Explore Central 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
28 seconds ago

The trail is in good shape. Starting off from the parking area you have beautiful views of Mt. St. Helens for a short stretch, then you’re in the trees for a good three and a half miles before it opens up near the timberline. The last mile to the Loo Wit Trail is much more of an incline than the first three miles, so be prepared for a more strenuous finish. About a quarter mile from the intersection with Loo Wit the trail hooks sharply to the right, but if you’re not paying attention you can easily continue up a dry creek bed and lose the trail. If you’re ever hiking in the creek bed, you’re off trail. Other than that, the views on top are spectacular, even with all the smoke still in the air. Have fun!

hiking
8 minutes ago

Loved it. The stairs were rough but after that, it was amazing. The difference in views around each corner was breathtaking. Then of course the payoff at the end. ♥️

This wasn’t my favorite hike for several reasons. This is a VERY populated hike. Way too many people on this touristy trail. The view and scenery was just ok. For a beginner, I’m sure it’s spectacular. But I’ve been on more beautiful hikes in the Mt Rainier and Mt Baker areas. It is a nice soft and well groomed trail but extremely dusty and dirty. Your shoes will be covered with dust/dirt after this hike. It took almost 7 miles (3hrs) in and out to the Freemont Lookout so its a nice little walk with some inclines. I would rate this as moderate. The view of Mt Rainier was fairly obstructed by all the wildfire smoke unfortunately. You are not able to access the lakes here because they are off limits but there are lots of trail offshoots and loops. The best thing about this hike for me was the wild life. Saw a marmot, lots of chipmunks, and other little small mammals that look like gerbils and guinea pigs! Also, be aware that on weekends, the line through the ranger station at the park’s entrance at 410 is crowded and will take a long time to get through even with a pass.

Arrived at 10am on Saturday, August 18. Main lot was full but the overflow lot had plenty of spaces. Trail was beautiful and well marked with lots of options to jet off and take other loops along the way. There were a lot of people on the trail between 10 and 12:30, including some groups preparing for Rainier. You have a view of Rainier almost the entire way, and about halfway through the loop you get to Panorama Point, where you can see the cascade range including a view of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood on a clear day. It was hazy from the wildfires but we did see the top of Mt. Adams.

Beautiful hike, we love it

First of al, if you follow the recording provided by this trail information (the loopI), you won’t find the peak. And do remember to drive up counter-clock wise, until you see the trail entrance to your left that is off the road. We hiked this trail by following the recording a loop but couldn’t see the trail head, then turn back to by following the cold creek trial said by the recording. But it was not worthy to came back that way. The cold creek trail was totally over grown.

Next time we would just drive up the road until we see the entrance then walk up and pass the PCT sign then come down the same way. When we got up and saw the sign of PCT trail, my husband just gave up and wanted to get down, but it was definitely a mistake. For the scene, I would definitely try again next time.

If you want something challenging, don't do this one. Mostly flat and easy. More like a walk in the woods than a hike. Unless you take the side trail up to the falls. Which, in late summer is more of a dribble than a waterfall. Still really cool and worth the trip up. The rock wall is covered in moss and really cool.

We went midday and it wasn't crowded at all. Only saw one other couple on the trail going. Three small groups of mountain bikers passed by.

Overall, a really good one to do if you just want to get some wiggles out. Flat and easy enough for kids if you don't go up to the falls (seriously... it's steep!). It was a warm day, but being by the river and mostly shaded, it was perfect!

13 hours ago

Wonderful day on the mountain. I'm old and slow so it took me 5 hours, lots of time to enjoy the scenery and photograph the flowers that were out. Started early, well before the crowds arrived. Highly recommended! even for you "creaky knee" set.

hiking
15 hours ago

It was harder than i thought, but the view was worth it. Wear your hiking shoes, u wont regret it. We started the trail at 7am, so it was not crowded.

I’m new to hiking so I wasn’t sure how I’d do on this one being all uphill but it wasn’t so hard to get to Comet Falls and it was beautiful all the way. We went ahead and went all the way to Van Trump Park, which for me was quite a challenge. My phone tracked me going up 150 flights in less than 4 miles. At the top we saw some mountain goats in the distance. It was beautiful up there.

