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Apgar Lookout

 4.2 (32)

Travel through a burn area that gives you a great view of Lake McDonald.

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Point to Point

5,215' 1,590 m


3,377' 1,029 m


1,842' 561 m


3' 1 m



Avg Grade (5°)


Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake · Spring · Views

Bring bear spray.


Just after entering Glacier National Park at the West Entrance, a sign points you towards the trailhead. Follow the road over McDonald Creek and up the dirt road to the trailhead. Earlier in the season, the road may be partially closed before the bridge due to high water or snow so be sure to check.

The trail starts off level, wandering the base of the Apgar Mountains through a mix of burned and non-burned forest. This area can have water on the trail early in the season as you cross over a few creeks, but should be mostly dry later in the summer. You fairly quickly break out into the burn area and follow that for the rest of the trip.

The burn area provides nice birding, great views and no respite from the sun as the entire trip is on a south facing slope. Once it starts climbing, it does so at an earnest, but manageable grade. With each step, the views of the Middle Fork Flathead River below and out to the valley south of the park only get better.

After only two real switchbacks, the trail wraps around the mountain, back into trees, through a saddle to the unstaffed lookout. Views of Lake McDonald are great with a couple of trees partially getting in the way of photos. The lookout is a great place for lunch with great views all the way around. This is one of the earlier trails to open up in the spring that gain some elevation.

A fun pastime is to visit the park's site while up there to capture a selfie from their webcam.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.

Flora & Fauna

Great forest birding along the trail. Opportunity for a wide variety of wildlife, from bears to elk, but not super common.


Shared By:

Jake Bramante

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 32 votes


  4.2 from 32 votes
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in Montana


53 Views Last Month
3,512 Since Sep 2, 2015



Short trail review of Apgar Lookout from 2015 in the spring.
Apr 5, 2016 near Apgar, MT
View southeast from Apgar Lookout.
Jun 30, 2019 near Apgar, MT
View into the Apgar Mountains.
Jun 30, 2019 near Apgar, MT
View from Apgar Lookout
Apr 5, 2016 near Apgar, MT
Lake McDonald enveloped in the smoke of a wild-land fire..
Apr 10, 2018 near Apgar, MT
Strawberry Mountain in the distance.
Apr 10, 2018 near Apgar, MT



Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 11 days ago See History
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Jun 15, 2022
Kyle Johnston
May 20, 2022
Cesar Flores
3h 30m
May 10, 2022
sydney devros
beautiful hike, we had 3 separate squalls come in. got stuck for 30 minutes trying to get a black bear off the trail
Jul 15, 2021
Gina Brummels
Jun 18, 2021
David McIlhenney
May 29, 2021
Jonathan Hanks
7.5mi — 2h 59m
May 20, 2021
Katie Bump
Aug 10, 2020
Michael Burke
With a little extra hiking, this ended up being 7.5 miles round trip. Christina and Josh could not make it to the top. it was hot that day and thei…