Explore Cascades - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
2 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Took Lower Elliott on the way up and Upper Elliott on the way down. Lower had beautiful scenery and soothing water sounds. The last mile of the hike is the toughest part and the trail gets a bit confusing but the lake is worth every bit. So beautiful, great for a swim and plenty of trees for your hammock ;) The waterfalls near the lake were equally breathtaking! We went later in the day on a Sunday and ran into very few people, even at the lake. Upper is perfect for the way down because it’s majority downhill. As mentioned in another review, make sure you have the right pass because they’ll get ya. I will 100% be coming back here.

hiking
2 days ago

This hike was exhilarating! I highly recommend everyone try it at least once. We went on August 12, which was a little overcast. Check the weather before you go so that you hike on a day to meet your expectations. An overcast day keeps you cooler, but you will miss some of the views. Overcast worked for me, as I skipped some of the trails the closer we got to the top. For an extra challenge try some boulder jumping. This was an amazing experience!

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike, good views, and fun rugged terrain that will challenge you. Trekking poles recommended for anyone doing this trail, especially for inexperienced hikers. This trail is a bit longer than the posted 9 miles due to the 3/4 mile walk from the mountain loop road to the trailhead.

Consider it hard! For such a short hike, lacking directions at some places we can see more than 1 way, good thing is mobile reception!

Oh sweet Jesus this was challenging! Mostly because it was so hot! Went on Wed Aug 8 and it HOT! But what a beautiful hike and views at the top we’re worth it... I went alone but in hindsight might have been good to have company... I appreciated the meditative time with nature.. Enjoy!

This was a difficult hike but the views were amazing!

The pictures posted here only scratch the surface of how beautiful this hike is.

hiking
4 days ago

Nice easy hike up and back in 4 hours.

The intensity level reflects what is stated on the site, HARD. I’m new to hiking and this hike was very rigorous and exhausting. I’m not in the best shape and I have asthma so I took many breaks on my way up. My legs started giving up once I was almost at the lookout but a group of hikers let me borrow their trekking pole. You definitely meet nice people when hiking :)

Tips:
- Bring bug spray, you don’t really feel the mosquitos and flies unless you stop.
- Drive VERY carefully on the last 6 miles before arriving at the parking lot as the dirt/gravel road is filled with a lot of potholes.
- Wear hiking shoes as you are walking over LOTS of rocks.
- You need a parking permit (Northwest Forest Pass), which you can purchase at Verlot Public Service Center for $5.
- Bring plenty of water and a snack.
- Take breaks as needed.

backpacking
5 days ago

The trail up to round Lake has been maintained but from there to the old Kennedy Hotsprings junctions is tough. Camp Lake and Lake Byrne are amazing! And bring your fishing pole, they are jumping!

Very doable, very pretty views of the waterfalls!

Aug 6,2018. Another wonderful day with nature. But the road going there was awful, it was like crater in the moon! So drive safely. And don’t forget to bring bugspray, you’ll thank me later. Lol.

As always, view at the top is breathtaking. But definitely not for beginners.

I love this hike for the amazing work out and AMAZING view at the top but there are a couple things to know:

1)The potholes on the road were awful! Enormous potholes everywhere so you have to drive pretty slowly and carefully which takes quite a while.

2) The mosquitos were REALLY BAD! Bring bug spray for sure! They are swarming everywhere, even at the top! Flies were pretty dense too but avoid mosquito bites and bring some spray!

NOT A BEGINNERS HIKE!!! Beautiful exciting views all the way up. Definitely a leg burner

hiking
8 days ago

I do both lower and upper trail I like more the lower one batter view but what shack me is the huge water full hiding in the trail you will love it more of the lake

Nice hike. steep but not too long, and for such a short hike, beautiful view. the best part is we had the whole point to ourselves. the parking at the trail head was completely full but we only saw one other person on the trail with her dog.

Yes, this trail is grueling- but I’m so glad I did it. It would be an amazing place to camp.

Beautiful!! I’m a fairly experienced hiker but this is one of the tougher ones I’ve done. We went at dusk and ended up having to hike back at dark with a little one on our backs which made it feel a lot more intimidating. The scramble at the top is no joke but is completely doable. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking.

This was a great hike but it’s an ass kicker.
WARNING: As others have written, The trail distance info listed here as well as on the trailhead markers ARE INCORRECT!!!!
It’s exactly 4.2 HARD miles over Headley pass to the lake. Then another .7 miles to the summit.
Plan on 5 miles EACH WAY and spending the night at the lake is a good call.

