Avalanche Lake via the Trail of the Cedars

MODERATE 194 reviews
#1 of 99 trails in

Avalanche Lake via the Trail of the Cedars is a 5.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Essex, Montana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
872 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

no dogs

Start south of Avalanche Gorge Footbridge on Trail of Cedars; gradual climb through old growth cedars and hemlock forest along roaring stream to glacial melt lake fed by waterfalls from the surrounding bowl, wildlife - deer, bear. May be accessible if Going to Sun road is closed. Adjacent to Avalanche campground area. Avalanche campground in located in one of the most popular sections of Glacier National Park west of the Continental Divide. The campground is situated within old growth cedar and hemlock trees, keeping the area cool during the summer months. The campground accommodate tent and RV campers, however only 50 sites will accommodate vehicle lengths up to 26 feet. Potable water is accessible in the campground, and restroom facilities are equipped with flush toilets and sinks with running water. Bring your hiking boots and binoculars if you are staying at Avalanche Campground. Two popular day hikes, Trail of the Cedars, and Avalanche Lake, afford visitors spectacular scenery and glimpses of birds and wildlife that inhabit the area. Plant enthuisiasts will appreciate the diverse species of flora.

hiking
2 minutes ago

stunning. One of the easier hikes in the park, but so beautiful. Avalanche gorge is quite the spectacle. I've done this hike a few times and it's just as beautiful each time.

hiking
1 hour ago

This trail is beautiful. I came in from sea level and was not used to the elevation, so it was a bit more difficult than 'moderate' for me-but the view was totally worth it.

We did this hike in May and the trail was pretty empty. Deer everywhere! We crossed paths with at least a dozen.

hiking
5 days ago

Very easy trail with a lot of interesting scenery. It's heavily used, but that can be a good thing! Because it's so accessible, it allows for a lot of people to enjoy the trail. You're able to go off-trail if you want to, and the path is wide enough for people to cross, but not too wide that you feel like you are simply taking a leisurely walk.

6 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

We had a great walk in the rain to the lake. I would rate this as an easy walk and not very far with spectacular sights. This was our first walk in the park and a great introduction. Just a pity nothing was open for a coffee or hot chocolate after the walk.

hiking
11 days ago

This hike was breathtaking the whole way! It is definitely a crowded trail passing other hikers about every 20 feet or so but it is a good family friendly hike!:)

hiking
12 days ago

I have done this trail a number of times. There is a variety of terrain but mainly forest, ending with a sweet little glacial lake. We have seen bear and deer on the trail. It is a popular trail.

26 days ago

Great hike, fairly easy. Incredible views once you get to the lake. Got lucky and saw an avalanche (must be how it got its name). Will definitely do this hike again.

hiking
1 month ago

It is a fun family day hike. If you keep an eye out on the rocky cliffs east of the trail you sometimes see mountain goats climbing. There isn't much scenery until you get to the lake, but then it's spectacular.

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best day hikes in the park. Plan parking accordingly!

hiking
1 month ago

Top 5 hike in GNP

1 month ago

Stunning!! I was alone, so pretty freaked out about the bears, but totally worth it! Amazing waterfalls and the end view is breathtaking. Easy to do. I recommend going early- it got crowded and parking can be a nightmare.

2 months ago

Fun hike that's suited for all ages. Did this hike with my parents. One of my favorite hikes we went on. (Even spotted a bear at the lake!)

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Super easy hike. Only about 6 miles round trip, and would be easy for families. Spectacular views of Avalanche Creek and Lake.

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

Nice easy hike, great distance views of the waterfalls once you get to the lake, on the far mountains! This trail is an easy hike, but start at first light and you can have a hour or so with very few people, after 9am not so much!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

This was a very pleasant hike back to Avalanche Lake. The trail traversed along Avalanche Creek which had the most beautiful aqua blue water. The Lake was so still that the sky reflected in it, making it a great photo op.