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Apgar Lookout Trail

HARD 248 reviews
#27 of 137 trails in

Apgar Lookout Trail is a 7.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Columbia Falls, Montana that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 7.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,860 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Please note: Users report the access road may close seasonally. Please check with the park page for updates.

hiking
snow
21 days ago

Went 1/3 and added 4 miles total to the hike because the road to the trailhead was closed. It started out pretty mild but the last mile is epically hard in snowshoes. We came within about 600ft of the trailhead but the wind and snow was so bad we had to turn back. About 12 miles all together. It was only us and one other couple, but we did see a pair of black bear tracks on our way back on the closed road as well as some coyote tracks.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
2 months ago

The trail was snow covered (1-3 inches) with mild ice the majority of the trail and muddy in places with more sun exposure. I wore crampons, but it’s definitely doable without. Windy and significantly cooler at the top. Dress in layers for this hike. Lots of birds to hear and see! Very neat to see the remains of larger trees following the fire years ago compared to new growth now. Still a relatively active trail despite the colder temps, we saw 5-10 other hikers/trail runners!

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Is a good hike for a half day , great view of the mountains

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Awesome trail for panoramic view of the west side of glacier. we hiked in late October and sun was hot on our backs. luckily the temps were low 40s. Trail condition is good but hike is strenuous due to elevation gain. View at the end is totally worth the workout.

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

Is a nice trial and the views are great ,especially the sun came out and the east side was snowing so a good hike for the west side

hiking
3 months ago

One of the prettiest hikes in Glacier Park! Outstanding views all along the trail & totally exhilarating at the top with a gorgeous panoramic view.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Cloudy today so sporadic views from top

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

Beautiful hike with a lot of elevation gains. We enjoyed how peaceful the hike was even during prime time during the day.

hiking
4 months ago

Make sure you hit this early in the day. There is 0 shade along this trail and on a clear day that can be brutal

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

There is NO sun protection and no place to refill water bottles. The lookout station was unmaned & all locked up when I was there on 8-21-19. Better lookout trails by far. Only saw 5 other people on trail.

hiking
bugs
no shade
5 months ago

The first mile is fairly flat but then the rest of the 2.6 miles is pretty steep and in open sun. More bugs came out as the day went on, but there weren’t an obscene amount. This was also a much lesser traveled trail compared to others in GNP. It was a bit hazy at the top but the lookout tower was a nice place to stop at the top. There are guided horse trips on the trail so there’s a large amount of horse poop and we did have to step off on the side of the trail bat one point for horses which wouldn’t have been an issue if the trail wasn’t so narrow.

hiking
no shade
5 months ago

Great trail. This trail is shared with horses so there is horse poop along the trail but it’s not unbearable. The first mile is pretty flat and after that it’s a steady incline. No spots were too terribly steep. The trail is open most of the way so prepare for that. There is a pit toilet at the look out and the views are beautiful, it’s a good place to eat lunch. Not too hard coming down and not too crowded.

hiking
bugs
5 months ago

Great small hike. Definitely hike this in the morning or afternoon because of the sun beaming. Great view but I wouldn't say it's amazing. A deer came to visit while we were up there. I did see a black bear and a cub by the water the day before at the creek. I hiked this August 4th I believe.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome trail, not too difficult, hit it in the morning before the sun gets too strong. Bring bear spray just in case :) (we didn’t see any bears)

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

Left at 7:45am on July 23, 2019- took about 3 hours for me to get to the top, but it’s steep, we stopped to eat a snack and apply more sunscreen, and I’m a former smoker. Only saw 6-8 other people on the way up. Not too buggy, but very little shade. Decent views at the top, a little hazy. Go to the left of the lookout tower to get unobstructed views of the lake. On the way down we saw another 8-10 people. I made it down in about an hour and a half, stopping once to go to the bathroom and take a picture or two.

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful views! Not an easy hike, up hill entire way to look out. Take your bear spray and hiking poles.

hiking
blowdown
no shade
6 months ago

My wife and I had a great experience even in sometimes poor conditions- hail. The view was worth it. I believe it’s a legit 4 mile out and back.

6 months ago

Nice hike with views most of the way; not enclosed by trees on the ascent as on many hikes.

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

Una de las mejores rutas que he hecho en el parque. Tiene un par de tramos un poco duros pero por lo demás está genial y las vistas son increíbles. Se puede apreciar perfectamente el campo de golf de West Glacier desde arriba antes de llegar al lookout. Mejor empezar la ruta pronto por la mañana ya que el sol a mediodía la hace más dura. Además, encontrarás menos turistas a esas horas.

hiking
no shade
6 months ago

Views from the top were ok but you’ll find better ones elsewhere in the park. We started around 8:30am and any later would have made it pretty hot. Essentially just a series of switchbacks with views looking away from the park. It’s a good alternative if you get too the park too late to do the more popular ones since they fill up so early.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

I just did this trail today, the bears are out in force, make sure you bring your bear spray and report your sightings (time and location) to the rangers. The first 1.5 miles is relatively easy with an easy incline but has a few high brush areas. After that you hit a few switchbacks then a few long inclines. I would not classify this as a hard trail. The view is definitely worth it though.

hiking
bugs
no shade
6 months ago

Completed this on 7/06/2019. We started the trail at roughly 9AM which was a comfortable cool temperature - as it did get warmer and the trail offers little in shade protection. Starts out relatively flat and then quickly ascends at about 1.5 miles in. The remaining trail is all uphill; if you’re looking for good cardio and nice glutes give this trail a try. Because horses can also be on this trail, there is horse dung that you have to avoid. Biting bugs were manageable; they do disappear the higher up you go. Gave this a 4 star due to the ok view on top. Lake McDonald is beautiful, but because of Canadian fires...there was a strong haze in the sky and the lake lost its crystal blue colors. There are also pretty tall spruce trees that obstruct your complete view of the lake; hard to take a good picture. Also noticed the cell reception was great...that’s because the lookout tower is right next to a cell tower!

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