Hike to Avalanche Lake

Montana Trail of the Cedars Trailhead

Added by Seth Langbauer

Impressive views of glacial water careening down the gorge and numerous look-out points to capture the cascading waterfalls. A very scenic trail with 500-year-old cedars to see.

This is a 4.5 mile hike with a total elevation gain of 730 feet. The hike to Avalanche Lake begins from the Trail of the Cedars trailhead. Be prepared for a lot of incline.

Approximately one half mile from the trailhead you’ll reach a footbridge that provides views of the lower Avalanche Gorge. It is just past this point that you’ll find the Avalanche Lake Trail junction.

At 2.3 miles, you will reach the foot of Avalanche Lake. Take in the views or stop for lunch at the large beach area. You can also continue along the trail on the western shoreline to the head of the lake.

This is a popular trail and parking can be tight. Best to get an early start.

Pack List

  • Sack lunch
  • Picnic blanket/Beach towel
  • Water
  • Hiking boots
  • Day pack
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



4.5 Miles

Elev. Gain:

730 Feet




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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Beautiful Views

Avalanche Lake is a great lake to hike during the summer months. It is not accessible during the winter months other than by snowshoeing or cross country skiing.

about 2 months ago

7 months ago

Epic in summer or (early) winter

Have hiked this route a few times. The 6 mile round trip hike is moderately strenuous (made more difficult by not catching your breath from the great conversation on the way up) and includes gorgeous views of Avalanche Creek along the way. Gorgeous lodgepole pines host several northwest songbird species, and you're sure to see a few mule deer or small mammals along the way. Take binoculars to try spotting a griz along the mountain or a moose on the other side of the lake. The end result is breathtaking at every season. Not accessible in heavy winter conditions, but manageable with a light dusting on the ground. Highly recommend.

7 months ago

almost 1 year ago

Best Hike to-date

This is the best day hike I have done to this day. The views are incredible. The lake is beautiful. There are animal, and, well I guess i'm just at a loss for words.

almost 1 year ago

almost 2 years ago

I did this hike with my grandparents who were both in their late 70's at the time. A beautiful, cloudy day in October hike.

almost 2 years ago

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