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the scenery is gorgeous, the air smells like christmas candles as you climb. First 3/4 of the trail are easy slow climb, after that it turns into more intense switchbacks. Very snowy and slippery at the top, so wear appropriate footwear. If you have removable krampons or hiking poles I would suggest those for the top portion as I saw lots of people fall and almost fell myself a number of times. I even saw a lady with a sprained ankle being carried down by her husband. Bring lots of layers so that you can take off as you ascend and then put back on as you descend. This time of year when we got to the top at 2:10 the sun was already set on the lake so get an early start, aim to be at the top for noon. Amazing view, so worth it!

Winter wonderland! Don’t forget your spikes for the last half of the trail.

Winter wonderland! Over a foot of snow everywhere! Make sure you bring micro-spikes and hiking poles. Some spots get very slippery. The most beautiful wonder hike I have done so far. (Oh and wear waterproof shoes)

hiking
4 days ago

Wet, slippery but beautiful! Waterproof shoes a must! Beautiful and frosted ground at the lake.

Lovely, well maintained trail easy enough for all levels including beginners. It follows a river. If the lovely couple who graciously loaned me her shoes and his socks because I left my boots at home see this, please contact me so I can return your things. You took down my number but would not give me yours. You live in the Olalla area. I am an honest person and want to return your boots and socks.

hiking
10 days ago

Unfortunately there was too much water to cross one of the waterfalls that had developed due to the rain lately. We were one of four groups that doubled back. Seems like it would be beautiful based on the first 30 minutes though!

on Monte Cristo Trail

10 days ago

Great stroll even in the pouring rain. We turned into the trail at the first large caution sign that crossed a wooden bridge into the woods. We should have stayed straight right toward the rivers edge instead of going up. The next woops was we missed the pile of rocks to indicate where to turn to actually go to Monte Cristo from that side of the trail. We went about a mile past the turn before we realized and had to backtrack. We were gaining elevation and the route to Montecristo is lowland around 700 feet. So if you take that route look for a pile of rocks about mile and a half in on your left hand side and take a left at that pile of rocks. You will eventually get down to the river again to find that long log that most people talk about that you need to cross over and from there you just keep Truckin ahead on the gravel road about 2 more miles and you'll find Monte Cristo.

hiking
11 days ago

Went today in the rain, pretty good rainy day hike with a lot of tree coverage. However, there are lots of rocks/roots that get slippery. Several different streams to cross and a good bit of time walking through water, having waterproof boots is *highly* recommended. 2-3 cars when we arrived around 9:30, but was full as we left around 11:45. The gravel road had a lot more potholes than we expected, doable in a basic car, but going slow + dodging was definitely key.

An easy trail since it’s low elevation gain and goes along a road most of the way. There is a log crossing, so I wouldn’t advise small children or anyone with balance issues or fears. However, there are other options if you decide to turn around at the log. The ghost town is very cool with pretty forest and river views along the way!The trail is worth it as long as you know what you’re getting into! I give it a three because it’s not really a hike, but more of a forest road walk.

Gorgeous views, especially on a clear fall day. It was pretty crowded on the trail, but we did go on a Sunday. Get there early if you can, the views are worth it! The lake is clear and worth the hike.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful views! Totally worth the hike up☺️

Some of the trail is redirected do to wash outs and to cross the river you go over a fallen tree. all around a very beautiful hike.

Nice easy stroll. Beautiful scenery. We were short on time as it was getting dark but you could easily make this trail longer by following other trails or connecting.

15 days ago

This is a 10 mile hike to the big waterfall, definitely not 7.5 so plan accordingly. We planned for the 7.5 mile hike and ended up finishing in the dark. There we’re a few of us who misplanned and ended the trip in the pitch black. It’s absolutely stunning, though. Spectacular views throughout the hike.

Great walk with historical destination and beautiful fall colors. As noted on prior post, there was a crew of volunteers at the historic town, working to preserve this great gateway to our past... THANKS.

Only negative would be that the river crossing point was poorly marked.

hiking
16 days ago

The fall colors were beautiful! May have waited too long as far as the weather goes, we were soaking wet and then coated with snow towards the top, made for a very cold day. Can’t wait to go back next Spring or Summer to see the changes.
Followed the advice of precious reviews and wore boots with good traction, very grateful we did.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful hike! Took about two hours. Great trail, some of the rocks can be a little loose or slippery tho so watch your step. The view at the top is beautiful and totally worth it! If going on a weekend, get there super early. Very popular trail. We got there at 8:30am and had no trouble parking but when we got back to the car later that afternoon, it was hard to get out of the parking lot. Absolutely packed and so was overflow parking.

Great hike with 14 boy scouts for a fun overnighter. This was a great way for the younger scouts to work on their outdoor skills. The camping area was very nice and provided plenty of room. Although not stated here (unless I missed it) the US forest service still recommends packing in water. Although there was a cleanup in 2016, the Ranger station in Verlot stated that there is the possibility of arsenic in the water still so it is good to pack in your water.

Perfect beginners hike (I’m soooo out of shape and it was just enough to get my heart rate up), good for all age groups, GORGEOUS views and deliciously mystical in the rain. If you’re lucky (like we were) you might even see a herd of Roosevelt Elk on your drive in.

My husband, dog and I enjoyed this trail today. A few cars at the trail head when we arrived at 11:00. Beautiful walk through the woods, high above the river for most of the way. There are two bridges crossing the river, at the second one you're able to get down to the river and there's a nice spot to enjoy lunch and for the dog to swim. We didn't go all the way to the Notch Pass junction, but I think it's just a few minutes beyond the second bridge. More people coming up the trail when we headed down, and most of them had dogs. Very enjoyable, not difficult, day hike!

18 days ago

Beautiful!

hiking
19 days ago

Amazing views!

hiking
23 days ago

Pretty easy and relatively low incline hike with flat and wide trail! Easy to get to and a great lake view from the top, nestled into the mountain peaks. I wanted to swim by the rocks were kinda sharp and didn’t want to cut my foot. Did this in August.

hiking
23 days ago

did this hike last week with a bunch of friends and it was so nice! definitely a moderate hike and it was sort of icy and slippery on the rocks on the way down/up to the lake so please be careful and if you have hiking poles, bring them!

hiking
23 days ago

Great hike. Good pace to the hike with first 2 miles slow incline and then increases the last mile or so. Snow lake is beautiful. It was quite windy at the lake yesterday. I did the extra hike and checked out Gem lake. It was about 11.5 miles round trip, did it about 4 hrs 30 min. Quite rocky in a few spots, including traversing rubble fields. This would likely be harder for a dog, but was fine otherwise.

Easy trail to access. It’s also very well maintained!

What a beautiful lake and the trail is pretty nice as well! The frosty boardwalk around the lake was fantastic! So many mushrooms out still and the lonely raven barking across the lake was awesome!

hiking
23 days ago

Difficult but worth it in the summer time. We took many tests going up but jogged going down.

on Snow Lake Trail

24 days ago

Love this hike! And I do highly recommend wearing hiking boots/shoes as the trail was pretty rocky. I wore my nikes and I could still feel the rocks through the soles of my shoes.

hiking
24 days ago

The first half of this hike was a 2-mile dirt path through the forest. It was a bit muddy at times, but not too bad. The second half was a comfortable 2.5-mile walk on a sandy beach to Point of the Arches. This stretch was breathtakingly beautiful.

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