Hiking 2 to 5 miles on maintained dirt trails that may be rocky and uneven. Starting elevation approximately 3,200 feet, max elevation 4,000 feet. We'll split into smaller groups with different distance options; choose the option that suits your personal preference. Driving approximately 6 miles, 20 minutes each way. Restroom facilities are available at most trail heads.
At Russell’s Fireside Dining Room in the nearby Lake McDonald Lodge, we'll have vouchers for the daily breakfast buffet which offers choices such as eggs, breakfast meat, hot/cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast, and pastries. Beverages include coffee, tea, water, juice, or milk.
Get ready for a long and busy day packed with learning! We will be traveling in 15 passenger vans to the trailhead. We'll begin our exploration of Glacier National Park with an expert-led hike on the Trail of the Cedars, Avalanche Lake Trail, or McDonald Creek Trail. Hiking options of different distances will be offered so that you can select the hike distance that best suits you. We will break into smaller groups for the hikes and each group will be led by a local expert who will share their knowledge of Glacier along the trail. Trail of the Cedars is a spectacular wet forest trail looping through old-growth stands of western red cedar, western hemlock, and black cottonwood and borders a section of Avalanche Creek. Avalanche Lake Trail follows the west rim of the gorge and ends at an idyllic subalpine lake rimmed with waterfalls. McDonald Creek Trail wanders through a mixed woodland of western hemlock, western larch and Douglas fir, leading you on a path to McDonald Creek's turquoise waters and churning waterfalls. As you hike, you will learn about the flora, fauna, and geology that characterize this unique ecosystem west of the continental divide.
Along the trail, enjoy a pre-selected sack lunch that includes a sandwich or wrap, sides and a cookie. Please bring your own reusable, one liter leak-proof water bottle to consume at lunch and throughout the day.
We will continue our expert-led hikes through the beautiful Lake McDonald Valley. After returning to Motel Lake McDonald, we’ll gather in the auditorium for a captivating introduction to Glacier National Park presented by a local expert.
At a restaurant within walking distance of the motel, we'll use vouchers to order a plated meal off the menu. Non-alcoholic beverages included, other beverages available for purchase.
We’ll walk a short distance to the boat dock for a cruise around Lake McDonald on an historic wooden boat. The boat captain will provide commentary which will help orient us to the terrain and history of the park.