Poia Lake is on the Red Gap Trail out of the Many Glacier Valley in the NE corner of Glacier National Park. Red Gap Trail is one of two trails from the Many Glacier area that lead into Elisabeth Lake, the other is the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail.
This is a fairly easy but scenic ride, it is only 7.5 miles one way and the trail is not steep. However it is rocky in places and horseshoes are required. There are no fish in Poia, we like it as an easy day ride with naps in the sun on the lakeshore.
This is a popular hiking trail for long distance backpackers, you will encounter hikers but not nearly as many as some of the more popular day hike trails, like Iceberg Lake or Cracker Lake. It is also used for dude rides so you may encounter dude strings.
Parking for horse trailers is always an issue in Glacier. We park at a road turnout on the south side of the road, just east of the trail head. We cross the road, ride up the shoulder for about 50 yards and then enter a small meadow. If you go across the meadow you will hit the trail. The trail head parking lot is too small for trailers and is almost always full. Don't park there.
The trail is well maintained and we have always found it in good to excellent condition. There is a hitching rail at the campground at the foot of the lake.
Just before you get to Swiftcurrent Ridge Lake there will be an unmarked trail to the right that continues up the ridgeline. It follows the south side of the lake to a small meadow with expansive views of the Many Glacier Valley, East Flattop Mountain, Napi Point, Grinnell Glacier drainage and the Swiftcurrent Drainage. It is a place that makes you want to sing “Sound of Music” songs.
At the foot of Poia Lake, at the north side of the outlet, you will see an unmarked trail heading east up the ridge. It runs along and above Kennedy Creek to the ridge line where you will get a big view down the creek out onto the Great Plains and at the waterfall as the creek exits Poia Lake.
Poia Lake, many glacier, Red Gap, glacier national park, GNP