We were able to get in a couple of short hikes during our visits to Glacier National Park. There were large crowds of people visiting the Park each time we drove up, all of the parking lots were always full and turnover of those spots very slow. In fact, we only found parking at Logan Pass just once. Somehow we got lucky and found parking at the Avalanche Lake Trailhead/Trail Of The Cedars Nature Loop, where we enjoyed a 4 mile walk to this beautiful lake.
The Trail of the Cedars Nature Loop's elevated boardwalk was a delight. We strolled through a forest of ancient western hemlocks and red cedars, some even have an estimated age of over 500 years.
The Avalanche Lake Trail branches off the Trail of the Cedars Loop. There the path travels along the glacially melted waters of Avalanche Creek.
Soon the Avalanche Lake Trail goes up and into a dense spruce forest.
Peaking through the trees, we see surrounding mountain cliffs and rock walls.
We couldn't determine if these broken tree trunks were from a blow-down or an actual avalanche.
After a two mile walk, the trail opens up to views of Avalanche Lake.
Amazing waterfalls from the hidden Sperry Glacier tumble cold clear water into Avalanche Lake.
Returning back, the afternoon sunlight was better to capture lower Avalanche Creek and the narrow gorge it had carved. The ferns and mosses growing along the rock cracks with the blues of the glacial water made for a unique collection of cool colors.
Back on Trail of the Cedars, the afternoon sun peaking through the evergreen fir canopy illuminated these lush green ferns growing on the forest floor.
On another early morning, we were able to find open parking at the less popular Sunrift Gorge/Baring Falls Trailhead. This very short hike of 2 miles round trip was through a burn area on the edge Saint Mary Lake. Notice the smoky haze that had drifted in from forest fires in eastern Washington this day.
While in the parking lot gathering my camera and donning my sweat shirt, I turned around to see this marmot step out from the bushes.
He suddenly stood up and stared at me for several seconds, almost like he was posing for his photograph.
Then he went back to nibbling his grassy salad.
Along our walk to Baring Falls, we find all sorts of berries, Fireweed wildflowers and smoky Saint Mary Lake views.
Smoky view of Red Eagle Peak, 8725 feet.
Baring Falls as it tumbles down at around 25 feet.
On closer view, the water was clear and cold.
Water flowing from Baring Falls goes into Saint Mary Lake. Notice the burned forest in the background.
Pink Fireweed growing on the hillside enjoys the warmth of the sun, Ronnie not so much.
Once again, time seems to fly by as swiftly as the cold water flowing in Avalanche Creek. Our month in Kalispell is over. We leave with many fond memories stored in our minds (and a few fresh cherries stored in the frig). It's time to turn southward now.
from Yellowstone National Park.