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

Beautiful trail! Highly recommend!

I've done this hike numerous times. Currently, the trail is closed. This hike is the most difficult in the Gorge, especially if you go past Warren Lake to the summit of Mt. Defiance. The first 400 vertical feet of the trail are a little exposed. There are some narrow spots and a partial washout of the trail that is dangerous. This section is very slippery in spots due to loose gravel in the summer. You should not do this first section without trekking poles for stability. After you get past the first section the trail enters a wooded area and intersects with a cutoff trail that heads west to the Mt. Defiance trail. Turn left here. The trail continues through the woods on several switchbacks until you come to a viewpoint adjacent to a power line tower at about 1,200'. At this point you have climbed to the base of the ridge that will take you all of the way to Warren Lake at 3,900' or, if you choose, all the way to the summit at 4,900'. Not long after you leave the viewpoint area you are again in a wooded area that begins to ascend the ridge. Very soon you encounter very steep conditions with numerous short switchbacks. The next 1,000' is the steepest part of the trail and it quickly gets your attention. At 2,400' you reach a short flat section with a viewpoint looking down at the Columbia River toward the west. The trail immediately begins a slightly less steep ascent through first a grassy somewhat open area and then through a rocky section that can be icy in the winter months. At 2,700' you reach a large fallen log in a level spot that is perfect for a break, richly deserved! The trail then descends slightly and crosses a lava field and immediately starts another ascent. The trail ascends steeply without any switchbacks until you finally reach a series of switchbacks at 3,000'. Following the last switchback the trail climbs very steeply for about 100' and then crosses a much larger lava field. Past the lava field you continue to climb through an open area of small trees that are only 5-10 years old. The trail switchbacks steeply back into the forest and then heads straight, although it continues to be moderately steep. After about 1/2 mile the trail actually levels out! You soon come to a viewpoint where you have a great view of Mt. Defiance. The trail actually descends at this point for most of the additional half mile to Warren Lake. Before you arrive at the lake you will reach a junction. Be sure to turn right here, NOT LEFT! In a quarter mile you will arrive at Warren Lake. There are a couple campsites at the lake and logs to sit on. If you continue past the campsites you will begin a steep, rocky ascent to the summit of Mt. Defiance, which is ANOTHER nearly 1,000' vertical feet! At the summit the view is spectacular to the West, North and East, including Adams, Ranier and Hood. Give yourself 7-10 hours to the summit and take lots of water and your trekking poles.

It is an easy trail.

I’d actually rate this as “easy” considering we backpacked it as a family when our kids were 6, 8 and 10. (I added photos):) It’s a great trail and if you are wanting a short easy backpacking loop, there are great camp spots near the lake! :)

Amazing falls and crystal clear water!

on Marion Lake Trail

4 months ago

Great hike, the trail was pretty clear of snow until Lake Ann, beyond that it was very snowy. It was challenging to follow the trail at points but thankfully someone had hiked before us and left footprints to follow. Marion Lake was incredibly beautiful in the snow.

Great hike. Couple sections with very poor maintenance - today, November 2017, it would have been very difficult for me to do without a GPS track to follow.

5 months ago

Beautiful hike! Perfect time of year for some autumn color and hints of winter!

5 months ago

Beautiful fall colors around the lake and just a touch of snow up there but easily passable. Gorgeous!

5 months ago

Beautiful trail. Rated as hard but I found it to be moderate at best.

Great trail for a first backpacking trip! Ended up camping just past Chinook Falls. Not too busy due to below 40 degree weather

on Gothic Basin Trail

5 months ago

Snow has already began to set in for the season so I highly recommend bringing gloves, warm layers and waterproofing as much as possible. It got pretty cold and was snowing/sleeting near the top which had a lot of people turning around so check weather conditions to. A lot of the Trail was hiking up a literal river but views were spectacular and totally worth it!

Amazing hike, lots or snow as of 9/25/17. First stretch of woods had 2-4 inches about a mile in. Flat middle stretch had 8-12 inches. Snow shoes would probably help but its pretty slushy, packed and icy so maybe spikes would work better. Trekking poles are a MUST, and ideally some waterproof socks/boots. We weren't prepared and turned back before the final accent. There was also some posted potential trail closures down by the trailhead that referenced fire activity but it may have been out of date because the trail was fine, and we saw some folks who had made it all the way up and all was fine. Campground at the base was snow-free and beautiful but dropped below freezing at night.

5 months ago

I'd call this a Mini- Enchantments because it will kick ones ass and provide breathtaking views- and not just at the top. I did this hike today and took my time going up and coming back down. In all I spent 8 hours almost on this one, including relaxing and eating lunch in the Basin. Saw less than ten people on the hike which was also kind of pleasant. I loved the different water Falls along the way once you get past the sign that indicated the lands belong to NDR (or whatever it says).

The paybox near the trailhead gate was recently stolen so if you want to get a day pass you'll need to buy it at the Verlot Ranger station 20 miles before the trailhead.

What makes this hike challenging is you need to watch your footing most of the time, especially on the way down. I found myself surprised that I'd climbed over some of the slabs of rocks on the way up when I was having to climb down over them. You may say "Did I really come up over all this?" Yes. Almost thought I was using alternate trails back down but then I'd see something familiar and knew I wasn't.

Wear ankle supporting shoes is my advice and don't get in a sloppy hurry. I also used Trekking poles and am very glad I did, especially coming down.

