When Glacier is all locked in snow, a great place for a spring picnic on a sunny day is Fish Creek Picnic Area. You can snowshoe in, but we skied and enjoyed the beautiful views under a blue sky all while avoiding a chilly wind coming down from the mountains.
We parked at the gate blocking access to Camas Road and headed up Grist Road. This road gives access to some private inholdings, but in the winter, it’s gated and only used for snowshoeing and skiing. After climbing for a short bit in the cedar and hemlock forest, the trail leveled out and we popped out onto the Fish Creek Campground Road.
From there, things really started open up and we got beautiful views of Lake McDonald and peeks at the snow-covered mountains at the head of the lake. After a short stint on the road, we dropped back down to the picnic area. With not much spare time, the picnic area was a perfect place to stop, pull out some hot soup from our packs and enjoy the view.
Fragile ice had formed the night before and the waves from the lake were breaking it apart bit by bit creating a tinkle as the shards mingled. A bald eagle flew overhead and we soaked in the sun which we seem to get so little of over the winter. A quick venture to the point at Fish Creek Picnic Area brought us to where Fish Creek emptied in the lake by flowing underneath us. This point also gave us great looks to the head of the lake with the tall mountains stunningly set with their winter-white attire.
The chilly breeze kept our gaze short and, after finishing lunch, we turned around. Instead of heading back right on the road, we navigated the shoreline for a bit. A few rocks and logs along the water’s edge made for some tricky going and we eventually popped back up onto the road, unsure of what the rest of the shore looked like.
Once there, we passed the trail to Grist Road and climbed up onto Camas Road and then skied the long, gradual descent back to our car.
While we can’t wait for the snow to melt, little outings like a lovely picnic in the sunshine along Lake McDonald scratch our outdoor itch.