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

Back Pack Map
VIEW FULL MAP

this is an easy to moderate hike. there was no snow until 5mins before we got to the lake.

Hiked Thursday morning with my puppy:) We turned back almost an hour in because of loud growling noises near the trail. The couple in font of us heard it first and warned me. Not sure if it was a bear defending it’s food or a mountain lion. Scary stuff! Stay safe if you are hiking alone.

hiking
11 days ago

I did the trail for the first time today and it was a beautiful, though chili hike. The entire trail is snowed in so come prepared. The road itself leading to the trailhead is covered in snow, though lots of exposed ice throughout would make it unsuitable for non AWD vehicles without snow tires. Temperatures hovered around 25°F, with clouds rolling in and out, and occasional cool wind gusts/mild snow fall. This was despite a forecast of clear skies. Overall, the hike is very enjoyable, and I plan on doing it again later this winter.

We hiked to Blue Pool on 11-26-2018. The trail is well maintained but there are rocks that you have to climb over so be aware that it’s not a flat path the whole way. IMO there could be a few more markers for the viewing outlooks....easy to walk right by when you don’t know to look for them. My watch said we did 4.3 miles, from the parking lot to Blue Pool and back but it’s mostly flat and was no problem for my kids (ages 11 & 10).

A fairly challenging hike with one of the most beautiful alpine lakes at the top! Did this one a few years back and remember really loving it.

Great for dogs! Hiking next to the river is amazing :) the bridges and trees are quite dreamy

hiking
21 days ago

Did this hike back in July of 2015. Incredible views. Camped by the parking lot and headed out early in the morning. Took about 5-6 hours total, I’d say.

hiking
22 days ago

11/25/2018 - Road closure for the winter was a little early this year, so you can't get to the trailhead unless you hike back in about 8 miles from the closure by Mt. Bachelor.

A great alternative (without the views) is the six lakes loop on the south side of the road closure. I went and did that instead. Beautiful but very snowy.

hiking
23 days ago

This was a very beautiful hike! Easy to do but requires shoes with good traction. There is a section after the bridge that allows you to go down by the water but we were unable to venture down due to slippery conditions. Highly recommend this hike in summer/fall!!

Great hike, but definitely need spikes to get to the shelter. It may be better now, but when we went all the snow was iced over and there was no traction whatsoever. Longer than 10 miles, but worth every step. We took the trail that added an extra 0.6 mile to get that glorious view of Mt Hood, and an extra mile going to Cairn Basin. The trek down to Cairn Basin after the shelter is worth it.

This is a great hike. There was Snow in the last .5 miles, but the trail is still easy to follow. There are not too many views before the top, and the Falls always underwhelm me, but Lake Serene is just beautiful, and the tall cliffs that surround it are so magnificent. The sound of snow cascading off the cliffs sound like thunder.
It is a hard hike, but worth the effort. My only reason for the 4 star is because it is a very popular hike.

Fantastic day hike - the lake was stunning with the sun coming through the peaks of the mountains. Bridal falls is an incredible bonus of this hike...trails were in good condition all the way up, but did get a bit slick towards the top as they turn into mostly rock.

Went there yesterday. Gorgeous hike challenging but not annoyingly difficult. Some ice patches but I easily broke through most of it. A good pair of treaded hiking boots should be fine. If you are under 130#s maybe some shoe spikes might be in order.

Great climb. Long way until you get to the actual mountain. Trail climbs then sorta flattened out a few times. It was nice to have those breaks.

hiking
26 days ago

A difficult yet rewarding hike. The incline starts immediately after leaving the trailhead, and continues all the way to the divide. Once above the treeline, the views are panoramic and wonderful! I encountered snow about 2/3 up the climb in early July, but a little caution and it was fine – even with no poles. The hike's biggest downside is the road getting there; it's fairly long, and quite rough.

This one is fun. Suspension bridges and ladders make it especially unique. Great views of waterfalls and cascades. I did the entire trail and as other reviews have said just be careful and know that you probably shouldn’t bring pets/children. At the split near the beginning of the trail I veered right and went over the bridge. I think this is the better route because you get great views of the falls on the way back up.
Here's a video of my experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF5ragxSIw8&t=4s

***After the 30 foot ladder but before the next bridge there is another smaller ladder that is somewhat hard to find. It leads to a short out/back trail on a ridge that pays off with extraordinary views.

Travelers note:
Forest pass: YES
Parking fee: $5 without forest pass
Travel time from Portland: about 2 hours
Driving conditions: road to the trailhead has a fair amount of potholes and such. Drive is possible in a car but probably better to have a vehicle with clearance.

