You'll Want To Visit This Lake For The Most Beautiful Colored Pebbles In Montana
If you’re planning a trip to
Glacier National Park this summer – and we certainly hope you are – you’ll most likely spend some time at Lake McDonald. Not only is this rainbow rock lake in Montana the largest lake in the park, but it’s also incredibly scenic. And while enjoying your surroundings when you’re here is important, don’t forget to look down. Lake McDonald’s colored pebbles are both beautiful and remarkable. This Montana lake with colorful rocks is a bucket list destination for lovers of natural beauty and unusual wonders in the great outdoors.
Glacier National Park is home to an estimated 700 lakes, although only 131 of them have names. That gives the enormous National Park the feeling of untouched and unexplored territory. You may stumble on an unnamed lake and feel as though you've discovered it for the first time yourself.
Lake McDonald in Montana is the most well-known lake in the area, attracting thousands of visitors each year. Summer is a popular time to visit but the natural beauty blooms just as strongly in colder months. There's never a bad time to bask in the beautiful views of this National Park.
Like most of Glacier's lakes, the water in Lake McDonald is incredibly clear. Visitors to the lake that enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming find the clear water makes it a particularly special waterway experience.
This is attributed to the year-long low temperatures that prohibit the growth of plankton. This clear water creates the gorgeous reflections and photo-worthy moments Lake McDonald is known for.
Due to the clear, sometimes shallow waters, you'll notice all the colored pebbles (known as rainbow rocks) right away.
These rocks actually tell part of Montana's ancient history. They were formed during different eras, then broken down into tiny fragments that washed away. Eventually, they were deposited in the lake. Looking through the clear water at the rainbow rocks in this Montana lake, you're reading a visual history of the state and its land over centuries.
The color of the rocks is determined by the amount of iron in them.
The green rocks were formed in deep water, meaning they don’t contain much iron, but were deposited in a shallow ocean environment where the iron was oxidized by the air before they made their way here. This also tells us a lot about migration, water levels, and how the landscape of this lake with colored rocks in Montana has changed during the glacial period and since.
Lake McDonald isn't the only lake at Glacier with rainbow rocks -- in fact, you'll find them in many local lakes. You may even want to visit a few lakes and compare the colors and textures of these unique colorful rocks.
However, since this lake is the largest, you'll tend to see the most variety here. Plus, this lake with rainbow rocks showcases so much of the National Park's other beauty at the same time. Surrounded by mountains and fir trees, you'll feel transported to another world entirely.
Lake McDonald alone is worth making a trip to Glacier National Park. But there's a lot of other activities in the park as well including hiking, birdwatching, picnicking, wildlife sighting, camping, and much more. There are so many ways to experience this beautiful place.
If it's been a while since you've spent time exploring the Treasure State's crown jewel, make this the year you go. Plan for enough time to see and do everything you want while here. And be sure to visit the Montana lake with colorful rocks:
Have you ever noticed the colored rocks among Montana’s lakeshores? Sometimes it feels like peeking into nature’s jewelry box, watching each of the colored stones sparkle in a unique and magical way. If you’ve been to Glacier National Park before, which of our lakes is your favorite? We won’t blame you if you say Lake McDonald, a beautiful rainbow rock lake in Montana.
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More to Explore
Montana Lake With Rainbow Rocks
What other lakes are in Glacier National Park?
Saint Mary Lake
Two Medicine Lake
No Name Lake
Lake McDonald, Montana 59936, USA