glacier national park.
avalanche and hidden lake hikes

when the weekend rolled around, our only question was which hikes we would do on which days. we had three that we for sure wanted to do, so we started with the longest one first, avalanche lake. it would clock in at around 5 miles, the longest our kiddos have attempted. we got an early start, hoping to secure a parking spot at the trailhead, and we prevailed!

the first bit of the trail was along the very easy and heavily trafficked “trail of the cedars”. after a bit of cool trees and easy strolling, we turned to head towards the lake. the trail was suddenly rocky and we started ascending. it followed along avalanche creek for awhile, which has carved a pretty cool gorge over the years.

there were still a lot of people on this hike. more than i expected.

the raging creek was sort of terrifying, so we mostly kept our distance, but we squeezed in one family picture with it.

when we passed by this super cool hollow tree, there was a man inside it posing for a pic and i knew i would have to do the same.

there was no shortage of giant boulders for anna to scale.

the hike was a lot of thick forest, but every now and then, a gap opened and revealed some mountainous scenery.

finally we arrived. and it wasn’t super great looking. not like the pics i had seen. muddy. rocks and sticks poking out. then, i realized we could walk around the lake further, away from the masses, to our own little slice of waterfront.

the kids loved the hike around the lake. full of rocks and narrow passages. hazel called it a maze-hike.

and then, we arrived.

we immediately stripped our shoes and socks and waded in.

it was ice cold. isaac just sat on the side. and anna started to dig out a pool to let some water in that could warm up in the sun. hazel followed suit.

eventually hazel got used to the water and frolicked about for awhile.

anna was sticking with her pool, as originally planned.

we ate and relaxed a bit. and skipped rocks, of course.

i took a lot of pictures. i was a little bummed that it was sort of hazy, but i chalk that up to us having gone so early and the way the sunlight was coming across. oh well.

crazelnut, being crazelnutty.

before we left, i forced the kids to take the obligatory photo together.

and we were off! the hike down went really well. we ended up chatting with another family with a daughter the same age as ike and a son (who was not thrilled about the hike) the same age as anna. they were from san franciscobut grew up in virginia, so we had a lot to talk about and it made the return trip go by in a flash. isaac and their daughter hit it off and were gabbing all the way down. when we got to the bottom, we stood around and talked some more before returning to our cars. meeting folks is one of my favorite parts of this traveling life. anyhow, here’s ike and his friend. 🙂

so, that wraps up our saturday of hiking. all in all, we tallied about 5.2 miles. the kids did great. i had to carry hazel on and off for quite a bit of the return trip, but way less than i anticipated. we got home and completely lounged the rest of our day away. and then went to bed early, because….

…on sunday we got up extra early to hike to hidden lake. it starts at logan pass, which has a “parking lot is full” sign on it 24 hours a day – which is a lie, but not too far of a stretch. we left around 7:45 and got there by 8:30 and it was filling up fast. by the time we were unloading (and dressing the kids), people were driving around in desperation to get a spot. the kids were pretty grumbly, but off we went!

so this trail is around 3 miles out and back. and very busy. and it’s mostly a boardwalk. but the scenery. perfect.

we were definitely tired. my legs were a little sore. carrying hazel is no joke.

we trudged along. moped, maybe.

lots of mountain streams crossed our path, which is hazel’s favorite part. she calls it mr. jump, after an ipad game, and sings a catchy little tune while she hopes across the rocks to the other side.

we had heard from our friends who hiked it the weekend before that there was snow on the trail. by the time we got there, it was gone from the trail, but there were still bits on the side in places.

this little watery area faked isaac out. he said “is that hidden lake?” with hopeful expectation in his voice. nope. we forge ahead.

as we got close to the overlook, someone told us there was a mountain goat up ahead. we quickened our pace, but a group of like 7 kids, with trailing adults pretty much bum rushed the goat and he quickly slipped away. i managed to get this cool picture first. i cropped out the idiots.

but here’s the real story.

once he wandered off, we walked the last few feet, to the overlook area, where you can get this pretty awesome view of hidden lake.

it was pretty crowded, so we ate some snacks, took some pics and got out of there.

the spot where the mountain goat had been made for a much better picture location, so we obviously reassembled for one more…

on the hike back down, we were pleasantly surprised to happen upon another mountain goat right next to the trail. a mama and baby, i think.

they strolled through and we kept walking, only to find her watching us from a distance a bit further down the trail.

some more scenery from the descent.

and a wildflower shot to cap it all off. 🙂

we were definitely tired after this. derek walked to the car to get our national park passports to get stamps and he was stalked by several people hoping to score a parking spot. we stamped. bought stuff. anna continued her efforts to fill our camper with stuffed animals with the purchase of a large mountain goat. walked back to the car while being stalked again. and headed back to our site to chill for the afternoon.

the end.

3 Comment

  1. Lara Cox says:

    Love the wildflower shot, and mama goat!

  2. Brenda says:

    I want to hear Hazel sing her jumping song!

  3. Colleen C. Yarnell says:

    My favorite hike. First time I was very asthmatic and had to stop halfway up. I sat out for about 30-40 minutes ti get my breath, The trail was snow covered and melting a few inches every covered minutes. The tundra plants a few inches form the snow were brown but the about 4-5 inches the plants had greened up and were blooming.

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