Avalanche Lake – Glacier NP

Tuesday, Sept. 2nd, we arrived at the West Glacier KOA, what a beautiful Park. We watched the Wildlife Presentation by Tom Ulrich, the photographer, and there were some wonderful wildlife photos. Pat and Harry Koehler our friends from Calgary arrived on Weds and we spent a great evening together.

Thursday, Sept. 4th, we took our first trip into Glacier National Park, established on May 11th, 1910, and we hiked the 4.6 mile Avalanche Lake Trail. driving along the Going-to-the-Sun road to the trailhead. We started on the Trail of the Cedars until we reached the beautiful Lower Avalanche Gorge and began up the Avalanche Lake Trail. We followed the Avalanche Creek and after about 2 miles we arrived at the Lake that sits at the base of 8694′ Bearhat Mt rising 4800′ above the lake, which is fed by waterfalls at the end of the lake. There is a spacious beach where we sat on a log and had a snack enjoying this breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Pat stayed at the log setting up to paint the spectacular sight before her, and Bob and Harry and I continued to walk 0.7 miles along the lake’s shoreline. The lake was like a mirror reflecting the clouds and mountains surrounding it. When we returned to Pat she had finished the painting of Avalanche Lake, what a great work of art.

Then we left the Lake to head back down through the red cedar forest, and we saw hundreds of downed trees as a result of recent avalanches as we headed back down the trail. We were all very hungry, so we went to the Lake McDonald Lodge on the edge of Lake McDonald. It’s an old 3 1/2 story structure built in a Swiss Chalet style in 1913-1914. The foundation and first floor walls are built of stone with a wood-frame structure, and huge timbers supporting the main lobby with the bark still on the pillars of wood. What a wonderful first day in Glacier National Park and it’s only going to get better.