QUICK INFO:

  • Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park.
  • There are multiple campgrounds located around Lake McDonald.
  • Fishing, Kayaking, and Canoeing are a must if the weather is good.
  • Camping can be cramped as most lots are packed. Spaces are only about 6 feet apart.
  • Apgar Village is located near the lake and there are plenty of places to get souvenirs, food, snacks, and even firewood. FYI the firewood here is very reasonably priced.

Camping Summary:

As mentioned above, Lake McDonald the largest lake in Glacier National Park. Apgar Village is based on the shore of this lake, so be sure to stop there and stock up on items. There are quite a few campgrounds in the area. I reserved a camping spot at the Fish Creek Campground online. There were only a couple places left available and there are a lot of camping spots at this location. The camping area is separated in to different “tiers” A, B, and C. C is closest to the water while the others are actually quite a bit further. You can however walk to the lake via multiple trails.

I was stoked when we first pulled up to the campground entrance (a buddy and I were taking in this trip). The ranger at the gate was awesome and made us feel welcome. Our reserved spot was a good distance away and unfortunately was not good. Things only went down hill from here. As we approached the campsite A, we noticed how packed the sites were. We knew it was near full occupancy, but did not expect things to be so cramped. Getting closer to our allotted spot we were fully discouraged.

Since we were packed for a long trip, I had my cargo trailer and pickup fully loaded. We planned on setting up the tent and parking the trailer nearby. There should have been enough room, however there wasn’t. I cannot stress enough how confined these areas are. I could not get the trailer next to the tent because there was a motor home RIGHT next to us. We decided to just set up camp then go park the trailer near the ranger station. Once the tent was set up, we took a walk down to the lake.

The lake is beautiful. Kayaking is awesome and there are a lot of people on the lake (if it’s a nice day). It can take a long time to get around the lake but it’s definitely worth the time.

Once we wrapped up kayaking, we decided to head back to the campsite. It was a little eerie because as we made our way back there were people relaxing in their camp sites but nearly everyone was on their phone. No one seemed interested in exploring! Back at our tent we stopped and listened for a minute and realized that it was ridiculously noisy. There were at least 10 camping trailers or motor homes right next to use, along with generators running. This was not going to work. We couldn’t imagine how this would be at night. So, we packed up our things and decided to go elsewhere.

The discouraging thing is that we reserved this spot for 3 days and the scenery outside the campground was amazing. It was also pretty late and getting dark quickly and we had no idea where we were going to stay for the night.

Read the next part of the journey here.