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Glacier National Park

Avalanche Crest Trail

Length - 5 km (one way)
Hiking time - 3 hours (uphill)
Elevation range - 1250 to 2239 m (989m)
Trailhead - Illecillewaet Campground
Map Coordinates - 117°29'31"W 51°15'49"N (trailhead)


The view from Avalanche Crest The view from Avalanche Crest
© Danyelle Magnan

From November through May each year this crest spawns numerous avalanches which threaten the Trans-Canada Highway. The treeless slopes stretching down the mountain offer proof to summer hikers of this winter phenomenon.

This trail has particularly good views of the transportation history of Rogers Pass, including the original route of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is from somewhere in the vicinity of Avalanche Crest that Major Rogers first viewed this famous pass in 1881.

Watch for hoary marmots, porcupines, Clark's nutcracker and pikas. You may see woodpeckers in the small burned-over areas along the trail. The trail ends in an open alpine basin nestled between Avalanche Crest and a ridge from Eagle Peak. If conditions are favourable, many hikers pick their own route up the crest (2375 m) and enjoy a panoramic view from the high country.

Trail Conditions Report

Download the Hiking in Glacier National Park brochure (PDF, 4 MB)

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