Explore the most popular trails near Essex with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.





nature trips



wild flowers


no dogs


kid friendly


Essex, Montana Map

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!

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.

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!

6 days ago

The hike started straight with a climb which is a little rough, but leveled off for a nice hike. Very dog friendly hike. Once we reached the lake the bugs were annoying, but with bug spray it wasn’t too bad. The lake was nice and not too cold.

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

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.

8 days ago

Great, easy hike in Old-growth forest. There were very few people on this trail, but getting one of the limited parking spots can be hard.

Great hike with beautiful trees along the way! There was a bear siting by hikers ahead of us though we saw none. We carried an infant with us with little difficulty.

Bring a lot of water and snacks for the hike.

Did this hike on 8/5/2018. Cools temps. Plenty of hikers on the trail. I would not rate this hike as difficult. Yes there are a few steep areas but not leg burning. The trail odd Going to the Sun road winds through the forest and Alpine Meadows filled with various flowers. The last mile plus to the pass is flat along a rock slide area. The views are fantastic. I would recommend to go a bit pass the top of the pass ...a few hundred yards or so. A beautifu emerald bluel glacier pond can be seen sitting beneath the wall. Out and back took a little less than five hours including a lunch stop. I would definitely do this hike again!!!!

Great trail for first time visitors and families!

9 days ago

Great hike through the woods in Glacier National Park. Amazing views of water falls, rapids, still water and the trees.

Very popular hike and difficult to find parking, but great view at the end.

Great trail, beautiful lake. It is quite popular. If you get a chance walk to the far end of the lake nearest the waterfalls., go.....stunning view.

11 days ago

I loved this trail and the unique beauty it exposed!!!! We were downhill only. My legs did take a beating but totally worth it!!

Beautiful but extremely crowded

We hiked this entire trail to the end of the lake on 7/31. It's a very enjoyable hike: Begin with a shaded, relaxing view of an extraordinary Cedar forest. Next, experience gorgeous rushing water that begins at the bridge crossing. Then towards the end of the hike, Avalanche Lake come into view; but be sure to take the trail past the beginning of the lake. In my opinion, the real beauty of the lake is the last mile, while following the trail along the entire length of it to the very end at the rock beach. (See pics)

This is a nice hike with a great reward at the end! We did this hike in the early afternoon and it was very crowded - hikers of all ages and ability levels. Recommend hiking around the side of the lake to a different beach area where there are less people! We finished in about 2.5 hours. Bring water!

We hiked this trail 7/25/18. The trail was busy but we often didn’t see others. Parking lots were busy but we arrived after 1:00 and didn’t have to wait long for a spot. We had 9 adults an infant and toddler. This hike had a little more of an incline then some but was not difficult. This was a favorite hike of a few of the people in my group. We did not see any wildlife on the trail. Be sure to walk to the far end of the lake. You get a completely different view and the water is clearer on the far end. The hike to the far end of the lake was almost magical and in my opinion the best part of the hike.

Load More