2.5 miles East of the Walton Ranger Station. The best time of year to see wildlife at the overlook is from April to August before they trek to the higher country for the winter months. The Goat Lick is quite a trek for some of Montana’s most iconic residents as they travel many miles to reach this spot. Watching them traverse the terrain is so entertaining to watch!

What is there to do near Goat Lick Overlook?

  • Stretch your legs and trek up to Stanton Lake. This 3.8-mile out-and-back hike is moderate but worth it. Stanton Lake is one of the beautiful lakes here in the area and is a family-friendly hike. Reward yourself and cool off in the lake or even drop a line when you arrive to test your fishing luck while you are here. Traveling with pups? Dogs are welcome on this trail as well but must be on a leash.

 

  • Stop in at the famous Izaak Walton Inn! This was originally built in 1939 near the railyard to service exhausted personnel from traveling across the continental divide on Marias Pass. You can snag a bite to eat in their dining room, enjoy watching the trains go by or even plan this as your home base while you explore Glacier. It is about equal distances to both East and West Glacier from the Izaak. Hang your hat in an old caboose cabin or some of their other unique lodging experiences. 

 

  • Go on a hike in the Great Bear Wilderness! The GBW hosts over 285,771 acres of terrific views and scenery and over 300 miles of trails to explore. Located South of Glacier National Park, West of the Continental Divide and Northwest of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. What’s not to love about the Great Bear Wilderness?

 

  • Explore the Bob Marshall Wilderness or mostly better known as “The Bob”, hosts 1.5 million untrammeled wilderness. This became the 3rd largest wilderness area back in 1964 and was dedicated to Bob Marshall in 1940. Choose to explore this area by foot or sign up for a pack trip into the Bob with our friends at Swan Mountain Outfitters!

Before you set off on your day’s adventure, don’t forget to fuel up with breakfast and coffee from our favorite restaurant in West Glacier, the Tower Grill! Maybe even zip the day off to a great start by conquering our aerial adventure park here at Glacier Highline!



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