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Beautiful views and worth the easy hike!

Went on a whim yesterday. Didn’t plan the trip so I was wearing flip flops. Road is no longer blocked and although there are a couple parts with snow on the trail I had no problem making it to the caves in my trusty flip flops!

Arrived at 0930 on Monday to see very few other hikers! Once you take the turn at the big rock for the trail your hike (climb) truly begins! Trail was in good condition and glad to find a hike I love with no snow!

For my average condition it was a brutal climb & descent. The ropes weren't too bad but the second one is definitely the sketchy section! More so on the descent. The incredible views were worth it & we spent about 45 minutes on top undisturbed before heading back down!

Great hike! Still a lot of snow. Can almost park at the trail head as of 5/12/18

hiking
10 days ago

Incredible views! Not too long, but the grade definitely makes it challenging. I carried my son up in a carrier backpack so it is by no means unbearably difficult. It’s worth planning ahead and going on a clear day.

Road is closed

My 3 star only because of what time of year it is. Road is still closed, but people were still driving to the picnic area to park closer before trekking up. The actual trail head is covered in snow, as is most of the trail. And the ice caves themselves aren't visible with all the snow that had fallen off the mountain. But super sunny and pretty. Good workout with all the snow to walk through, if not slippery. And hopefully the sun melts the snow soon so I can go back and see the ice caves for real. Didn't regret going overall.

We hiked there on Sunday and there’s a blockage in the middle of the road that somebody broke through, so we walked the 2.5 miles to the trailhead. There’s still a ton of snow on the trail but the distance is very short so it’s not too difficult. But there’s so much snow still that they’re completely covering the ice caves! Beautiful though! We even saw a mini avalanche! (So I wouldn’t recommend standing too close for a good minute)

hiking
16 days ago

Stunning views and one heck of a workout! Don't let the distance fool you, this trail makes you earn that view. Last section with the ropes was more disconcerting than I thought it would be. An element of danger present for sure. As others have said, bring plenty of water and sturdy shoes. Both will be needed.

DK's for Mountain Loop Highway are still closed you cannot get in you can get in to the ice cave but the parking lot is still covered in snow and the forest ranger said it will be open on Memorial Day

hiking
20 days ago

The view is definitely worth it! Bring lots of water and wear proper shoes. There’s a lot of loose dirt and rocks, which makes the descent almost as difficult as the ascent. Once you finish the ropes section, the view is off to your left. Don’t continue the trail to the right unless you’re a serious rock climber (with your own ropes and gear).

Challenging and beautiful views for sure!

Fun

backpacking
25 days ago

awesome work out!!! A little sketchy at the ropes...but the view is so worth It! Go Slow and watch your step... bring enough water!

Late review, but was a great hike in October, 2017. Brisk but you get a workout. I wouldn’t call it super easy with the hills. The two suspension bridges were amazing. Hot springs are small and always occupied. Also clothing optional — with users expressing ZERO modesty — so watch with kids. Alcohol was definitely being imbibed out there.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! It was steep and not gonna lie it kind of kicked my ass. Haha. Be prepared to rock climb.

As of 4.14 the mountain loop highway was closed 10 miles out from hike.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this April 2 and it was beautiful and I would definitely recommend this, it's a little hard going up but the view is worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike! A great workout and a great challenge with an incline the whole way up, the rope portion after the maintained trail ends was also a unique challenge. The views of crescent lake the the mountains was well worth it!

great challenging hike. be in shape bc this feels like a straight incline for a majority of the hike. views are so worth it!

You have to hike 10 miles of road just to access the official Olympic Hot Springs Trailhead. A couple miles in, the road is washed out and uncrossable (deep water). There are several re-routes around the washout. The first is a ~1/4 a mile before the bridge on the Elwha River Trail. Second is right before crossing bridge, though route is rough (steep/flooded/not official trail). The third re-route is a log crossing on the left, in between bridge and road washout. There are red/pink flags marking routes, but these can be confusing. May be difficult with heavy bikes, but doable if you’re adventurous. There were cyclists who did it while we were there. Past the reroute, the road is gradual up to the old Elwha dam. Beyond that it gets steeper and winding, with lots of trees and debris to cross over/around. When you reach the official Trailhead, the snow goes from a couple inches to up to 12’ deep in areas. Hot springs are filled with green algae, and the first 4-5 are Luke warm and shallow (less than knee deep). Get there early to get the deeper pools. Boulder Creek Campground is right there, less than .5 miles from springs, with bear wires and pit toilets. Permits required to camp and no fires/dogs allowed.

It’s a long hike but the lake is beautiful. The water reflects the surroundings and it looks like a mirror.

hiking
2 months ago

Road was closed when i got there. I had to walk extra 2 miles to the trail head, and it was covered with a lot of snow. Will come back when it has better condition.

hiking
2 months ago

Wonderful climb but you need to be in shape to keep a low heart rate! Ropes are a little ways after the sign that marks "end of maintained trail." To challenge those you are required to be in extreme physical shape for maximum results.

Amazing hike. It started snowing a little bit but not too bad. Incline almost the entire way, and kind of sketchy towards the top with the ropes. Once you see that view it is totally worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Really awesome views. We had to turn back about .3 miles short of the top because of some snow that we hadn’t anticipated. But if you go this time of year and you have shoes with good grip, you’ll be fine! Lots of inclines!

this is an amazing hike to be able to see different bodies of water it definitely is a really hard hike and the end is really scary and very excited that I was able to do such a hike

This must be one of my favorite, if not "the" favorite hike - it has really just about everything: an adventurous drive to the trail-head (more on that later), a forest to start your hike in, a lush mountain meadow, plenty of snow-fields (mid July) all the way to a rock-scrambling part to the lookout at the end. And the views, oh my, the views. Going up, they are beautiful already but once you make it to the ridge that will get you to the lookout, you're in for a real treat. I just wish we had known that it was possible to stay overnight in the lookout - sunset and sunrise must be absolutely stunning from there.
The hike itself is not easy and the last part would be tough for people with vertigo but otherwise we didn't think it was too difficult. It's easily manageable in an afternoon even if you take plenty of time to soak in the views at the top. We saw a bear and a pica rabbit too.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the drive. I saw cars parked at the trail-head that had pretty low clearance, so it must be possible to get there in just about anything but I was really happy that we took a rental 4WD SUV. The forest road is quite steep in places and littered with potholes large enough to break your axle in, so having a higher clearance vehicle comes in handy.
Overall, if there is just one hike you are going to do in this part of the park, make it this one!

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is pretty and not difficult. Lots of fresh snow so spikes weren’t necessary but did help when going up an incline. The cave is covered up right now, but the hike is still worth it. Saw a small avalanche as well. I can’t wait to go back when I can actually see the cave! Parking is about 2 miles away from the trailhead.

Feb 2018 - Inaccessible at the moment due to flooding in November that wiped out the trail and both campsites.

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