For our first day in the park we figured it was best to get out a stretch our legs a bit. Earlier in the year we started to prepare Lily for longer hikes and this hike was going ot be the real test. The Avalanche Lake hike is about 5 miles round trip and has been the longest hike we have done as a family.
The hike starts off on the Trail of the Cedars which take you through a forest of hemlock and red cedar trees. While they might not compare to the giant redwood trees found in California these are mighty large. At the half way point on the trail you find the trail head for the Avalanche Lake trail. The water in this area is by far the most amazing that we saw during our entire trip.
Glacier National Park is largely considered a rain forest and is the farthest east part of the Pacific Northwest. As such there is a lot of vegetation that grows on the ground and things are very green. The rest of the hike up to avalanche lake is a steady climb along a tree covered trail. We made it up to the lake (the turn around point) where we had the lunch that we packed in. The lake itself is surrounded by large mountains that have several waterfalls cascading down them and flowing into the lake. The visual magnitude of the lake is quite impressive and you really just have to site for a minute to take it all in.
Lily did amazing and finished the entire hike with virtually no complaining. After a long day hiking it was back to the camp for dinner and then off to the Lake McDonald lodge for a boat tour. The lake is totally amazing. It is by far the smoothest water I have ever been on. The tour guide gave a great history overview and even pointed out a few of the extremely rare privately owned sections of land along the lake and well withing the national parks boundary.