Avalanche Lake, Oct 26, 2013: On Tamaracks and Mushrooms

What a glorious day with the Western larch/tamaracks putting on quite the show in their yellow glory. Most of us couldn't recall a fall day as nice as this one--a bit frosty but no wind.

The day started out at 6 a.m. with a dark drive through fog. A quick stop at Browning and then the Goat Lick (no goats, just a train) to snap a few pics and we were in West Glacier before you knew it. At 10:30 we were on trail and had the chilly, but beautiful, carved-out Avalanche gorge completely to ourselves as we shot a ton of photos and wandered over the heavily used banks of Avalanche Creek. Katie could never remember a time when no one else was there.

Along the trail, we took numerous photos of mushrooms/fungi as they were very prevalent; we also enjoyed the moss-covered ground and trees along with seeing the aftermath of a large avalanche that swept down Mount Cannon a few years ago. It came down and then up the side of the gorge, causing trees to fall uphill. We also really enjoyed seeing some different foliage that we don't often run across on the east side: cedar and yew trees, fungus, tamaracks.

After a frosty, foggy hike, we arrived at the lake by 1 p.m; two other parties were there ahead of us and a couple more came while we enjoyed our lunch in full view of the mountains snow-capped Mount Cannon, Brown, the Little Matterhorn and Bearhat,

After lunch, we continued up the trail to the head of the lake, with hoarfrost covering the ground to make our steps crunchyand put a chill in our bones. We had lovely views of the waterfalls (Avalanche Basin Falls and one other).

We arrived back at the car around 3:30, stopped at Apgar for a view of McDonald Lake and a few souvenirs and finished the day with a yummy meal at Essex.

As a side note, Kathy D and Mary earned their entrance into the 100-miler club, having hiked that many miles with the "grils." They join Kathy M, Susan and Katie.
Who went: Kathy M, Kathy D, Gail, Roni, Catherine, Katie, Susan, Jeanne, Mary, Christi K
Katie's Pics
Kathy M's Pics