West Glacier and Lake McDonald

West Glacier is a very small town that serves as the entry point to the west end of Glacier National Park:

You enter West Glacier from Route 2 and quickly find yourself traversing over the Middle Fork of the Flathead River:

And then you’re into Glacier National Park. Two miles later you’re at southern western end of the park’s largest body of water, Lake McDonald.

The water in the lake is very clear and the bottom of the lake is decorated with colorful rocks:

There’s a quite a bit of lodging in the area, especially if you’re willing to stay outside the park. I stayed at the West Glacier KOA about six miles from the park entrance. What is particularly noteworthy about this KOA is they have especially nice bathrooms (the best I’ve seen in KOA) and a children only pool and an adult only pool and two spas. I’d definitely stay there again if I had the opportunity.

Lake McDonald is not necessarily a great lake for swimming (it’s a bit chilly), but other water sports, particularly kayaking and paddle boarding, are better done here than on lakes on east side of the park. The west side of Glacier National Park, generally speaking, is warmer and often considerably less windy. People who kayak on east side lakes sometimes find themselves blown to remote areas from which they have difficulty returning.

Here’s an image of somebody paddle boarding on Lake McDonald with their quadruped:

Lake McDonald can be photographed at sunrise:

—or at sunset:

The key to sunrise or sunset shots is getting to the right place of the lake. The lake is accessible, via Going-to-the-Sun Road, on eastern side of the lake (facing northwest) and on the southern and lower western parts (facing north and east).

More photos of Lake McDonald: