Lake McDonald Valley

Lake with mountains and low fog
One of the many moods of the Lake McDonald Valley

NPS/Jacob W. Frank

Lake McDonald Valley is the hub of activity on the west side of Glacier National Park. Once occupied by massive glaciers that carved this area thousands of years ago, the valley is now filled with spectacular sights, hiking trails, diverse species of plants and animals, historic chalets, and the grand Lake McDonald Lodge.

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.

Along the shore of Lake McDonald sits Lake McDonald Lodge. Constructed in 1913-1914 to resemble a rustic hunting lodge with Swiss-influenced architecture, this warm and inviting building provides comfort for overnight guests. After a long day of hiking, horseback riding, or a scenic boat tour on the historic DeSmet, cozy up in front of the massive fireplace inside Lake McDonald Lodge or attend a Ranger-led evening program.

For a live glimpse of the Lake McDonald Valley, check out our Webcam page; we have a webcam at the foot of Lake McDonald with a view up the lake to the Continental Divide.

Facilities, Services and Activities

Last updated: June 18, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936



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