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.




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PHOTO JOURNAL
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


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS

Right to left sweep starting at the falls and ending downstream


Top down sweep of the falls


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DIRECTIONS
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.


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MAP OF THE FALLS


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




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES



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NEARBY WATERFALLS


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