Explore the most popular lake 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.

Great exercise, and the view at the lake is breathtaking! Lake is freezing, but there are plenty of deer and other wildlife to be seen on the way. Running shoes worked during the summer-
Busy trail with a lot of families, but still recommend

Great hike. Set some time aside to enjoy all the cut outs and views of the river. Saw deer and a Bear way in the distance. Great work out.

Definitely a little steep at the start, but pretty easy hike overall. The lake is beautiful, definitely a good way to break up the Route 2 drive

hiking
25 days ago

We’ve hiked this in the winter and summer. Winter was just as incredible as the summer, without the crowds.

hiking
1 month ago

If you don't mind horse poop, this trail is one of the easiest lake accessible trails I hiked in Glacier. It is very private, not heavily trafficked, and is shaded nearly the entire way. Beautiful pine forests and plenty of birding opportunities around the lake.

As the description says, it's heavily trafficked, even fairly early in the morning. However, if you don't mind crowds, and love pristine, calm, blue mountain lakes, and a waterfall or two, it's absolutely worth seeing. Great birding, great place for kids to splash around the beaches, and plenty of fly fishing opportunities.

Fantastic view. Lots of people though even in the late evening and little parking.

hiking
1 month ago

This makes for a great out and back or through hike to Many Glacier. It has a remote feeling that I really like. Please do not take dogs as they are not permitted on trails in Glacier. Do take "bear spray" as bears can be found anywhere in the park.

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 :).

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!

hiking
1 month 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.

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