We have really enjoyed hiking many of the trails in Glacier National Park. One of the more popular trails that we would be remiss in not mentioning was a great hike on the Avalanche Trail. Of course, we always remember to carry plenty of water and bear spray while hiking anywhere in the park!
After a morning hike on John’s Lake Trail we headed over to the Avalanche Trail. John’s Lake Trail was a short trail in the dense woods to a lake but not one of our favorite trails. However, one of our favorites, Avalanche Trail, starts at Avalanche Creek and it is important to be there early or later in the day to avoid the masses. There was still a crowd the day we hiked but not as bad as mid-day. The trail begins on the Trail of the Cedars which is an ADA approved loop on a boardwalk. Trail of the Cedars is a trail in the middle of an ancient forest of Hemlock and Cedar. We also saw the largest Black Cottonwoods we have ever seen on this part of the trail and we marveled at the deep furrows in the bark of this tree.. Midway on the Trail of the Cedars the spur to Avalanche Lake takes off.
The initial part of the hike follows Avalanche Creek where it has cut deeply into the stone and created a magnificent deeply incised canyon full of rushing blue and very cold water. We stopped at several places to admire the work that the water had done in creating some beautiful slick rock “art pieces”.
The trail is steep but not too bad as itl is wide due to its popularity. As we climbed and climbed until we finally arrived at the edge of Avalanche Lake. It was cloudy and starting to mist but when we saw the panorama before us we knew a little rain wasn’t going to chase us away. We found a place to sit under a hemlock tree while we watched the rain drops hit the lake and create the perfectly concentric circles that emanated from each drop initially touching the lake.
We were also treated to majestic mountains adorned in numerous tailing waterfalls and we could have easily stayed seated for many hours simply staring out across the lake at the mountain backdrop. However it was getting late and we wanted to make sure we were back before the rain got any worse. We hiked back briskly as the clouds were seemingly building. As we made it to the car and began our return drive back to the RV park the skies opened up and it began to rain hard, The temperature also dropped 12 degrees…. we were sure glad we didn’t linger any longer than we did at the top of the trail. This 5 mile round trip hike is worth putting up with the crowds of people on the Trial of Cedars and we are considering doing once again to see it in the sunshine…