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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Trail of the Cedars - Glacier NP, MT

Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.6 of 5 
41 7 0
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 0.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,429 feet
Elevation Gain 10 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 0.75
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
1  2021-07-01
Avalanche Lake GNP
2  2017-06-28
Avalanche Lake GNP
104  2014-07-09
Avalanche Lake GNP
41  2010-07-21 tibber
Author tibber
author avatar Guides 21
Routes 589
Photos 28,886
Trips 1,110 map ( 12,834 miles )
Age 65 Female Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Sep, Jul, Aug
Seasons   Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  5:01am - 8:22pm
2 Alternative

Stop and smell the cedar
by tibber

Likely In-Season!
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About 4 miles north of Lake McDonald Lodge is the Trail of the Cedars. This is a self-guided nature trail that forms a loop through an old-growth forest in the bottom of Avalanche Creek. Avalanche Gorge is at the crux of the loop, where the creek passes through red argillite rock walls. The northern leg of the trail follows a boardwalk, while the southern leg is paved. Benches are conveniently placed for those wanting to just sit and admire the beauty. The entire loop is wheelchair accessible.

The Trailhead is located along Going to the Sun Road just east of the Avalanche Creek Campground. Allow an hour to enjoy the interpretive signs along this trail through the serene forest. Near the footbridge over Avalanche Creek is Avalanche Creek Canyon and provides a spectacular scene.

If you look closely as you are walking on the boardwalk, you will see beautiful ferns and devil's club, moss on the cliff, tiny waterfalls, and more. It is a forest of 200-foot high western red cedar and hemlock. It is a wonderfully rich ecological environment. It is difficult to photograph so you'll need your flash. One of the more interesting signs talks about the cedar's resistance to fire.

From the footbridge area, you can access the hike to Avalanche Lake. The lake is rimmed with steep cliffs on three sides with numerous waterfalls cascading down from the hanging cirque valley formed by Sperry Glacier, which can not be seen from the lake.

The Lake McDonald Lodge was started in 1895 as a hunting lodge. The lodge is similar to the others in and just outside the park, aging but filled with rustic charm and a lovely fireplace in the lobby. At the bottom of the stairs is a boat rental dock for the fisherman. The lake holds 17 kinds of cold-water fish, primarily varieties of trout. Various programs are available at the lodge, from ranger-led activities to boat tours on the lake.

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2010-09-02 tibber
  • goat haunt map st mary map mcdonald map
    area related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$

Glacier National Park
$30 per car(week), $12 bike/foot(week), $50 annual View Current Entrance Fees

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
The Avalanche Creek Trail is located in the Lake McDonald area, and begins at the Trail of the Cedars, across the Going-to-the-Sun Highway from Avalanche Campground.
page created by tibber on Sep 02 2010 2:25 pm
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