Explore 2017 Summer - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Jan 21st 2019. Road leading up to the trailhead is closed. We had to walk 42minutes before reaching the trailhead. Snow at trailhead. I would recommend spikes.

hiking
3 days ago

Hiked ice caves twice, well worth it. Easy hike, may need micro spikes in some areas of ice and snow.

I would definitely not recommend this hike right now until the snow melts. The logging road was terrible- you absolutely will not make it if you aren’t in an suv or truck with some clearance. The snow is very deep close to the trail head, decided to turn back before reaching the trail head because the snow was so deep (subaru outback) A gentleman in a lifted f150 with massive tires was also turning around due to loss of traction. There was a pull out about 1 mile before the trail head, if you parked there and walked then you would have been fine (i just didnt have the time before work). Again, even in summer unless this road is constructed before, do not take it in a regular car.

There was some confusion if we should take ext 52 or 47 thanks to Apple maps. We chose to go with ext 47. The gate to the FSR is closed. We parked on the street near the gate. It was Sunday afternoon so there were plenty of places to park. We knew that we would be racing against the sun but are pretty fit, experienced, and prepared. There is ice on the two mile stretch of road you have to hike to get to the trail head. The trail itself is covered in snow and ice. I would not have attempted this trail without micro spikes. With warmer temps I was careful to stay on the trail and not get too close to the edge (could easily slip or snow could give way on the cliff side). Round trip this hike ends up about 8 miles. From the gate and back it took us about 2.5 hours round trip, including our stop at the falls.

Climbed this one in the winter. Definitely need a 4x4 and snow chains to make it to the TH. Recommended to have knowledge of avalanche safety for the winter route, as there are 3-4 hazardous areas of crossing. Overall, a fair bank for your buck.

Unique trail! We were camped at Thompson Reservoir and decided to explore this trail. It was a very hot day, however, it’s much cooler once you get down into the trail, it felt very nice. We climbed a lot of boulders to get further on the trail. You can turn back at anytime if you’re not wanting to climb over rocks. We had our 7 lb dog with us so we carried her much of the way. We loved this trail!

We went yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful!! The road was still closed to drive to the trailhead so it ends up being about 7-8 miles total (About 2.5 miles to trail head) but SO worth it!! The entire hike is full of views on every side. Everyone was fine in hiking boots. Highly recommend!!

They were literally closing the road when we arrived yesterday, this makes it around 7 miles total. We arrived about 1:00, it was a Monday and were only the second tracks up. We wore WP Keen hiking shoes, I wore little running gators and stayed dry. Snow got to about 12” where the group before us turned around. Gorgeous day.

Such a nice great little hike. My husband and I hiked with our kids and my brother in law. It gets a little steep towards the end and but over all an easy great hike with a beautiful view

Beautiful, but super busy trail. Since the road is closed prior to the trailhead it adds an additional long, boring walk (approx 2-3 miles each way). The trail was super slick when we visited, we saw a few people managing with hiking boots but they were moving very slowly. Bring microspikes-it really helped!! Also, turn left once you see the sign for “franklin falls parking,” don’t follow the sign for parking - turn left then the trailhead will be on your right!

Beautiful in the snow :)

hiking
16 days ago

The cave was stunning with lots of snow today. Went there around 11AM today. The small parking lot was half full. Road condition was good, just some icy patches in the parking lot. 50% of the trail was icy, luckily we brought ice cleats. However, we saw many people are fine with just hiking boots.

Awesome family trail. Have hiked it several times. Beautiful views of mountains and river. Mosquitoes are a pain when in season.

Trail was a bit hard to follow at first given the number of tracks going all over the place, but I just followed the map for the first bit and it became clearer as I got higher. Not too strenuous, but spectacular views from the top, even on a cloudy day.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful setting.

I’ve hiked to the ice caves twice so far and I love it every time. The hike is super easy — just be careful of snow during winter season, wear boots. And once you get to the ice caves they’re absolutely breathtaking.

hiking
19 days ago

MUST DO.

