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Trail of the Cedars - Avalanche Gorge

Glacier National Park, Montana

Trail of the Cedars, an easy 0.7 miles, is one of Glacier's most scenic short trails, and it leads to one of the most photographed spots in the park—Avalanche Gorge. Furthermore, the entire loop is wheelchair accessible, as the northern portion of the trail consists of boardwalk, and the southern portion is paved. The boardwalk portion leads the hiker through old-growth forest of—you guessed it, red cedar, in addition, you will see several specimens of black cottonwood, and ferns and mosses cover the ground, making the whole scene a rich palette of green. The highlight of this trail is viewed by crossing a bridge at the mouth of Avalanche Gorge, there you will see the deep gorge that Avalanche Creek has carved into the argillite—smooth, rounded channels provide a swirling home for the whitewater cruising down the gorge. The force of the water pounding on the stone walls creates a constant misty spray, which in turn creates a perfect environment for mosses, and indeed a green carpet of moss drapes the black rocks that surround the whitewater gorge, making for a perfect natural scene.

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