Explore Summer 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2017  Map
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Overcrowded, extremely easy.

Absolutely beautiful trail, perfect for a leisurely hike.

Avalanche lake is a beautiful hike! The trail is built for lots of people so it is fairly wide. The river runs along the trail majority of the way! Once you get to the lake, keep going to the other side! Only one other person was there. We had a deer that came so close we could almost pet it! Very cool and quiet! Started around 7am and there were only a few others on the trail! The parking lot fills up by 8am! Passed lots of people on the way down! Lots of families! Go early if you want some peace and quiet! Definitely recommend!

This would be a good hike for a family that couldn't do the harder and longer hikes. But that's only if you're prepared -- it's still almost a 6 mile hike. As people are saying, it is very crowded so I'd start no later than 7-7:30 am. if you don't want to see people. (Although I don't think many people will be allowed on this trail for quite some time due to the fires in the west right now.) Still a beautiful lake and worth doing if you're in the area.

Beautiful. Lots of traffic. For a short hike this has exceptional views. I love the entire journey through the forest not just the view at the end :).

Exceeded expectations

hiking
2 days ago

A must do for anyone hiking in or near Crater! Reserve your spot on the shuttle to Wizard Island (3 hour tour is cool). Big steep day, quick elevation change unexpectedly hit me at the summit, but it was also due to the smoke from fires. Jump in the cold clear lake near the docks, sun yourself & picnic til the shuttle returns. Prepare for your incline back out of this magical place. Plenty of benches to pause at on the way back up, take a breath and enjoy the scenery.

Perfect family hike— 8 year olds enjoyed. The waterfalls are beautiful.

Hiked to Avalanche Lake.
This hike was tied in with the trail of Cedars hike. The old growth trees all the way to the lake are just incredible. There are three different types as you can see in the photographs. A fairly easy hike that can be used as a recovery day between the tough ones.
If you swim in the lake, check your toes when you get out for leeches. The water is not very active so they can find you very easily

crowded, but beautiful

Beautiful Hike! Too crowded later in the day for my taste but stunning, just stunning!

hiking
4 days ago

We returned this year and the hike down to Crater Lake was just as memorable, but also more crowded. We had absolutely perfect weather and the water was as blue as ever. We chose to drive around the lake rather than take the boat tour to Wizard Island. Suspect one day we'll do that too. Worth the half hour down and 45 minutes up. Enjoy!

Short trail with lots of switchbacks, it’s shaded and has benches along the way. Very well maintained and is the only trail that takes you to the water

This is such a stunning hike. It climbs through forest along a river with rapids and waterfalls. Eventually you pass an avalanche area and then you come to Avalanche Lake which is a true gem. The water is crystal clear and bright blue. The mountains surrounding it are stunning and there are tons of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs. Truly lovely.

You can continue past the initial viewpoint for another mile or so to see more of the lake. I recommend it. Every angle offers something new.

This was a very nice hike. Watched a black bear foraging across the lake. Good view at the lake of the falls. Worth the extra hike to the top of the lake for a nice view. Got to the trail head by 7:30am for parking, light traffic on the trail at that time. Very traffic heading to the lake on my return. Returned from the hike at 10:30, and the parking was full.

Definitely a quick and easy hike, but very, very popular and crowded. I am amazed that the trail is as wide as it is and people still do not understand the concept of treat it like a two lane US Hwy (we are in the US, so keep to your right). If it narrows, yield to the hikers coming UP. This is an easy hike, which means trail runners use it, so be aware and move out of the way. It is about courtesy.

The creek at the beginning of the hike is beautiful. An easy hike with beautiful views at the lake.

Quick hour-total hike to the only point to access the waters of Crater Lake. Thankfully, the smoke from the nearby wildfires blew in a different direction thanks to a shift in the winds so it wasn’t nearly as smoky as was the past couple days. Going down was easy but just remember you have to go back up!

Get up early and have this trail to yourself! We started our week with this gem. Hit the parking lot at 0700 and practically had the place to ourselves! Later in the day the place is like an ant hill! The Sherman Tree is absolutely glorious. They all are. The sequoias are a national treasure. It’s amazing to think about an organism that has been alive as long as they have. The trails in the area are bountiful and you can make a day of it just in the Giant Grove!

This was fun. The kids enjoyed it. So did we :)

Wonderful trail hike beautiful scenery. Trail is heavily trafficked but well worth the effort. Culminates with outstanding lake views. Must do in Glacier.

Absolutely beautiful and so worth it! 5.8 miles but our teenagers and 8 & 6 year olds did it. Bring your water shoes and bathing suits so you can get in the water. It's kid friendly since the nearest portion of the lake is really shallow. Looks like paradise!

Parking is way better in the afternoon.

We went in the afternoon and the parking was not bad. Great hike , worth the effort.

Very easy hike good for all ages. Views of the lake are stunning!

most popular hike in the park, it is nice but too crowded

hiking
9 days ago

Short, nearly flat loop through a cedar grove with a few other types of conifer trees. Mostly asphalt or boardwalk. Popular because it is the easiest trail in Glacier National Park. Many people also hike this trail as the start of a hike to Avalanche Lake. Overall, a pleasant short walk if you are not up for one of the park's harder trails.

Classic Glacier National Park out-and-back up a tight ravine to Avalanche Lake. Involves a little rockiness and climbing but manageable for most people in good health. Fairly crowded: get to the trailhead by 8am in peak season if you want a parking space to avoid riding the shuttle. Waterfalls plunging toward Avalanche Lake are nice but in the mountain's shadows in the morning. Overall, one of the "must-do" hikes in Glacier National Park.

Beautiful hike with an even more beautiful payoff at the end! Bring a picnic and wade in the water once you get up there. We did see pit toilets close to the end but don’t know what they were like. It’s pretty rocky once you get past the boardwalk; watch your footing. Really, the only downside was there were a lot of people using the trail, but it wasn’t that bad.

This hike was incredible! There are some steep parts that give you a good workout, but plenty of spots to take a breather (and snap some beautiful photos). The entire trail is gorgeous with a refreshing breeze from the creek that the path follows for part of the way. Avalanche Lake was amazing and there is a view of three waterfalls in the distance. Many families stopped for a swim as well. If you're going to be in West Glacier, I highly recommend this hike.

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