Upper McDonald Creek Trail is a lovely hike along a rushing stream with occasional views of the surrounding mountains of Glacier National Park. There is a nice waterfall just a short way from the trailhead for those who don’t want to do the full hike, but the entire route is very easy and scenic.
Starting from a parking area along the road to the Lake McDonald Ranger Station, the trail meanders through deep forest for about a third of a mile to the beautiful McDonald Falls. From here the trail continues along the creek to the footbridge, where there is a popular swimming area. Taking the footbridge to the southeast side of the creek forms the John’s Lake Loop, but continuing along the northwest side of the creek for another three-quarters of a mile (until the trail leaves the creek) is actually a nicer hike and much less crowded.