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Very clean and open. Wide pathways that are paved!

Hiked to Mystic lake via Carbon glacier via Moraine park from the Carbon river trail head.
This hike is about 31 miles. Only about 5k ft of elevation climbing, but mostly on the 2nd half of the outward hike.

Some amazing views, even with all the clouds. You get to see a lot of marmots on the meadows, tiny toads no bigger than your thumb nail, frogs, bats, birds. A lot of different types of wildlife.

Crossing the Carbon river on the log bridge, with the fast moving water flowing beneath you is amazing I feel. Crossing it coming back in the pitch black darkness just with a head light, I felt slightly different, I was sure to keep a steady footing.

A very long day for me, I'm not the fastest hiker but I can go for a long time.

What a day. The best.

Great easy trail. Well maintained, not crowded. Lots of mini-diversion options.

mountain biking
10 days ago

Great trail for mtb! U just need to know where your goin' it is easy to get lost; like we were.
I like how long the trail is.

hiking
11 days ago

This is a fabulous easy hike, the last little bit before the peak was a bit burley but still a blast. This is one of my favorite hikes so far.

The bugs everyone complaining about? they are everywhere in Washington so wear bug repellent.

PLEASE keep dogs on leash, it's upsetting to get charged by unruly dogs, it concerns me for the wildlife nearby.

The road up is long and crappy but I've seen worse, go slow and use caution the rocks are sharp and I could see a tire getting popped easily.

enjoyed this hike

hiking
13 days ago

I read the reviews before we went and knew ahead of time about the road up. Having an anxious dog who needs to see everything, the ride up was pretty brutal. But, as soon as we got on the trail itself, it was pretty easy going and the views were awesome. I cannot express enough how important it is to leash your dogs though. Even if they are well behaved, you never know what can happen with other approaching dogs/people. It is definitely better to be safe, rather than sorry.

mountain biking
14 days ago

Bike and walking is wonderful

walking
14 days ago

Have done both walks and bikes and seen a lot of wildlife. Always enjoy the day.

hiking
14 days ago

Drive across the bridge and park in the small lot on the left. Walk back over the bridge and on the right hand side (on the other side of the guard rail) you will find a steep hill. There is a cable attached with "handles" to help you get down and back up. Head left at the bottom of the hill.
It's fairly flat unless you decide to take one of the side trails (there's what's left of an abandoned 57 or 58 Fury at the bottom of one of the side trails). Even with the dry summer we've had there was mucky mud in a few places but nothing horrible. At a certain point you will come to a Y in the trail and apparently you head left (or up) to see the old school. We accidently went the other way...oops.
Supposedly it's kid and dog friendly but you would probably have to carry them down the steep hill from the main road. Also, there are nettles if you wander off the trail (and some along side of it) so be careful.
Bring water and comfy shoes with good traction and enjoy the outdoors!

hiking
15 days ago

The road is very rocky and there's a lot of huge potholes. It is not advisable if your car is not fit for off-road driving. The view of the cascades and the lakes are amazing. And the fields of wildflowers were beautiful. However, the bugs were insanely ANNOYING! The bugs will constantly swirm around you and the horse fly bites stung.

The beginning of the trail is really hard to get to and very steep. Once you get on the trail it's very nice.

hiking
18 days ago

Cemetery was neat walking and looking for the headstones, was sad to see the blackberry bushes are taking over (I am sure covering many headstones). Ghost town walked right past :(

hiking
23 days ago

If I had a favorite shade of blue, Summit Lake would be it. A nice gentle hike through the woods with lots of shade, leading up to a gorgeous (and freezing!) alpine lake. Take the loop around the lake for an amazing view at the summit overlooking Mt. Rainier and the water below.

We went to the right on the loop, which was a very gradual ascent. We took the other way down, and that was much rockier and steeper, but still doable at a slower pace. The bugs are NO JOKE!

We only saw a handful of other people along the trail and had the lake to ourselves once we made it down to the beach. The trail that leads to the lake will provide an access point to the water, albeit rocky. If you're looking for more of a beach feel, about a quarter of the way to the right on the lake loop, some side trails wind down towards the water. Again, it's a steep climb, so walk carefully!

And for the road: Yikes. It's exceptionally rocky and filled with giant potholes the entire length. We did pop a tire on our Jeep Wrangler, and had a spare, but no jack. Luckily, we were able to drive up onto a rock and balance the weight to change the tire. If you do venture to the trailhead in a vehicle, make sure you had both of those things so you're not stranded! We didn't get cell phone reception until we hit pavement again, so arranging a tow truck is highly unlikely.

Not worth the drive up

road biking
24 days ago

Lots of bikes- good amount of shade. If you start at trail head given here in Orting, you can go left towards the Safeway which is 7.5 miles to the Puyallup trail head with lots of farms and runs along 162. If you go right, it's 12 miles to Buckley with lots of shots of the river and pastures. Both ways offer good views of the mountain. Smooth, easy ride with more stop signs and road crossings than I like. Still a nice ride or walk regardless.

beautiful lake and views from peak above lake. Not worth the access road drive for a 1 hour hike.

The road is just as bad as advertised. Most of it is spent deciding whether to go over the large rocks on one side of the road or through the washed out ruts on the other side. I thought that it probably wouldn't be much worse than the road to Mowich Lake but I was wrong.

The hike itself is fairly enjoyable and the view from the peak overlooking the lake and Mt Rainier is fantastic.

Overall, I probably wouldn't do it again as there are other hikes with just as good of a payoff without the awful road to get to them.

