Hiking Project Logo

Johns Lake

Easy
 3.1 (7)

A hike through tall cedars from a whitewater creek to a pocket lake.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

0.3

Miles

0.5

KM

Point to Point

3,345' 1,020 m

High

3,268' 996 m

Low

78' 24 m

Up

0' 0 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Waterfall

Family Friendly Short and mostly level with a lake and creek.

Bring bear spray.

Need to Know

At the Johns Lake TH, no loop is mentioned. This portion of Johns Lake trail is an up-and-back. According to The Glacier Visitor Guide, you access TH from the east side of Going to the Sun Road. 1.3 miles north of the Lake McDonald Lodge. The signage states the trail is 0.5 miles long. You'll come across two areas that have Ys.

The first Y is not marked at all, you stay to the right to get to the lake. The second Y is marked. The left for the horse trail and the right tells you to return the way to came to continue to Johns Lake (incorrect).

The signage to get you around the loop (the Visitor Guide states is 2.0 miles) is mostly missing. There's nothing on the Johns Lake trail (up and back) that lets you know you have to cross Going to the Sun Road to get over to Upper McDonald Creek to do a loop. Once on Upper McDonald Creek, there is no signage to get you back across the road to complete the loop.

Description

This short trail takes you from the bridge over McDonald Creek where it looks at Sacred Dancing Cascade and heads up into the dark forest. This is the furthest inland Pacific rainforest composed of cedars, hemlock and covered in moss. This forest is beautiful with a high canopy and wanders to the shores of the quiet pocket lake frequented by waterfowl.

This trail is often started at the Johns Lake Loop Trailhead, then paired with the Upper McDonald Creek Trail.

This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.

Flora & Fauna

Trillium and violets in early spring gives way to calypso orchids in early summer. Various waterfowl frequent Johns Lake while harlequin ducks and american dippers are frequently seen on McDonald Creek.

Contacts

Shared By:

Jake Bramante with improvements by Brenda Michael

Trail Ratings

  3.1 from 7 votes

#19

in Lake McDonald

#21527

Overall
  3.1 from 7 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
43%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
14%
Trail Rankings

#19

in Lake McDonald

#472

in Montana

#21,527

Overall
17 Views Last Month
283 Since Sep 2, 2015
Easy

86%
0%
14%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Bridge over the river.
May 16, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT
Glacier Runoff - Glacier National Park, MT, USA
Jan 22, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT
McDonald Creek Bridge
Jan 22, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT
Johns Lake.
May 13, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT
The view while crossing McDonald Creek.
Jan 22, 2016 near Red Roc…, MT

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 67 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 11, 2020
John Corbin
Sep 5, 2020
Brenda Michael
Sep 4, 2020
Brenda Michael
Sep 3, 2020
Audrey Laport
Aug 2, 2020
Deacon Klemme
You don't even see the lake. Boooo.
Aug 11, 2019
Tanner Benson
2mi — 1h 09m
Jul 18, 2019
Martin Family
Jul 7, 2019
Theresa Tittle Romano