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Changing the Perspective of Apgar Mountain

I’ve shared the spectacular view from Apgar Mountain, overlooking Lake McDonald, in Glacier National Park in Montana. In fact, I’ve shared many pictures of the view. Before sharing a more recent picture of the glorious view, I decided that it might be interesting to change the perspective a little.

I’m aware that many people don’t have a clear mental image of where Glacier National Park is, much less the viewpoints inside of the park. Sure, people can look it up on a map or Google it and they can find that Glacier is in the northwest section of Montana, right up to the Canadian border. If they’ve read what I’ve written, they will also know that the park is located in the Rocky Mountains. Of course, there are also pictures that I’ve shared. However, that still doesn’t give a very good idea of the area.

To get a clearer idea of the area I continue to share in images, I decided to get a little help from Google Earth. First, I’ll show an image I’ve shared before of the view from Apgar Mountain. Then I’ll use satellite images from Google to give a better idea of exactly where the image(s) come from. Finally, I’ll share a more recent view from Apgar Mountain. 

This might be interesting.

Apgar Mountain view on March 22

After giving a different perspective of where the webcam is located, this was the view on March 22, 2019. If there is any doubt regarding how much snow is actually on the ground, notice that the little fir tree that could be seen in the first image of this set is totally buried. It isn't visible at all, even as a bump in the snow. In fact, the ski tracks go almost exactly over the location of the tree. As a guess, I'd say that there are about six and a half feet to eight feet of snow on the ground and possibly more.

The mountains in the distance are quite beautiful, though, especially against the backdrop of the blue sky and light clouds. In this image, it is difficult to even see that McDonald Lake is frozen over.

It is my hope that with the addition of the satellite images in this set, people might have a better notion of where this camera is and might be able to have an even better appreciation of what is being shown here.

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Apgar Mountain view on January 20

This was the view from January 20, 2019. It is beautiful, even with storm clouds rolling in. Or maybe, it is beautiful because of the storm clouds. At any rate, there are only a couple of feet of snow on the ground. Notice the little fir tree to the right of center that is laden down with snow. Quite a bit of that tree is still above the snow and it is still recognizably a tree.

When you get to the last image, you'll probably want to refer back to this one.

The first satellite view

The red arrow points to the approximate location of the national park webcam that is responsible for the images over Lake McDonald that I've been sharing. It is pretty easy to see that although Apgar Mountain towers over the lake, it isn't especially high in altitude as compared to the other mountains in the area. In fact, it is difficult to even see the lake from this altitude.

This is an actual satellite image, so the white that can be seen is snow on the mountains. The dark green is trees; mostly pines, firs, and similar evergreens.

A closer sat view of Apgar Mountain

If we zoom in a little, the terrain is clearer and Lake McDonald is a lot easier to make out. From the altitude of this image, though, the lake looks tiny. It isn't huge, but it really isn't tiny, either. The image is a little deceptive in another way, too. There is a great deal of snow on the ground in all the areas shown in this image, though the satellite doesn't make it out very well.

Part of that, only a small part, is that this image was captured before the sun was fully up. Again, the arrow is pointing to the location of the webcam.

Apgar Mountain from above

Here is a much closer view from probably only a few thousand feet. This should give a notion of where the camera is located and the sort of land that is around it. It is actually far more forested than the picture leads a person to think and there is a great deal more snow on the ground than is shown. 

I don't know how often Google Earth updates their satellite images, either, and that could have a bearing on how little snow is shown in the image.


What do you think?

10 Points

Written by Rex Trulove


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      • I actually adopted it and used it a week or so ago on a post about the Chesapeake Bay!!! It is a wonderful idea. Now, if you could mix that and your hilarious state laws posts, I suspect I wouldn’t be able to comment.

        I would be rolling on the floor, laughing!

        • The newest set of state laws is in Arizona. I could add a map of Arizona, but for many of the western states, I’m not sure it would add much. Most of the states in the west have a few larger population centers, a large number of small towns, and a huge amount of space between them. If I can figure out a way to incorporate a map, though, I probably will. That might be most useful when the law is for a municipality rather than state-wide. I’ll try to keep it in mind, though.

          • Honestly, I love both ideas, Rex. but they are your ideas and your right western states have fewer population centers.

            The Eastern states are so dense you would have to zoom way out, also probably not as good.

  1. Being afraid of heights mountain climbing is not an option but I love looking at mountains and all the lovely views of nature all around. When I lived in NYC my mountains were the Catskill Mountains or Adirondack Mountains of New York. As a child of about 12 with summer camp groups, I have climbed two mountains Sugarloaf Mountain and the Twin Mountain both in the Catskills.

    • Actual mountain climbing is rarely necessary for a lot of these mountains. For instance, Mount Apgar has trails and it can be reached by hikers. It is a long walk, but it doesn’t require climbing up rock faces and so forth.

      It is sort of strange, too. Although the views I share show the altitude accurately, most people who have a fear of heights have few problems looking down at the scenery from one of these vantage points. It isn’t directly up and down, so it gives an entirely different feeling.

      Mount Apgar is roughly 2,000 feet above Lake McDonald, but it isn’t directly above the lake. As a crow flies, the lake is about 5-6 miles away. The terrain is somewhat steep, but it is far enough away that it is still gradual.


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