Explore the most popular hiking 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.

A nice hike , be in shape and bring water. A very good hike but also a good work out . The views are amazing ! Well worth it.

We did this hike on Wednesday 7/11. It was perfect for our family which included our 5 children ranging in age from 1 to 8. Definitely bring bug spray. We hung out by the lake (which is more like a pond) with the mountains in the background and enjoyed the peaceful scenery. I believe we crossed onto McDonald’s Creek trail too because we also walked along the river. It was really enjoyable.

Easy hike. Beautiful payoff!

So pretty! We arrived at the park before 8 but by the time we were able to load a shuttle, it was after nine- keep that in mind! We shuttled from apgar- we didn’t want to take the chance on parking once we got up there.
Like others before me have said- go early to beat the crowds- somewhat! My advice to crowd haters like myself- go the extra mile around to the other side of the lake. You can be more by yourself. It’s a gorgeous hike

2 days ago

Easy shaded loop with great view of falls and a bridge crossing.

On the trail at 7:30 AM with few other hikers. Busier on the way back but not crowded. Beautiful easy hike. Gorgeous clear lake. Boardwalk section is accessible for all abilities and quite lovely.

Pretty rough going up at times. Make sure to bring water and snacks. The lake and backdrop of mountains and waterfalls were breathtaking and so worth the hike up. It took about 2 hours up and 1.5 hours back. So worth the journey.

Would give it a 5 if it weren’t so crowded! Awesome payoff at the end and the waterfall toward the beginning is great too. But man, tons and tons of people.

Great hike today. Lightly trafficked with a fantastic payoff on the beach looking up at the snowmelt waterfalls spilling into the lake.

We got to the trail head by 9am on a rainy day so it was not too crowded. By the time we made our way back at around 11am the trail was really congested which took some of the enjoyment out of it for me. However, Avalanche Lake is spectacular and worth the effort.

Nice and easy. We hiked it with 2 toddlers. The scenery was gorgeous. Plenty of shade and close enough to touch the river in some places.

amazing trail! So much to see along the way and it never loses its appeal. The reward at the end is one of the most beautiful views you will ever see. Not difficult, but be prepared with good footwear and plenty of water. My 11 year old daughter had no problems on this hike and so much fun!

Loved the hike, but be aware that parking is hard to find during peak season. We had to walk an extra 1.5 miles due to limited parking. That said, the hike was well worth the extra effort and the lake at the top was a beautiful reward.

Excellent easy hike! we did it in the evening right before sunset (9PM). The trail is well maintained but with little views. But once the you get to the lake it is breathtaking! Def do it if you are visiting glacier!

Great hike! First part pretty much an uphill climb, but well worth the hike! We went to the far side of the lake closer to the falls and it is stunning from that side! Highly recommend it should you have time....wear bug repellent.

Beautiful easier hike. The sight of the lake is worth every step.
Difficult parking and busy with people. There is a pit toilet at the lake.

Beautiful hike! Lots of shade, lots of people. Some steep hills, but nothing too crazy :) hiked it with my husband who had our 1 year old in the baby carrier, my 13 and 10 year old. Spectacular views and the end of the trail was just stunning! Well worth it! Can’t wait to do it again! Right at the end by cedar trail we saw a deer about 20 feet from where we stood :D

Everything was awesome except that Parking sucked !

Worth it for the destination, Avalanche lake. Was muddy when we hiked. Very crowded, but on the other hand we felt safer with more people.

Parking is a little difficult. If you can't find parking at avalanche or cedar (right next to avalanche) you can choose to park further up the road and walk back.

There are rest rooms near Avalache parking area and one at the end of the trail ( that most people would avoid).

NPS also has ranger led hike option.

Easy hike. Crowded so arrive early (7-8ish) as parking also tough. FYI...pit toilet at end of trail for those who had a lotta of coffee...

10 days ago

I did it in early June. A nice lake hike along Lake McDonald. There's a lot of overgrown greenery and you're likely to get wet. Wear long sleeves and pants.

Easy hike to a beautiful view of the mountains and the lake.

Easy hike with beautiful views.

Easy, short hike to an amazing lake surrounded by waterfalls. We saw a couple of bears playing with each other about 50 meters from the trail.

I have hiked this the last two summers when we were in Glacier and we love it so much that next week when we are there again we will hike it again. For those that want to see beautiful off the road scenery this is a doable hike. Even kids and older citizens can make the walk and the entire time you are walking next to a beautiful stream with many awesome waterfall features.

Fun trail through forest. Good looking lake with multiple waterfalls flowing into it. My kids loved playing in water. I wish I could give this maybe a 3.5 but I think there is more to offer in the area that deserves 4 and 5 stars.

It’s a pretty standard hike. Elderly or those with children will enjoy it. There’s nothing technical and the lake is enjoyable to look at. Experienced hikers should steer clear as there’s little that distinguishes this hike from many others and it’s very crowded with slow people that don’t let you pass them.

Beautiful hike. Walk upstream next to a river for a good part of the beginning. Views are pretty for most of the way. At the top is a huge open area around a calm and quiet lake that has views of a couple of waterfalls. Friendly chipmunks who want your food! Didn’t see any other wildlife though. Not very challenging. Good for a pregnant lady like me! Recommend this hike. We arrived around 8:30 and got a great parking spot but that might also because it was cold and rainy. Stayed very dry on the hike nonetheless

13 days ago

Nice hike along the river for the first half and through the forest on the back half. Toward the end of the trail you will come out and see a bunch of folks on the other side of the river but keep going as you will some nice water features just beyond that.

There was a moose on the trail that hikers behind us saw and we saw its tracks on the way back. Well worth the time and a chance to see game.

14 days ago

Cool trail with great views. Nice quick hike.

I suggest going early in the morning to avoid the masses since it is easily one of the most popular trails in the park. If you start at 7 am on a weekday there should be limited amounts of people. Parking gets harder as the morning passes, so get there early!

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