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This was our last hike on our trip to Washington and the landscape was gorgeous. You can access this trail right from the visitors' center. I loved how the trail carved into the steep mountain side and the constant view of Hurricane Ridge. I remember lots of bees, steep and exhausting switchbacks, and the best rock on which I ever ate a peanut butter sandwich. Highly recommend this rewarding hike.

just finished a 4 day run with my cousin. Awesome views, some nasty weather at times, but a really incredible experience

Awesome hike!!! Beautiful scenic hike through the forest until you arrive at the gorgeous secluded beach. So glad we made the drive out to it. Really fabulous!

hiking
1 day ago

This was my very first hike and the fellas and i really had no idea what we were in for .. If you aren't a regular hiker (like myself) and aren't in top shape , be prepared to push yourself harder than you ever have . The trail was beautiful, the views were beautiful . There are some very steep areas that will test your quads . Personally i had to take lots of little breaks to let my legs recharge . It was hard mentally and physically to accomplish but well worth it in the end. It was a great accomplishment. It was just under 12 km from where we Parked so about 23.5 km round trip ! My biggest regret was not having buying hiking poles.. it WILL save your legs

September 2018. We split the hike into four days to take it easy. First night we camped at O’Neil Creek but I wish we had pushed on to Pyrites. Second night we walked right past the Enchanted Valley and camped about another mile up the trail. The valley floor itself was just crowded and brushy and not very pretty. The views there were nice but all the camping spots were far from the river or wet and grassy with little cover. Overall it was a nice hike and my first time in a temperate rainforest. I wasn’t lucky enough to see any bears or elk. Any problem addressed in older reviews about downed trees blocking the trail are no longer valid. The trail is free of obstacles and well maintained.

hiking
4 days ago

We went 2 days in a row and were unable to cross the river to hike to the hole in the wall. The water was slower the second day and we may have crossed through if we had brought sandals, but it's a wide crossing and we decided to skip it rather than go barefoot.

A tough hike but well worth it once you leave the switchbacks and forests behind. The views of the surrounding mountains is the warm up for getting to see Blanca Lake. It truly is worth the gruel and I will do it again when the seasons change in a few weeks. Two things 1) Don't give up and 2) coming down takes half the time it takes to get up.

We didn't finish the loop but we did go about 6.5 miles up (to the highest point) the way of Deer Lake, and then back. Sol Duc Falls and the Deer Lake wilderness were nice but once you're in the Apline Meadows and higher, the views get really good.

We only made it to Deer Lake this time as the rain was just too much for us at the end of camping for a week. We are for sure headed back because it was such a beautiful hike. The walk to Deer Lake wasn't hard either with the packs. We tried fishing there, didn't catch anything but again the weather wasn't the best for this activity.
If you'd like to follow our camping adventures you can do it here;
https://jtjones5525.wixsite.com/ramblinggal

hiking
8 days ago

Trash Everywhere!

First I need to say how disappointed I am with the hikers using Washington trails! I watched volunteers spending an entire day cleaning trash from this one trail. It took a team of people the entire day to pick up trash that should never have been left in the first place. Very Sad.

If your going to hike this or any other Washington State trail take your trash out with you. If you see some disrespectful hiker leaving trash say something.

And to all you pet owners! If your dog poops don’t put it in a bag and toss the bag off the trail. Seriously, what is wrong with you people.

If you can’t show respect for other hikers and the environment, stay off the trail.

This is the second most beautiful thing I've seen this year! The first was female so I don't think that's a fair comparison. I had to hold back my emotions, I'm a man of course, I was just not prepared for how stunning this lake was in person. This is something you must see for yourself.

The lake is not made of a non-nutonian fluid, I tried walking on it and I sank.That's how my pictures came out so awesome!

If you're not quite sure if you have bad knees or not... You'll definitely know after this hike! LOL

Don't forget to see the falls at the end of the trail. I got in the water to take some pictures from the other side.

We hiked the Seven Lakes Basin in late August. We were assigned to Sol Duc Park for the first night, and Lunch Lake for nights 2 and 3, meaning we hiked the loop in the clockwise direction.

We started out in fair spirits with a light rain and fog, not knowing that this would be our backpack trip of equipment failure. My hiking partner's boots, boots of 20 years, decided to retire, which resulted in large blisters within the first few miles of the hike. After limping into Sol Duc, we discovered that the tent that we had been using on many previous trips had sprung a leak. Our spirits were slightly dampened at this point, but fortunately hiking partner of mine had decided to throw a pair of hiking shoes in her backpack as we were leaving the parking lot. Luckily, the drizzle remained fine, and in the morning, relatively dry still, we decided to press on, with old hiking boots slung on the back of the pack, and hiking shoes on feet. No bugs.

