Sunday, August 4, 2013

Loving Historic Old Hotels - Lake McDonald Lodge

Lake McDonald Lodge - road view ©Mary Montague Sikes
My love affair with old historic hotels began years ago when I first saw the El Tovar on the edge of wonder at the Grand Canyon. Now I can't seem to resist infatuation whenever I discover another wonderful, historic lodging place.

The Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park on the Going-to-the-Sun Road is my latest love. Opened June 14, 1914, the hotel has all the elements that make it special including an amazing lobby that rises into forever. While we were visiting Glacier, a decorated Christmas tree suddenly appeared in the lobby, and outdoors, one of the Red Jammer Tour Buses made its way through the grounds complete with Santa and a green-clad elf. The horn blasted, and Santa called out "Merry Christmas"! It was July 25. Seems Christmas in July is for real there.
Lake McDonald Lodge lobby ©Mary Montague Sikes

On May 28, 1987, Lake McDonald Lodge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a well-deserved place for this historic edifice.

Great wooden pillars rise to the ceiling in the impressive lobby. The main lodge, a row of duplex cabins, and a 1950s motel section combine to offer 100 guest rooms for visitors. Most views face out to the forest of tall cedars and cottonwood trees. Many guests like to enjoy the verandah chairs where they can sip a drink of their choice and enjoy the picturesque view of Lake McDonald complete with mountains and glaciers in the background.

Lake McDonald Lodge--what a great discovery in one of our national treasures, Glacier National Park. Thank you, our ancestors, for saving this spectacular space! Thank you, engineers and builders, for creating this historic hotel for us to enjoy today.

To read about other hotels I visited and love, please see my book, Hotels to Remember, or my Snapshot in Time books.

--Mary Montague Sikes

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