Hike to Avalanche Lake is a Family Friendly, Short and Relatively Easy, with a huge payoff at the end where one can dip, swim, skip rocks or have a snack on the beach. Avalanche Lake is a great blend of accessibility, simple hiking and scenic payoff. It’s done by almost everyone who visits Glacier National Park.
One has to be prepared for all kinds of weather in National Park and we felt it this day. It was a clear sunny sky when we started our day and by the time we started the hike, it was raining cats and dogs. We eventually had to purchase 2 ponchos before our hike.
Distance: 3 miles
Elevation gain: 400 ft
Type of hike: Out and back
Time: Allow 2 – 3 hours
The trailhead begins on the south side of Going to the Sun Road at Avalanche Creek. It begins as a boardwalk, but it quickly becomes a well-travelled dirt path. Due to the popularity of the trail its best to start early morning. There are high chances that you’ll see many people also ogling this beautiful, glacier-carved cirque. The trail is pretty much same for the most part surrounded by lush green cedar trees. At one point, I thought this forest could easily be declared as Greenwood forest on the lies of Redwood forest. The trail opens as you reach the lake, where rock beaches and stunning views of distant waterfalls awaits.
At the far distance, we could spot 3 waterfalls coming down from the snow-capped mountain. As I looked over the mirror lake taking photographs of it from every direction I could see why this trail is so popular. On one side I was sad that Highline trail was closed and how amazing it would have been to hike through glaciers on another side I was pretty happy and content with Avalanche lake hike. As they say, travelling is not about doing everything as planned is about making them the best that you have.
I feel the rain and fog make a big difference on what you experience is at the summit of Avalanche Lake trail. On a sunny calm day, you could experience a clear sky and its reflection in mirror lake while on a foggy day the mountain peaks play with the fog obscuring your view. No matter how the clouds are one, sure thing is that you will appreciate hiking this trail and it rewards with some extraordinary views with so little effort.