We spent a single night here. It was so good. Super quiet. Tons of wildlife (saw multiple deer, various birds, a grizzly on way in). I couldn't sleep any more so I got up at 4:30, made coffee, and walked down to the lake about 5 am. It was like a painting.
The ranger was super nice, too.
We did the back side of Lake McDonald last summer. It's about 5 miles to hike to this site over pretty easy terrain. A few spots were tricky over washouts and fallen trees, but overall very doable. We had two people in our party who had surgery recently (back and feet) and they managed. This was our first ever backwoods camping and we were a little nervous, but it was incredible. It rained a lot on us the five days prior and on the hike in, so when we got to camp and it cleared off, we were treated to a double rainbow over the east side of the lake. We made camp, and the closest people we knew of were over a mile away across the lake. A great experience. I would go back to Glacier just to do this hike.
It was kind of loud, but it was busy. The lake for swimming was a little gross but we did it anyway. The bike trails are excellent and same for hiking. Bathrooms were a little old but clean when we were there, but there were massive hornets all over the bathroom area. It's also pretty bright here at night because it's right in the city. But overall, a decent, cheap place to tent camp if you want to explore Cedar Falls.
We stayed here two nights. That was plenty, although it's not really the park's fault. The lake was super gross, with excessive floating moss (probably a weather issue) and EXCESSIVE goose poop everywhere. The beach was basically unusable, with goose bombs everywhere. It was better when we kayaked, but still gross.
So why the five stars? 1. The bathrooms were fantastic. 2. The camp site was really nice and plenty of room. 3. The hiking was superb. Felt like we were not in Iowa. 4. The driving through the park was also really great and I will go back this fall to look at leaves. 5. There is a cave you can explore on your own. We did. It's awesome. It's muddy. It's super cool. 6. There are some decent bouldering spots. 7. Cheap, huge bundles of firewood at park entrance. 8. Really friendly at the camp store. 9. Close to Strawberry Point. Go to town to Clayton's Pharmacy and get an old fashioned soda. Fantastic. 10. Close to Edgewood and the Edgewood Locker. Go visit and stock up on meat on the way home.
Spent four days here as our base of ops. Was great. Lot of nice short trails in the park and a perfect place to take day drives up and down the Mississippi, as well as river tubing (we did the Yellow river, stay further upstream if you do it yourself and the Mississippi is high). Restrooms were pretty clean. All in all, great, 10/10 would go back.