July 18 2014
Avalanche Creek crashes through a gorge, just feet from the boardwalk that composes the Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park.
This trail is really a short stroll (0.5 mile) that takes a person through first a cedar forest, then a grove of hemlocks. Even though it is a highly accessible, wheelchair friendly stop along Going-To-The-Sun Road that draws many visitors, it still is a peaceful interlude and offers much natural beauty to contemplate.
First the trail takes you past a quiet section of Avalanche Creek, in which the crystal clear water runs along gray and pink stones through the forest. Then it leads into a forest area, where you see interesting trees, like the ones below.
I loved the fern/moss combinations along the later part of the trail. Soon, we reached an old hemlock grove. The most fascinating aspect of this grove is to think about all the history that has happened in America while these trees have stood here. The trees date back to 1517, and are approaching 500 years in age. Native Americans were the first ones to walk amongst these old trees, I imagine. They were already over 250 years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed. They were over 340 years old when this land became established as the Montana Territory, and almost 375 years old by the time Montana became part of the United States. By the time the Going-To-The-Sun Road was paved just past the grove, these trees were already in their four hundredth year.
You should come visit them. You won’t regret it.