Sprague Creek Campground

~ A slow hiker's guide™

Dates of Operation Summer 5/9/2015 - 9/15/2015

Campground Links

Sprague Creek Campground Map

GNP Camping Regulations

The campground has some of the best sites and some of the worst sites. Very active Pileated Woodpecker in the area. Lake McDonald is currently high so little beach but views across lake at sunrise and sunset are breath taking. As of June 16, 2013 fist light is 5 am, sunrise at 6 am with dark not sundown after 10 pm. You can still see the far shore of Lake McDonald at 10 pm. The lakeside tent sites are my favorite for the Lake McDonald area. Photo below should make it clear why this is the case. Note this applies only to the lakeside campsites.

Sprague Creek Campground
Dates of Operation Summer 5/9/2014 - 9/15/2014
Summer Fee $20.00 / night
Number of Sites 25*
Flush Toilets Yes
Water Yes
Showers No
Disposal Station No
Reservations No
Shuttle Stop Yes
Trails No
Beach Access Yes
Towed-Units No
Elevation 3,189 feet

Lake McDonald Sunrise

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way
Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities

Sitting on a rock on the beach as light starts to filter in from behind Mount Brown makes this one of my favorite campsites in Glacier Park. Please note I do not usually include the sites along GTSR as part of my favorite sites. In fact I have rarely use any of those campsites and have the luxury by living nearby to be able to make that choice. First light in Glacier Park is a very special time, luckily for me most campers as still in their tents sleeping. Which is very fortunate for me as the sounds of the water lapping on the shore of Lake McDonald and the first calls of the birds greeting the day help to make this a very special time of day for me.
It has been a long time since I have been to Paris but the mountains call out to me now more than the cities.

Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span upon this earth.
They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.

Elizabeth Aston,
The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, 2005

Green dots are water spigots don't know why they aren't blue. You need to get to this campsite early to find a lakeside campsite. Sites 4 - 9 are OK but not great. The rest, well if you like sleeping next to the GTSR go for it. One thing to keep in mind when camping at any of the Lake McDonald campgrounds is that during the summer there is frequently a low cloud cover filling the entire valley this does not mean that it is not blue sky everywhere else in the park.

Sprague Creek is a small campground located on the northeast shore of Lake McDonald, about 9 miles from the west entrance of the park. Camp sites are on a first-come, first-serve basis, and due to the size of this campground, it is suggested you arrive early. The campground is located within trees, providing shade during warm summers. Some sites near the shore, have unobstructed views of Lake McDonald. Due to its location along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the campground is not as quiet as other locations in the park, and vehicles can be heard driving by. Tent campers however, will enjoy this campground as no towed units are allowed in Sprague Creek due to the nature of the road within the campground. Potable water is accessible in the campground, and restroom facilities provide flush toilets and sinks with running water. A picnic area is also located within the campground. Amenities such as a camp store, restaurant, gift shop, tour buses, boat tours, and horse rides can be found at the historic Lake McDonald Lodge, about a mile away from the campground. Evening programs with a ranger are also located at Lake McDonald Lodge. Use Glacier's free shuttle service at this campground to access other shuttle stops on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

GNP map is missing toilet building located if memory serves me correctly between 13 and 21

GNP map is also missing the water spigots

Sprague Creek Campground