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Avalanche Lake Trail | Glacier National Park, Montana

Hiking Trail or Trailhead

One of the highlights of Glacier National Park. The Avalanche Creek trail has three main features: the Trail of the Cedars, which is an easy universal access boardwalk through an old growth cedar forest culminating at the Avalanche Creek Gorge bridge. The second part is the gorge and creek, where amazing glacial waters carve through a narrow gorge. Third is the lake, which is at the top of the creek and surrounded by cliffs. In the spring time, a half-dozen waterfalls crash from the snowfields high above down a thousand plus feet of cliffs to the talus and eventually the lake below.

Avalanche Lake in Spring – Sheena Pate

Driving Directions from Nearest Town or Landmark

Approximately 10 miles east of West Glacier, Montana on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. There will be a large parking lot with restrooms. Sometimes you will need to park across the road in the picnic area parking.

This very popular trail during summer months this trail can be busy with limited parking. A safe trail except for a section just above the main creek chasm wanders through massive and ancient cedars and cottonwoods along the main bottom walkway.

A wooden boardwalk for the first half-mile or so called the "Trail of the Cedars" followed by a well-traveled dirt trail that starts at the Avalanche Creek Chasm and follows the course of the creek with some variances up the valley to the foot of Avalanche Lake.

Trail Distance

3 miles to lake and back -- less than a mile if only following the wooden boardwalk.

Trail Vertical Gain or Loss

Moderate climb to lake