Rocky Point Nature Trail
Includes McDonald Lake Trail
Rocky Point on Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park
Rocky Point Nature Trail
Trailhead: Fish Creek Campground
Distance: 1.1 miles (one way)
Elevation Gain: 85 vertical feet
The hike along the Rocky Point Nature Trail in Glacier National Park is an easy 1.1 mile (one way) Glacier Park hike in the Lake McDonald Area. The Rocky Point Nature Trail is definitely one of the easiest Glacier Park hikes, and it provides a nice view of Lake McDonald and the surrounding mountains. In addition, this trail connects with the Lake McDonald Trail, which is a 7 mile long Glacier Park trail that follows the north shore of Lake McDonald, and ends at the North Shore Lake McDonald Road.
Finding The Trailhead
The trailhead to the Rocky Point Nature Trail in Glacier National Park is located at the Fish Creek Campground. The Fish Creek Campground is found just north of Apgar Village a few miles on the Camas Road. This same road takes you to the North Fork Area and the Polebridge Ranger Station and Entrance.
You'll see a large sign just a few miles north of Apgar Village that tells you to take a right. Once you enter the campground, you'll see a sign that directs you to the Rocky Point Nature Trail parking area and trailhead. This parking area also marks the beginning of the Inside North Fork Road (a.k.a. Glacier Route 7) that takes visitors along a rough gravel road all the way to Kintla Lake, 42 miles to the north.
Rocky Point Trailhead (mile 0.0)
At the parking lot for the Rocky Point Trailhead in Glacier National Park, you'll see an obvious trailhead sign to the right (west). The Rocky Point Trail initially takes you through a nice lodgepole pine forest, and there is virtually no elevation gain. This is an easy walk through pleasant woodlands.
The Rocky Point Trail initially takes you through a lodgepole pine forest on your way to Rocky Point in Glacier National Park.
Fern Creek Bridge (mile 0.2)
The Fern Creek bridge along the Rocky Point Trail in Glacier National Park.
Very soon you will encounter Fern Creek and the Fern Creek foot bridge along the Rocky Point Trail in Glacier National Park. This is a pretty little creek with lush vegetation around it. It's one of the most scenic spots along the Rocky Point Trail, other than Rocky Point itself.
Lake McDonald Trail Junction (mile 0.3)
Just beyond Fern Creek, the trail meets up with the Lake McDonald Trail. Continue heading west along this trail towards Rocky Point... the signs are very self-explanatory.
The Lake McDonald Trail continues past Rocky Point and follows the north shore of Lake McDonald all the way to the North Shore Lake McDonald Road, 7 miles to the west.
Rocky Point (mile 1.1)
After hiking through a pleasant forest for about a mile with hardly any elevation gain, you will find yourself at Rocky Point in Glacier National Park. You will get a great view of Lake McDonald here, and it's fun to sit on the rocky shoreline and enjoy a nice snack while taking in the wonderful scenery.
Rocky Point along Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park would be a great place to swim if the water wasn't so cold!
Rocky Point Nature Trail Loop (mile 1.1)
You will see signs for the Rocky Point Nature Trail Loop just before the actual Rocky Point outcrop. This trail takes you up through an old forest fire area for a total of 0.7 miles. It's not super scenic, but while you're there you might as well check it out.
Want To Go Further? Lake McDonald Trail
The Lake McDonald Trail in Glacier National Park takes you along the north shore of Lake McDonald, all the way to the North Shore Lake McDonald Road, nearly 6.7 miles from this point in the photo.
The Lake McDonald Trail in Glacier National Park continues along the north shore of Lake McDonald until it reaches the North Shore Lake McDonald Road, about 6.7 miles from where you are presently standing. (The actual trailhead for the Lake McDonald Trail is located along the Inside North Fork Road, but a quicker route is taking the Rocky Point Trail.) This is a seldom used trail that takes you through deep forests as well as old forest fires. Periodically you will enjoy nice views of Lake McDonald. The Lake McDonald Campground is located about 4.3 miles, which is considered to be a backcountry campground that requires a backcountry permit to stay there. Most visitors who camp here usually take a boat or kayak to get there instead of actually hiking to this backcountry campground. (See maps at the bottom of the page.)