Explore Day Hikes - 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
1 day ago

This is a GREAT hike. We went in November and it was one of the last nice days of the season, which made for a beautiful frost cover near the Lake. It’s colder up there so layers are a must. Water proof shoes, the pot holes and the frosted walk way (not unsafe) in other reviews are accurate. It’s only an hour and half from Seattle and easily done in a half day. Light traffic during this time of year. We loved how you could hike all the way around the lake too. Highly recommend.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice, quiet hike. Worth the committment once you get to the top. 4/5 stars because there isn't much to see along the way. I took my time for photos and still finished in less than 3 hours. HUGE cedar trunks close to trailhead. Lake is just about frozen all the way across the top. No snow yet. Planks a little slippery.
Started as first car, ended with 5 other cars.

Two words... HEATED RESTROOMS. (Located at the trailhead). Great amenities for a chilly November morning!!! Arrived at 830am to an abundance of parking... Much fuller around 230pm when leaving... Only saw about 15 others total throughout the day. A few super respectful dog owners (Appreciated!!!)/trail runners and mushroom foragers (How PNW of them...). Overall easy hike with well maintained trails... Great views of the falls. A missed off-shoot did head us up a steeply inclined maintenance road... What's another 6 miles???

November 18, 2018:
Trail: 80-90% covered in well packed snow; microspikes highly recommended, other hikers were turning around, a couple were going for it without anything but it just makes life so much easier. Only passed a handful on the trail and we had the summit to ourselves around noon.
Road: The few hundred feet just before the trailhead is covered in a thin layer of snow/ice but we made it easily in a Jeep Cherokee. It will make for a sketchy drive when it refreezes each night, due to not all of it being rutted down to gravel.

***Please, stay off the switch back shortcuts because they are causing trail erosion!

Get there early. Excellently maintained trail. Great view from the middle.

Great hike for the first two lower falls, the last one really is a killer for the stairs to get to the top falls!

Definitely a lot of potholes on Pilchuk Road, but the hike and the lake were beautiful. There were maybe 15 cars in the lot when we got there around 11 on a Saturday, but the trail wasn’t crowded by any means. You warm up hiking in the forest but it definitely gets cold when you’re at the lake and don’t have the tree cover. Like others are saying, the boardwalks along the lake were frosty but it was manageable. There was some snow at the lake (not on the trail itself) and the lake was iced over a bit. We saw a lot of younger children in rain boots that definitely were not enjoying themselves because there are a lot of rocks and tree roots that can be difficult to navigate at times.

Amazing old growth trail. I agree with the moderate rating because of the elevation gain and the difficulty of navigating the trail. Roots and rocks can be a big problem if you don’t pay attention. The reward at the lake is well worth the effort. Beautiful even on a cloudy day! I had the trail and lake to myself today. I ran into 4 people on the way down. I will return to this trail in the summer I am sure it’s even more stunning!

Ice last on north side out of sun
Still quite doable

snowshoeing
7 days ago

Lots of snow once you leave the forest. Ended up putting on snow shoes. Turned around before descending into the meadow. To much snow, breaking trail most of the way and ran out of day light. Road is rough coming in so plan on an extra 1/2 hr just to dodge pot holes.

My dog and I went for a short hike today. Trail was clean with plenty of parking. Great easy hike. We only went 1.7 miles out. Highly recommend for novices like me.

Absolutely stunning view. Went in the middle of November. It was chilly and icy. But soo worth it! My favorite so far

Hiked from Heather Meadows - lots of snow but still totally worthwhile and doable (note that there were lots of tracks from groups prior, so we never had difficulty trying to find the trail). Would recommend getting up there if the weather is nice, otherwise look forward to the flowers in 2019.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful views of the Mountains. Some trees down over the path that are tricky to navigate. Really icy at the top and around the lake. The path around the lake isn’t an easy one, but worth the walk. Amazing pics!

It was an easy hike... it got cold at the top. Enjoy the hike.

hiking
10 days ago

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

good for kids

on Monte Cristo Trail

16 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
17 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.

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked Nov 3: NW Forest Pass needed, easy road terrain driving in, bathrooms at TH. Well-marked, slight incline/decline, trail was not slick, a few blow-downs, very very wet, sometimes feel as if you are walking through a waterfall while on the trail, although it was easy to navigate. Huge beautiful old growths and so many waterfalls, I lost count! Lake 22 was beautiful! Quite popular but not overcrowded. Can’t wait to come back in the Spring!

hiking
18 days ago

K and I did this one in the rain. The Falls look great. Per NOAA the Skykomish flow was over 35.2 KCFS. The trail is in good shape, not too much of a crowed.

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.

A clear October day and all the fall colors makes this trail one of the most gorgeous hiking experiences. If I were going to try to get a beginner hooked on hiking I'd start them here! The scenery payoff is huge for such a moderate hike. We started from the upper lot, but I'd recommend starting at the lower lot. It has a lake and picnic tables. A perfect spot to finish up!

The hike to Monte Cristo is easy. Once you pass the old mining town, hiking becomes a little more vertical and difficult. Very beautiful and worth the trek.

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.

Great hike. Fairly easy. Boulder field towards the end was annoying but well worth it.

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.

Beware! There are two parking lots. The upper one, at Artist’s Point, was where we started. 4 hours later, when we got around to the lower one it was pretty demoralizing to find that we still had a ton of steep uphill to climb. Next time we will start in the lower lot and go counterclockwise so we get the uphill part done first.

My 12-year-old rates it as “moderate”. Her idea of “hard” is Mt. Si.

Views were incomparable. Dogs were off leash but friendly. People were also off leash but friendly.

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.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike. Got to the parking lot around 10am, it was getting full but found a spot easily (maybe because it’s near the end of the season). The hike itself was not terribly difficult. I’m a beginner and I found the incline manageable and the distance was fine. The hard part was the rocks and water! The trail is very wet and has a ton of parts that are super rocky. I wouldn’t recommend bringing young children. The lake wasn’t the most satisfying end-point, but the hike up to it was lovely and everything was very picturesque. I’d do it again!

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