Glacier National Park--Avalanche Gorge and Lake 2008
Avalanche Gorge is a small gorge cut by Avalanche Creek as it flows from Avalanche Lake. The contrast of the white water and the dark red rocks is quite striking.
Avalanche Gorge from Trail of Cedars
Although the best views of the gorge require a short hike along the trail to Avalanche Lake, there is a good view from the Trail of the Cedars. Because the Trail of the Cedars is an easy handicap accessible trail, this means that everyone can enjoy the gorge.
The trail to Avalanche lake is about 2 miles one way with an elevation gain of 500 feet--it's another 1/2 mile or so from the foot of the lake to the head. The trail more or less follows Avalanche Creek and is not difficult. It provides excellent views of Avalanche Gorge and Avalanche Creek. The steepest part of the trail is near it start. In September the trail was not crowded, but I suspect that it would be crowded during the peak season in the park.
Deer Avalanche Gorge, Glacier National Park
If you're lucky you might see deer as you walk the trail like we did. She didn't pay much attention to us. Just acted like she owned the trail. These are mule deer as you can tell by the large ears.
You also run the chance of seeing a bear wanting to share the path with you. We didn't see any bears, but we did see signs that at least one bear had been in the area. The bear had been eating the huckleberries. This area is the huckleberry capital of the US.
Waterfall at head of Avalanche Lake
Avalanche Lake is a small alpine lake that is the source of Avalanche Creek. Once you reach the lake, the trail follows the lake shore to the head of the lake. There are several waterfalls that fall off the top of the mountain into streams that feed the lake. There didn't appear to be any good trails leading to foot of any of the waterfalls.
Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park
We had a nice lunch at the head of the lake and explored the area a bit before we headed back. This is really a great place and well worth the hike in.