The trek to Avalanche Lake nestled within Glacier starts off deceptively simple: a wooden path snaking around beautiful, lush cedars with the sound of water somewhere off in the distance. The going is slow, just ambling on and enjoying nature while quotations from Thoreau dance through the mind.
But then there’s a bit of a small hill to climb. Okay, it’s still a nice walk in the shade next to the snow melt surging down the mountainside. And then suddenly one notices that it’s not so easy anymore. It’s not quite a casual walk in the woods. Gone is the wooden path and the stairs and now it’s only rocks helping you over a hill dropped right in the middle of the trail. Or if no rocks, then one finds oneself steadily trekking up a steep incline. And the decline on the next side does not help either as the muscles needed suddenly change. At times it can be almost as tough.
At times it’s all woods and the mountains are barely visible through the canopy, if it is even possible that those gigantic glacier filled mountains can vanish. And there are moments in between passing hikers when it’s just oneself, hiking partners and no one else (except the bears!).
In true explorer-like fashion, we pushed through leaves growing all over the path and reaching up almost to the top of my head until suddenly we pushed aside the last one and there…calmly stretching out in front of us, was the lake.
It is just incredible how the mountains reflect on water so still and so clear I can see the bottom for as far forward into the lake as I can look.