Our last trip into Glacier was to do a very popular hike, “Avalanche Lake.”  This hike doesn’t have much of an elevation change (~700 feet) and is only a couple of miles one way.  It is also just past Lake McDonald, so it is a popular one for all ages.

avalanche-lake-belton-chalet03 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet02Because the weather was looking a little iffy for Saturday, we headed out Friday afternoon after work.

Oh boy!  What a difference a few days makes!

The park was now “open,” we surmise because it was after Memorial Day.  The campgrounds that were closed when we were in the park just a few weeks back were now full, and we were lucky to find a parking spot to go on the hike.

So, of course, there were lots of people on the trail.  While this did make us feel better in terms of wildlife, for me it really detracted from the feeling that we were out “exploring.”  It definitely didn’t feel so remote when you were passing other people every minute or so.

The hike was beautiful though, and went by a stream, a heavily wooded forest with lots of fallen trees (still not entirely sure why), and ending at a beautiful lake.



This deer just hung out on the trail and didn’t mind the hikers at all.

Our closest call with a bear was on the way back, when people kept asking us if we “saw the bear.” Apparently, someone ahead of us kept telling the oncoming hikers that there was a bear up on the trail.  If there was, we didn’t see it, but we really think the person was either messing with everyone or meant to say “deer.”  There was a people habituated deer that stayed pretty close to the trail that we saw on the hike out and the hike back.


Does anyone know what the line down the snow is? Let me know in the comments below.

avalanche-lake-belton-chalet01 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet05 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet06 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet07 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet08 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet09 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet11 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet12 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet13avalanche-lake-belton-chalet14 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet22 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet21 avalanche-lake-belton-chalet23


The Belton Chalet


After the hike we decided to have dinner at the Belton Chalet – a place Doug had read about in a book.  Our waiter (who was from Tifton, Ga, and had been up here for 15 years and “never been back“) told us that they had been serving at that restaurant since 1910.


The first words out of his mouth were also, “So were you two out hiking?,” which made us realize how gritty we looked (and hopefully not smelled).avalanche-lake-belton-chalet25

It was a very nice restaurant, and ended up being the nicest meal we had on the trip so far!


The Belton Chalet has been running since 1910, since Glacier became a park. It served people riding the Great Northern Railroad and other visitors to the park. The Belton was the 1st in a series of chalets that the Great Northern RR built. The chalets were built with the Swiss chalet theme.


Bread and fancy butter. We have Ricotta Butter on the left. That’s Duck Butter on the right. I preferred the Duck butter once it warmed up a little bit. It was so rich!


That was Pork Belly on biscuits and honey Sriracha on top. It was really tasty …but pork belly sounds better than it tastes for me most of the time.


Duck Carnitas Tacos on corn tortillas.


Bison Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, and Creamed Corn. The meatloaf tasted amazing. It was a tad rich to let you know it was bison, but it wasn’t gamey at all. It was also juicy – not dry at all which can happen with lean bison.



We didn’t know this guy…


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2 thoughts on “Avalanche Lake / Belton Chalet

  1. Looks like it was a fun day! The line down the snow…. was created by snow…. in the form of… a ball… of snow ….. I believe 😉

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