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Beautiful and fun hike! the hardest part for me was closer to the top where all the rocks and boulders were but other than that definitely doable and so worth it. its a popular hike so definitely prepare for that and be sure to have a parking pass or get one at the station just a few miles before the hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Fairly steep route (1,000 feet gain/mile) but the trail's in good shape and well-groomed. A couple of trees down that little ones will need help getting over.

Crowded with fitness hikers, families and folks w/ dogs.

Met one hardy soul who was starting his third lap of the day(!).

I concur with the mailbox junior nickname

hiking
2 days ago

great hike. beautiful day. clear views from the top. reccomend hiking poles at least for the trip down.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful trail, arrived at 9:45 am on a Saturday and would recommend going a bit earlier. The hike itself gave a great view of the forests and the cascades at some point. Waterproof shoes are a must, the trail became a creek at times. Lots of cute dogs, saw a small avalanche on the far side of the lake (didn’t interfere with the trail.) I recommend a down layer if you’re planning on sitting near the lake at all, the sun doesn’t get into the valley at all due to it rising and setting so far south.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful hike! Not much to see on the way up but the lake is stunning. Pretty easy if you’re in some sort of shape. Ice and snow when you’re pretty much to the top. Definitely doable without spikes and poles but HIGHLY RECOMMEND waterproof shoes and layers for up tops. The sun didn’t breach the ridge line so the whole lake was shaded the entire day. We got to trailhead at 9:15 and there weren’t too many people but trail was definitely crowded on our way back down. Would not recommend going on ice.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful day with our friends on this winter hike. We definitely needed our Yak Tracks for the snow at the top! Gortex boots made the stream crossing simple.

4 days ago

This is one of those hikes I could do and never get tired of. I only do this one in the winter for the scenery.

Attempted upper lena today. The snow line started around the first creek crossing and we were postholing for a while and decided to turn around.

hiking
8 days ago

Cel

Went up to the lake it was amazing. Went on Monday 01/07/19. Need water proof shoe's for sure and layers of cloth's to keep warm very cold at lake but well worth the trip.

The highlight of our visit to Mount Rainier. This is a steady climb most of the way up but lots of pauses for photo ops and pika watching. Saw hikers of all ages able to do this trail. Great reward for the time it takes to do this trail.

walking
12 days ago

Be prepared to get wet if you go in the winter! The falls were incredible. It was a very easy hike and took us about an hour to get there, take in the falls and relax a bit, and get back to our car. Some tourists in running shoes and umbrellas managed it just fine, too!

hiking
12 days ago

Beautiful setting.

hiking
13 days ago

MUST DO.

From the East Coast (specifically New Jersey) and this was our first West Coast hike. Wow, wow, wow. The views were insane, the flora was gorgeous, and the temperature was perfect in August! This review is written late, but if you can make the trip, DO IT!

hiking
13 days ago

The bridges we icy, not a lot of snow till about a mile or so from the top. There are parts of the trail that are steep and icy with not a lot of branches to grab onto. The lake is pretty much frozen.. but please do NOT GO OUT ONTO THE LAKE. I had a group ask me if it would be okay to walk on the lake and I expressed how dangerous it would be.. they ended up beating me up there and they were sure enough on the lake. Just hanging out taking selfies.... I am sad the say that that was the first of 3 groups of people that I saw on the lake that day. After the first group I saw and heard the ice brake. I heard the 2nd group talking about the noise the ice was making while they were on it and they stayed on it. The 3rd group decided to go on the ice that the 1st group broke. I don't think that they listened to me when I told them as much....Please be safe...set a good example for everyone on the trail.

Icy but beautiful!

13 days ago

went approximately 2 days ago! greatt hike although very tricky. 1st bridge was very slippery. should bring spikes with you. quite a few icey spots through the whole hike. and freezing up at the top. my father fell and ended up breaking his leg on the first bridge. so be very cautious! if someone can take pictures of the hole in the bride that would be very appreciated to warn others! I definitely prefer this in the Summer.

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful hike! Just some notes for people going there in the following days:
Parking lot was packed (go early)
Toilet paper out at the trailhead’s toilets: bring your own
Trail is extremely wet: waterproof boots
The first bridge is extremely slippery: caution+poles
Some trees down, most easy to bypass, one we had to go under and it was not fun.
If you make it to the end, do not skip the loop around the lake! It’s SO worth it!

hiking
15 days ago

New Year's Eve and the trail was still crowded. That's what blue skies in December does. Trail was quite slippery, especially the wooden bridges. However it was largely snow free until just before the lake. Scenery, gorgeous throughout, with classic old growth on the way up and icy natural art at the top.