Route finding experience is suggested but the trail is failed well marked with cairns on the boulder fields where it’s easy to get lost. While on the boulder fields keep your eyes peeled for these cairns and other hikers. We ran into several people who lost their way.

The trip was amazing but very crowded with helicopters & mountain rescue teams looking for the lost hiker.

hiking
9 days ago

This is one of my favorite hikes of all time. You’ll never want to leave the top (unless of course you forgot bug spray). Such a beautiful, peaceful, lake at the top. We took floaties and got into the lake for a bit !

backpacking
9 days ago

Very rewarding hike with a beautiful lake. Would recommend getting an early start on this one to beat the bugs and crowds later in the day. Camping is not allowed at Blanca Lake however there is plenty of camping spots at Virgin Lake.

hiking
9 days ago

So so beautiful! But definitely the hardest hike I’ve ever done. It seemed like we would never get there but we finally did! I would definitely say take PLENTY of water. I drank 4 bottles by myself.
Check the weather before you go. We went yesterday and the weather was perfect. I think like 70-72 the whole day. I can’t imagine doing that hike in hotter weather. It would be miserable. We forgot bug spray and the bugs didn’t bother us too bad. I don’t think i have bites at all. They were only a nuisance when we stopped to take a breather. We got there and started on the trail around 11:30-12. We got back at 7:50. So it was a very long day but totally worth it. Make sure you wear hiking boots, if you don’t have any make sure you wear tennis shoes with GOOD SOLES.

The worst part was the 2 mile walk back because
It felt like it would never end.

hiking
9 days ago

Was here a few days ago. The road to the trailhead is very poor, lots of potholes that took a bit to maneuver in my little car (others with trucks and 4WDs flew by with no issue however). The trail was actually fairly easy to follow with orange signposts along the way, however if you’re not paying attention it would be pretty easy to take a wrong turn and wind up going the wrong way so be alert. I wore bug repellent and had no issues. It was a beautiful trail, only a few people up the top when I summited ~10am however passed many groups on their way up when I was descending so if you want a quiet trail best to go in the morning I would say.

hiking
9 days ago

Great trail. Easy and flat in places, a lot of incline and terrain most places. Middle falls is best view of the falls. Just passed that is a great view of the valley.

Did this hike today. Started at 6:30am and it took us about 8.5 hours total, including about an hour at the lake. The climb up was strenuous, but it was all well maintained switchbacks. Once you reach the top of the switchbacks, there is a meadow, then Virgin Lake, then the trail down to Blanca lake. The hike is not technical and there are even stairs at a few points. It was well worth it for the view of the lake and several vistas along the way. I would recommend getting an early start to avoid bugs and crowds. There were only two other people at the lake when we got there around 11, and the sun lit up the lake closer to noon. We weren't attacked by any bugs until we started back down the mountain, and it was a lot busier later in the day too. Happy hiking!

hiking
10 days ago

It was an awesome hike! We took our young 5 year old and almost 7 year old and they agreed! The waterfalls on the way and the lake at the top was a perfect place for lunch! Can’t wait until they are a little bit older and we can backpack and tent it up there!!

hiking
11 days ago

Please be aware the trail app takes you to the WRONG DESTINATION, please DONT FOLLOW it.

If you’re using high way 2 from cashmere; go past the Skykomish ranger station and turn right after the station. Follow the road for about 13 miles, it will turn into a dirt road. At the end of the road you will walk about 2.5 miles to the trail head and then about 7 miles round trip to Blanca Lake.

If coming from Goldbar; get to mile mark 50 then turn left and follow the same route as stated above.

It sprinkled and then pored rained on ya the last 1.5 miles. It wasn’t worth it but I bet on a clean day it’s nice.

Good luck to all hikers and please be safe.

Cool Misty day, bugs were not a problem. The road going up was!! Dirt road for first 4.7 miles. In about the worst condition l have seen a popular Forest Service road. Then paved the last 1.8 miles with one 15 foot dirt path with about a 4 to 6 inch drop. Trail was as expected with about 4 short snow patches. Got to have good knees.

Went on a very hot Monday afternoon so I was one of the only people on the trail. Certainly beautiful. The different viewpoints are good for families with different skill levels.

backpacking
12 days ago

It was quite a hike the way up there, but the view was definitely worth it! Took a dip in the cold water - felt amazing after the long hike :)

hiking
13 days ago

Breathtaking! By far the hardest yet most amazing hike I have ever been on. Pack plenty of water and bug spray. The bees and flies were ridiculous. But it was so worth it!!

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