View of Centennial Mountains at Red Rock Lake NWR

View of Centennial Mountains at Red Rock Lake NWR
View of Centennial Mountains at Red Rock Lake NWR

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Virtual Hike on Avalache Trail, Glacier National Park

My last big hike in Glacier was on the Avalanche Trail.  I had pretty much raced over to the Avalanche Campground without stopping - or barely stopping and only taking sixty pictures or so - from Two Medicine so I would be able to get a camp site in Avalanche.

My ploy worked so well, that I had to tour the loops a few times, waiting for people to leave, and  also to find an empty site that also had hammock trees, a requirement for me. Grabbing my trekking poles, water, lunch, hat, and camera, I set off.  There was a linking trail from the campground and I was soon on the main trail.  This trail is so popular that is is very worn and I felt sorry for the trees whose roots were trying to exist in the trail.

The trail is mostly flat or has small elevation changes so any climbs don't last long. 

Mid morning light on the trail

First view of the waterfalls

Longer view
 The trail was mostly shaded by this kind of a forest.




To the left was the creek for part of the way, while to the right the forest was a series of moss-covered  bumps under the evergreens.


 While the exposed roots made a beautiful pattern and texture, I felt sad for the struggling tree.




Hoary Marmot eating decomposing log next to the trail.

After a few miles, I reached Avalanche Lake and saw all these logs piled at the entrance to the creek.



View  from further up the lake

View back towards the creek  from almost  the far end of the lake

There were hundreds of people enjoying the trail and the lake

At the back of  the lake, a huge set of mountains rose, with a few waterfalls.  But the area was back lit and I desperately wanted this picture.  So I decided to hang out, eat lunch, cool my dogs and wait another hour or so.  I ended up rearranging the little rock dam just upstream to make the water run different ways. Very entertaining.


Brrr!  AHHHH!

The source of the water in the lake and the creek


A closer view of one of the waterfalls

Back to the creek
 I still had a little energy left when I got back, so continued around the accessible trail, The Trail of the Cedars, which connects to Avalanche Creek Trail.  This is the view from the back bridge. After taking the full loop and enjoying reading the descriptions of the area written in Haiku, I was ready for a hammock session.





I just found the description while trying to remember the name of the accessible trail. A great trail that even small children could enjoy.


Trail Features:
Lake, Waterfalls


Trail Location:
Avalanche Creek

Roundtrip Length:
4.5 Miles

Total Elevation Gain:
730 Feet

Avg. Elev Gain / Mile:
324 Feet

Highest Elevation:
4031 Feet

Trail Difficulty Rating:
5.96 (moderate)