Explore 2019 Hiking - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2019 Hiking Map
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We did this hike on Saturday, November 8th, and it was perfect! Trail conditions were great, there was no snow or ice, and the ropes at the top were all intact. The hike itself is steep, but not that long, so if you're in any kind of decent shape, you'll be fine, just take a few breaks along the way. Absolutely stunning views at the top!

hiking
7 days ago

Such a beautiful hike once you get to the top and completely rewarding. I would not recommend doing this hike alone. The start of the hike was a bit intimidating at first because it was pretty straight up hill, however it did level out a bit to a steady incline until you get to the rock climbing portion at the top. For my girlfriends and I it was a one time hike mostly because on the way down the rock the rope snapped, so defiantly approach the rope with come caution.

Beautiful little hike on a beautiful day! I wasn’t expecting such an awesome view of Rainier within the first hour of the hike. And then Red Mountain which is very unique. Of course the actual Katwalk goes without saying it was truly stunning & unique.

Sadly, two days after we had done this trail there was news that someone had fell. So be careful out there everyone! Happy & safe hiking...

hiking
12 days ago

Can't get any better than this lake! Gravel road for a few miles before getting to the parking lot. Be prepared for a bumpy road. Come very early coz parking lot gets really full. We got there by 730am and lot was almost full.

backpacking
12 days ago

We hiked in and spent the night. Two days wasn't enough though. You need at least three to fully experience this one. Especially if you're coming from Seattle and have to drive 3+ hours to get there. The forest is dense with vegetation, mushrooms, and towering trees. The river glistens with light that filters through the valley. The trail got a bit muddy are second day when the rains returned.

backpacking
12 days ago

Spent 4 days backpacking here with a student group. Being from South Carolina, this hike was insane. It is even harder with a pack. I have never seen views and been in altitudes like this hike before doing it! What a great trail. Tough part towards the top as someone from a flat area, but worth the slow and steady climb. Still can’t believe this is just a day hike for some folk...

hiking
14 days ago

10/13 (late entry). Beautiful hike. Did day hike in and out. Many were camped at the lower lake. A person was fishing lower Royal.

hiking
15 days ago

This was a bucket list hike for me. This hike is by no means easy, it is one of the shortest hikes I have done all year with the longest for me drive time. The road is washed out so you have to hike two or 3 miles to the trailhead. I did this hike in October 2018. I'm glad I did this hike but definitely not one of my favorite hikes of the year. The trail is very narrow and steep up hill until you get to the first lake where it flattens out a bit. Before you get to the first lake you have to crawl over a 6ft or so rock wall. to get to blanca lake (which is a day use only area) it is a steep, treacherous descent. I saw a lot of people on this trail mainly when I was leaving and a couple who didn't think the trail was going to be that hard. When i visited in October there was ice at the lake and the shores of the lake were a lot on the stinky side. This place is very beautiful, but very hard hiking. There is a bathroom at the true trailhead, but it was locked when I visited due to the road washout. Bring lots of water, snacks and electrolytes, you will definitely need it. I would not recommend this trail for anyone new to hiking, families or anyone out of shape.

hiking
19 days ago

My husband and I hiked the trail on Thanksgiving day and was caught in a snow storm. Dropped about 8" of snow on top of the already deep snow. The Katwalk was very windy and icy so we decided to turn around and not chance it. We hiked back to the trail head as it got dark. Beautiful day!

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful November day for the hike. Well maintained trail and easy to follow signs and paths. A couple steep drop offs at the top but still manageable for peeps afraid of heights. Rope portion is not treacherous, just a little slippery if you have shoes with bad traction. View from the top is unbeatable. Definitely the most rewarding hike at Lake Crescent.

hiking
25 days ago

One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Challenging but worth it. Road is washed out so it’s 2 miles to trailhead. From trailhead you climb 3000 feet in right over 3 miles. At 3.2ish you’ll reach virgin lake, it was frozen over today (11/17). From virgin lake it’s all downhill to Blanca lake, about 0.82 miles. Snow was packed down but yactracks and poles were super helpful.

Wow!! That will be the reaction of 99.99% of people who do this hike, the other .01% are most likely crazy people. The magical, towering mountains around this mountain lake are simply breathtaking. It was a cold day with ice and a little snow in the higher elevations of the trail. The lake isn’t frozen over yet and the water still shows the bright blue color it’s known for. We clicked it at 8 miles round trip. Took us about 3 hrs up and 2 hrs back down. There is a few spots with fallen trees that you will need to go over or under. But overall the trail is very well maintained and easy to navigate.

on Mount Storm King

hiking
29 days ago

Cool experience but the last part up to the false summit is not for the faint of heart with the ropes. We did it first thing in the morning so luckily my wife’s slow descent didn’t really get in anyone’s way but I could totally see there being some bottlenecks during more peak times. Great views from the top but I do believe we passed a few people who we never saw at the top so the ropes might have scared them off.

hiking
30 days ago

Really beautiful hike around this time of the year, this hike offers some of the best views Washington trails has to offer. The lake is starting to freeze up and theres lots of snow and black ice once you start getting to higher elevations so be cautious! I would say this trail falls more on the moderate side than hard, it took us 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours going back down. Would recommend this hike for everyone!

