Love ItLove It WINWIN

Early Spring on Apgar Mountain

I’ve shared this view many times before, mostly because it is one of my favorite Montana views. This is the view from Apgar Mountain in Glacier National Park, overlooking Lake McDonald and the valley it occupies. The view has a backdrop of a portion of the Rocky Mountains that make up part of the continental divide.

I have two pictures here and as I’ve done in the past, this is a before and after picture. The beauty starts coming into its full magnificence in the spring, as the snow melts. Truthfully, I don’t think I’ve seen this view when it wasn’t beautiful. It just becomes more beautiful to me as spring arrives.

Apgar in April

This image was from about a month ago. There had been a few days of warm weather and a little bit of rain, so a lot of the snow in the valley below was gone.

Notice the fir tree just to the right of the center of this image. Only the top of the tree can be seen. In a previous picture, the tree couldn't be seen at all. However, it is difficult to get a grasp of just how much snow is on the ground in this picture, until you compare it with the next one.

Sunrise over the Rockies in May

This image is from this morning, right at sunrise. There is almost a surrealistic feeling to the mountains in the background and the valley around Lake McDonald is beginning to show more shades of green as bushes start leafing out and plants start growing.

The snow is mostly melted from Apgar Mountain in this picture, so most of that little fir tree can now be seen. What was shown as about six or eight inches of the fir tree in the previous image now reveals that it was only the very top of a tree that is about five feet tall. 

In another month, the bare bushes in the foreground will be leafed out and the image will be different still. Either way you look at it, this is an unmistakable view of springtime in the Rockies.


What do you think?

18 Points

Written by Rex Trulove


    • There was a lot of snow here and it takes a while for all of it to melt. In fact, last Tuesday, we had a cold front move through here and many places had snow flurries. In some places, it was whiteout conditions. In the lower country, it melted fairly fast, but it was still snowy.

      In the case of Apgar mountain, it is only a little over 5,200 feet in elevation. While that is a lot higher than the lowlands, it isn’t especially high in regard to the Rockies. In the bottom picture, you can see that there is still a substantial amount of snow on the peaks of the Continental Divide.

      Our last really heavy snowfall happened around the middle of March.

        • Gardeners use a saying around here; “Don’t plant your garden until the snow is off Baldy.” The reference is to Mount Baldy, which is visible from most of the valley. Baldy is nearly, but not quite, as high as Apgar. The snow only leaves Mount Baldy when the temperatures have warmed up consistently. The mountains we can see around here still have snow on them, in the upper elevations, a couple of thousand feet above the valley floor. For this reason, I’ve been focusing on planting hardy flowers, though I will be planting some strawberries for a person today.