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I make this an annual trip because it is such an AMAZING trail. I switch up the direction every year and after 5 years running - I think counter clockwise is my favorite.
Not to be missed is the side trail though Paradise Park - has some of the best views on the SW side of the mountain - not to mention during flower season - it will leave you speechless.

hiking
bugs
5 days ago

backpacking
11 days ago

Best experience of my life. Was my first overnight hike and was worth it. I recommend being somewhat experienced. We had a group of 5 people and 1 dog, and went around August 6th-7th of 2018. This is a pretty hard hike, but very very rewarding. I would recommend this hike to anyone. You will not regret it, Absolutely beautiful, and literally will have your breath taken away from you every single step. I also would say to pack the extra weight and pitch a tent at the top. One of the best parts was watching the stars at night, absolutely stunning. This hike can provide you to get so close with the people you go up with. Theres a big bonus If your into fishing! There is an unlimited amount of cutthroat trout up there and is extremely cool to watch them hit your lure in the crystal clear water. The hike will make you super hot, but the best feeling is jumping in the glacier water while taking a break. I recommend everyone to take the trek up to robin lake after getting to tuk lake, even if it is difficult and confusing. I also recommend going in the summer time so you can have great weather with out getting cold, and having amazing, clear, and beautiful days out there. Once we got to the top of robin lake we even got enough service of AT&T to FaceTime our parents to share the view! Amazing views of Mt Daniel and Cathedral Rock are available throughout the whole hike, as long as it’s clear. Along the lower parts of the trail, there is an abundance of blueberries that you can snack on on the way up. 11/10 experience and literally would die to go up there again. Be safe up there everyone

We did the trail just past summer, absolutely amazing! We wrote a comprehensive daily review of our trip, please see our blog for the full post - http://hktreks.com/index.php/2018/08/03/west-coast-trail-hike-fact-tips-itineraries-and-planning/

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked the trail to just over the 4 mile mark today. Beautiful and well maintained trail, with river views, forest views and surrounding mountain peak views. Light snow early on the trail, getting progressively deeper at higher elevation (above 3,400 feet). Mini crampons highly advised since traction gets slippery. Gaiters recommend if you don't have snow shoes and snow shoes also advised above 4,500 feet. Snow depth increasing at altitude to a foot and more.

This is a wonderful hike, with great scenery and little traffic in winter. We briefly passed 1 other person on the trail and didn’t encounter anyone else all day.

Absolutely stunning in the spring.

We hiked the WCT for my 50th birthday from south to north and are just planning to do it again this year! We did it in 6 nights, it was hard but so rewarding, I don't think there is a more beautiful place to camp then on the beach every night with the sunsets that never end. I trained by doing a lot of stairs and walking everyday and had no problem doing the ladders or hills. My husband dislocated his shoulder on day two going through Owens point (we had a log that rolled when going through the boulders) but he was able to put it back in place himself, I just screamed! Anyhow do it - what are you waiting forI Just be prepared and don't overpack, thats the biggest complaint we heard from people. I have a bad back and my pack was 25 lbs and my husbands was 40 lbs we still left food at Chez Moniques as we took too much. Make sure you have good hiking boots and most of all enjoy the journey, yes you can do this in less time but then you have no time to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way.

hiking
21 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. I did it completely un-prepared in casual shoes. Wouldn't recommend that at all, but this hike changed my life. Awesome views. I did this hike back in 2007, and now that I have a family, we are all planning a trip there this summer to hike even more.

did this trail when I was 15 with my uncle. go light get ready for some massive staircases at every river. The hardest most rewarding thing I've ever done

Absolutely beautiful in the snow. I recommend wearing snow shoes towards the top. Is a little tough but worth it. Heart lake is covered in snow and unable to see but the view of Shasta and it’s surrounding mountains is incredible.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this back in the beginning of September and wasn't too shabby. Easy enough for my friend to do it in crocs. Took a few breaks here and there to check out the two lakes. Pretty cloudy once we got to the top- not enough to where we couldn't see the other sisters and Jefferson but just enough to make me want to go back for more.
Started around 6:30am, up took us about 3.5 hours and down took us about 2.5 at a constant leisure pace

This is one of my favorite hiking trails in Northern California. It’s always worth the extra effort to make it up to Middle Ridge overlooking heart lake, castle lake, castle crags, black butte & Mount Shasta. Only downside is that castle lake can be crowded at all times of the year & the road to the lake is closed in mid winter - perfect for snowshoers seeking solitude though.

beautiful!!

Stellar snow shoe, worth hiking past the lake up the ridge to see views of the backside of Castle Crags.

backpacking
1 month 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
1 month ago

Counterclockwise is definitely the way to go. I'd much rather start the trip with the burned forest section and end on a beautiful note than vice versa. If you go clockwise you also have to start with an immediate straight up hill. Gorgeous trip though either way.

backpacking
1 month 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
1 month ago

Hard Hike however it was much harder to descend down into the Napeequa valley as the trail is very steep. This would have been a lot more enjoyable later in the season because of the fire smoke and the nasty biting flies

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

So I rarely give 5 stars to anything. I loved this hike. Something interesting to see at pretty much every step with variety and beauty. Starts with nice forest and a beautiful river with multiple waterfalls. Then you break out to beautiful rugged views and rock fields in avalanche chutes. Meadows and old growth throughout. Wonderful views of Mt Baker along the way and the Olympics at the top. It is strenuous, and a constant climb. Per our garmins 5.6 miles each way to marmot pass. But so worth it. The day we went was beautiful and clear.

This was done a while ago. We didn’t get to eagle cap because of thunder, but from our shelter we saw a cougar that had followed us for who knows how long. Will return

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.

This was a pretty difficult hike for me but with some amazing views.

In November, expect some icy spots on the trail so be careful not to slip. We were surprised that this year 2018 many peaks were not covered in snow. Most lakes are covered by a layer of ice, which looks pretty cool.

backpacking
2 months 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
2 months 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.

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.

Stunning hike with incredible views of Shasta, Castle Crags, Castle Lake and Heart Lake. We clocked this hike at 3 miles round trip, rather than the listed 2. Trail is quite steep in places and elevation gain was closer to 850'. It's easy to lose the trail ~1 mile up; other hikers have tried to help by placing rock barriers in multiple places where the path appears to diverge as well as rock stacks to help guide you, but the path is still easily lost in places.
Lake was frozen solid 11/11/18

Stellar loop. Hiked clockwise and enjoyed hiking past Granite Lake up to the apex of the hike. In early November, the winds were super strong once we rounded the ridge above the lake and started heading down. Moderately strenuous but a manageable day hike. On the top of the ridge, there are a few different trail options and none are very well marked. Took us a moment to find the more horizontal trail that didn’t drop down into bear basin. Our loop measured about 15-16 miles.

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