Explore Dog off leash freedom - 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
7 hours ago

This was a beautiful hike with incredible views from start to finish. Definitely areas that were a bit challenging but well worth it.

backpacking
15 hours ago

Absolutely awesome. This one definitely fits the bill for "hard" I think. I recommend planning an entire day here, or camp overnight at the top. Perfect balance of enjoying the forest but with a ton of scenery of the surrounding peaks throughout. Some of the parts, the trail isn't very visible but still easy to know where to go. I can't wait to do it again!

hiking
1 day ago

I did this hike last summer in June and it was amazing. I hiked this again yesterday (09/23/18) and it’s just as gorgeous as I remembered. This time it was awesome to see the orange and yellow leaves everywhere. Fall in the PNW is my favorite. We found it is the best route to take lower Elliot there and back. It follows the river and has a lot more to see. It isn’t as flat as upper Elliot but it’s worth it.

Absolutely beautiful hike and so easy. There's a little bit of uphill but it's very gradual. It didn't feel like 10 miles at all. I definitely recommend it!

Great place!!

Camped at Cutthroat lakes. Lots of rain and lightning through the night, woke up to blue skies. Enjoyed our time; didn't see any other groups camping but a few dayhikers on the way out.

hiking
12 days ago

Great, easy hike. Lake is absolutely beautiful, could spend the whole day there. Took German Shepherd and wasn’t quite enough to tire him out.

hiking
16 days ago

This hike have great and amazing views of the lakes but it’s very rocky all the way up to Gem Lake. I do recommend to go early in the morning to get a good parking and also to avoid a lot of the day hikers. I started at 08:30am and there’s not many people at that time. Once I passed Snow Lake, I’ve only seen a few people on my way to Gem Lake. And most of them are coming back from camping. Once I got to Gem Lake, there’s only a few people there (I counted 5 to include myself). I stayed for half an hour and enjoyed the quietness of the nature. I completed the hike with a moving time right under 5 hours. I could’ve finish it earlier but there were a lot of people going the other direction :( So, yeah. My recommendations: Early start, good hiking shoes, and drinking water

backpacking
20 days ago

A 50 lbs pack on this hike was a real leg burner but worth it. We camped 2 nights and 3 days. The downside is that we got stuck in a constant rain+wind storm for 2 days and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of us. The the views were of a gray cloud that we were stuck in. Upside, bears and bugs don’t like that weather so no run in’s, ha. I have an inReach Garmin and kept holding onto hope for Monday, our last morning, since the weather report kept updating at 0% chance rain. It did finally blow out and I’ll admit, seeing that happen was almost worth the storm. Once the sun finally pierced through the clouds, it was amazing. Then it took about an hour for the cloud cover to blow away and reveal why the North Cascades are my favorite. Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to come and see for yourself. Just don’t be a jerk, pack out what you pack in and no fires. The plant life up here is like a PNW rainforest. It’s gorgeous and there are also tons of wild blueberries around. We got to spend 3 hours exploring around which was great. We all had tent fever pretty bad and needed to stretch out minds and our legs. I’m just happy we were able to see the endless sea of Cascades before heading down. We were also stoked that we didn’t have to scramble down wet and muddy rocks. I will say that the scramble area is way longer than posted on here. It wasn’t constant but there were scrambles for the last mile. Some of them were so high that my full pack top touched what I was climbing. Trekking poles and hiking boots are a must, and not worn down hiking boots, you’ll need good outsoles. Also, the split from Barlow trail to Gothic Basin happens a little before what’s posted on here. The original trail is unsafe, looked like a tree fell through. They made a new trail to connect over, just follow the wooden sign that says “Gothic Basin” and ignore your preloaded maps. I use OnX, it lets you preload high resolution maps for offline use. They’re better than my Garmin maps. Definitely bring a bear canister or ursack. There was a warning sign saying they “strongly discouraged camping” at Barlow pass, which is the trail you begin on. Apparently it’s a bear hangout and the trial head where you park, bears have gotten into vehicles and aren’t easily scared off. So while Gothic Basin isn’t Barlow pass, they share the same parking and part of the trail and it’s still bear country. So be smart. Do your research and enjoy the view! It’s worth every bit of leg burn.

Pretty sweet - must do

hiking
21 days ago

Great views at the top on both sides of the ridge that you’re hiking along, bugs were nonexistent (September 1) and it was a relatively easy hike after the first half mile or so.

backpacking
21 days ago

We went on Sept 2nd for our honeymoon. The trail was great, rugged but definitely worth it!

Camped at Labor day. Train in good condition, no bugs. hiked Alta mountains as a bonus.

Great runnable trail to an amazingly scenic lake if the sun is out. Most of the trail is through woods and the bushes along it rub you along the way. Important to note if certain plants give you rashes you may want to wear long sleeves. There is a great waterfall that comes off the lake in the woods. You can get to it by going a bit off trail and following the sound. It’s worth seeing. The trailhead is off Mountain Loop Highway however this highway turns into a dirt road with some large potholes so drive carefully as you’ll likely spend 30 minutes on the dirt road part. You’ll be 35 miles from the nearest gas station or cell service some plan accordingly. There have been bear sightings here too. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”, which include some solid Goat Lake pics from a nice sunny day. Great place to camp.

