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Avalanche Lake Hike

Glacier National Park

Glacier + Northern Lewis Range, Montana

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Avalanche Lake Hike

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  • The beginning of the trail at the end of the Trail of the Cedars.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Avalanche Creek Canyon.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Avalanche Creek.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Much of the trail is through thick forest.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • A clearing along the trail opens a view of Hidden Creek.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Avalanche Lake.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Avalanche Lake.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • We made it!- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • The far end of Avalanche Lake is a great place to relax with more solitude.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • McPartland Mountain stands about 6 miles away.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • A timid visitor appears on the shore of the lake.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Avalanche Lake has good fishing for cutthroat trout.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Monument Falls spreads across the cirque above Avalanche Lake.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Avalanche Lake and the Continental Divide beyond.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Avalanche Creek.- Avalanche Lake Hike
  • Avalanche Creek.- Avalanche Lake Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Spectacular views at the lake. Gentle hike.
Cons: 
Very popular. Parking can be a challenge.
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Region:
Glacier + Northern Lewis Range, MT
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
600.00 ft (182.88 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
6.40 mi (10.30 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,379.00 ft (1,029.92 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

The hike to Avalanche Lake is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park. It is moderate in length, moderate in elevation gain, and the reward at the end is simply marvelous. The trail can be accessed from the Avalanche Creek Campground or the roadside parking areas on either side of Avalanche Creek.

From the road, the first part of the trail is along the Trail of the Cedars, an accessible and easy boardwalk route through old-growth forest. From here the trail climbs up along the small but stunning canyon carved by the creek. There are many overlooks to see the canyon, but caution is advised here due to wet rocks and loose soil. The trail continues through dense forest with practically no views until much closer to Avalanche Lake. There is one nice opening at the base of Hidden Creek, which flows out of Hidden Lake about 2,400 feet above.

Avalanche Lake is soon reached and offers many options. There is a large beach at the near end with great views. The trail continues along the south shore to the far end, where there are more great beaches and streams to explore. The scenery here is stunning in all directions, and the most difficult thing about this hike is having to leave the lake.

Parking is particularly difficult at the Avalanche Creek Trailhead, so it is advisable to either get there early or take the free park shuttle.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(9 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(49 within a 30 mile radius)

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