General location: Near Avalanche Lake Campground on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Avalanche Lake attracts a large number of day hikers to one of the Park’s mountain jewels. The hike offers spectacular forest green and a destination lake at only 2.9 miles.
Trailhead access: The trail begins at Avalanche Camp-ground. Be sure to take the Avalanche Lake Trail rather than Avalanche Trail. The Avalanche Lake Trail closely follows Avalanche Creek, which provides photo opportunities of carved rock, moss and moistened ferns from the mist and spray. At the head of the lake, Monument Falls provides a picturesque backdrop. The lake’s opaque color stems from the glacial silt of Sperry Glacier.
Hiking conditions: The hike is a fairly easy climb and then ascent to the lake.
Fishing conditions and species: Day hikes of less than three miles tend to bring about heavier fishing pressure. Avalanche Lake draws large groups of both hikers and fishers. Nonetheless, the lake fishes well for small cutthroats. The best fishing, naturally, is far from the maddening crowd, which for some is out in the middle of the lake in a belly-boat.