This is definitely not an easy hike ( I'd say moderate to hard) but well worth the visit. On a clear day (I visited on 11/19/18) you can see mt hood, mt Adam's, mt Rainier and mt st Helen's. It was also very windy, blow you over and freezing windy at the lookout. The trail this time of year in November is frozen ground practically the whole way. The trail is slippery and your feet are constantly sinking into dirt/ice. It's a constant climb up a semi steep mountain. The final push to the road to the lookout is very steep. The road to the lookout is not bad but still an incline. Starting out on the trail I used Google maps (which was not clear in the dark where the trailhead was) and when I got to falls creek horse camp it was still dark 6:30am. You can start this trail a little uphill and practically right across from the bathroom through a picnic area or the true trailhead is past the second camp entrance uphill and to the right. trail was fairly easy to navigate. You'll want to stay on 171 to get to the lookout. There was a trail right after the Indian racetrack sign at the beginning and to the left, I didn't take it and have no idea where it goes. This trail was very beautiful this time of year but do use caution and it was very helpful having trekking poles. At the lake junction you'll want to make a (I'm not sure where left takes you, the trail was frozen over in a mini pond, think the sign said shortcut but couldn't make it out without trekking on the ice.) right and then look to the left for the 171. You could make a loop of this hike but I'm not sure how many miles it would add as the shortcut way looks like the longer side, might be fun though. You do need a northwest forrest pass to park here, there is no pay station here so pay for a day pass before you get here. There is one vaulted toilet at the camp, but no toilet paper. I hiked a little over 7 miles total and it took me 3hrs up and 2 hours down with a break or two at the top and at the lake.

hiking
28 days ago

We did this today and it was a cool and crisp day. The trail definitely gets more steep after the falls, but it's worth it to make it to the beautiful lake. Bring layers! Got hot on the way up from the exertion, but the lake area was very cold and windy. There was ice in places with some very slippery rocks near the top, which slowed our pace. I recommend poles for this very rocky trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

Finished Summit 11/17, just days before road closures to be set. It was a beautiful clear day with amazing views that make the strenuous climb worth it. Had micro spikes on and took ice axe just in case but didn’t need it really. Summit is tough in November but not technical. Take plenty of water, I didn’t and regretted it.

hiking
1 month ago

Loads of bugs, loose soil on the way up makes the climb difficult, but the view from the top is worth it. We were fortunate to be hiking this trail during the "California Tortoiseshells" migration; Thousands of butterflies swarmed us near the peak.

Good hike. Can be muddy in areas. Very well maintained trail.

We decided on this trail and we all enjoyed our time on the hike. Don’t stop at the lake keep following the trail and you will end up at a massive bolder you will want to see. Beautiful views make this a must do.. The falls are worth the extra steps.

I did this on 11-12. It was very difficult and snow/ice were everywhere after the first mile. If you’re going to attempt it have an ice axe and crampons. It was super sketchy coming down with the snow melting and soft. The views were first rate and incredible at the top but be prepared.

Beautiful trail! Not too hard getting up as it only takes an hour to get to the ridge views. Made it up in hiking shoes only although it was snowy throughout and a bit icy. The views are worth every minute! Definitely doing this one again soon.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike, but come prepared for icy and snowy trail conditions starting halfway through the hike! It’s difficult hiking in ice up and down hill. Bring boot traction chains and hiking poles. They’re absolutely necessary. Hiked November 10th 2018.

hiking
1 month ago

Just a heads up. It's hunting season. Worth the $5 to buy an orange hunting vest so you don't get shot. Ran into a couple hunters who informed me of hunting season and let me borrow a vest. Better safe than sorry. Suspension bridge was awesome.

Highly-recommend trail!!! There are two trails separated when walking about 40 mins. The trail starts getting harder once u finish bridal veil and set foot to Lake Serene,because there are so many rocky switchbacks and the accumulated ice makes them much harder. Watch your steps, cuz the rocks covered with ice are so slippery, and my friend even slipped three times

hiking
1 month ago

Very difficult. I am in shape, but still took me a long time to reach the summit. Worth every bit of it though, the views from the top are unlike any other. Best hike in Oregon for sure

This was overall a moderate-ish hard hike. Like the rest of the reviewers, recommend doing the bridal veil falls first. There’s a small loop near that takes you closer to the falls and then back. The trail starts getting harder once you finish bridal veil and set foot to lake serene. With 23 switchbacks in 2 miles, this is a beast of a hike. The only thing that makes switchbacks harder is rocky switchbacks. But the trail has so many treats with little falls all over, that distracts you from your screaming knees. Quite a few creek crossings as well. Lake Serene is absolutely mind blowing. Definitely hike up to the lunch rock once you reach the lake, it’s a better view of Mt Index and Serene. The hike back down was much more challenging, this time of the year. With the rocks just having a thin layer of ice, it can get really slippery. Took me a little under 6hrs. Started at 11:15am, got to bridal veil falls by 12:15 and made it to lake Serene by 2:30. Spent about 25 mins at the lake and was back to my car by 5:00pm. There wasn’t any snow.

completed 8/15. Longer and harder than you would expect. pretty when you get there, but I don't know why anyone would do this hike unless they are going to the core enchantments, which is where the real magic is. gave it 4 stars because it was the perfect base camp.

Load More