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The numerous bear warnings around the trail kept us looking over our shoulders ... and wishing we had purchased some "bear bells".

Trail of the Cedars — A Walk in the Woods

We learned first hand that the Trail of the Cedars is perhaps the most popular hike in Glacier … the trailhead parking lot was jammed from morning till night. It was only after we got up really early one morning that we were able to find parking … even then there were a few other "early birds". The pre dawn forage into the park was worth the effort … the trail transverses a very special and beautiful area in the park.

We meandered among colossal trunks of western red cedar and hemlocks and through a carpet of ferns. It wasn’t surprising to learn that this an ancient inland forest that is similar to a coastal rain forest.

Our kind of "trail" ... a level effortless boardwalk!

Toward the end of the trail is an awesome view of Avalanche Gorge. Here Avalanche Creek cascades and churns through contoured walls of surprisingly dark red mudstone (the bright red mineral hematite colors the ancient rock).

We were fascinated by the intricate shallow root system of this toppled cedar.

Our advice is to Visit Glacier Park soon. While skeptics may scoff at the notion of global warming, something quite dramatic is taking place here. The park was home to about 150 glaciers in 1850. Now there are only 37, and it is predicted that these will disappear within the next 30 to 50 years.

We expect to visit this wonderful park again … and again and again. It might be especially fun to return for Glacier’s centenary celebration in 2010.

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