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We did this hike on July 29th. This is an easy hike that our 3 year old can easily walk himself. Even though it’s a short hike, I still recommend bringing water. A great place to pack a picnic.

Beautiful hike. Well maintained "manicured" pathway that's friendly to visitors of all abilities including kids on strollers. Trail ends near the caves and many will go off the trail to get close at their own risk.

hiking
3 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Took Lower Elliott on the way up and Upper Elliott on the way down. Lower had beautiful scenery and soothing water sounds. The last mile of the hike is the toughest part and the trail gets a bit confusing but the lake is worth every bit. So beautiful, great for a swim and plenty of trees for your hammock ;) The waterfalls near the lake were equally breathtaking! We went later in the day on a Sunday and ran into very few people, even at the lake. Upper is perfect for the way down because it’s majority downhill. As mentioned in another review, make sure you have the right pass because they’ll get ya. I will 100% be coming back here.

hiking
3 days ago

Great hike, good views, and fun rugged terrain that will challenge you. Trekking poles recommended for anyone doing this trail, especially for inexperienced hikers. This trail is a bit longer than the posted 9 miles due to the 3/4 mile walk from the mountain loop road to the trailhead.

hiking
5 days ago

Nice easy hike up and back in 4 hours.

Neat, short trail. Decent little hike. Very public-friendly. Prone to crowds. Amazing views. Was very rainy before the holiday this year, but still well-worth the hike. LOTS of dogs

backpacking
6 days ago

The trail up to round Lake has been maintained but from there to the old Kennedy Hotsprings junctions is tough. Camp Lake and Lake Byrne are amazing! And bring your fishing pole, they are jumping!

hiking
9 days ago

I do both lower and upper trail I like more the lower one batter view but what shack me is the huge water full hiding in the trail you will love it more of the lake

Yes, this trail is grueling- but I’m so glad I did it. It would be an amazing place to camp.

Hiked today (8/5), sunny and in the 70's. No snow.

We arrived at the trail head at 2pm and had no trouble finding a parking spot. We only saw a dozen people and had the trail to ourselves on the descent.

SO.. first off, the trail is actually 8.2 miles round trip (add it to the list of inaccurate distances in AT). I have to be honest, I hated this hike for the majority of it. The first 70% of it is switchback after rocky, rooty switchback until it opens up towards the final ascent. After that, it was more enjoyable and the views are, indeed, beautiful; 360° of surrounding peaks and enough room to enjoy a secluded snack at the top. We saw a few mountain goats in distance too! Then back to the unrelenting switchbacks...
All in all, I probably won't don't do this one again with so many other options in the National Forest with similiar, more attainable results.

Great easy hike! My 6 year old had no trouble going there and back and even we spent time "exploring" the edges of the ice caves for a few hours before heading back. No T-mobile cell service shortly after getting onto mountain loop highway. Our only complaint today were the aggressive flies near the end of trail near the ice caves.

hiking
11 days ago

It was an awesome hike! We took our young 5 year old and almost 7 year old and they agreed! The waterfalls on the way and the lake at the top was a perfect place for lunch! Can’t wait until they are a little bit older and we can backpack and tent it up there!!

Lovely evening walk 30 mins. in and 30 mins. out, the trail is so easy you could push your grandma in a wheel chair, well almost. Saw 3 people do it in flip flops. Berries available for snacking. Cave made it's own fog and it was visible at 8pm, very cool to see. Waterfalls are full and many. Lot's of downed trees in avalanche zone from a windstorm years back. LOVE this walk and nice picnic tables with a mountain view near first parking lot. Go late and avoid the crowds and enjoy the bird calls.

backpacking
13 days ago

It was quite a hike the way up there, but the view was definitely worth it! Took a dip in the cold water - felt amazing after the long hike :)

This was a BEAUTIFUL hike up to the caves with an even more beautiful finish. It was fairly easy if you’re well and able to hike at a small incline.

