Avalanche Lake
Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake hike

Glacier National Park
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Shady river along Avalanche Lake hikeSun streaming through the trees in Glacier NationalFallen trees on the shore of Avalanche LakeCrystal clear waters of Avalanche LakeTurquoise waters of Avalanche Lake in Glacier NPbeautiful reflections of mountains Avalanche LakeFamily of bears hunting on Avalanche Lake hikeMama bear playing on the shores of avalanche lake

Avalanche Lake hike

Distance: 10.0km
Elevation: 202m
Time: 3 - 4 h

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Avalanche Lake is a classic hike in Glacier National Park. Setting off from Trail of the Cedars trailhead, you start your trek through a unique flora section, usually found on the Pacific coast. Continuing past roaring glacial waters of Avalanche Creek, and through a field peppered with avalanche remnants, you come to the beautiful lake cradled by snow-swept mountain peaks.

Avalanche Lake hike Map

Getting there

From the entrance to West Glacier, turn right on the Going to the Sun Road and continue for roughly 27.4km to the Trail of the Cedars trailhead.

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About

When to do

May - September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Pets allowed

No

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Avalanche Lake
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Avalanche Lake

During the busy season, once the road is fully open to vehicle traffic, it becomes tough to find parking here. Either plan to arrive very early in the morning, or take a shuttle from another area of the park.

This is a popular, renowned family-friendly hike! The old-growth cedars and hemlocks, lush greens ferns, and mosses mirror the verdant scenery blanketing the Pacific coast more than anywhere else in the park.

The trek begins at the Trail of the Cedar trailhead. You can start the walk from either direction. After walking for around half a mile, you will reach the junction for Avalanche lake. The lake is either just before or after (depending on which direction you start) a bridge traversing the rushing waters of Avalanche Creek. Once you reach the Avalanche Lake trail, you will embark on a short ascent before continuing along the path adjacent to the creek for 0.8km. Eventually, you’ll enter the woods.

At the point where Hidden Creek and Avalanche Creek meet, roughly another half-mile ahead, there will be significant debris from the many avalanches that erupt throughout this area. Continue along the trail for another 1.1km until you reach the base of Avalanche Lake. There is a little beach a short distance away that makes for a decent rest spot before you return the same way you came.

Insider Hints

  • The walk to Avalanche Lake is a wonderful accessible hike in the park, perfect for anyone who cannot hike far.

  • Parking here gets extremely crowded since it is also the Trail of the Cedars parking. Therefore, it is vital to get there early.

  • Consider staying the night at Avalanche campground to get ahead of the crowds. It is a first come first serve with 87 sites.

Comments

Antoanette Lavroutte 7 months ago

I highly recommend the Avalanche lake hike to anyone visiting Glacier National Park. It is a low-moderate hike into a lake at the box end of canyon.

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3h 00m Time Taken
Harper L. 8 months ago

This was a satisfying hike to the lake. Amazing views of creek and surrounding peaks.

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Eden Meyk 9 months ago

Incredible hike. The forest offers some relaxing vibes in this short hike.

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Darren K. 9 months ago

Amazing hike. Totally hooked by the lovely surroundings.

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Aubrey Thomas 9 months ago

The botany in this area is fascinating! It might be due to the effect of the avalanche remnants.

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Winston M. 9 months ago

Really great hike. Surprisingly there were very few people, while we were doing it.

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Abe Angela 1 year ago

This is a great hike for small children and the elderly. It was fun and safe to do, but it's better to be cautious because it can be quite crowded.

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peylinquartz 2 years ago

The snow-swept mountain peaks were mesmerizing. The entire journey was so amazing. Every mile was worth it.

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Pana Cotta 2 years ago

This hike is perfect for people of any ages! Be sure to visit it!

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Ilia Kolinski 2 years ago

I had a wonderful time trekking. The journey was worthwhile. There are outstanding views along the way.

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12 Comments Show all

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