McDonald Creek Trail

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This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
9.0 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
85 m
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Directions to Trailhead

McDonald Creek Trail is a family-friendly trail that has many highlights. Traveling through lush green forests, you will discover McDonald Falls rushing through the rock formations. You will also get to see views from Avalanche Creek Outlook, which showcases beautiful views of the surrounding area.

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Route Description for McDonald Creek Trail

McDonald Creek Trail is a family-friendly hike through nature, beginning down a gravel path through the forest. After 0.3 miles, you will reach the spectacular McDonald Falls, and 0.3 km further, you will reach the horse path junction. Continue straight and follow the Upper McDonald Creek Trail. When you have hiked for another 0.4 km, you will reach the Sacred Dancing Cascades, which are known for their Kootenai saying “A good place to dance”.

After hiking 2.3 km, you will arrive at a large wetland area, and just a bit further lies the Avalanche Creek Lookout. Take your time exploring this area, and then head back the way you came as this is an out-and-back trail.

Getting to the McDonald Creek Trail Trailhead

To get to McDonald Creek Trail from Lake McDonald Lodge, head eastbound on the Going-to-the-Sun Road for 2.4 km. Turning left on North Lake McDonald Road, the trailhead will come up on the right side of the road after 0.5 km.

Route Information

  • When to do

    April - October

  • Backcountry Campsites


  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly


  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

McDonald Creek Trail Elevation Graph

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McDonald Creek Trail Reviews

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