"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hiking Avalanche Lake - Glacier, MT

West Glacier, MT,
Fish Creek Campground


Today we are off to hike Avalanche Lake on the west side of Glacier National Park.  This is a 4.5 mile round trip trail.  We combined it with the Trail of the Cedars for 5.5 total miles.  Below is our reward at the end.  Huge waterfalls that spill into Avalanche Lake in a large bowl.
Avalanche Lake running into Avalanche Creek

We are hiking with Lee and Trace today.  They have only hiked a couple of times before but were champs to try out this 5+ miles today.  It was a little windy and cool.  Trace has done her homework!  This gal is prepared!  She's got better supplies than I do.

 
Check out that serious knife she's got strapped on!

 
The opaque. turquoise colored water in some of the lakes and streams is caused by very fine glacial silt.  Sometimes it will look milky white.  Since the year round water temperatures are usually colder than 50 degrees, the water remains very clear.

 
With the beautiful red, green and blue rocks in this area, the water just adds to this colorful view.




 
Lee and Steve on the trail.

I'd call it an easy/moderate trail with some moderately steep areas.  But after all, we are climbing up the mountainside.  If it were flat, I wouldn't consider it a hike.  It would be a walk :-)  Lee & Trace did great and the trail meandered through some woods with interesting things to look at along the way.  The trail/lake get it's name from all the trees that go down in the avalanche of heavy snows during some winters.  There were also many interesting moss and ferns growing in the thick undergrowth.
 
We made it.  Here's the mouth of the lake.

 
Some of the peaks way up high.
 

We found a spot to get out of the wind and brought a lunch to eat while we were here.  Even though there are signs reminding you not to feed the wildlife, you can tell these little guys were used to handouts.  They would climb onto your boots and just look at you, patiently waiting.

We wanted to get closer to the waterfalls so we decided to extend our hike a bit.

There was too much growth to get back past the trees and brush very far.  Besides, this is prime bear area.  While I enjoy a bear encounter from a good, safe distance, this was not the area to be in.

 Isn't the water color gorgeous?
 




 
On our way back out we spotted a couple of these colorful looking guys on some leaves.



 
This uprooted tree had a very interesting look from the bottom.  Nature makes the best art!

 
Next up: A second chance!

9 comments:

  1. What a great hike, Debbie! I like Tracy's trekking poles. We each have a set; they really help save on our knees and backs.

    Jim

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    1. She had to get used to them, but they really helped her out. They really enjoyed the hike.

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  2. This was a nice hike. We were meeting friends who work camped on the west side so we decided to throw in a hike on our way and this was our hike! The water is such a beautiful color. The trail is a nice mix. Good for your friend who are just starting out. Fun day:)

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    Replies
    1. It was a very enjoyable hike. You can't beat those incredible sceneries either!

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  3. I just love the colors in those streams! We were extremely fortunate when we did that hike to see a black bear along the creek early on the hike. We started early in the morning (maybe 8:30am)...what a surprise! It sure is scary at the far end of the lake with all the bushes knowing it is bear country!

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  5. I really like that hike to the lake and also the cedars. Looks like it was cool there.

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    Replies
    1. It was a great little hike. The temps did cool off!

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