Make sure you know where the trailhead is! The other spots are dangerous! If you park in the small gravel lot, walk back across the bridge on the same side of the street and you'll see a yellow street sign, climb over the guardrail, and there's a cable to grab onto with pegs to grab! if that's not there, you're at the wrong spot! Other than that, the hike is fairly easy. at the bottom of the cable, go LEFT if you want to see the old town. When you get down you'll 1st pass an old wall on the right. The next thing you'll see is the dynamite Shack on the left, then up ahead on the right, off trail, look down & you'll see an old car. Go up a little further, at the fork, go left up the hill to see the old school Foundation. After that, you're on your own. We went back down the hill and went left and went for several more miles of nothing but Trail. Apparently up ahead there's a fork where we went left but if were have gone right we would have hit the river. Great family hike! Dog friendly! Looking forward to going out again! (Also, i do not believe this is a loop.)

relaxing

Nice trail to walk with the dogs. Tree-lined, paved path with a good amount of foot traffic, but it’s typically not overly crowded.

hiking
28 days ago

Great trail with the dog. The best access is 2.4 miles before the bridge. There is a large sign on the right side of the road and a small area on the shoulder for parking. I would have had a hard time getting my dog down the steep and rock path if we had stopped at the bridge.. Perfect for a hike on a warm, sunny day.

hiking
29 days ago

Sunny 51 degrees at 8:45a
Trip start: 8:58a
Reached Lake: 10:00a
Arrived ridge peak via east trail: 10:30a
Duration at peak: 25-30 min
Return via west trail (did loop) to Trailhead by: 12:00p

Drive from Carbon river bridge: Its true, the road is really rough and rocky (all 6.6 miles of it). I don't feel you need a high clearance vehicle (potholes are wide/shallow, and any washout can be driven around.) Though I do recommend a sturdy reliable vehicle. Go slow and maneuver carefully and you'll be fine. Plan about 30-45 min (I took 25 min in my Audi Q5) I even saw the benchmark Prius at the trailhead. lol

Trailhead parking: The main lot area can easily accommodate about 20 cars (if people park respectfully). But many don't and do a double wide park job. Rude. As usual the road to the TH turns then into a single lane for a bit. As was the case at 12:10p.

Trail condition: Really good. No problems.

Looping the Lake: If you plan to loop the lake, take note. Once you reach the perimeter of the lake, you can go left (towards the open field) or go right via the slightly longer scenic route. Going left you will encounter a lot of side trails...just skirt along the lake. Eventually they all converge and form a single rough, rocky, bushy, steep, trail up the west side of the rocky ridge peak. Its definitely quick. Take the Right scenic route and enjoy less of an incline but see a lot more beauty all around. Either way, its a loop.

Toilets: None at Trailhead. Though, before you cross the Carbon river bridge, go a few hundred yards further (there are two toilets there) as it hosts several other trails there. Park Ranger station you would have passed has no public restrooms.

Overall a great morning hike and no bugs. Mt Rainier looked happy.

We’ve biked and walked this one. Very nice trail, but can be a bit crowded. There is a fun playground about a quarter of the way in from the south end.

trail washout, adds about 1.5 mile detor

road biking
1 month ago

This was my first time on this trail. I've heard so much about and been wanting to try. I went 33 miles round trip. Lots of bikers, runners,walkers & pets. Everyone that I passed alway gave notice coming on your left. The trail was clean and beautiful. I will come back. Next time I'll go farther. New favorite spot. Worth the 40 min drive.

backpacking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful!! There is a 5 mile rocky road with pot holes just be ware of that. If you take a car it will take you much longer to get to. It took us about 35 minutes in a truck.

The hike itself is not too hard at all. Yes incline but it's fairly quick to the lake. Also millions of Glacier Lilly's to see. We packed in on Sunday which was perfect because others who packed in that weekend were on their way out. We found the best spot thats on a ridge to the right of the lake with a perfect view of the mountain and lake down bellow. The lake is cold and refreshing. Lots of day hikers enjoying the lake too. We convinced a couple that has never been up there to go to the look out at the top, as they were just going to head home after the lake. It may look steep from the lake but it's not super hard and only about 15 minutes to the top at the most. Little snow ridge that is passable up top and the view is incredible!! You won't regret going all the way up!

Bugs. Horse flies at the lake. I had skin so soft that helped keep them at bay but still got bit. Also if you're staying I recommend going to the top to watch the sunset/sunrise but the mosquitoes come out in full force. At least at our camp site we had repellent that had a 15 ft. Radius witch worked well. We had just picked it up from Cabellas.

We did hear some music base while at the lake for about 10 minutes sounded like it was coming from behind the lake. EDM or something like that idk. I love music (at a bar, club or while w/o) but please be mindful that most of us go up there to enjoy the peace and quiet. Use your headphones or at least turn off the base on your player because sound travels easily up there. We also packed out some trash that we saw including a pair of fairly used woman's sandals. Please pack out everything you bring including food scraps. There was a full water bottle in the lake and banana peels, pistachios. Understandably things get over looked or fall out of bags. Do your best and if you can pick stuff up when you see it to help preserve these beautiful places and give the next visitors their best experience!

We will definitely go back. Maybe next time we plan on hiking up bear-mountain trail before heading to the lake. Enjoy!!

I ride my dirt bike on this trail, it’s a blast!!!!

road biking
1 month ago

Nice bike ride with a few hills. Paved for the 11.5 miles. Easy to moderate depending on your level and bike training.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! Beautiful views of Rainier on a clear day. Plenty of spots to camp along the way up and at the top. The bumpy road to the trailhead is definitely worth it.

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