Winter Hike to Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park, MT

West Glacier, Montana



4.6 miles

Elevation Gain

500 ft

Route Type



Added by Hunter Day

Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park, MT is the most frequented hiking trail in the entire park. However, in the winter the trail is virtually untouched. A quick 4 mile hike from departure to return with little elevation gain it is an easy hike with a incredible views throughout and a breathtaking mountain lake at the end.

We started the adventure by entering the West Glacier Park entrance and followed the going to the sun road for about 8 miles. The parking lot for Avalanche lake is clearly marked and is the end of the Going to the Sun road during the winter months. The biggest benefit of going in the winter is the ample amounts of parking as compared to the summer months. About 1/4 mile from the parking lot on the Trail of the Cedars trail you can stand on a footbridge that straddles Avalanche creek and gives you a great view of Avalanche Creek Gorge. A short little climb puts you on top of the gorge and the Avalanche Lake trail begins. The trail follows Avalanche creek for 1 1/2 miles before veering through the heavily wooded part of the trail, however the trail runs parallel to Avalanche creek the entire route. At only 500 feet of elevation gain the trail is very easy for most hikers. A total of 2.3 miles in you will reach the foot of Avalanche Lake and the 8700 ft Bearhat Mountain surrounding the lake. There are plenty of spots to rest and take in the scenery. Arriving for Sunset can provide incredible scenery as the sunset catches the peaks around the lake.

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