For centuries before the creation of the United States and the concept of a National Park Service, Indian people from several very different tribes utilized the plant, animal, geological, and spiritual resources of what is now Glacier National Park in Montana. The Blackfoot occupied the area east of the continental divide and the area west of the continental divide was used by the Kootenai and the Pend d’Oreille.
Avalanche Lake and the small creek which runs from it to the larger McDonald Creek are featured in some of the Kootenai stories. Since I am not Kootenai, I am not privy to these stories. Since the creation of Glacier National Park in 1910, the hike up to Avalanche Lake has been popular with tourists and for many, visiting the lake can be a spiritual experience.
Shown above are some photos of the two mile trail from the trailhead at the campground to the lake. It is classified as an easy hike, but for those who are overweight and underexercised it may seem a bit rough. About half-way between the trailhead and the lake there is a blowdown area and one large tree is now across the trail.
For the first half-mile, the trail follows the creek fairly closely, giving hikers some fantastic views of running waters.
Glacier National Park is in the Rocky Mountains and Avalanche Lake is a mountain lake: thus hikers usually notice the mountains which surround them.
Avalanche Lake sits in a mountain bowl with four major waterfalls bringing freshly melted snows down to the lake. Sitting on the beach it is easy to understand that this lake, the waterfalls, the mountains, the clouds passing overhead, can easily be a symbol for creation.