Absolutely stunning view. Went in the middle of November. It was chilly and icy. But soo worth it! My favorite so far

Hiked from Heather Meadows - lots of snow but still totally worthwhile and doable (note that there were lots of tracks from groups prior, so we never had difficulty trying to find the trail). Would recommend getting up there if the weather is nice, otherwise look forward to the flowers in 2019.

The only reason I am taking a star off is the lack of signs this trail has. Towards the end my friend and I took a major detour because there were fallen trees and the trail was hidden with snow. We found the lake though! So worth the hike we did it round trip in 4 hours and a half. Very icy towards the end so be careful.

Went up today solo, got spooked for no reason and turned back until I met with another group and they were kind enough to let me join them. It was raining on and off and we ended up crossing through two waterfalls, be very careful with your footing or you may be swept away and unless you're super careful you will likely get wet regardless. I was able to do the whole trip without trekking poles or spikes though poles would have made at least one crossing easier. Today there was 1-2" of snow at the top and it did snow on us towards the top. Really a lovely hike and I look forward to going back in fair weather!

hiking
1 month ago

A great day hike in the rain and snow.
There are two sections where the water is really flowing. The first one is quite deep, 90% of people turned back and didn't cross it that we saw.
The second one is easy, go up the hill 50 ft, it is only 2 foot wide, jump it.
Interesting easy hike. Can hear the I-90 freeway the whole hike, didn't like that.

hiking
1 month ago

My friend and I, who I'd classify as novice hikers, were able to complete this hike in 7 hours. It took us 4.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down.

We went on Nov. 2nd the conditions were muddy at most. No ice on the trail that we experienced.

There are some seriously beautiful viewpoints on the way up and was well worth it at the end. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so we hope to go back again in the summer to see it all again.

We persevered but I wouldn't recommend this to someone who is totally inexperienced. It was very hard for us. However, a great hike for any seasoned hiker.

In addition, we both recorded approximately 10 miles, not the the listed 7.7 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life! The trail is tough but not as hard as some other hikes I’ve done. The views at the top are absolutely worth it, take a day trip and go here. You won’t be disappointed! Also, lots of Chipmunks!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail for the 2nd time yesterday. And as always it was awesome. Trail was dry, had mud in spots but nothing to worry about. Brought a fishing pole up and managed to catch a few rainbow trout. All in all it was a great hike, ass kicker for sure. But worth every bit of it!

A clear October day and all the fall colors makes this trail one of the most gorgeous hiking experiences. If I were going to try to get a beginner hooked on hiking I'd start them here! The scenery payoff is huge for such a moderate hike. We started from the upper lot, but I'd recommend starting at the lower lot. It has a lake and picnic tables. A perfect spot to finish up!

Hiked up today, there was a fair amount of snow & ice on the trail, but still manageable without any equipment or microspikes. Beautiful views ! I’d read peoples recommendations about high clearance vehicles but I drove to the trailhead just fine in a regular car, so don’t let that deter you.

Seemed further than the 7 miles listed. Hiked the trail 10/29/18 very went and muddy with quite a bit of snow and ice halfway up. Views were well worth the pain in the butt.

Beware! There are two parking lots. The upper one, at Artist’s Point, was where we started. 4 hours later, when we got around to the lower one it was pretty demoralizing to find that we still had a ton of steep uphill to climb. Next time we will start in the lower lot and go counterclockwise so we get the uphill part done first.

My 12-year-old rates it as “moderate”. Her idea of “hard” is Mt. Si.

Views were incomparable. Dogs were off leash but friendly. People were also off leash but friendly.

I havent hiked in 25 yrs.this was my 2nd hike in a few months an it kicked my butt.i do have some lung disease.but it was so beautiful an the scenery was breathtaking..

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike with an amazing view of Mt Rainier at the peak.

However, the main road to the trailhead is closed for the season. We did not know this. So it was an additional 5 miles from the parking lot to trailhead.

All in all an extra 10 miles, but it was worth it.

This trail was simply amazing from beginning til the end. Felt on another planet. Breathtaking view. Not as hard as it seems

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