This was the first real hike I went on in Glacier, and it’s sold as one of the most popular in the park. While it was an ok hike, I felt fairly disappointed when it all was said & done. Right at the beginning of the hike you’ll encounter Avalanche Gorge, which I felt was the best part of the hike. After passing that it felt like a lot of nothing. The forest is pretty dense, so there weren’t many opportunities for good views or pictures. After about 2 and a half miles you finally get to Avalanche Lake, which is a very nice like with some waterfalls in the background, but it pales in comparison to the views from Lake McDonald which you pass on the way to the trailhead.
I kinda feel like the only reason this hike is so popular is due to the fact that it’s only around 5mi round trip, and the elevation gain is only 700ft. I would HIGHLY suggest that if you’re in this area you check out the Trail of Cedars (which starts at the same point), then take a short walk up to Avalanche Gorge, then turn around. While this would be a great hike for someone who’s been to Glacier several times, I would have definitely picked a different hike with this being my first time in the park.