McDonald Lake is just inside the West Glacier Entrance and first viewed from the Apgar Village Center. The Going-to-the-Sun Road follows the southern shoreline, while the northern shoreline is traversed by trail from the Fish Creek Campground for 6.5 miles on the Lake McDonald Trail, where it meets the northern end of the lake at the end of the North Lake McDonald Road. Camp-ers who wish to camp at a backcountry site along this trail may camp 4.5 miles from Fish Creek Campground at the McDonald Lake site, which offers two camping sites close to the lake.
Boat access: Apgar Visitor Center and Lake McDonald Lodge
Maps: USGS Glacier National Park (ISBN 0-607-32671-9); Montana Atlas and Gazetteer, p.83
Fishing conditions and species: According to all the published reports, Lake McDonald offers poor fishing, which is due in part to a nutrient-deficient offering from McDonald Creek. The lake is deep, and it requires trolling from a boat with standard hardware for brook trout, bull trout, cut-throat, lake trout and whitefish.