Avalanche Lake Hike – Beating A Record

Panorama of Avalanche Lake


Many times I don’t want to go to Glacier, though I usually end up enjoying myself while I am there.  I think I imagine that I would be doing something more fun and exciting at home.  It was quite the same when plans were made to hike to Avalanche Lake after the tour of the Conrad Cemetery, in the morning.

However, I didn’t mind all that much due to the fact I enjoy the Avalanche Lake trail quite a bit- it’s not a long trail and can usually be completed within an hour.  Plus there was an added excitement.  Mallory and I would try to beat our record time of 3 miles in 58 minutes. We told our parents that we would be trying to beat a record and not stop.  At the trail head I started my stopwatch.  We started off quickly, and kept a good pace.  I had mixed feelings about not being able to take many photos or look at my surroundings very much, but I had been on the trail many times before, and I assured myself that I would take my photos on the way back.


A picture of Avalanche Gorge I took on the way to the lake.


Mallory and I kept having to pass the many hikers on the trail, but no one passed us.  I was getting a bit tired, but we kept walking quickly.  I was determined to beat 58 minutes by a long shot.  The landmarks of the trail passed by quickly.  We had only been walking for about 30 minutes when we reached the pit toilet which signals that the end of the trail is very near.  Unfortunately we were slowed down a bit by a couple in  front of us.  We were at the lake in 3 more minutes.  Our new record is 32 min 58 secs, and I’ll definitely try to beat it next time!

At the lake we waited for about another 40 minutes for our parents to arrive.  I passed the time by taking photographs of the lake.


Mallory and I arrive at Avalanche Lake





Mom and Dad alerted us to the fact that there was a moose right across the lake, and we hadn’t noticed it.  The moose was far away and almost looked like a log from our distance.  We decided to walk along the rocky shoreline to get closer to the moose and get some better pictures.


A moose scratches his head


We got nicer photos and then the moose disappeared into the woods.  We continued on to the part of the lake where it ends and loops around to the start of the lake.  A family was fishing.  Then we walked up the hill to where the trail goes (we didn’t actually have to walk on the shoreline), and walked back down the trail.  We visited the lake again to get some more photos.  I took some of a chipmunk,


A cute chipmunk


and a Stellar’s Jay.

Stunning blue plumage on this Jay.


After taking advantage of the lighting we returned to the trail and hiked all the way down, running at some points.  We saw a sociable deer.


A sociable deer


It was interesting to walk through the avalanche debris, which we had to walk around on last year’s hike.  This year the trail was cleared through it.



The hike down was very quick, and seemed to take almost no time at all because of talking.  Afterwards, we went to Jammer Joes and ate delicious pizza.

I enjoyed letting my food digest and watching the sun go down on the shores of Lake McDonald.


Sunset over Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park


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