We hiked for a few hours, through thick fog, and saw virtually…. NOTHING! Hiked the High Divide and saw only what was in a few yards of us. More fog, and a few rocks. No bugs even. Every once in a while the fog would lift slightly and tease us with a tiny glimpse of what we thought might be a lake. Descended into the Seven Lakes Basin and could only see the rim of Lunch Lake as we walked along. Slightly disheartened, we found a relatively sheltered spot at Lunch Lake to help with "old leaky" the tent. Damp and miserable by evening (but still warm enough, thankfully) we decided that if things didn't look up the next day we would forgo our third night and hike out in the morning.

Woke up on the third morning at 6:30 and……HALLELUJAH!…..there were the clearest skies that we had seen in days, there was the whole of Lunch Lake, and miles of basin, crystal clear, with the sun coming up over the edge of the bowl. No way were we going home now! On this day, we decided to hike through the basin (only light day packs on our back), seeing up close many of the beautiful basin lakes that had been invisible the day before. Then we hiked out of the bowl and back up to the High Divide where we were able to see the miles of emerald basin lakes on one side of the Divide and Mt Olympus, with it’s stunning glaciers, on the other side. On the same day we also saw 4 bear, in and around the basin, or 1 bear 4 times :). We decided at one sighting that we would sing to make sure it was aware of our presence. The bear only looked up slightly to have a glance at the “crazies” passing by, while continuing to munch on the blueberries that thickly cover the slopes of the basin.

The fog and rain, followed by the sun, had made this day so sweet, that it was one of the top ten days of my life.

Sadly, we had to hike out the next day. Our tent was dry by this point, and the blisters covered with moleskin. We will be heading to buy new equipment before our next adventure.

Kudos to the Rangers and Olympic Park Staff who love this place, and put so much heart into its maintenance and preservation. It’s in my heart now too.

hiking
10 days ago

This trail is very difficult but worth the effort! I would recommend going on a weekday and starting early in the morning. We started at 8:45am and arrived at the lake at 12:00pm. (I took several short breaks along the way!) We spent about an hour at the lake relaxing and refueling. The trip back was almost as difficult as getting to the lake. Because of the steep incline, it can be hard on the knees. The blueberry bushes are ripe and ready to eat along the trail. The mosquitoes and flies were out but not too bothersome. This is definitely a trail that shouldn’t be passed up.

We hiked this trail on a gorgeous sunny day (not much coverage so don’t forget your SPF + bug spray). Narrow pathways in some parts but nothing too scary. Beautiful panoramic views on both sides! We only hiked out about 2 miles before turning around as we felt like we had seen most of what we wanted to see. Upon return we encountered a black bear walking along the path (specifically the long stretch of steep, exposed trail), thanks to a few others that had seen and called out the bear moments before, we stayed back and let the bear cross out of the path and on his way. Safe to say it made this hike even more exciting!

Hike is about 2 miles each way, starts on a boardwalk and then goes into beautiful trees running parallel to the ocean. Well-marked trail, gets muddy at some points but wasn’t too bad when we went in early September. There’s a very steep descent at the end of the trail down to the beach but it’s fairly short. Beautiful pristine beaches make it well worth it!

Added a jaunt to Appleton Pass and Hoh Lake for a mutliday trip. There were a few bear roaming around the Hoh Lake basin but they just chowed down on the blueberries and did not seem to care about us. Most impressive stretch is the High Divide ridge line. Definitely a popular hike and trail runner route.

So hard. So beautiful..

backpacking
13 days ago

A 50 lbs pack on this hike was a real leg burner but worth it. We camped 2 nights and 3 days. The downside is that we got stuck in a constant rain+wind storm for 2 days and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of us. The the views were of a gray cloud that we were stuck in. Upside, bears and bugs don’t like that weather so no run in’s, ha. I have an inReach Garmin and kept holding onto hope for Monday, our last morning, since the weather report kept updating at 0% chance rain. It did finally blow out and I’ll admit, seeing that happen was almost worth the storm. Once the sun finally pierced through the clouds, it was amazing. Then it took about an hour for the cloud cover to blow away and reveal why the North Cascades are my favorite. Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to come and see for yourself. Just don’t be a jerk, pack out what you pack in and no fires. The plant life up here is like a PNW rainforest. It’s gorgeous and there are also tons of wild blueberries around. We got to spend 3 hours exploring around which was great. We all had tent fever pretty bad and needed to stretch out minds and our legs. I’m just happy we were able to see the endless sea of Cascades before heading down. We were also stoked that we didn’t have to scramble down wet and muddy rocks. I will say that the scramble area is way longer than posted on here. It wasn’t constant but there were scrambles for the last mile. Some of them were so high that my full pack top touched what I was climbing. Trekking poles and hiking boots are a must, and not worn down hiking boots, you’ll need good outsoles. Also, the split from Barlow trail to Gothic Basin happens a little before what’s posted on here. The original trail is unsafe, looked like a tree fell through. They made a new trail to connect over, just follow the wooden sign that says “Gothic Basin” and ignore your preloaded maps. I use OnX, it lets you preload high resolution maps for offline use. They’re better than my Garmin maps. Definitely bring a bear canister or ursack. There was a warning sign saying they “strongly discouraged camping” at Barlow pass, which is the trail you begin on. Apparently it’s a bear hangout and the trial head where you park, bears have gotten into vehicles and aren’t easily scared off. So while Gothic Basin isn’t Barlow pass, they share the same parking and part of the trail and it’s still bear country. So be smart. Do your research and enjoy the view! It’s worth every bit of leg burn.

