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Visit it in winter should be much more beautiful than other seasons as there are snow everywhere, not just around the cave.

Such stunning views this time of the year, I was "wowing" the entire time. The recent snow makes everything look even more beautiful. Went at 7:30 am today. Didn't find any other hikers even after I was about to leave.

stunning and well maintained trail. more of a walk than a hike, but the ice caves and waterfall are gorgeous!

as of 5 dec the road is still open. this a very pretty and easy hike. the frost is making it a bit slick but nothing to worry about. national forest pass is required or a national park pass as well.

We did this hike on Sunday 12/2 between 10am-2pm, the actual road to the hike was uphill and lots of potholes in the beginning but it does get better and turn into an actual road closer to the top of the trail. Snow on the entire trail, gets a bit deeper closer to the top about 1 inch of snow. Not very crowded, saw more people as we were coming down than going up. The last section of the hike is like a mini rock climb to get to the tower you have to climb up some rocks and then climb the ladder to the tower, bring good snow gear if you plan on going to the very top at this time very cold and icy! Great hike overall, one of our favorites. Bring northwest forest pass!!

I didn't get to record my hike, make sure you download the map before you leave home. Really easy hike, bring layers.
went 11/30 - rainy and at times muddy.
we only went up to the ice cave, did not go into the cave. beautiful views all around.
bathrooms at ice caves TH are closed.

Great mile hike in. Ice caves were enormous! Can’t wait to check it out in the summer.

hiking
20 days ago

This was a bucket list hike for me. This hike is by no means easy, it is one of the shortest hikes I have done all year with the longest for me drive time. The road is washed out so you have to hike two or 3 miles to the trailhead. I did this hike in October 2018. I'm glad I did this hike but definitely not one of my favorite hikes of the year. The trail is very narrow and steep up hill until you get to the first lake where it flattens out a bit. Before you get to the first lake you have to crawl over a 6ft or so rock wall. to get to blanca lake (which is a day use only area) it is a steep, treacherous descent. I saw a lot of people on this trail mainly when I was leaving and a couple who didn't think the trail was going to be that hard. When i visited in October there was ice at the lake and the shores of the lake were a lot on the stinky side. This place is very beautiful, but very hard hiking. There is a bathroom at the true trailhead, but it was locked when I visited due to the road washout. Bring lots of water, snacks and electrolytes, you will definitely need it. I would not recommend this trail for anyone new to hiking, families or anyone out of shape.

Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. Trail was snow covered but easy to maneuver on. Cave was absolutely stunning. Got to see a small avalanche happen while there.

Made for a great snow hike. Nice easy 2 miles.

I live this hike. The caves are beautiful

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Challenging but worth it. Road is washed out so it’s 2 miles to trailhead. From trailhead you climb 3000 feet in right over 3 miles. At 3.2ish you’ll reach virgin lake, it was frozen over today (11/17). From virgin lake it’s all downhill to Blanca lake, about 0.82 miles. Snow was packed down but yactracks and poles were super helpful.

Short 2mi. round trip hike. The bridges are a little slick during the Winter months. Beautiful hike and the cave is breathtaking! A child friendly hike.

Ice last on north side out of sun
Still quite doable

Our gps said there was a road closure but that was false. Got there with no issues. At some point the cave has collapsed a large portion. see pics. There is also a huge crack on the left side of cave. Also a crack in the upper center piece of the cave. Hiking baby did not go inside the cave. I went in and walked towards the back and there is an amazing waterfall in the back of the cave. After leaving the cave went further down the trail and if you stand next to the small opening you can feel a draft like a fan. Pretty neat. Further down there is another waterfall.

Very tough climb since it’s a steep incline the whole way up and Lots of bugs BUT worth EVERY bead of sweat for the view and experience. Make sure to plan for an hour or two to hang out once you reach the top to enjoy the experience.

