Glacier National Park: Lake McDonald Revisited



Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T! 



At ten miles long, Lake McDonald is Glacier National Park’s biggest lake. It is on the West of the Continental Divide, which receives more rain, so the area is lush. The lake is not fed by glaciers and so does not have the distinctive turquoise hue found on the Eastern side of the park. But the water is crystal clear, showcasing the multicolored Argillite rock on the lake’s floor.


We stopped at Lake McDonald on our last evening in the park. It stays light longer in Glacier in the summer than where we live because it is farther from the equator. We stopped to dip our feet in the icy lake waters before going into the lodge for dinner.


Lake McDonald Lodge was built in 1913 on the Eastern shore of Lake McDonald at the mouth of Midget Creek. Like the other lodges in the park, it has a Swiss Chalet design which was part of the Great Northern Railroad’s campaign to attract tourists to the ‘American Alps.’


Though not as big as Many Glacier, the lodge has an impressive three-story lobby and was restored in the 1980s. It includes many of the original furnishings and some reproductions of the original Kanai craftsmen paper lanterns. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.


Glacier National Park Posts:


Location: 288 Lake McDonald Lodge Loop, West Glacier, MT 59936

Designation: National Park, National Landmark

Date designation declared: 5/11/1910, NHL 1987

Date of my visit: 6/27/2018

YouTube video of Lake McDonald courtesy of Finleyholiday:


17 thoughts on “Glacier National Park: Lake McDonald Revisited

  1. Yes, the Lake McDonald Lodge is one of the most impressive and we loved sitting in the lobby and then out on the deck before our wonderful dinner in the dining room.

    1. I found the Many Glacier Hotel to be the most impressive architecturally, but the food in the expensive dining room was on par with a school lunchroom. The Lake McDonald Lodge restaurant was the best meal we had that trip

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