A fun hike with three sections. First, some steep switchbacks up a hill. Second a firebreak road down to the lake shore. Third, a narrow mostly shaded trail through rocks, trees and flowers. Takes about an hour but worth bringing a picnic to enjoy at the edge of the lake.
Decent lil hike. Hot during the summer. Water at the campground is ice cold. Go a little further down and the trail and the water is perfect. Decent up and downs, some parts of the trail are a lil rough and worn but other than that nice lil hike. Easy to make a day trip out of it.
Nancy H. on Point Defiance Trail
We are a senior citizens group (Alta Hikers) and like to take the Point Defiance Loop (see our map) first and then do the Buttermilk Trail after lunch at a leisurely pace to enjoy the flowers. Have to time it right - a phone call to the ranger station can help you decide when to go in early spring. Enjoy!!!
Beautiful hike with many wildflowers and butterflies. Great scenery which includes the river and a lake. Rocky narrow trail to start and wide open lush meadows with a downhill descent bring you back. We started hiking along the river and it was mostly in the sun. Second half included more trees and shade.
Beautiful hike that I would definitely do again. We did the Point Defiance Loop. As a "beginner hiker" though I don't know that I would have called this "easy". We had 3 kids under the age of 10 with us. The two older did great, the little one had a hard time as there is a steep climb if starting at the covered bridge and going along the river. Also, there are some drop offs to the river that are very steep with the trail right at the edge of it, made me very nervous there also with kids. The half way point is gorgeous with a view of the river and picnics benches. I would recommend starting at the switchbacks going over the mountain first instead of along the river first for an easier hike.
This trail is rough and has lots of poison oak. It does lead to a relatively secluded spot on Lake Englebright. For a better workout make the entire loop.
Weekends in spring and summer can be busy.
Best for swimming, birding, photography, nature watching and maybe fishing. Harder than Buttermilk mostly due to a less developed surface part way. The northern and western portion of the loop are on an old dirt road.
If you enjoy nature go. If you are looking for wilderness, go elsewhere.
This is a lovely, short hike. On a summer Saturday we saw no one else on the trail or at the lake. Uphill 1.5 miles from the trailhead to the lake. Beautiful views to the East as you head up. Be sure to take a car with pretty good clearance to make it all the way down the road to the trailhead.