forest road was pretty decent, car could make it up just go slow. trail was easy enough for kids and not too long. independent lake was gorgeous!! aqua blue. tried to make it to north lake but turned around half way. talked to a few people on the way up who said its easy to lose the trail best to download the map. we will be back to camp and go to north lake.

backpacking
15 days ago

Crazy difficult hike, but so worth the trip! Breathtaking views especially when you get near the top. I will say though- I thought it was going to be 9 miles round trip, but it ended up being 7.5 miles EACH way according to my fitbit, not including the mile or so from the parking lot to the official start of the trail. Still well worth the extra miles!

camping
16 days ago

Panoramic views and a good challenge with a pack. Bring some bug spray and take a dip in the lake

Really pretty trail! Very scenic but highly populated. Make sure to go to all the caves! The last one was by far the best! Very easy trail

LOTS of horse flys. We were attacked for about a quarter mile. Deet couldn’t even deter them from following.

hiking
17 days ago

beautiful and amazing, my kids made it the whole way!

We went yesterday and had a lot of fun! We did both Upper and Lower Elliott. Lower is the more scenic one, but also a little more difficult, but I'd recommend doing both. It took us about 5 hours total, but we also hung out at the top for an hour or so. We did hear someone say they had seen Elliott the bear on the Lower trail, but sadly, or thankfully, we did not see him. The view is worth the hike and the trail itself is also pretty fun. I will say the road getting there could use a lot of work. We were in a Jeep, but I think any car could make it, just drive slow.

Loved the lake, the waterfalls and the forest. Did not love the bugs.

hiking
20 days ago

A nice scenic easy hike with a great lake view and well-maintained trail. Take Upper Elliot if you want to skip the crowds, but Lower Elliot has better scenery. If you continue to follow the trail after you get to the lake for about a half mile it will get very dense and you'll need to do some easy scrambling, but you'll eventually pop out on a really nice flat rock overlooking the lake that is perfect to dive off of. Worth it? Debatable. Saw several trout come up to the surface to take flies, so if you're into fishing you might want to bring a rod! The black flies were pretty bad on the trail and around the lake when we were there a few days ago. Beware of the bear and everyone trying to get selfies for Instagram.

Beautiful walk, great for all ages. You can use this trail as a warm up for a another hike, or spend a great amount of time just enjoying the scene. Make sure to enjoy all the caves walk but as far as you can....around the rocks, if you enjoy yoga there are a few beautiful big rocks you can sit/stand and do the different positions. Had no problems with bugs. Bring your doggie poop bag.

We didn’t hike it unfortunately. Bear was angerly breaking into the restroom yesterday. Boo.

Truly remarkable and exciting. The caves were literally sensational - sight, sound, and the feel of the cold blasts of air were incredibly memorable and unique. Get there early. The after lunch crowd seems bigger than the pre-lunch crowd. There are more ice caves if you follow the edge of the ice field to the base of the waterfalls. Just pay attention to your paths as they are unofficial and not always clear.

backpacking
21 days ago

My husband and I loved this place! Totally worth the hike. Clear waters and beautiful mountains reflecting off the lake! Lots of shade along the hike and camp area. The hike up there was tough, as we were carrying heavy packs. A breeze going back though. You'll be hiking mostly along the water if you go the lower Elliot route. It's more scenic than the upper Elliot trail and about a half mile shorter! Lots of mosquitoes on the trail but not really at the lake or camp area. Lacks some signs toward the end, if you get lost by the water fall, back track and look for a trail on your right, it's very close. No signs of Elliot the bear! Saw some salamanders (:

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike! Easy trail and the town is so cool! Totally worth the trip.

Amazing hike, micro spikes not necessarily needed. You can miss the trail about a 1/3 of the way up as it was covered in snow (being first one in the trailhead) hard to find fresh tracks, but it's an easy find back to the trail. Unbelievable views from the top though.

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