That One Time in Glacier National Park: Caught In A Downpour

We were in Glacier National Park in August and decided to take the hike up to Avalanche Lake with our 4 kids who were 8, 6, 6, and 4. The weather looked good so we headed out. The hike was amazing! You walk through the forest and along this beautiful waterfall/creek as you continue to walk up the mountain.

We made it to the top and walked out to see Avalanche Lake surrounded by mountains with waterfalls. It was a sight to see. Not 2 minutes into making it to the top it started thundering. We could actually see the rain making its way across the lake coming right for us!

We quickly huddled under a tree to try to wait out the rain. We had hiked the 2 miles up so we wanted to enjoy it for a little bit longer. The rain did stop and we headed out to check out more of the lake and grab some pictures.

We kept looking up at the sky and it definitely wasn’t blue skies, so we figured we should start heading down. If we could make it into the forest area we knew the trees would somewhat cover us. The only problem was we would have to walk a little ways to get to the tree coverage.

We started heading back down and about 50 yards into the hike it started down pouring on us! The closest cover was a pit toilet . . . Yup. We headed for the Pit Toilet and all 6 of us huddled inside. It smelled horrible! We kept the door open so we could breath in some fresh air and kept hoping the rain would let up.

Luckily after about 5 minutes it did, unfortunately by this time we were all soaked from the sudden down pour. We were not prepared . . . we had 1 umbrella and a couple of towels. We wrapped the kids in the towels, I had our youngest on my back so I held the umbrella, and we started the 2 mile trek back down to our car.

Luckily the kids were troppers and there were only a few tears at the beginning, but once everyone had their towel or umbrella and we started walking down everyone cheered up and it ended up being a wet but fun hike back down the mountain.


By the time we made it to the car we were all happy to change into dry clothes (family travel tip – always have extra clothes and shoes in the car) and decided to head to a pizza place to grab some dinner! Needless to say it was quite the adventure and now we know we should always pack rain ponchos in our backpack for everyone just in case.

We loved our time at Glacier National Park, even with this crazy adventure. It is one of our favorite places we have visited to date. If you want to learn more about it check out our page on Glacier National Park at:

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