Hike to Avalanche Lake

Details

Distance

4.5 miles

Elevation Gain

730 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Seth Langbauer

Impressive views of glacial water careening down the gorge and numerous look-out points to capture the cascading waterfalls. A very scenic trail with 500-year-old cedars to see.

This very scenic Glacier National Park hike off of Going-to-the-Sun road is 4.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 730 feet. The hike to Avalanche Lake begins from the Trail of the Cedars trailhead. Be prepared for a lot of incline.

Approximately one half mile from the trailhead you’ll reach a footbridge that provides views of the lower Avalanche Gorge. It is just past this point that you’ll find the Avalanche Lake Trail junction.

At 2.3 miles, you will reach the foot of Avalanche Lake. Take in the views or stop for lunch at the large beach area. You can also continue along the trail on the western shoreline to the head of the lake.

This is a popular trail and parking can be tight. Best to get an early start.

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Know for

Photography
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall

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Reviews

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Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 1 year ago

Incredibly rewarding and accessible hike

The view at the end of the hike (well, first part as this is an our and back) is one of pure awe. Seeing Avalanche Lake surrounded by the mountains capped with snow is an absolutely gorgeous sight to behold. The hike itself is fun, traversing ups and downs, rocks and tree stumps and massive root systems. The views along the way look out over the various other mountains within the park. Definitely don't pass this one up!

Beautiful Views, Easy Climb

My sister and I took this hike this Winter (mainly because the others were closed because of a fire and for the season), but it was awesome. We saw some wildlife (Deer and mountain goats). The view at the top was a gorgeous view of the lake with a mountainous backdrop!

🥉Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Great Reward

Avalanche Lake is beautiful with cliffs rising up around it and waterfalls in the distance.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Beautiful Views

Avalanche Lake is a great lake to hike during the summer months. It is not accessible during the winter months other than by snowshoeing or cross country skiing.

Epic in summer or (early) winter

Have hiked this route a few times. The 6 mile round trip hike is moderately strenuous (made more difficult by not catching your breath from the great conversation on the way up) and includes gorgeous views of Avalanche Creek along the way. Gorgeous lodgepole pines host several northwest songbird species, and you're sure to see a few mule deer or small mammals along the way. Take binoculars to try spotting a griz along the mountain or a moose on the other side of the lake. The end result is breathtaking at every season. Not accessible in heavy winter conditions, but manageable with a light dusting on the ground. Highly recommend.

480 total saves

4.9/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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