Easy trail. The ice caves are very cool. If you go inside of them there is a waterfall at the end. Because the caves are melting the ice drips from the roof, so prepare to get wet. Bring a flashlight.

on Minotaur Lake Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, steep climb in the first 3/4 of the trail going up, but then levels out a bit to a short trek up before getting to the lake. As a marathon swimmer and relatively new hiker currently experimenting with hike-in/backcountry swimming, the elevation gain was definitely more grueling for me than others on the trail. Slow but steady with lots of water and breaks, made it to Minotaur and what a sight to see! Completely worth it where I enjoyed a wonderful half hour swim in the lake, 38F, beautiful underwater topography. Would be an ideal spot for dual day backcountry swimventure hitting up Lake Theseus on day 2 (don’t forget to go up to the ridge line to view that one). Overall great hike, very much worth it and will absolutely be back!

Rainy snowy hike to the lakes. The trail up to the lake is steep and muddy. It was lightly snowing at the lake. Little snow patches along the lake nothing that isn’t manageable. Tried to go up to labyrinth mountain but had to turn back 1/4 of the way to the summit just shortly after following the creek up just before the last push to the summit across a boulder field. There is a lot of snow up here and no sign of a trail. We had to use Gps most of the way past the lakes weaving on and off what we think was the trail. Crossing the boulder field was to dangerous as there was snow covering the rocks and we couldn’t see below. Didn’t want to risk breaking an leg falling between the boulders. Not much of a view anywhere since it was raining and snowing. Winter has come. Won’t be long before these lakes won’t be accessible till summer again.

Super easy hike to the really cool caves!

I havent hiked in 25 yrs.this was my 2nd hike in a few months an it kicked my butt.i do have some lung disease.but it was so beautiful an the scenery was breathtaking..

We randomly woke up Friday (10/26) morn and decided to head up! It was really warm here in Arlington! Got to the trailhead at 9am and reached the peak at 11! As we slowly (so many terrible potholes)descended up the road it started to get very windy and the fog was so irie! The different landscapes were so beautiful and the trail very wet, we pretty much walked in water the whole time but no big deal! The saddest part was this was my first time and the fog never cleared and covered the whole view :( We were alone all morning and didn't see another group till we were half way down, then we passed 4 more groups all clumped up! Overall it was a perfectly irie October day, but I will be going back on a clear day to see the view I missed!

hiking
1 month ago

Went a few years back. Tough climb me and my friends went past Minotaur lake down to Thesis lake(the hard way) and tried to climb up the rock face to labyrinth mountain... almost died do not recommend what we did... stay on the trail!

it was breathtaking

hiking
1 month ago

It was amazing trial ,worth spending time and beautiful scenic view !! everyone should visit and have fun!!

hiking
1 month ago

It was amazing trial ,worth spending time and beautiful scenic view !! everyone should visit and have fun!!

Did this hike today, Sunday 10/21. The trail is in great shape and I could not experience and iced rocks as reported before. The NF-4200 definitely has quite a few and big potholes. I drove over carefully but you better plan 30-45min for the last few miles on the dirt road to the trailhead.

Temperatures were awesome. Did it all around in a t-shirt and it was mostly on the warmer side.

I recorded 4.75km one way from the trailhead to the fire lookout at the top.

Don't forget your Northwest Forest Pass;)

Amazing hike! Feeling my muscle pain now) I read and expected rocks on top, but didn’t know that it’s almost rock climbing. There wasn’t snow.

Nice trail relaxing walk through the wood. You can safely walk closer to the ice then in june/july.
Great place for a short one-day ecapade from Seattle.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked out to the lake early before the crowd came. It's a pleasant one, with gradual incline not being too much of a problem once you clear the initial switchbacks near the trailhead. Descending to the lake is an unreal view and it's simply one of the most serene places I've ever been.

Was SUPER crowded on the way out, so be warned it does get busy. Would definitely take away from the peaceful experience of having the lake mostly to yourself.

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