Avalanche Lake Trail

West Glacier, Montana

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1 Review
5 out of 5
A family favorite, the hike to Avalanche Lake takes about 2 hours and affords previews of several ecosystems, from the sheltered understory of 500-year-old cedar trees alongside a roiling stream to a pine forest where deer flick their tails to the final reward: emerald-green Avalanche Lake rimmed with melting snow and enlivened by mountain goats on cliffs above.
Top Trails: Glacier National Park: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone

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Top Trails: Glacier National Park: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone

by Jean Arthur (Wilderness Press)

A family favorite, the hike to Avalanche Lake takes about 2 hours and affords previews of several ecosystems, from the sheltered understory of 500-year-old cedar trees alongside a roiling stream to a pine forest where deer flick their tails to the final reward: emerald-green Avalanche Lake rimmed with melting snow and enlivened by mountain goats on cliffs above.

© 2014 Jean Arthur/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: West Glacier
Distance: 5.8
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Season: Year-round
Additional Use: Camping
Accessibility: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Glacier National Park
Topo Map: Avalanche Lake Trail Topographic Map
Guide Book: Top Trails: Glacier National Park: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone Guide Book
Driving Directions: View Directions
Trail Directions: View Guide

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Recent Trail Reviews

9/2/2010

Despite having arthritis throughout my back, at age 56, this was a fairly easy hike, with some moderate climbing interspersed with level areas to recoup. There were a lot of people on this trail, very few fully geared as we were--some were young kids, one with flip flops, shorts, and a giant bag of cheetos puffs--but it's best to keep in mind that between 7,000 and 9,000 feet in elevation, the weather in Glacier can change in minutes. We arrived at Avalanche Lake and continued to the west end along a lightly used trail (in fact, we saw only two other people on that stretch). Reaching the west end the temperature suddenly dropped 25 degrees, a strong wind rose up, and the sky opened up on us with rain, thunder, and lightning. Our light-weight rain jackets and hiking boots kept us warm and dry but I had to wonder how those kids in flip flops and shorts were dealing with it. The rating system here goes only to 5 stars; if we could, we'd give Avalanche Lake trail (the trail--not necessarily the people on it) 6 stars. It's absolutely beautiful. Hike the full bottom trail first--the Cedars Trail, pack in a light-weight tripod if you can, and bring an actual camera... don't rely on just a cell phone.

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