Blogs from Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana, United States, North America


We spent a few days recently visiting Glacier National Park and we were left speechless. We have visited many national parks but from a scenic perspective, this one has to be near the top. From the visitor centers to the McDonald Lodge to the Road-to-the-Sun drive, the views will leave you speechless. Just a note, if you are timid in the least and don’t like narrow winding roads with minimal clearance, you might want to leave the driving to the free shuttle bus or reserve a space in the red bus line that takes you through the park in a 1930’s vintage bus.... read more

Last day! Had to get one more "leg day" in. Hiked up to the Apgar Lookout. About 3.5 miles up, elevation gain 1948ft. Steady uphill climb. Great views of mountians in the distance and of Lake McDonald. We have had a great time here. Weather has been perfect (38 this morning but hitting about 67 this afternoon). Not looking forward to the 90s back in Hot-lanta, but ready to be home. Oh yeah, bear spray, not used, $50. (more than about two good bottles of wine) and we gave it away to someone other hikers - our good deed for the week!... read more

We stayed one night at the Village Inn at Apgar. Very cute, decorated retro 1960s. Right on Lake McDonald. You can see in the picture on the left and towards the center some of the smoke plumes from the fires. All hiking in the Lake McDonald area is still closed. We are hopeful that by the end of our trip we might get in there. We are now staying at the Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls. After a full week of small rooms, double beds and cruise-ship sized showers, this room seems HUGE. Two queens and a full shower/tub. You have to sacrifice charm for modern amenities. Oh the things we get used to in our daily lives. It is nice that there is onsite laundry because after a week of hiking my suitcase is ... read more

This was our final day at Glacier, so we had to make it count, even though the weather was not taking our last day into consideration. At breakfast we enjoyed conversation with other guests at the Bed and Breakfast and upon their recommendation we decided to go hike the Avalanche Lake Trail. Though we had rather go hike one on the east side of the park, the amount of travel swayed us from that trek. Donald had briefly considered driving to the Yaak Valley area of Montana in search of Tom from the show Mountain Men. He would have loved to have purchased an animal fur that Tom himself had trapped and skinned. But that would have been a 3 hour drive there and a 3 hour drive back, so we stuck with the decision to ... read more
Donald in his poncho
Avalanche Lake
Forest growth

Our Glacier National Park trip began today and it started out in the dark. We had the alarm set for 3:15am for our early flight, but for some odd reason our power went out around 2:30am. What's worse than having to get ready at 3am for a flight - getting ready at 3am in the complete darkness. Can't see what we forgot to pack and can't even see what we might look like after an attempt to be presentable using a flashlight. And as luck would have it, the power came back on as we were heading out the door. Pretty typical for me. We made it to our flight with no other issues and changed planes in Chicago. I guess I can technically say I have been to Illinois now. We landed safely in Kilespell, ... read more
Trail of the Cedars
Greenery along the trail on Trail of the Cedars

Today we slept in a bit and got on the road by 9. But not before we were informed that high up on the mountain across the road there was a 90 foot statute of the Blessed Virgin Mary! It's named Our Lady of the Rockies and sits on the Continental Divide. tried to get a good photo but it was kind of overcast, but pretty cool none the less. Next we found the Big Sky Brewery in Missoula and stopped in to see what as going on, etc. Left with a case of Moose Drool and a four pack of a stout, and some swag for Janet. back on the road and headed to Glacier National Park and arrived at the Lake McDonald Lodge around 4. Shortly after we headed to the lake to look ... read more

After the rigors of the Grinnell Glacier hike, we were ready to take it a little easy, although I frankly felt pretty good the next morning. We had met up with Laura Lee in East Glacier Park Village, and Robbie was staying only a few mies away. We all met up in Browning, and began out trip across the width of Glacier National Park on the famous Going to the Sun Road. This 53 mile traversal is the only road going across the width of the park, and was considered an engineering marvel at the time of its construction. It was completed in 1932 at a cost of $2.5 million (about $43 million in today's dollars). It is considered one of the most difficult roads to plow in the nation, with plowing of up to 80 ... read more
Mountains along Going to the Sun Road
Tunnel on Going to the Sun Road
Birdwoman Falls - 492 feet

We were sad to leave Libby but we needed to press on as there is still so much we want to see; next stop Glacier National Park. The drive through Montana (I had been particularly excited about this state) was really nice and we were looking forward to seeing the national park. We arrived late afternoon; it was quite chilly; so we stopped for a short walk at Sprague Creek to get our blood flowing. The walk meandered through woods and then out to a river with some waterfalls; the river was really full as the snow was still melting. We were in bear country still and Dim was making lots of noises (as you’re advised to do) as we walked and scaring me half to death each time he did! We passed one woman who ... read more
Sprague Creek
wouldn't like to fall in this!

Luck is on our side. Our itinerary was based on going across Glacier National Park on the Going to the Sun Road, one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It is almost always open by July 1, and it never occurred to me when planning that it would not be open when we arrived to traverse it on July 13. The unusually heavy snows had presented unusual challenges in plowing, and it was a close thing. Where it crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass and just to the east, the snow cam top 80' or more. It opened today for the first time this year. We were following the news with some anxiety until the last minute. It generally opens in early June, and today is the latest opening ever. The road cuts ... read more
Triple Divide Peak
Jan with wall of snow
Buddy, Jennie at Logan Pass

Entry 19: Glacier National Park Day Three Thursday, August 5, 2010 Get Out and Boat I woke around 9 a.m. on my final Glacier National Park morning. The sun was back and bright, and there were slightly fewer folks in the Apgar Campground. I worked on the blog and decamped. It was quite a pleasure to have stayed in the same spot for 2 consecutive nights, and I slogged through the 2-hour packing up time. Reorganizing the truck, Sophie the dog and I first drove over to Lake McDonald, as the slight wind today would offer a boat/canoe ride onto Lake McDonald (it was too windy yesterday). Canoes are $18 an hour, but they also offered something new for me—a 7 person outdoor-motored boat, at $25 an hour. Having never captained my own boat, I chose ... read more
Where I Swam with Goggles
Shaking Sophie
Hike Self-Portrait

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