Lake McDonald

Glacier SP12-223

Lake McDonald, the largest lake in Glacier National Park, is the most noticeable highlight on the western side of the park. At nearly 15 miles long and framed, at its far end, by the snow-capped Continental Divide, it’s difficult to evade:

I arrived at the lake mid-morning on Memorial Day, under cloudy skies. The clouds desaturated much of the vibrant colors of the lake, but the waters were very still this morning, allowing for reflections:

Some of the trees along the lake were producing spring blossoms:

Late in the afternoon, it began to clear. Few things are more beautiful, landscape-wise, as Glacier National Park after a storm clearing, with the resulting mixture of clouds, sun, and stunning peaks. The colors are simply wonderful, with a full blast of blues, purples, magentas, and vibrant greens:

While the iconic view of Lake McDonald is taken at the head of the lake, around Apgar Village, the area along Going-to-the-Sun road is also well worth exploring. In spring, the shoreline can be a bit restricted due to the high level of the lake; but in the summer and early fall, the lake recedes and there is plenty of shoreline to explore. The water of the lake is very clear and the rocks below the water often colorful and full of interest: