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Avalanche Lake GNP, MT

Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.2 of 5 
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,911 feet
Elevation Gain 590 feet
Accumulated Gain 720 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.6
Interest Perennial Waterfall & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
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40  2021-08-09 tibber
1  2021-07-01 Vashti
2  2017-06-28 FOTG
20  2017-06-16 Uncharted
20  2017-06-16 Uncharted
104  2014-07-09 New2hyk
3  2012-08-14 Sun_Ray
10  2011-07-12 seattlehiker
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 21
Routes 597
Photos 31,195
Trips 1,251 map ( 13,460 miles )
Age 66 Female Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Jun, Sep, May, Jul → 9 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:09am - 8:13pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

by tibber

The trailhead is located across the Going-To-The-Sun-Road from the Avalanche Campground at The Trail of the Cedars.

The trail begins as part of the Trail of the Cedars, which winds through spectacular virgin stands of hemlock and western red cedar. Most of the trail is a boardwalk through the boggy woods. The forest is quite old, determined to have last suffered a fire in the early 1500s!

About a tenth of a mile, the trail breaks off to the right (just past the Gorge). Stay left at the next intersection to head up to the lake. Avalanche Lake Trail starts to ascend as soon as you leave the Trail of the Cedars. The total gain between the boardwalk and Avalanche lake is 500 feet. The actual altitude change on the rolling trail is closer to 1,000 feet.

A short climb later, you come to a bit of a clearing where you can hear, and if you aren't afraid of heights, look over the edge at Avalanche Creek. If you stay on the trail, you are plenty far away from the edge.

Near the lake, the trail breaks out of the trees, and you can see Bearhat Mountain on your left that forms the east wall of the valley while Mount Brown forms the west wall.

When you get to the lake, you can't help but stop and look across at the huge cliffs across the way. Glacier water and lake water create some of the most beautiful waterfalls (where some of them merge is called Monument Falls) cascading down to the lake from the hanging cirque valley formed by Sperry Glacier, which cannot be seen from the lake.

For those of you lucky enough to get to Avalanche Lake on a warm day soon after the trail opens in May, you will be treated to the sights and sounds of many avalanches, which is quite a sight if you have never seen one up close before.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2008-08-06 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 $$
Information is listed below

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

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Take Going-To-The-Sun road through Glacier Park past Lake McDonald. After you pass Lake McDonald you will go about four more miles and will see signs for the Avalanche Lake trail and the Trail of Cedars off to your right. Parking is tight because it is a popular trail. If you can't find parking in the lot, there is a shuttle from Lake McDonald Lodge and for around $15(2008) you can park in the campground; also on the right side of the road.
page created by tibber on Aug 06 2008 2:35 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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