Apgar Cross Country Ski Trails - Glacier National Park
The routes described in this area begin at two parking locations:
1. The concession horse barn ,reached by taking the first left off the Going-to-the-Sun Road, past the West Entrance station.
2. The road closure gate just beyond the McDonald Creek Bridge on the Camas Road.
Lower McDonald Creek
2 to 3 miles round trip
The trail begins just south of the McDonald Creek Bridge. The best access is the summer bike/foot path. This entire area is a good place to explore on your own. The gentle terrain along lower McDonald Creek provides easy skiing through the forest with side trips along the creek.
6 miles round trip
Take the right fork of the road at the closure and ski past the houses until the road turns to a trail. The trail soon joins the road to Fish Creek Campground and the Inside North Fork Road. Bear left past the campground. The improved road soon turns to a narrow climbing gravel road. About 0.2 miles north of the Fish Creek Campground, take the McDonald Lake Trail on the right, just before the gate on the road. The trail winds down a short hill but the route is fairly level for the most part. Ski left at the first trail junction then right at the next one shortly thereafter. The forest opens as you approach Rocky Point, where there are beautiful views up and down Lake McDonald.
10.5 miles round trip
Park at the plowed area in front of the barn and follow the left fork of the unplowed road across the Quarter Circle Bridge. Take the right fork and follow the road .5 mile until the actual Apgar Lookout trailhead is reached. After an easy start the trail steepens and climbing skins may be necessary for the trip if conditions are icy. The views are great from the lookout but this trail may be very difficult for beginning skiers.
Site of Old Flathead Ranger Station
10 miles round trip
Park in front of the barn and follow the left fork of the unplowed road to the Quarter Circle Bridge (.5 mile). The trail provides good views of the McDonald Valley, and the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, before entering the forest. Take the left fork at the road junction 1 mile from the bridge. An exceptional view of the river is located 2.5 miles from the junction, 100 feet south of the road, across from an open hillside. The remianing building was burned inthe 2003 Robert Fire, but this is still an excellent ski trip and the view is of the bluff above the confluence of the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River.
McGee Meadow Loop
11.5 miles round trip
Take the right fork of the road at the closure and ski past the houses until the road turns to a trail. The trail soon joins the road to Fish Creek Campground and the Inside North Fork Road. Bear left past the campground. The improved road soon turns to a narrow climbing gravel road. From this point it is 3 miles to the first meadow. Continue over the crest of the hill to an orange marker identifing the trail to McGee Meadow. Ski along the northern edge of the meadow until you see the opening for the car pullout to the west, on the Camas Road. After a couple of short uphill sections, the route descends to the road closure. This trip can be done in either direction, but going up the Camas Road is more strenuous.