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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

Relatively flat, wide gravel trail. Nice waterfall area at the end. Mostly smaller growth trees in the beginning.

Convenient to Duvall.

hiking
6 days ago

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

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.

on Minotaur Lake Trail

hiking
13 days 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.

hiking
13 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.

Good well kept trail, first 2/3 is easy, well maintained path. Last night is a bit tougher and can get quite sloppy with heavy rains. Keeping to the left Allows for extension along older Logging roads. The last turn to the cause it’s not super obvious. Fun day hike.

Not recommend. Although it's a well-marked trail, there are a lot of burned areas blocking the way. The trail is too narrow, so we stopped many times to make way for biker. And the view of the top was disappointing, good for biking but not for hiking.

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
22 days 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
23 days ago

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

hiking
23 days 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.

hiking
25 days ago

Pretty easy and relatively low incline hike with flat and wide trail! Easy to get to and a great lake view from the top, nestled into the mountain peaks. I wanted to swim by the rocks were kinda sharp and didn’t want to cut my foot. Did this in August.

hiking
25 days ago

Very steep, grueling climb, but the payoff was totally worth it. Minotaur Lake is beautiful and pristine... and just over the ridge to the right, an incredible view of Theseus Lake.

In dry weather, the trail is loose and dusty, and both myself and my dog slipped a couple of times. I imagine it’s all mud when it’s wet, so plan accordingly.

What a beautiful lake and the trail is pretty nice as well! The frosty boardwalk around the lake was fantastic! So many mushrooms out still and the lonely raven barking across the lake was awesome!

Hard, but worth it!
Took over an hour to go up, maybe 45 minutes to come down. When you pass the railroad tracked turn right and walk until there’s a trail on your left.
The trail is hard to follow at parts but there are markers to follow on the trees.
View from the top is worth it!

Beautiful forested trail and lake. The only downside are the massive potholes one mile before the trail. I found the hike to be easy and parking was not an issue.

Beautiful.

Fantastic day for hiking Mt. Pilchuck ( Thursday, Oct. 18). The weather and the view were fenomenal; also very little traffic.

Well maintained trails. My only complaint was that the trail markers are somewhat confusing and we wondered off the trail a number of times.

very beautiful and got some great pictures but the trail is not marked well. We kept finding ourselves in campgrounds.

The views were 5 Star...

But so many people, I picked up trash left on the trail. I met several people who were left behind by their hiking group. No trail courtesy... Lots of people from out of state/country feels more like a tourist destination. There is nothing wrong with that, just trying to give you an accurate review...So many people both on the trail and at the lookout. About 3 pm there were so many day packs scattered everywhere around the building. Both inside and around the cat walk, hardly a place to sit. My hike was on 10/6/18 and wonder if mid-week would be best. I met several 4 & 5 year olds along the hike, lots of dogs in back packs. It was a lot of fun. If your looking for tranquility, probably NOT your hike....The road up was filled with potholes more than I would expect so take your time.

Tips:
With fewer daylight hours, bring a headlamp if your hiking too late in the day.

Hiking poles are great help. You will appreciate them probably at final 1/2 mile and your hike down.

We started at 9am Saturday morning and reached the top at 11am. We recorded 6.4 totals (definitely not 4.8) but well worth it. Some of the rocks after halfway up were iced over, so just take your time! The view was amazing, but next time we will go for sunrise!

on Mount Pilchuck Trail

1 month ago

Be aware of potholes, drive carefully and arrive early for a parking spot. Did the hike on Saturday morning and some sections were very icy, I fell even with trekking poles and saw a lady fall hard luckily she was ok. Just be careful and take your time, some scrambling at the top but well worth it. The day was clear and gorgeous views of Baker and Rainier.

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