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Apgar Lookout And Snowshoe

All Things Glacier
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Endorsed by Curators:
Apr 14 7:00AM - 3:00PM

Apgar Lookout Trail

Trail Features:Scenic views, HistoricTrail Location:West EntanceRoundtrip Length:7.1 plus 4 miles to and from trailhead on the Camas Road...total is about 12 miles.
MilesTotal Elevation Gain:1845 FeetAvg. Elev Gain / Mile:520 FeetHighest Elevation:5228 FeetTrail Difficulty Rating:10.79 (strenuous)Parking Lot Latitude[masked]Parking Lot Longitude[masked]

Trail Description:

The Apgar Lookout Trail is located near the southwestern corner of Glacier National Park. To reach the trailhead, drive about a half-mile north from the West Glacier Entrance Station, and then turn left towards the Glacier Institute. Drive a short distance to the next junction and turn right (away from the Glacier Institute), then almost immediately make a turn towards the left - just before reaching the Swan Mountain Outfitters horse corral. From here you'll drive another 1.9 miles on a single lane gravel road to reach the trailhead.
The hike to the Apgar Lookout fire tower begins as an easy stroll along an old dirt road. Starting from the south side of Apgar Mountain, the trail snakes around to the west side before making a couple of long switchbacks up the southwestern slopes of the mountain. The lookout sits on an east facing ridge roughly 200 feet below the actual summit of Apgar Mountain.
One of the first things you'll notice on this hike is the number of dead trees leftover from the massive Robert Fire of 2003. At one point the fire was so intense that flames reached a height of 500 feet along Howe Ridge (towards the north of Lake McDonald). 2003 marked the fifth year of a five-year drought, and became one of the worst fire seasons in Glacier National Park history. During that summer more than 136,000 acres burned within the park. That represents 13% of the park!
Roughly three-quarters of a mile from the parking area the trail begins a steady climb up the southwestern slopes of the mountain. Over the next 2.7 miles hikers will climb roughly 1700 feet to reach the ridge just below the lookout.
From Apgar Lookout, and the area surrounding the fire tower, hikers will have grand views of the entire length of Lake McDonald, as well as the high peaks into the heart of Glacier. Unfortunately those views are partially obstructed by trees and a TV transmitter tower, but are nonetheless still spectacular.
During the early part of the day you'll be looking straight into the sun from this vantage point. The views, as well as the photo opportunities, would be much better if you waited until the afternoon to begin your hike. However, given the amount of exposure on this hike, it's likely to be much hotter in the afternoon.
The original lookout was constructed in 1929, but burned down only two weeks after its completion. It was immediately replaced with the current two-story wood frame structure on the premises today. Although no longer in use, the fire tower is considered an historical structure, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also at the site is a TV transmitter tower that's currently being used by a Kalispell television station with a special use permit to operate within Glacier National Park.
The village, mountain, fire tower and trail are all named after Milo Apgar, who was among the first permanent families to settle on Lake McDonald in the early 1890s. Mr. Apgar built homes and cabins for tourists in this area, which would later become Apgar Village.
The Apgar Lookout Trail is also one of the first trails with great views to be snow free in the park, making this an excellent choice for an early season hike.

How to find us:Silver Honda with Firefighter license plates

Upcoming Events

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Glacier Travel/Crevasse Rescue Training

Glacier Travel/Crevasse Rescue Training

May 06 7:00AM - 3:00PM
This will be training for the Rainier teams but you can come and learn some of the skills with us. We will head up to Marias Pass to practice on steep snow so this will involve snowshoeing a mile or…
 
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Great Northern

Great Northern

Jun 09 7:00AM - 4:00PM
This is a great hike with fantastic views. It is over 4500' vertical gain in just over 4 miles so definitely a tough one. Make sure to bring lots of water as last year we had some run out before…
 
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Climb Mt. Rainier

Climb Mt. Rainier

Jun 28 6:00AM - 10:00PM
DATE IS YET TO BE DETERMINED!Throwing this out there for whomever is interested. I will be taking a group up to Mount Rainier again in June, likely the weekend before or after the full moon on June…