dogs on leash
5Stars because I have done this amazing hike before BUT right now, it is ROUGH. The first 1.5miles has been reclaimed by nature! Water has taken over the trail. Not only large puddles but quick, running streams of water that are wide across. Areas of trail have collapsed into the river. Lots of re- routing. Eventually you come up to a waterfall that has gained momentum. Fallen trees and wood have created a dam. The logs are extremely slick. And parts feel like it could go at any moment and be carried away into the swift moving water. The water is deep and rushing fast. We decided it was not safe, and turned back at this point. Be safe!
Two of my friends and I hiked this trail on an early morning in wish to catch sunrise but we greatly under-estimated the difficulty of the trail.
With the wish to catch sunrise three of us left Bellevue 5:45 in the morning, there are lots of cars on I-90 but HOV lane was enough for us the speed a little bit. At 6:33 we had arrive at the trail-head and right away we get on the hike. It was fairly dark with a bare glimpse of the twilight. At first the elevation gain was fairly slow and easy. But the second trail hits about 3200 ft things went south, intensity sky-rocketed on this zigzag till about 4100 ft. We got separated around the open meadow area so it took us a little bit to regroup and rest but we FINALLY summit at around 11:30am. Normally it would probably take just about 2.5hr to summit. It was a beautiful up top when we get up there and the wind is extremely strong. you can see rainier and couple other snow-topped mountains. absolutely spectacular view and it was well well worth the time and stamina. I rated a four star only because on the way up was a rush and pretty dark so we didn't really get to enjoy the old growth.
The only reason I am rating a 4 and not a 5 is because it's hard! I got to the location around 9 or 10, don't quite remember since I did the hike back in early September. First off, know that there isn't any set parking, you just have to park on the side of the road and there is a $5 parking fee that you put in the deposit box by the info board. I was surprised there was only 2 other people when we started, we arrived at the same time and there was no other vehicles. Anyway, as most people have said, the road leading up to the actual start of the trailhead is washed out so this adds an additional 2 miles to and from. This part is very easy. Once you hit the actual trailhead, it's not bad. I have a lot of endurance so I didn't actually start to get fatigued until about 1 mile before Virgin lake, this is the muddy swampy looking lake before you reach Blanca. YOU ARE NOT GOING THE WRONG WAY IF YOU SEE THIS. After this lake, I want to say it's about another mile, maybe a little more to reach Blanca and this is where it really starts to get difficult. There's lots of boulders going down to the lake and it can be kind of slippery because of the mud so be careful. Once you're here you feel so close, but it does feel rather lengthy, this was the worst part for me and I knew it would be a pain coming back up through here (it was). Once you see that turquoise blue water, it's truly amazing though. It seemed unrealistic. Try to get views from different angles of the lake; from a certain distance it looks absolutely beautiful. Close up too though :-)
I would definitely like to do this hike again, but if I did I would probably camp out, you are so exhausted by the time you actually get up there and the view is so stunning that having the time to be there and relax would've made it better.
I was up on ashland lakes trail and boardman lake trail just this last week . the trails are very beautiful and it very tranquill and scenic . but getting there on the dirt road has such deep pot holes that even though i due drive a SUV i almost didn't make it on the road . in one one of the pot holes was so deep that i came to hanging up my subaru forester . I sure hope the forest service gravels and blades this road soon .
Extra two miles to the trailhead due to the road being washed out. Challenging hike. Clocked the mileage at 12 round trip. The elevation gain was 2900ft and then 700ft descent to the lake. It was muddy and soggy in some spots, but the trail was actually in pretty good condition. Saw only 5 other ppl on the trail. Took us exactly 3 hours to get to the lake, about 2.5 to get down.
Dickerman is tough, but the view from the peak is gorgeous, and would be sublime on a clear, blue-sky day. The initial switchbacks are tough, with constant elevation gain. Then things settle for a while, as the trail travels through alpine meadows and in places follows a light stream. The last part again is difficult with lots of elevation gain. This is not a 5.7 mile hike as is listed in All Trails. The literature from the Verlot Ranger Station says 8.4, but 2 separate GPS units had it right about 10 miles. Not sure where the "5.7" came from.
There was about 6" of snow at the peak, and the wind was blowing, so very cold. Probably won't be hike-able for much longer this season.
Your knees will definitely get a workout on your way down. But overall beautiful old-growth forest, meadows, and more avian wildlife than I see on many hikes (several I couldn't identify up near the peak, but also ravens and a large grouse). Looking forward to trying this hike again on a clear day in June.
I still remember the rugged beauty. If you have time, from the pass, hike the Pacific Crest Trail north to Lake Valhalla which is about a 12 mile round trip. Actually, Lake Valhalla is above tree line and very anti-climatic. There is a beautiful hanging valley about 4 miles up that you will never forget.