Glacier National Park ~ Lake McDonald and Rocky Point Hike

July 19th ~ Glacier National Park

Rocky Point overlooking Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald

“Ten miles long and nearly 500 feet deep (152.4 m), Lake McDonald, the largest lake in the park, is a direct result of glacial carving. High peaks surrounding the lake all show evidence of the power of glaciers to carve even the hardest of rock. The powerful glaciers that carved the broad “u-shaped” valley that Lake McDonald sits in also carved smaller hanging valleys with wonderful waterfalls that are accessible by numerous hiking trails.” ~ NPS.gov

After our longer hikes the day before, we opted for an easier excursion today. Rocky Point was listed as just over 2 miles with a 85 foot gain. Sounded easy enough, but what the short description does not mention is that you climb those 85 feet over and over and over and over again.

You walk up the hill a ways, then down hill, then back up hill, then down, repeat, repeat, repeat. Accurate in overall altitude difference from the highest to lowest point, but still seemed like kind of false advertising 🙂

Dense vegetation, and a less traveled pathway prompted us to carry our bear spray. But the walk was lovely, provided some nice glimpses of Lake McDonald where boaters and kayakers would occasionally pass by.

Lake McDonald

Kayaks are for rent in the village

The occasionally well placed log bench provided a welcome resting spot

We often played peek-a-boo with the lake on this trail

We think that Apgar Campground, where we had the RV parked, was located just on the other side of the peninsula jutting out from the right side of this picture, up against the higher mountain.

There was ample evidence of earlier fires here as well

Many areas within the park have burned at one time or another over the years. But as is normally the case, Mother Nature was doing a fine job of regeneration.

Brilliant yellow wildflowers dotted the way

After our hike we took a brief trip into the small village at Apgar, planning on picking up a couple of grocery items. Choices are limited, but we did end up having lunch at a small cafe. I can recommend the fish and chips.

It was a hot afternoon, and it was time to take advantage of being camped right next to the lake!

Hot sun, cool water, refreshing beverage, great company!

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that our forests can regenerate themselves after a fire. In fact, we have learned that it is healthy for a forest to have a burn every 50 to 100 years. The extreme heat from the fire releases seeds from the cones, providing starts for the next generation.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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7 Responses to Glacier National Park ~ Lake McDonald and Rocky Point Hike

  1. Terry says:

    That is the campground I plan to stop in next year just for the overnight as I continue over to Waterton in Canada then up to BC, the Yukon and Alaska. Going the whole way camping in my Outback, should be quite fun.

    Like

  2. Amy Pantone says:

    We loved our visit to Glacier National Park a few years ago. What a beautiful park! Your photos of Lake McDonald brings back wonderful memories. We spent an afternoon lounging lakeside and resting our tired feet and legs from wonderful hiking.

    Like

  3. tippysmom2 says:

    Lake McDonald looks lovely. I think your description of the hike is hilarious – maybe a titch of false advertising there. The fact that you described it as “dense vegetation, and a less traveled pathway” might have been a clue. 😉

    Like

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