From the East Coast (specifically New Jersey) and this was our first West Coast hike. Wow, wow, wow. The views were insane, the flora was gorgeous, and the temperature was perfect in August! This review is written late, but if you can make the trip, DO IT!

A perfect day to start off the New Year 2019, gorgeous views, perfect day to hike...conditions were awesome.

21 days ago

Super busy trail, nonetheless it is very beautiful at this time of the year. The final stretch to the falls is very icy making it difficult to go all the way down without spikes.
The snow is very compact, there is no need for snowshoes.
Parking spot can be very difficult to get if you don’t arrive in the morning.

beautiful day to hike to the falls, compact snow and some icy areas, good to have micro spikes!

Amazing snowshoe yesterday! Trail was easy to follow excellent views the whole time!

This is one of my absolute favorite hikes I’ve ever been on in my life. It’s challenging but absurdly beautiful, and when you reach the top you’ll just be blown away. It’s one of the best trails Washington has to offer. Go early so you can continue further to the next water feature, I didn’t get to go that far but it’s supposedly amazing.

We went 2 days ago and the snow was falling the entire time we were there. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL views and once we hit the top we built a snowman and had a snowball fight. Saw a small size avalanche which made the hikers who went to the actual opening (which is caved in halfway due to a larger avalanche) of the caves put a little jump in their step. Even their dog took off. Heading down the path there was several people heading up with sleds. We have been spring, summer and winter and Winter is by far our favorite. Just a FYI the bathrooms at the trail head are closed for the season but they had a sign posted to use the bathroom at the picnic area. The trail up to the caves are easy to see but slick in a few spots. The Road on mountain loop was snow covered once you hit snow elevation but they were manageable. The parking lot is not plowed. Happy hiking and stay safe

Road was closed so it added a long boring walk on pavement to the hike but trail itself was still pretty crowded. The viewpoints along the way were beautiful and the waterfall was rushing!

hiking
29 days ago

We did this hike on 12/22 and started at around 10:30 AM. The lower gate was open but the second gate was closed. We were the only car parked at the second gate and could tell from the foot prints that there were only two other people in front of us going up the road. The snow starts on the road about mid way between the first and second gate and covers the ground all the way up to the top.

The hike itself is great. Fresh deep powder all the way up. Beautiful scenes the entire way. It is cold though you will need good winter/snow gear.

When we arrived at the top we found the tower was boarded up and closed. There was a small opening at the bottom of the door so we crawled in and found the other two people that had went up that day. They told us that earlier in the morning the lower gate had been closed as well so they had to make the climb from the Heather Lake parking area.

The top was beautiful but very windy and quite cold so be prepared.

The road to the trailhead is now closed which adds 4 miles to the hike. We hiked about 8 miles yesterday but it’s mostly road and very easy. We brought our 4 year old along and she was able to do most of it on her own, although there were parts that were icy. The snow is light up there at the moment and the waterfall is rushing. Be advised that there was a winter storm coming in as we were leaving so there’s probably much more snow up there now, which only adds to the beauty and the magic of the hike in my opinion.

Visit it in winter should be much more beautiful than other seasons as there are snow everywhere, not just around the cave.

Did this today. The road to the trailhead is closed about 2 miles ahead. This adds 4 miles overall, keep in mind. The first mile was clear and the snow accumulated sharply afterward. There's about three to four inches of snow typically. Hiking poles are great, crampons are a must. I didn't bring them yet managed to not kill myself. The view is breathtaking, you'll have great cell coverage all the way.

Such stunning views this time of the year, I was "wowing" the entire time. The recent snow makes everything look even more beautiful. Went at 7:30 am today. Didn't find any other hikers even after I was about to leave.

stunning and well maintained trail. more of a walk than a hike, but the ice caves and waterfall are gorgeous!

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