Avalanche Lake | Glacier National Park

Avalanche Lake is a breathtaking location, as it’s positioned at the bottom of a massive bowl with cliffs jetting thousands of feet into the air. The rock slopes contain multiple cascading falls which feed the glacier colored waters, giving it a bright green/blue hue during a clear, sunny day.

The image below is taken close to the waters edge with my wide angle lens at 18mm (full frame sensor) to create a foreground interest of the rocks and trees within the clear, glass like water.

Avalanche Lake | Glacier National Park | © Jay Moore Photography

Photography / Hiking Insight: This location is beautiful at any time of the day, but since the main part of the bowl gets afternoon sun, I would suggest starting this hike in mid-day or afternoon. The lighting will be better during this time of day, along with the fact that the hiking crowds will diminish slightly.

Hiking Insight: This is a very popular trail and is considered a somewhat easier hike within GNP, as it’s roughly 4 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 600 feet. You can extend the hike by doing a boot beaten path fully around the lake as we did, but fair warning, you must wade through thigh high glacier water to complete the loop (but the solitude on the other side was nice). This was the first hike during our trip to GNP after getting in somewhat late the night before. It worked out perfectly to have a relaxing morning, unpack and then head to the trailhead around lunch time. This is also a great hike to combine with another smaller hike that can be taken in the morning, such as Hidden Lake near Logan Pass.

Research Insight: We wore out both Vicky Spring’s book (Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park: A Complete Recreation Guide) and our iphone App (HIKE – Glacier National Park) and I highly suggest purchasing them both before your visit.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

One Response

  1. We took our teenage niece on the Avalanche hike last summer and she loved it. You are so right about the lighting, especially if you’re looking to get great shots!

    August 16, 2012 at 4:15 pm

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