McDonald Lake Graces West Glacier Entrance


Lake in Glacier National Park catches late afternoon sun.

A cyclist en route to Logan Pass via the Going-to-the-sun Road has a bit of a challenge from the west side of the park, as that road is closed to cyclists going uphill after 11 AM. (this rule is kinda sorta enforced). Thus, if you can camp at McDonald Lake campground, a few miles inside the West Glacier entrance, you will have a bit of a head start on your day's climb. Of course, the scenery is spectacular also. The view across the lake looks almost directly at the Garden Wall, which you will climb the next morning. I often feel this photo is the best one I have ever taken, although the digitalization has made it paler than it is on film. In any case, while there are campgrounds available further up the road from this point, they are for solida walled vehicles only because of Glacier's very real grizzly population.
Glacier is a popular park for its wildlife and wild flowers; in early summer the final switchback beneath Logan Pass is a mass of blooms. Glacial evidence is everywhere: cirques, hanging valleys, striated rock beds, and of course, a glacier here and there! Connected to Canada's Waterton park, this is one area that is often overlooked by cyclists and tourists alike, due to its remoteness. Well worth a visit, however, and a fine gateway to the Canadian rockies, whose massive peaks reach their greatest splendor at Banff and Jasper, just a few days or so north of here by bike.
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