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Trail of the Cedars - Glacier NP - 4 members in 6 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jun 28 2017
friendofThundergod
avatar

 Guides 24
 Routes 300
 Photos 8,487
 Triplogs 799

38 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Avalanche Lake GNPWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2017
friendofThundergod
Hiking5.14 Miles 852 AEG
Hiking5.14 Miles   2 Hrs   5 Mns   2.61 mph
852 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was my first hike of what is becoming my annual summer exodus from Arizona. This summer's exodus found me in the northern Rockies, where for just about a month I lived like a dirt bag hiker in and around Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. I logged about 315 miles of trail during this time. However the majority of those miles were in Glacier and Waterton National Park just north of the border, where I logged about 250 miles of hiking and backpacking.

I spent significant time in some of the most remote areas of Glacier and did three separate solo backpacks, however, I also paid my dues on the "touristy" trails. Avalanche Lake is undoubtedly one of the park's touristy trails, however, as with the other popular trails, an early start is key. I started this hike at 5:15 a.m. and did not really see anyone until nearing the end.

The hike is very straightforward and the trail is to national park standard. The section along the "gorge" in the beginning is a real treat and very photogenic. The lake was nothing short of spectacular and featured several hundred plus feet waterfalls emptying into it. On the way back I took the other half of the Trail of Cedars Loop back to the trailhead and the short detour was well worth it.

Overall, Avalanche Lake makes for an ideal family trail, or trail for the less adventurous. However, trail is very popular and parking fills up quickly, so get an early start for some solitude and your own sanity, by 9 a.m. the trail will sound like Christmas.
Named place
Named place
Little Matterhorn

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Avalanche Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Avalanche Lake 76-100% full 76-100% full
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Jul 15 2016
AZLOT69
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 Guides 175
 Routes 247
 Photos 7,704
 Triplogs 1,884

69 male
 Joined Feb 12 2002
 Gold Canyon, AZ
Trail of the Cedars - Glacier NPWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 15 2016
AZLOT69
Hiking0.70 Miles 10 AEG
Hiking0.70 Miles
10 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great old trees, pleasant way to end the day.
_____________________
It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
--Mark Twain
Jul 13 2016
AZDane
avatar

 Routes 59
 Photos 44
 Triplogs 71

49 male
 Joined Dec 28 2015
 Mesa
Avalanche Lake, MT 
Avalanche Lake, MT
 
Hiking avatar Jul 13 2016
AZDane
Hiking4.93 Miles 864 AEG
Hiking4.93 Miles   2 Hrs   53 Mns   2.33 mph
864 ft AEG      46 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Beautiful trail to Avalanche Lake
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Jul 09 2014
New2hyk
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 Photos 5,652
 Triplogs 236

54 female
 Joined Jan 04 2012
 scottsdale, AZ
Avalanche Lake GNPWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 09 2014
New2hyk
Hiking6.00 Miles 505 AEG
Hiking6.00 Miles
505 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Day 2/ 4 GNP:

Last night, I had stopped at Apgar visitor center to ask ranger about my plan for today. I wanted to take the park's shuttle to go to St.Mary lake and do a boat ride and return back. Should really watch the body language of that young lady ranger! She went into shock and told me that it is hard to do as I have to coordinate 2 schedules( the shuttle+boat ride). Advised me to stick to west side of the park. Although it was different from my expectation, I took it as though it was meant not to be done today. So I have decided to try trail of cedars with a boat ride in McDonald lake.
Showed up at TH by 9am. Plenty of parking still available at that time. Meandered to the west side of the lot and took lot of photos. Finally ended up on the trail. McDonald forest is the eastern most edge of Pacific Northwest 's temperate rainforest. Got really excited with all the wildflowers and decided to do the avalanche lake trail. It says 2miles each way but it is longer than that. It says 500ft which is not AEG. It is a mere difference between the starting point and end point which I figured out after doing the trail :o
Nonetheless it was very enjoyable trail with lots of flowers. Ran out of battery again before I reached the bottom of the lake. Lots of people on the trail which is fine with me since it is a bear country. Most of the trail is in shade. All of a sudden an area opened up with views of LP and I think Mt. cannon. Thought that is the end of trail but false alarm. That opened area is a result of 2 avalanches from Mt.Cannon in 2010 and a microburst in 2011. Kept on going until the area finally opens up to a beautiful lake jammed with water logs. Scenary is gorgeous and can see the reflections so clearly in water. Ton of people sitting on logs having lunch. Then noticed people at the top of lake. Saw a ranger and asked her how to get there. She advised that I should take a back trail to get to the top instead of walking on the edge of lake. Went back to trail to the front which is also filled with people. But the middle of the lake does not have people. I found a few boulders and took a short break. It is around noonish. Had a snack(dried mango slices). A butterfly decided to give me company which I gladly accepted.
Loved watching it's flickering wings, the waterfalls, the reflections of snow and thinking this is heaven on earth. Decided to return back and noticed that flies there really liked my mango smelling hands. Who would have thought that flies from MT would love tropical mango :doh:
Hike back was fast as there were only few photos to take. Some flowers opened up as it is later on in the day. Otherwise, it took about an hour to get back to my car. It is nearing 2pm so I have decided to check out McDonald lodge. Will post it as a separate trip log since there are photos with it.
Fauna
Fauna
Satyr Comma
Culture
Culture
Fraley Pose
Named place
Named place
Avalanche Creek Avalanche Lake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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Jun 09 2011
AndreyP
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 Guides 7
 Routes 98
 Triplogs 284

