Because it’s so popular parking is at a premium. We got up around 6:30 so we could be out the door around 8:00. We scored a parking spot at the Avalanche picnic area. (There is also parking right along the Going-to-the-Sun road.) We took our breakfast with us and ate it along McDonald Creek which flows behind the picnic area.
We started hiking around 9:30. The first part of the hike follows the Trail of the Cedars Nature Trail, a U-shaped loop trail that’s part boardwalk and part path. The trail to Avalanche Lake starts at the end of the U. Right about where the trails split is a waterfall.
The trail then follows Avalanche Creek through the woods. It’s a nice wide trail and there was a fair amount of traffic but we never felt crowded. (We were here during the pandemic so social distancing was important.)
Along the trail are mountain views across Avalanche Creek. We chose to do this hike today because it was hazy that day due to wildfires further west.
At the end of the trail is Avalanche Lake, which is well worth the hike.
Here are some other photos from the trail, including a beautiful blue jay and one of the largest burls we’ve ever seen.
We finished our hike around 12:30, then sat and ate our lunch by McDonald Creek. There are restrooms at the picnic area, along the nature trail, and surprisingly also near Avalance Lake.