This can be done in a day but I envied those camping on top. That's the way to do it, weather permitting.

5 months ago

I did this hike on a cold winter morning and really wish I'd had better layers. It's best for experienced hikers, and also seems like a good one to do with company. We didn't see other people on the trail, as I'm used to.

5 months ago

Love the view! Long but easy, mainly flat trails. Waterfalls along the upper trials are a plus. A lot of space to relax, unwind & take in the amazing lake.

5 months ago

Beautiful hike with some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains (to the East). Pretty intense second half in terms of incline and rocky footing.

Just before reaching the final lake, the view out East over Weeden Lake is pretty good. High vertical drop down to the water.

Gorgeous hike. Getting to the top is like walking into another world. The trailhead is not clearly marked at first - park at the Barlow Pass lot, then cross the road, pass the gate to a wide trail and walk 3/4 mile until you see the trailhead sign on the right. There was a lot of scrambling, but nothing technically difficult. The trail is also very narrow in places and overgrown, so if the trees are wet your clothes will be too. The elevation gain kind of bottlenecks during the second half, so be aware ;)

6 months ago

While this climb allows for some unbelievably rewarding scenery and views, it is not for everyone. You should not attempt it unless you are already in great hiking shape. The final ascent past the glacier is brutal and dangerous, but it is well worth it at the top. The unique part about this hike is all the different geographical challenges, although it is easy to get lost off the trail. Make sure to come prepared for changes in temperature at the top.

6 months ago

This was brutal but so worth it! I was smiling when got to the top and smiling...grimacing when I got to my car.

6 months ago

First of all: regardless of what the weather looks like it is doing...PEOPLE, RESPECT THE BURN BAN. Are you smokey the bear? Didn't think so. Also, uphill hiker has the right-of-way...

Disrespectful hikers aside, this is an incredible hike:

Did an overnight here. The climb up with an overnight pack is definitely a smasher, but if you are in good shape, you are going to enjoy it. Honestly the hike down was more strenuous for me than the hike up. Your legs are just jelly by the bottom. If you prepare yourself mentally for a tough hike, its going to be a good time. Take your time and bring your nutrition and water. Plenty of spots to filter refills, and one area of rushing water you can dip right in.

Unfortunately it rained and was cloudy the entire day/night after setting up camp, but the area is so incredible it was still worth it. The next day we got a sense of the views as it started to clear up. There are some camp sites up closer to foggy lake, but water access is not as easy for refills. We stayed down by the lower lake.

Will be going back for an overnight on a clear evening for sure. Favorite trip other than the enchantments that I have done in WA.

Well worth the steep climb the view is impressive .
I am going to the trail again !

Excellent trail, would not describe this as Hard, Moderate perhaps. Trail is very well maintained, many very large moss covered trees, totally beautiful.

Backpacked Labor Day weekend so it was busy as expected. Spots filled up quick but got a nice spot that fit 2 tents and a hammock past the river crossing even after a late start. The last falls (chinook) was our favorite. If you walk a little ways away you can find a little hidden spot to cliff jump. Not much views besides waterfalls and a creek. Decent flip flop/water shoes came in handy.

6 months ago

Not spectacular, just really... pleasant (in the best sense of the word). Steep climb at the beginning, but very nice on the Indian Heaven "plateau". Very park-like, pretty lakes, some peekaboo mountain views (Mt Adams is the major one, with Goat Rocks & Mt Rainier in the distance), tons of huckleberries, lots of places to camp. The Cultus Creek section of trail is especially steep (even on the way down) and narrow, but is kinda neat because you get glimpses of how high up you really are.

Buggy as expected, but no mosquitos (as of 8/19). Roads are partly paved and gravel/dirt (very dusty) but in good condition. Even with a lot of parking spots in the campground, none open when I first got there on a Saturday. Popular!

6 months ago

- Mid way the trial is relatively flat and easy
- Dog friendly
- Waterfall pit-stop

- A lot of bugs (highly recommend bringing good bug repellent)
- We couldn't find the lake because we lost the trail after the waterfall
- First and last part of the hike has a lot of climb

Overall for someone like me who has only hiked twice this summer this was a decent hike. It was a little disappointing not getting to the end but we were still satisfied with the waterfall. Our black lab definitely enjoyed himself at the waterfall. I would go again just so I can reach the lake.

Strenuous and difficult hike! however this is one of the best hike I've done!

Starting from the Huffman/Siouxon Creek Trailhead (marked on FR 5701 with a sign that simply says "trail"), you'll pass though old growth steadily going down until you reach the fork with Huffman Trail forking left. That trail (about half mile) heads steeply down to the creek with a small campsite and water access. Continue straight on the Siouxon Creek Trail through old growth, and over small creek crossings. First week of September they were all almost dried up, but a few had enough of a trickle to fill a water bottle. Early in the morning you'll catch views of deer. The trailhead says 3 miles to the main Trailhead for Siouxon Creek Trail to the falls...but my Fitbit tracked me hiking 6.47 miles. We camped roughly 3/4 mile after the bridge, not continuing on to the falls because it was SO BUSY. We we're trying to hike away from people, not toward them. All in all, a great hike though. No spectacular views, but if you just like to hike bouncy, moderately graded, old growth trails aways from people, you'll get it starting at the first trail marker. The waterfall trail marker has practically a parking lot, there were about 40 cars when we hiked by and could see the road.

Pretty scenery, especially the lakes. Do the Lemei hike as well, amazing views from that location.

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