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Trail of the Cedars Nature Trailhead

Hiking area in West Glacier, Montana

Travel Tips

Wheelchair accessible, ideal for a gentle walk amidst nature. 1

Followed by a hike to Avalanche Lake for a more adventurous experience. 2

The trail is well-maintained and suitable for all ages. For a longer hike, continue to Avalanche Lake. 3

Don't miss this easy, yet rewarding walk through nature. 4

Pack a lunch to enjoy by the lake for a more relaxed and scenic dining experience. 5

Visit early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds; parking is challenging during peak season. 6

Visit early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds. Parking can be difficult during peak season. 7

Arrive early to secure parking. Trail changes between dirt, paved, and wooded paths. 8

Visit early or late to avoid parking issues, and consider linking to Avalanche Lake for a longer hike. 9

Start your hike at sunrise to avoid crowds and capture a perfect photograph in front of the glacial lake. 10

Introduction

Trail Features

  • πŸ”„ Loop Length: The trail is a loop, approximately 0.7 to 1 mile long.
  • 🌲 Forest Hike: The trail passes through a forest of ancient western red cedars and western hemlocks.
  • 🌊 Waterfalls: The trail features views of Avalanche Gorge and Avalanche Creek.
  • πŸ›€οΈ Boardwalk: Part of the trail is a raised boardwalk, making it accessible and easy to navigate.
  • πŸ—ΊοΈ Trailhead: Located near the Avalanche Creek Campground, about 5.5 miles east of Lake McDonald Lodge.

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Accessibility

  • β™Ώ Wheelchair Accessible: The trail is one of the few wheelchair-accessible trails in Glacier National Park.
  • πŸ›€οΈ Boardwalk: The eastern portion of the loop features a raised boardwalk.
  • πŸšΆβ€β™‚οΈ Easy Difficulty: The trail is rated as easy, with minimal elevation gain (around 60 feet).
  • πŸͺ‘ Benches: The trail offers benches for resting along the way.
  • πŸͺ§ Interpretive Signs: There are interpretive signs along the trail providing information about the flora and fauna.

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Flora and Fauna

  • 🌲 Western Red Cedars: Some trees are over 500 years old and can reach heights of 100 feet.
  • 🌳 Western Hemlocks: These trees are also prominent along the trail.
  • 🌿 Ferns and Mosses: The lush green of ferns and mosses can be seen along the forest floor.
  • 🌸 Native Plants: The trail features a variety of native plants typical of the Pacific Northwest climate.
  • 🦌 Wildlife: Visitors may spot various wildlife, including birds and small mammals.

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Avalanche Gorge

  • 🌊 Footbridge: A footbridge over Avalanche Creek offers commanding views of the lower Avalanche Gorge.
  • πŸ“Έ Photography: The gorge is a popular spot for photography due to its stunning views.
  • 🌲 Lush Environment: The area around the gorge is lush with vegetation, adding to its beauty.
  • πŸ—ΊοΈ Trail Junction: Just past the gorge is the Avalanche Lake Trail junction.
  • πŸšΆβ€β™‚οΈ Short Hike: A short, steep climb from the junction offers a closer view of the gorge.

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Nearby Attractions

  • 🏞️ Lake McDonald: Located 5.5 miles west of the trailhead, offering lodging and recreational activities.
  • πŸš— Going-to-the-Sun Road: A scenic drive that provides access to many of Glacier National Park's attractions.
  • πŸ•οΈ Avalanche Creek Campground: Located near the trailhead, offering camping facilities.
  • 🏞️ Avalanche Lake: A 2.1-mile hike from the Trail of the Cedars junction, known for its stunning views.
  • πŸ”οΈ Logan Pass: A popular destination along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, known for its scenic trails.

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Visitor Tips

  • πŸ•’ Best Time to Visit: Early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds.
  • πŸš— Parking: Parking can be an issue during peak travel season, so arrive early.
  • 🧴 Essentials: Bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
  • πŸ“Έ Photography: Don't forget your camera for stunning shots of the gorge and ancient trees.
  • πŸ—ΊοΈ Trail Map: Carry a trail map to explore nearby trails like the Avalanche Lake Trail.

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Travel Information
🌐   Website: https://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm
πŸ•’Β Β Β Hours: See hours
πŸ“Β Β Β Address: West Glacier, MT 59936

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