Journey to Avalanche Lake

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Located on the west side of the park, the famous Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche lake are two of the most popular hikes on the region.  The parking lot fills up by 10 am but we were lucky to find a spot just a few feet from the trail head.

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This was by far the best hike we did on the west side. Both the creek and lake are named “Avalanche” due to the frequency of such events in this area.

During our hike, we counted at least 2 places with obvious tree damage where the avalanche had come down the side of the mountain, crossed avalanche creek, and swept upwards to where the trail is. In many places, Cedar and Hemlocks were snapped in half like matchsticks.

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Along the trail you see huge Hemlocks and Cedars covered in moss. There is also a large amount of cedar trees near the start of the trail. The trail later splits in two yielding Avalanche Trail and the Trail of the Cedars.

 

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Very Tall Hemlocks

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A Walk Among the Cedars

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Fallen Cottonwood

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This is actually not a Cedar, but a Cottonwood tree with its characteristic dramatic bark. It was so big that Emma had no problem getting inside.  It reminded me a bit of pictures we have seen of the giant redwoods, only much smaller.

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Big roots from a fallen giant.

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The way up was fairly easy. The west side is also lower in altitude so the effects are not so bad. Because it was early in the morning, we had the trail to ourselves.

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Later we would see huge crowds come and go. Given the relatively flatness of the terrain, everybody from kids to grandparents hikes this area. It is definitively a good idea to bring lots of water because it can get very hot. We were not expecting to find any animals but there were plenty of squirrels.

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We saw a lot of these giant rocks along the trail. They are likely the result of some old glacier depositing them when it melted, or some kind of massive landslide. Since Sperry Glacier is far too up the mountain to have made it down here, we think they are just rocks that have come crashing down over time.

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Emma is holding what we nicknamed the “Emergency Owl”. This toy we
kept hidden for months so that it would be new by the time she saw it on
the trails. It worked. We did forget the milk so she kept asking for milk all
the way back to the car.

Next post I’ll be sharing about the turquoise colored waters of the falls we’ve seen in our hike!

 

 

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