July 25, 2017

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Montana

Cloudy day at Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

Lake McDonald is a sight for sore eyes, and is a place that will be hard for you to miss on your trip to Glacier National Park.

As you enter Glacier National Park from the West Glacier entrance, you follow the road in, and you will come to a stop sign.  You can either take a left or a right hand turn at this stop.  If you turn left, the road will lead you over to Apgar, a cute little town on the shores of Lake McDonald, only two miles from the park entrance.  If you head right, the road heads along the south shore of Lake McDonald all the way up to Logan Pass.  (This drive is a MUST, see my blog about the Going-to-the-Sun Highway).

This could be your family in front of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park!  Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

This could be your family in front of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park! Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

From our house in Whitefish, it takes us about 35 minutes to get to Apgar.

Sunny day at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park during winter from Apgar

Sunny day at Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park during winter from Apgar

Lake McDonald itself is about 10 miles long, over 1 mile wide, and sits at just over 3,000 feet.  The lake is full of trout.

You will definitely want to make a stop in Apgar for a scoop of Huckleberry Ice Cream and a picture of the lake.   That first view from Apgar will take your breath away.  There is a boat launch so you can put in your own watercraft if you have it.  You can also rent canoes and small boats in Apgar and there are hotels to stay at.

As you drive along the south shore along the Going-to-the-Sun Highway, there are various pull-outs to pull over and take pictures.  Some of these pull-outs are better than others, but you can get some good pictures at some of them!  The drive is a pretty drive right along the lake.

A pull out along Lake McDonald for photo opportunities, Glacier National Park, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

A pull out along Lake McDonald for photo opportunities, Glacier National Park, Copyright Montana Vacation Blog 2012

Alex Neill along Lake McDonald in Glacier National

At the far southeast shore, you will find a turn into the Lake McDonald Lodge, another place you will want to stop.  Even if you don’t stay at the lodge, you should stop and walk into its beautiful three-story lobby, and walk down to the dock for a close-up view of the mountains towering over Lake McDonald.

Whitefish Mountain Resort has a webcam on their website that overlooks Lake McDonald from Apgar village; click here to view: http://skiwhitefish.com/webcams.php  (Tip: Scroll to the bottom, it is the last webcam available for viewing.)

The Lake McDonald webcam is also available from the Glacier National Park website at: http://www.nps.gov/glac/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm  (Tip: Scroll down and click on “Lake McDonald”)

The weather is generally nice between July – September, so the chances of it being clear and sunny are in your favor.  This lake provides amazing photo opportunities.

Make a stop on your way through!!  Please comment below if you want to share your trip to Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.

Warmest Wishes from Big Sky Country,

Alex M. Neill

Montana Vacation Blog

www.montanavacationblog.com

 

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