We backpacked into Elk Lake in one day, from 8:30 am, to 4:00 pm. From Elk Lake, we started at 4:30 am and we hiked through the lateral moraine, and to the end of the ridge by 7:00 am, and it was magnificent. We were blessed with amazing weather, no clouds, and being all alone. We hiked back to Elk Lake by 9:00, packed up and hiked out with our gear by 4:15 pm. I wouldn't recommend 2 day/1 night-ing this trip. If I did it again, I'd either get all the way to Glacier Meadows on Day 1, or leave earlier on Day 1, drop off gear at Elk Lake, and summit the same day. Or just do 3 days/2 nights. We found a canceled campsite at Kalaloch beach for Sunday night, so we made a goal to get back early enough to get there, and see the sunset at the beach. We wrecked our bodies, but I don't think many people can watch the sun come up next to Blue Glacier, and then watch the sun set over the ocean from Kalaloch Beach in one day.

One Note: We did the rope bridge/ladder between Elk Lake and Glacier Meadows at approx. 5:15 am, and still no sun light. No where did I read where you go after you climb down, but once at the bottom of the ladder, you walk straight left, and climb back out of the valley via the rocks.

Pretty neat hike. Best views are between deer lake and heart lake.

trail running
14 days ago

Completed in 3 days (unsupported) with my siblings. Stunning 360 views of Mt. Rainier hiking through different climates. 30+ miles days in this terrain isn’t bad if you enjoy living the pain cave. If not, you may want to take a few more days. Mosquitoes were few and far between, ran into a few hornets nests. Black Bear were out, but wanted nothing to do with us. Wear good shoes.

hiking
14 days ago

one of my favorite trails. the trail is in amazing condition. lots of people camped out at virgin lake and the blue berries were all over the sides of the trail.

hiking
14 days ago

We started from the car at 9:55AM (parked right near the road closed sign) and made our way up the road. At 10:38 we started the actual hike, the signage at that point states 3.5 miles to Blanca lake. We made it to the lake at 3:00PM (approx 4.5 hours to get there). Such a beautiful spot! Amazingly Mint green water! Make the plunge it is cold but so rewarding! We went all the way down to the second lake lookout on the actually water and relaxed on the logs. On the way back we made sure to turn on our mileage calculator so we could let y’all know the distance. It took us 3 hours to get down (back to the car at about 7PM). All in all we were prepped for 13 miles plus the road washout 4 miles... this info is not accurate!!! It was a little over 12 miles in total including road washout! (6.1 miles each way!) Enjoy guys!

Trail ran this today. Similar to what the other reviewer said, biggest regret was not bringing a tent. The basin is pretty awesome. Hard to describe and pictures don’t do it justice. Hike was smoke free, bug free. Super steep at times so be prepared to have your legs burning. Kind of like Mt . Si but 3 miles longer. First 2 miles are flat and easily runnable. Hiking poles and hiking shoes are a must. Trust me. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”. One final note, this hike is 30 miles from cell service so download some offline maps and get a lot of gas before you get there.

hiking
15 days ago

Only regret is not bringing our tent. Take your time, and bring hiking poles if you’re unsteady on your feet. Plan on hanging out in the basin for a while!

Absolutely beautiful hike, stunning views, difficult at times, even saw a black bear in the valley!

Very nice and extra hard trail however well worth the view all the way to the lake

It can be tough but the lake is awesome. Extra 3.5-4 miles because of the washout to the original trailhead/parking lot.

backpacking
18 days ago

Definitely a challenging trail. but not so hard that it wasn't enjoyable. The views and waterfalls were great going up the trail. The basin has panoramic views no matter where you set up camp.

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