Avalanche Lake via Trail of the Cedars
ElevationAscent: 616' 188 m
Descent: -616' -188 m
High: 3,965' 1,208 m
Low: 3,416' 1,041 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)
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“A well-traveled, easy and open hike with scenery for the record books; one of Glacier's best!”— Mike Harcarik
Family Friendly It's short and relatively easy, with a huge payoff at the end where one can wade, swim, skip rocks or have a snack on the beach. There are abundant stops and photo ops along the way.
Most of the trail is shaded and cool, growing warmer and more open as you reach the lake, where rock beaches and stunning views of distant waterfalls await. This is a snapshot destined for the mantel.
The trail steepens for a short period here as you leave the lower section behind and enter the main portion of the trail; a double-wide path that winds gradually uphill under the forest canopy for the bulk of the journey. As you near the top, the canopy gives way revealing the open sky above and high mountain peaks just ahead. The trail narrows for a section of short singletrack flanked on both sides by thick brush. Soon thereafter, the brush lessens and the trail reaches it's official terminus at Avalanche Lake where the view turns from beautiful to magnificent.
Relax on the rocky beach enjoying the views of the surrounding mountains as they soar thousands of feet above the lake. Additional options include making your way along the shoreline for a secret picnic or fly-fishing spot, or taking the optional lake-side trail to the far end of the basin and top of the lake giving you close-up views of the mountains and cascading waterfalls.
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