Great trail with lots of views- if you’re in pretty good shape give or take 3 hours with stops (took me 2.5 going clockwise with picture taking). If you have knee trouble or not a typical hiker, plan the recommended time. The first mile or so is high grade, but I feel it levels out nicely after that. No hairy spots, didn’t use poles. Great views of wild flowers and hoary marmots.

Fantastic hike. You get to experience all sorts of terrain :) And no bugs whatsoever this morning. It was good knowing that most of the elevation gain occurred as you approach Hemlock pass. Consistent pace is the key.

Beautiful views and good incline!

cross country skiing
1 day ago

great

hiking
1 day ago

Life goal check! My first real hike in 2 years so it was a challenge. I went all the up to the end of the trail. Views are spectacular!

Great to take the dog. I wanted more scenery as in the photos. looking for more scenery any great places on mountain to find them?

Did the skyline trail on a busy Sunday morning but it didn't feel crowded. We managed to get parking in the main lot since we arrived early. At one point on the trail we could see the long lines of cars trying to find parking.

A moderate hike that was easily marked. Just arrive early!

hiking
1 day ago

The view at the top was good but crowded. My favorite part was the alpine lake near the look out point. The water was so clear and cold. I went in and swam to the other side where there was still snow. Overall would recommend if you are looking for an easy and short hike with a view of Mount Rainier.

Gorgeous. Moderate/intense because of the elevation but no climbing or anything which was good news for me!! Absolutely stunning views. I highly recommend!

Great hike for families and young kids used to do hikes. Bring snacks and do a picnic

Only hiked up to the first set of falls. It's pretty chill the first half and steep the second, but there is neat scenery between the beginning and end, from the rocky river bed with a view if Rainier to the falls and the creek. It does get rather steep but we saw kids, elderly people and people with babies hiking it as well.

Snow Lake is beautiful, lots of people on the trail. Not difficult so a lot of day hikers. Beautiful campsites and quiet at night.

The first half mile of the trail was buggy but after that the breeze kept them at bay. The trail is very well maintained but very rocky. Walking sticks are very helpful. The view of Mount Rainier smacks you in the face. To see Paradise from this trail shows us how small we really are compared to the volcano. On a clear day, as you cross over the saddle supposedly you can see Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens. I only saw a glimpse of Adams but we could see the town of Packwood. Below Adams and to the left. We didn't go beyond the saddle.

There was a point where you think that the hike is done by seeing the lake but then you realize that there’s still huge cliff to hike. It was hard for inexperienced hikers but very self-rewarding. If you don’t bring the national park pass then wait for a 30$ ticket that can be then used for 7 more days in the Rainier area. The lake was unfortunately pretty cold but the hike itself is really good and pretty :)

worth the trip down to the lake once you've "gotten to the top".

hiking
2 days ago

effort but not difficult, so don’t expect a challenge but it’s not a cakewalk either. incredibly scenic. views of mt. ranier, but go clockwise in order to not be walking away from it. bugs not as bad as the other reviewers seem to suggest. 5/5

Beautiful trail with great overlooks. You cross several bridges and there are 2 stream crossings, so waterproof shoes would be helpful (although not required for those with good balance that can move from rock to rock). Depending on your preference, moving counter clockwise on the trail will result in a more gradual, but longer climb, while going clockwise results in a steeper grade for a shorter time. We went clockwise and I would probably do that direction again. We came in July and some of the trail was still snow covered, but doable with standard hiking equipment.

Solid trail; 9,11 & 13yr old were able to finish. Great views. Much better in the AM

This hike really impressed us. We were looking for something a little bit different than the usual mountain hikes were used to, so we decided to give this trail a try. We really enjoyed that the trail was unique, in that you’re quite literally traversing down a canyon adjacent to magnificent gushing water and waterfalls. We enjoyed the views most on the lower portion of the trail, and especially loved the ladders...just got a kick out of those! All in all, we loved it and would definitely do it again!

All uphill with a few straight aways...Its best to be in shape before taking this hike. Well worth the views! Real rocky watch your step. The jog down was nice

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