Trail ran this today. Similar to what the other reviewer said, biggest regret was not bringing a tent. The basin is pretty awesome. Hard to describe and pictures don’t do it justice. Hike was smoke free, bug free. Super steep at times so be prepared to have your legs burning. Kind of like Mt . Si but 3 miles longer. First 2 miles are flat and easily runnable. Hiking poles and hiking shoes are a must. Trust me. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”. One final note, this hike is 30 miles from cell service so download some offline maps and get a lot of gas before you get there.

hiking
22 days ago

Only regret is not bringing our tent. Take your time, and bring hiking poles if you’re unsteady on your feet. Plan on hanging out in the basin for a while!

Pretty lake, trail is pretty rocky so good footwear is key

hiking
22 days ago

Fun hike for the family today. Garmin watch clocked hike at 10.38 miles and we did hike in 5 hrs 3 min. Minimal mosquitoes near the lake but otherwise nice hike. Trail is dry and in good condition. No snow. Trailhead parking lot was very full but it was Labor Day weekend.

Nice, easy hike. The gain wasn't too bad (but steady in the beginning). Enough to get my heart rate up a little. The walk along the ridge was really nice (even though we went on a cloudy day). A lot of rocks/loose rocks so if you have weak ankles, wear good shoes. Parts of the trail were over grown but it wasn't hard to get through. Walking up and down were both pretty boring but I definitely enjoyed the leisure walk along the top.

Very nice and extra hard trail however well worth the view all the way to the lake

Hiked this about a month ago. Mosquitoes were vicious and seemed to avoid the fact I repeated applications of 98% deet.

Okay hike with a nice lake at pay-dirt and a pretty rushing river along long parts to f the hike. Why only 3 stars? other mountain lakes in the same area are better and with easier access. While we enjoyed the hike, it’s not one we’d do again.

backpacking
25 days ago

Definitely a challenging trail. but not so hard that it wasn't enjoyable. The views and waterfalls were great going up the trail. The basin has panoramic views no matter where you set up camp.

hiking
27 days ago

Very busy. Once you get passes snow lake, it’s less busy, but not by too much. Gem lake is gorgeous! Tons of places to camp and take a quick lunch.

hiking
27 days ago

Hike done 8/27/18:

A starting note that the drive from I90 to the trailhead was very rough and a slow drive.

It wasn't a bad hike, but we weren't impressed. Trail wasn't well maintained and was getting pretty overgrown. Everything we saw on the distance said 10 miles, however our GPS put us more towards 13. Its possible the tree coverage affected the GPS, but having done plenty of 10 mile hikes, it felt longer.

The lake was pretty, my dogs had a great time. But I will not do it again and wouldn't recommend to friends.

Nice Hike. An adolescent bear wandered up the trail while we were having lunch near the mid-point of the lake. We stood tall and made noise and, fortunately, it backed off and chose another route. Definitely our closest encounter with a bear, tho we were intent on eating and weren't making a lot of noise before it came upon us.

Would hike it again, probably skip lunch at the lake.

One of the more challenging hikes I have done. My only gripe is someone had their boom box on at the first lake and it was rap echoing across the hills. Ugh. A hike behind us asked them to use ear buds. Thank you!!

hiking
30 days ago

Hike was great. Road to trailhead, 7 miles gravel but not too many pot holes. Only one on trail. Tons of mosquitoes (bring spray!). Bit through clothes, ugh! Trail says 7.9 miles, we clocked 10+. Spada lake is gorgeous. Grieder lakes were beautiful & hiked to big greider. Trek poles for the 40 switchbacks. More of a moderate hike.

backpacking
30 days ago

My wife, 120 lbs German Shepherd, and I did this hike. We took upper Elliot the way there (~6.2miles) and t was generally flat, slight incline until about the last mile or so. If you stay on the trail and don’t get distracted by the first waterfall, it’s switchbacks the rest of the way up. However if you get off trail, you likely follow the trail of ‘travelers-lost’ and likely go straight up adding a ton of incline. We did the upper Elliot in about 3.5 hours with back packs.

The lake is worth every bit of the walk. You’re not allowed to camp as close to the water as you would like, but the designated camping area is nice, well-used making most of the sites flat for sleeping.

On the way out we took lower Elliot and it was about ~4.6 miles and that took less than two hours. Much better views than upper Elliot. Many wonderful waterfalls and sounds of water flowing down the river.

This was my wife’s first backpacking trip and she loved it.

hiking
30 days ago

I did this hike last Saturday. Very strenuous and very very smoky. I don’t think this hike is worth doing until the smoke from the fires in Canada has cleared. Once they have I’m sure it would be a worth it to hike. Be prepared tho!! This hike was recorded for 14.5 miles.

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