McDonald Falls

Glacier National Park / Flathead County, Montana, USA

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 1
McDonald Falls
McDonald Falls was one of two roadside waterfalls that Julie and I encountered while briefly touring the western side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. We thought the scenery on this side of the park was less dramatic than the east side, and we felt the same way about the waterfalls here as well. Nonetheless, it seemed like it was still quite popular here as it seemed to have a bit more traffic than the east side. I'm still trying to figure out why (especially since bridging the east and west sides required a lengthy 2-hour detour on the Roosevelt Highway thanks to the Going-to-the-Sun Road closure between Logan Pass and Avalanche Creek during our September 2010 visit).

Anyways, there was a narrow viewing area for this falls that was accessed via stairs descending from the road, but it seemed like the views were obstructed no matter where we stood. It turned out that the best spot to view McDonald Falls (at least in my mind) was not even from the narrow lookout area. It was from the road before descending the stairs.

Nonetheless, I'm sure the weather had a bit to do with our subpar viewing experience because I'm betting that there would've been a scenic mountain backdrop to make this falls a little more interesting. We're hoping for a return trip under better conditions when the Going-to-the-Sun Road would be open so perhaps we could give this falls another try.

[Back to top]
We got this view of Glacier National Park's eastern end as we made the long drive south and around the park (due to road closures) to enter the west side where we'd eventually get to McDonald FallsWe got this view of Glacier National Park's eastern end as we made the long drive south and around the park (due to road closures) to enter the west side where we'd eventually get to McDonald Falls
The official viewing area for the fallsThe official viewing area for the falls

This was our view of the falls from that official viewing areaThis was our view of the falls from that official viewing area

[Back to top]


Right to left sweep starting at the falls and ending downstream

Top down sweep of the falls

[Back to top]

From the West Glacier turnoff for Glacier National Park, drive east for a couple of miles to a three-way junction, then turn right to get onto the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Continue east on the road for roughly 11 miles as the road skirts the eastern shores of Lake McDonald. There's a large pullout area on the west side of the road.

[Back to top]


Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map

[Back to top]

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.

[Back to top]


[Back to top]


Have You Been To This Waterfall?

Share your experience!

Click here to see visitor comments for this waterfall

Click here to see visitor comments for other waterfalls that we've visited in this region

Click here to go to the Comments Main Page

You can use the form below, but if you find our host's interface too troublesome to use (especially if you're trying to upload photos), then just send a text submission anyways using the form, but also let us know that you'd like to attach photos. If you've provided an email address via the form, then we can reply back acknowledging your request, and you can then reply to that email with your photo attachments. We're very sorry about this, but there's not much we can do about SBI's terrible interface.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Yes been there! (MacDonald Falls) 
Actually, the best place to view the falls is from the trail on the other side. See our blog with pictures

Click here to write your own.

[Back to top]

[Go to the Montana Waterfalls Page]

[Go to the Pacific Northwest Page]

[Return from McDonald Falls to the World of Waterfalls Home Page]

FOLLOW US ON:   Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest

Quick Navigation:

If you like this page,
you might also like...

A Montana Waterfall
Montana Waterfalls

America's Top 10
America's Top 10

Featured Visitor Stories
or Comments

Swimming Hole
My cousins and I lived on State Hwy. 216, just a mile or so east of the park entrance in 1978 and 1979. We frequently went to the falls during the hot summer...[more]

Northwest Waterfall Survey
Curly Creek Falls appears to have been partially channeled into a sink between the bridge on FR 90 and the falls. It flows well during the spring and early melt season, but...[more]

Shoshone Falls
Shoshone Falls on the Snake River near Twin Falls, Idaho is truly spectacular during the mid-April to mid-May high season. The river plunges...[more]

Two Spectacular Falls
Diamond falls is a bit of a hike in. I didn't measure it but it felt like 2 miles. There were several nice view points on the walk in showing the surrounding hills...[more]

Further on the Eagle Creek Trail
Next time you are in Oregon and have a day to devote to Eagle Creek, I would highly recommend making the trek to Tunnel Falls...[more]

Loowit Falls, Mt St Helens, Washington
Picture of Loowit Falls, Mt St. Helens, Washington...[more]