Trail Of The Cedars Hike In Glacier National Park

The Trail of the Cedars hike in Glacier National Park is one of the easiest trails in Glacier and has one of the most beautiful waterfalls!

Waterfall on the Trail Of the Cedars hike

Information On The Trail Of The Cedars Hike

  • Location: Trail of the Cedars Trailhead (you do need a vehicle registration to access it at certain times of year – more on that below)
  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Elevation Gain: 60 feet
  • Dogs: Are not allowed
  • Strollers & Wheelchairs: The trail is groomed and accessible for strollers or wheelchairs – there are not many trials in Glacier that are!

Getting To The Trail Of The Cedars Hike And Parking

Avalanche Lake Glacier National Park trailhead

The Avalance Lake Hike is normally accessed from the West Side of Glacier. You get to the trailhead before getting on the Going To The Sun Road (but after where you need a vehicle registration).

Related: Tips For Driving The Stunning Going To The Sun Road

There is limited parking along the road and in the Avalanche Creek picnic area parking lot across from the hike. We have had to patiently drive around waiting for a spot to open. But one always opens since people are coming and going from the hike.

Parking for the Trail of the Cedars hike

Vehicle Registration

In any case you will need your vehicle registration in order to reach the trailhead starting May 24th – September 8th from 6am to 3pm. Here are details on that:

For 2024 you will need to have entry tickets for park. Dates and times are below:

  • Going To The Sun Road – May 24th – September 8th from 6am to 3pm.
  • North Fork (Bowman Lake) – May 24th – September 8th from 6am to 3pm.
  • Many Glacier – July 1st – September 8th from 6am to 3pm.

During these dates you will need:

  • Secure your vehicle reservation
  • Get your park pass or pay the entrance fee
  • Have your reservation ready to scan.

**Note: Visitors with lodging, camping, or commerical activity reservations (ex. boat tours and horseback rides) can use their service reservation to access the portion of the park for which they have a reservation.

Try to get these tickets for your trip (click here). However if you can’t you do have another option to go out after 3pm. It is light until 9/10pm at night so you still have a lot of time to get out and do some exploring!

But ALWAYS double check their site to make sure nothing has changed. You can do that here.

Crazy Family Adventure Tip: Even if we had our vehicle registration we might not get into the park until after 3pm anyways. This normally means the trail is less busy and there is parking available. This hike will probably take you around 4 hours or so. But with the sun setting after 9pm you still have plenty of time to complete the hike.

Related post: 21 Amazing Things To Do In Glacier National Park In 2024

Hiking The Trail Of The Cedars Hike

Trail of the cedars hike in Glacier National Park

The trail is really wide so it gives the kids room to run, plus there are multiple places where you can go off the trail a little ways to let the kids run and play.

Trail of the cedars hike in Glacier with Melia standing under a tree.

The highlight of the trail is the waterfall. We were not expecting it, so it was awesome when we crossed the bridge and there was this bright blue waterfall and creek right in the middle of the trail. This is the definition of hiking in Glacier National Park – unexpected beauty everywhere!

Waterfall on the Trail Of the Cedars hike

The trail is a loop so you basically make a circle and you are almost back to where you started. You will have to walk on a small section of road, but this is a very populated trail and area so there are signs everywhere for cars to slow down.

There is also a picnic area across the street if you want to leave a picnic lunch or dinner in the car for after the hike.

Avalanche Lake Glacier National Park
Avalanche Lake

If you are feeling up for it, you could opt to continue on to the Avalanche Lake Trail. This is a more difficult trail with an elevation gain of 730 feet and a roundtrip of over 4 miles. BUT it takes you to a beautiful lake that is surrounded by mountains!

Related: Hiking Avalanche Lake In Glacier National Park

Hiking the Trail of the Cedars is one of the top things to do in Glacier National Park and should be on everyone’s Glacier Itinerary!

Related: One Day Glacier National Park Itinerary

Glacier National Park Guides

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Glacier 3 Day Guide Thumbnail
Glacier 7 Day Guide Thumbnail

Planning a trip to Glacier? We put together a series of digital guides that take the guesswork out of planning. Stop-by-stop itineraries for making the most of 1, 3 or 7 days in Glacier National Park including where to stay, where to eat, what hikes to take and the best driving routes.

We’ve even included links for you to book your stays and buy your park passes. Everything you need in one convenient digital guide. Just download and go!

Hiking is one of the best things to do in Glacier National Park and there are a lot of great hiking trails.

Related: The Best Hikes in Glacier National Park

More Posts On Glacier National Park

7 Awe Inspiring Things To Do In Many Glacier

Visit the Magnificent Bowman Lake and Polebridge Mercantile

The Best Glacier National Park Itinerary From 1 to 7 Days

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Hiking the trail of the cedars in Glacier National park is a must do and a top thing to do in Glacier National Park. It is also one of our favorite short Glacier hikes. Add it to your summer travel bucket list!

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