14 reviews Glacier National Park #1 hike out of 324 in
3 hrs 14 min
This is a moderate out and back trail to Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park.
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We hiked up to Avalanche lake in mid-October 2020. It was a rainy day--not a downpour, but a steady rain throughout the hike. We went all the way to the end of the lake and back down, which totaled around 7.5 mi. This is a gorgeous hike. The trail is well-used and smooth, and not difficult at all. It's moderately challenging aerobically, but I wouldn't call it difficult. Depending on when you go, you will likely see a lot of people--probably no need to worry about bears! Even on a rainy day in October, we saw a lot of other people on the trail. Do not miss the "Trail of the Cedars" at the trailhead. This interpretive trail is impressive, and worth the very small detour (if you want to call it that).★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Go early to get a parking spot. You’ll travel along mostly easily walkable trails but you should be well prepared with good hiking shoes - saw lots of people thinking the short hike would be “easy”. Beautiful lake and awesome background of the mountains. If you’re prepared, walk the trail around the lake then up to monument falls. Once there turn around and look back - amazing.★ ★ ★ ★
Got to the trailhead at 7:30AM on 8/7/2018 and got the last parking spot - you definitely want to get there early for this hike! There are composting toilets at the trailhead, actual toilets in the Avalanche campgrounds (about 0.2 miles from the road), and a pit toilet up at the lake. The trail itself was quite nice; went along Avalanche Creek for a good part of the beginning with lots of good photo ops. Avalanche Lake is gorgeous, with lots of little beaches for people to explore and phenomenal scenery to enjoy. The lake never felt too crowded while we were there (though we were done with the RT by 10AM - there were a LOT of people on their way up while we were going down); everyone there while we were were whispering, which was also very nice and added to the overall sense of serenity. Bugs were not too bad on the beaches or the higher trail around the lake. The trail right next to the water, however, had small swarms of them at intervals. Seems to just be gnats, nothing biting, but was still annoying. Not too much in the way of flowers along the trail. Overall a beautiful, highly recommended hike (as long as you start early).★ ★ ★ ★
MT Avalanche Lake - Glacier 8/23/14
Went all the way to the far side of the lake. It's 2.3 miles (4.6 RT) to just reach the lake. We walked along the shore over and back on the hiking trail. In early summer, the water level is probably too high to walk on the shore.
Avalanche Lake Trail Glacier Park 5/2/15, 10:25:28AM) Avalanche
No snow on trail No mud at end of trail While it is May 2nd trail conditions are closer to mid June Will add more photos to my site on Monday www.glacierhikers.com
Remember parking lot to left arrived a little late but still a few spots left. Lots of people on trail including lots coming out.
Avalanche Lake - Glacier National Park
A nice 2 mile hike to a picturesque lake with a butt load of people on the trail!
Avalanche Lake (9/15/19, 2:07:28PM)
Avalanche Lake in West Glacier Temp around 69 degrees