Graveled path for most of the way and beautiful forest.

17 days ago

Really awesome hike. I started in the rain in a very old growth forest. By the time you reach the lake you’re in a foot of snow which the trail is compact so no need to worry. I feel like I shouldn’t need to comment this but after seeing some people on the trail with Nike’s and Converse shoes....This is the PNW you should wear waterproof shoes (I think their feet were a little damp by the end)

My husband and I did this hike in July. It was perfect! The view was amazing. I do recommend doing this hike during the summer when it’s not so rainy so you get the perfect view.

Very easy trail that meanders along a river and a smaller stream. Last few hundred feet to the waterfall are very steep and require a climb up a few dozen stairs. However, the end experience is well worth the effort.

Great Hike! my wife and I made our 3rd trip on 12.27.18. Beautiful day. Some snow on the boulder field, and packed trail snow. we did not use or need special footwear other than water resistant boots. we didnt bother doing the lake loop at the top. but the trail was visible and accessible.

This may be my favorite trail in ONP thus far. There is just so much to see....I have done both the Switchback trail and hiked across to Klahane from the Hurricane Ridge Viisitor's Center because switchback was closed. I have to say the former was much preferred. Though more challenging grade-wise, the Switchback trail takes half of the time. I also encountered more widlife; including a substantial herd of goats and their kids going this route. In the summer, the flowers and meadows will take your breath away on the way up. I kept stopping to take in the views! You see the Olympics, Baker, Rainier, down below to Port Angeles and the water....simply incredible. Feeding the whiskey jacks is always fun, as is running the ridgeline. I have never descended completely to the lake, others have warned that unless you plan on camping or start very early not to attempt it.
I have never had too much of an issue with bugs here. Goats were not aggressive, but very aware of our presence and wary. They were lying right on the trail. My last trip up (October 2018): Switchback trail closed, new signage warning of cougar sightings at the top. Socked in by fog with no views. Love love love this area.

hiking
24 days ago

Got on the trail this morning at 8:30, saw only a half dozen people on the way up. Waterproof shoes required if you are doing this in the winter as there are quite a few creek/run off crossing. (I did not need spikes despite the snowy/slushy conditions) Not to mention the fact that most of the trail is under an inch or two of water the whole way up. There are a lot of waterfalls along the lower half of the trail to check out. About 1/2 way up, rain turned to snow and there was about 4-6 inches of snow at the lake. I didn’t do the whole loop because as soon as I got to the lake, I could see and hear an avalanche on the far side of the lake where the loop goes through. Found a spot on the lake and took a 30 minute lunch with my dog to take in the beautiful. scenery. Got back down to the trail head at noon with water logged shoes. Tracked 5.8 miles in 3.5 hours with lots of photo stops and a lunch break. Rated only moderate because of the slippery rocks, slushy conditions, and water crossings.

hiking
24 days ago

Got on the trail this morning at 8:30, saw only a half dozen people on the way up. Waterproof shoes required if you are doing this in the winter as there are quite a few creek/run off crossing. Not to mention the fact that most of the trail is under an inch or two of water the whole way up. There are a lot of waterfalls along the lower half of the trail to check out. About 1/2 way up, rain turned to snow and there was about 4-6 inches of snow at the lake. I didn’t do the whole loop because as soon as I got to the lake, I could see and hear an avalanche on the far side of the lake where the loop goes through. Found a spot on the lake and took a 30 minute lunch with my dog to take in the beautiful. scenery. Got back down to the trail head at noon with water logged shoes. Tracked 5.8 miles in 3.5 hours with lots of photo stops and a lunch break. Rated only moderate because of the slippery rocks, slushy conditions, and water crossings.

This was probably my favorite hike I've ever done! The forest was so whimsical. lots of foliage, mushrooms, waterfalls, and it's easy! don't forget to wear boots and bring an umbrella :)

hiking
1 month ago

Today, December 12th, was my second time hiking this trail. The first time was in July, and I must say that I enjoyed the hike even more today! Saw 90% less hikers, the views were stunning, there was lots of snow in the lake, and way more water flowing down the trail. My regular hiking shows were pretty good for the adventure. The rain and snow just made it more exciting.

Super fun trail run. Big beautiful old growth trees and well groomed pathways. Perfect family or relaxing trails. Make sure to take the detour to the Crescent Lake Lodge!

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