August 8, 2002
Many tours leave from this lobby, such as the 1930’s Red Buses that Ford Motor Company just restored for the Park. During the evening a ranger visits for special free talks which are always interesting about geology, animals, plants, and ecological issues.
Take the left hallway, and it will take you to Russell’s Fireside Dining Room where all windows face the lake. It’s amazing to sit at the highly polished natural timber tables watching the light change over the lake and the mountains beyond. A wide variety of continental meals at average to slightly above average prices are offered. My luncheon Caesar salad (minus chicken) was $ 8.00. Although the dinner menu carries higher end dining; hamburgers or other light meals are always available.
The entire lakeside patio is tiered for unobstructed views and leads to the boat dock for the special cruises offered (beginning at $12 for adults). You can also rent your own boat if you prefer to wander alone.
Accommodations are either in the main lodge or the cabins spread about the woods. One must keep in mind that although many services have been updated since 1913, most of America’s National Historic lodges are in need of various degrees of modernization. This doesn’t mean that you should skip a visit because you will miss a special experience! The Lake McDonald Lodge is smaller than many of the other historic properties, but it is one of the most authentic in its Western art décor. Heck, it even smells different…must be the lemon oil on all those wood logs? The rooms are smaller and more simple than what most North American hotels offer today! However, you will not question the reasons of your stay as the sun sets behind the mountains sending beams of color across the lake. The rush of tourists left hours ago, and you have this sensuality to yourself!
From journal Majestic Degrees of Altitude