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.
- Sack lunch
- Picnic blanket/Beach towel
- Hiking boots
- Day pack
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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.
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