Capture Sunrise or Sunset at Lake McDonald

Montana Lake McDonald

Added by Jason Hatfield

The largest lake in Glacier National Park with views of a vast forest and massive peaks.

Lake McDonald doesn't offer the close-up views of glaciers and mountains like some of the other spots in Glacier NP, but it does offer sweeping views of park's west side. The most popular spot to photograph this grand perspective is along the southwest beach and dock. The dock makes the most interesting subject, but after parking walk along the shore and look for interesting rocks or boats to include in the foreground; if you visit in the winter, ice and cracks make for an even more compelling shot. Sunset's here tend to provide the best results, but with the right clouds, sunrises can be great too.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Wide-Tele Lens
  • Tripod
  • Batteries
  • Memory Card
  • Hiking Shoes
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Skill Level:



Year Round



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

about 1 month ago

Amazing sunset views

I didn't plan to catch the sunset at Lake McDonald, but as I was driving out of the park, I just had to stop to watch the show. There were plenty of spots to park alongside the road, so I found an open space and walked down to the shore. I had the place all to myself; a perfect way to end a day of hiking!

about 1 month ago

about 2 months ago

Always a Show

Sunrise and sunset at Lake McDonald has never disappointed me. Even in the pouring rain, the sunset still amazes all who stick it out. Don't let bad weather deter your visit for sunrise or sunset.

about 2 months ago

Added by Jason Hatfield

Adventure and travel photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. I teach photography workshops and offer private guiding around the west. More at

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