PLACES: Apgar in Glacier National Park

By Beacon Staff

Just because the hordes of summer visitors are gone doesn’t mean that Glacier National Park closes for the year. In fact it’s quite the opposite. While many of the shops have shuttered and the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed, there are still plenty of things to see and do for the adventurous visitor, many just past the front gate at Apgar.

Apgar is located just a few miles past the gate in West Glacier, on the shores of Lake McDonald. The trip into the park during winter is worth it just for the views. Visitors could also start on any number of cross country ski or snowshoe trails from the Apgar area, with the most up-to-date trail conditions being available at the Apgar Visitor Center, which is open on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Starting in January, guided snowshoe trips will start from the visitor center and depart Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Rentals are available.

If it’s just pretty views you are after, 10 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are maintained through the winter months and provide a means to enjoy the winter scenery between Apgar and the Lake McDonald Lodge. Entrance fees to the park are also reduced during the winter and a day of activity is only $15 per vehicle.

How to get there: To get to the Apgar Visitor Center from Kalispell, take U.S. Highway 2 and drive 33 miles east to West Glacier. Once there, take a left under the railroad bridge and into the park. Drive about two miles into the park and then take a left on Camas Road. Less than a mile from the turn, take a right into the Apgar area.