This post continues our time in Glacier National Park.
On this morning, we woke to the most amazing sunrise! The colors were breathtaking!
It makes me think of this quote…“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
― Jo Walton
Today, we had planned on hiking to Avalanche Lake.
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This hike is extremely popular so I recommend you arrive no later than 7 am or around 3-5 pm if hiking in the afternoon.
The trailhead is located on the same trail as the Trail of Cedars hike…the hike is approx. 4.5 miles roundtrip and only gains 500 ft. over moderately rolling terrain.
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Roughly one-half mile from the trailhead you will reach a footbridge that spans Avalanche Creek and provides a commanding view of the lower Avalanche Gorge, one of the highlights along this stretch of the trail.
Just past this point is the Avalanche Lake Trail junction.
After turning left onto the Avalanche Lake Trail you will immediately encounter a short, but steep climb. As you proceed up the rise look towards your right and you’ll notice a very dense forest.
In less than a tenth-of-a-mile you’ll arrive at the banks of Avalanche Creek. Here you’ll have an up-close view of the amazing power of glacially melted water as it rushes through the narrow gorge.
Can you spot my hubby in this picture? 😉
The trail is full of exposed rocks and stumps so you really have to watch your step!
The views from the trail are beautiful!
If you look closely, you’ll also notice the lush green of ferns and mosses growing along the forest floor.
We love to hike but we are not long distance hikers..this hike was the longest hike we’ve ever done!
You could definitely see where bears could be hiding out on these trails!
Right before arriving to the lake, there was a pit toilet…there are also bathrooms at the beginning of the trail.
This sign was posted on the outside of the bathroom.
As we continued the trail, we came up on this sign as well!
At 2.3 miles we finally reached the foot of Avalanche Lake.
A short distance away is a large beach area that provides plenty of space to soak-in the magnificent scenery. You’ll also find several make-shift benches to rest on as well.
The lake was beautiful but I was disappointed because the sun had just risen over the mountain so there was no way to get a good picture.😫
So, if you’re looking to go home with some great photographs you may want to consider starting your hike around daybreak in order to reach the lake before the sun rises above the mountains to the east, or, wait until later in the afternoon when the sun is behind you.
The lake sits at the base of 8694-foot Bearhat Mountain. If you look closely at the cliffs and mountains that surround the lake you’ll notice several long waterfalls plunging hundreds of feet as they make their way towards the shore. Sadly, we could barely spot them because of the sun.
There were tons of trees in one section of the lake.
The color of the crystal clear lake was amazing!
We just had to get our picture in front of this beauty!
There were lots of people here when we arrived. This is definitely a good place to spend the day.
The trail continued for another .07 miles around to the other end of the lake so we decided to walk a bit further to try and get some better pictures.
The trail was narrow and very wooded!
We spotted these berries on the trail…not sure what they were.
Our pictures were much better from this side…
The water looked like a different color when you’re not shooting towards the sun.
Moss covered trees, mountains and beautiful aqua green water…nothing better!
The wildflowers were in full bloom.
I took so many pictures here…the views were incredible!
Look at these reflections!
My hubby got tired of me taking his picture…he knew if I took one of him, I would want one of me too..ha ha!
As we were sitting on a nearby log having a snack, we spotted a bear on the other side of the lake!
The water was so cold but refreshing!
I continued my photo shoot while the hubby sat and admired the scenery.
After spending about two hours here, we decided to head back…but not without stopping for lots of pics on the way!
After a short hike, we arrived back to the large beach area…
Since the sun had risen a bit higher, I tried to get some better shots.
I did manage to get some better pictures but still not the best as we still couldn’t see all the waterfalls. 🙁
The lake was very shallow in some areas as you can see by zooming in on this picture…you can spot a little boy walking in the lake.
A few more shots before heading back to our car. 😉
Shots along the trail on the way back.
After arriving back to our car, we headed back towards the hotel. On the way, we spotted a pullover with a trail that led down to Lake McDonald so, we decided to pullover and have our lunch by the lake.
Lunch is so much better with these views!
After lunch, we enjoyed some of those delicious Flathead cherries...so good!
I loved all the colorful rocks!!
As usual, I took way too many pics!
After leaving here, we continued our drive….I had my hubby pullover once I spotted this view…just look at that reflection!!
Later, we walked over to Eddie’s to get some of that famous huckleberry ice cream…so yummy!!
Eddie’s is a family owned restaurant and has been in operation since 1946.
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We walked back to our room and enjoyed our ice cream on the patio.
As we were sitting outside, one of the hotel’s employees came by and offered to take our picture…of course, I let her. 😉
And then I took more pictures of Lake McDonald…well, because I had to have a shot from every angle. 😉
I then walked to the water’s edge to take more pics of those colorful rocks and spotted tiny fish swimming around…the water was so clear!
We then walked down to the nearby dock…yes, to take more pics.
I was exhausted after taking so many pictures, so I decided to go back to the room and rest for a while.
It’s survived nearly a century of wear and tear—including the floods of 1964, when it was reinforced with a wooden trestle.
Since the bridge is no longer opened to vehiclular traffic, you have to hike about 1/2 mile to get there.
We drove through the employee housing and came to a bike path…my hubby wasn’t too happy about having to hike so, I tried to get a shot of the bridge from a distance…
I realize now that we were at the wrong location….even though you could still access the bridge from here.
While we were there, we saw people rafting on the on the river.
After leaving here, we headed back to Josephine’s for dinner.
We ordered those delicious bison gyros again…so good!!
After dinner, we headed back to our room and sat outside to enjoy the star filled skies.
We saw lots of shooting stars!
Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for Day 8!
Click here for 10 things not to be missed on your first trip to Glacier
Click here for a 7 day itinerary for Glacier