Explore Hwy 2 west - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hwy 2 west Map
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hiking
15 hours ago

Great trail for a short but intense hike just an hour outside of Seattle. No passes needed and easy parking right off the highway. I would definitely bring visitors or new hikers here since it's doable for most fitness levels but the view is A+. I would expect it to get taken over by Instagram influencers very soon. Hiked in December - some frost on the ground but footing was solid and didn't have any issues.

Dec 5, 2018:
Road is snow free and in decent shape; it's actually one of the better mountain backroads we've driven on.
Trail is snow covered starting 1 mile in. It's all well compacted and well established. We wore our microspikes. There were a couple slick ice patches in the lower elevation of the trail worth noting.

It was a moderate trail. The switchbacks were a bit challenging in damp conditions.

hiking
13 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.

This is one of the first "hard" hikes that I actually agree is "hard". It's short, so just about anyone young or in moderate shape can do it, but the trail is steep, not well maintained, and uneven, with places where you need to scramble up boulders and tree roots... it's not one of those "hard" hikes of maintained, steep switchbacks.
As others have said, the trail is not well marked. In places there are blue paper diamonds to follow, but I found the placement to be completely useless. Follow signs to "upper wall", because the name of this trail on Alltrails has nothing to do with the name of the trail on the signs. I don't know how we would have found our way without the Alltrails map, which at times still had us unsure of which way to go when the trail forked.
I loved that this hike was short but challenging, with a fabulous view at the top! We went on a partially cloudy day, so many of the mountains were obscured, but it was still well worth the drive from Seattle and hike up!

The parking lot is closed for the season, snow I guess. We parked along the road and walked around the gate. The falls are very close so we were able to get a good view and took the trails along the river. The view is gorgeous! We will be back in the summertime.

hiking
20 days ago

Beautiful hike! The trail is covered in compact snow and ice the last mile. We were fine hiking up in boots, but opted to use micro spikes on the way down. Views at the top were gorgeous

hiking
21 days ago

The trail is in very good condition. As with many other hikes in Washington, 95% of the trail is in the forest. There is one opening along the way, but the payoff really comes at the very end. The views at the end are fantastic, 360 degrees of the mountains at the top. Great views of Mt Daniel, Baring, and Glacier Peak. A neat view of Skykomish from the top as well. Snow in the last mile, but was fine with normal shoes, that may change by weeks end.

hiking
23 days 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.

such a beautiful trail. can't wait to go back

1 month ago

This is a 10 mile hike to the big waterfall, definitely not 7.5 so plan accordingly. We planned for the 7.5 mile hike and ended up finishing in the dark. There we’re a few of us who misplanned and ended the trip in the pitch black. It’s absolutely stunning, though. Spectacular views throughout the hike.

This is is right in the middle of a busy area but is unknown! Disclaimer: this hike is not 12 miles it’s just over 14 RT! The hike to trap lake is easy to follow. After that it becomes more difficult. As the other reviewer said once you get to the junction of the PCT follow the sketchiest trail to the left that kind of hugs the cliff line. I would suggest bringing GPS as from here it gets difficult at times and easy to loose the trail. We had it out most of the way through the bouldering part just to make sure we were close to the trail. Well worth the soreness from 14 miles and close to 4K gain! Thunder mountain lake was incredible! Trail was quite icy in many sections above trap lake. No snow as of yesterday but the snow level is expected to drop tonight to 4K so I’m sure this info will not be correct soon!

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..

This hike is a hidden gem. Once you make your way past the second lake you’ll come to a spot where you can continue the PCT. The trail to Thunder Lake Mountain will be a bit harder to make out and is left of the PCT. Be prepared to scramble the last 1/3 of the hike and occasionally lose the trail. Don’t fret, just follow some of the rock piles and be observant for where the trail will pick up again (usually the grassier areas).

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!

great hike! sooo much to see. did the hike clockwise, which i recommend especially with kids. the lower loop has so much history and the upper loop has great views.

beautiful falls, we stopped by after we did the iron goat trail, just gorgeous.

hiking
1 month ago

great hike to do with kids. well maintained trail with plenty of parking and beautiful views at the top. also a nice workout for those who dont hike a whole lot.

Serene and perfect for a weekend afternoon

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. A little challenging for novice hikers, but worth the effort. The trail head is at the very end of the logging road.

A tough hike and dangerous spent the night with Olive my Welsh terrier definitely would like to do again the views spectacular

It was beautiful!

Amazing views! Glacier peak, vibrant lake’s color and even the fall’s colors.
It’s a difficult and steep hike but completely doable. (I don’t recommend it for families though).
The road to get to the trailhead isn’t too bad, some small potholes.

Perfect hike for a short day trip. I was out and done in less that two hours. That was with enjoying the views and taking pictures along the way. I want to come back and do this in the snow! Also I had two small dogs with me and they did just fine :)

My favorite

hiking
2 months ago

ROAD IS WASHED OUT STILL and will probably be forever. Arrived the road/new TH @ 8am. Plenty of parking still. The road hike is about 2 miles. Very easy start. The road is flat for the most part. The start of the actually trail noted and the trail is well kept. This trail is switch back city and you will be ascending the whole time until the peak. The peak is just before Virgin Lake then it is literally all down hill from there until Blanca... Blanca...... is like WOAHHHH... the lake is insanely gorgeous. Took us about 3 hours to get to the lake for a total of 5.5 hours roundtrip. A MUST-DO for experienced hikers. Please review before heading to this trail. Saw a family (of bigger proportions) hitting this trail at like 4pm. I am not one to judge ones ability but no water bottles from what I saw and a late start could spell disaster. If you don't hike this will test your legs. Go prepared and brings snacks and water. The lake is worth it but go early. Hiking in the dark unprepared is dangerous.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike in general, great for running too. Greatly maintained, pretty cool tunnels.

This was a very decent trail for just getting out and enjoying the fresh air. I went when it was overcast and even a bit rainy, so a tad bit of sunshine would've been nice.

Going up to the parking, there was a very large dip in the driveway. Didn't really seem to be a problem for anyone though. Saw one car that might've stayed behind.

Incredibly scenic and colorful in the fall! Trail is long, though not as arduous as we had expected.

Hiked in August - left the car at 6am, made it to the lake by 9:45. Highly recommend an early start: cooler, less bugs, few people. The view is absolutely worth the long hike.

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