40 male
 Joined Feb 17 2010
 Moscow, RU
Trail of the Cedars - Glacier NPWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Jun 09 2011
AndreyP
Hiking0.90 Miles 20 AEG
Hiking0.90 Miles      30 Mns   1.80 mph
20 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Thought of going to Avalanche Lake, but it was getting late and bears were a concern, so I just did this interpretive loop. The glacier is sitting on the bench so it's not visible from Avalanche Lake anyway.
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Jul 21 2010
tibber
avatar

 Guides 21
 Routes 586
 Photos 27,368
 Triplogs 972

65 female
 Joined Feb 26 2004
 Phoenix, AZ
Trail of the Cedars - Glacier NPWestern, MT
Western, MT
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2010
tibber
Hiking0.70 Miles 10 AEG
Hiking0.70 Miles   1 Hour      0.70 mph
10 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
desertgirl
Getting to the Trail of the Cedars after our Hidden Lake hike was an adventure in and of itself as a storm was getting ready to let loose not more than 10 minutes from Logan Pass. We could see the rain coming up the Valley from the north and west. Once the storm hit full force, we pulled over at a pull-out by Haystack Butte Falls, ate our box lunch (The box lunches from the Rising Sun Two Dog Flats Cafe are very good. We split it between the two of us.) and hoped that the storm would pass so that Ambika could take out her tripod and get some nice pics of the Falls. You can find the photos of the stair step falls coming off of Haystack Butte as part of her Hidden Lake set. http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=148900 and http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=148901 It actually ended up hailing for a good 5 minutes too but just as quickly as the storm hit, it moved past to Logan Pass.

Once we got our photos of the Falls we made our way to the Trail of the Cedars. I think a person always has a quick moment to take this very short loop. We were lucky to find a place to park right off the bat as it was later in the day. We started on the paved side of the trail first and enjoyed our walk through the tall forest with the luxurious ground cover of ferns and other delicate greenery.

We took a couple of the off-shoot trails that take you to Avalanche Creek. The light for shooting photos was not the best but we made the most of it. Some of the moss is very interesting as is the variety of trees. The Western Cedars smell so wonderful too. (FYI - these cedars are pretty resistant to fire) We made our way to the Gorge where there is a foot bridge with a couple benches so that you can rest your weary bones if you so choose. Well your bones shouldn't be weary after this small jaunt but we had been on our feet for 3 days now doing around 24 miles of hiking.

The lighting was not very good so we took our few photos and headed back via the boardwalk part of the loop. It's such a pretty place with the tall trees, the foliage and the moss covered rocks. There is this one section we go by I call the "weeping rock" as the water flows so gently from it.

Here is a little video of the drive, the storm including the hail, Haystack Butte Falls, Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Gorge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvv8wPCL9pE
It was a beautiful end to 3 1/2 wonderful days in Glacier Park. Little did I know we would be coming back so quickly. See my Four Falls hike on 7-24-2010.
Flora
Flora
Devil's Club
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
average hiking speed 1.86 mph

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.

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