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Rocks, dirt, and dust. While dogs are required to be on leash, many of the 'my dog is well behaved' folks ignored this. Parking was not an issue, even at a 1045AM arrival time. Unsure why this hike is rated 'hard' and the 'Ira spring' trail is rated 'moderate' when they are the exact same? 1.5hrs up and 1.0hrs back down makes for a quick trip.

beautiful mason lake makes the hike and elevation gain worth it. took my dog and we both went for a swim in mason lake. gorgeous views all along the way. saw lots of fellow hikers along the way.

hiking
1 day ago

Did this yesterday, August 18. Got to the trailhead at about 2pm, the parking lot was quite full but managed to find a spot. Trail was very busy leading up to the Upper Lake, but still beautiful. The best part was going past the campground and hiking up to the glacier. Even with the smoke the views were beautiful, and got to see the glacier calve which was incredible.

In total it took under two hours to get to the campground and less than an hour back (since the trail was quite empty on the way back we ran most of it). Spent a lot of time up by the glacier checking out the area, so if you're comfortable with scrambling give yourself lots of time to enjoy that area! Bugs were only an issue up by the glacier for us, and even then it was nothing too bad.

The only reason I'm not giving this a 5 star is the fact that it's such a busy trail during the day with large, slow moving groups that barely take notice of their surroundings including the many people wanting to pass them. Plus the amount of people listening to loud music while hiking does kill the peaceful aspect of being out in nature (can only assume this is a city thing to do).

I love how the hike is short, and intense. The view was breathtaking but the bugs were out there and WILD. The majority of the view was covered with smoke from the wild fire but it was still beautiful. I love how for this trial you get 360 view all around you.

Beautiful hike all the way up. Definitely tough with the quick elevation but the views make it totally worth it. Bugs are an awful but as long as you’re moving they aren’t too bad. Very seep ledge and no flat surfaces at the top, I would not feel comfortable bringing younger children. I saw some people in flip flops walking up and that is just a disaster waiting to happen.

First of al, if you follow the recording provided by this trail information (the loopI), you won’t find the peak. And do remember to drive up counter-clock wise, until you see the trail entrance to your left that is off the road. We hiked this trail by following the recording a loop but couldn’t see the trail head, then turn back to by following the cold creek trial said by the recording. But it was not worthy to came back that way. The cold creek trail was totally over grown.

Next time we would just drive up the road until we see the entrance then walk up and pass the PCT sign then come down the same way. When we got up and saw the sign of PCT trail, my husband just gave up and wanted to get down, but it was definitely a mistake. For the scene, I would definitely try again next time.

Lakes are beautiful. It’s about 15 minutes south of surprise lake till you reach glacier. There are a ton of bugs at the lake but they don’t bite

hiking
3 days ago

The view at the top was good but crowded. My favorite part was the alpine lake near the look out point. The water was so clear and cold. I went in and swam to the other side where there was still snow. Overall would recommend if you are looking for an easy and short hike with a view of Mount Rainier.

Good hike with the family when camping nearby.

hiking
3 days ago

absolutely gorgeous. quite heavily trafficed with tourists. if you're a fast hiker, I'd aim for later in the day, the crowds disperse a bit by then. perfect light around 4:30pm at upper lake (summer)

There was a point where you think that the hike is done by seeing the lake but then you realize that there’s still huge cliff to hike. It was hard for inexperienced hikers but very self-rewarding. If you don’t bring the national park pass then wait for a 30$ ticket that can be then used for 7 more days in the Rainier area. The lake was unfortunately pretty cold but the hike itself is really good and pretty :)

This was a nice island hike. A few good views and a nice walk along Mountain Lake at the end. Roads go to the top of the mountain that you work so hard to get to, with the associated crowds.

4 days ago

Pretty great!

Amazing, had such a good time

Firstly: to get to the trail you have to drive about 15 miles on lose gravel. If you have a small car, you will want to go slow unless you don't care to spend money on issues that could be avoided because it is rough. If you have a car that is high off the ground and has the appropriate tires, then you may not have to go as slow but just be careful. Otherwise, this trail is moderate with some strenuous uphill sections, but the distance makes it doable because it is not very long. Trail is well kept, easy to follow. I did not have any issues with bugs or mosquitos at all. I mean there were just a few of them but it wasn't like there were herds of flies following me, although at the tower I did spray some just a few times. This trail is BEAUTIFUUUUUL. The lakes are gorgeous and it is so worth the effort and the drive!! It is like a hidden gem.

hiking
5 days ago

would have given it 5 stars but the mosquitos were horrific in July.

joffre is as picturesque as anything you could ever wish for.

plan being there early... it fills up in q hurry!

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike! Stunning views! Beautiful lakes!

Finally heathy enough to try this. It bugged me every time I drove up I-90 and saw it sitting up there. Did it last Saturday on a nice cool, but cloudy day. Got a glimpse of Chester Morse as clouds lifted for a minute. Loved the fact it was not crowded. Only saw about 10 people all day. I was slow up and down, including a clumsy stumble. Just a flesh wound, so nothing other than some scrapes and pride. Funny, my first thought was “did anyone see that” knowing full well no one was around.

Trail is not as well travelled as Mt Si despite their similar statistics. It has some more rocky spots, hence the stumble.

I’m not much of a repeat hiker, too many places to hike, but would like to do this again on a clear day.

hiking
6 days ago

The views at the top were amazing, perfect day. I gave it 4 stars because it was longer than the listing says. There was lots of downed trees on the trail through the burned areas. Great to see nature re growing.

The trail is steep. I would recommend hiking poles. Loose gravel, soot and dirt making it difficult for climbing and descending. We found ourselves off trail for better footing at times. We came across a dear and lots of singing birds.

We parked at the yellow gate. The trail head is exactly 2 miles in from the gate. At the 1st y stay to the right at the 2nd y stay to the left and the 3rd y stay to the right.

It was really cool hiking the ridge lines.

7 days ago

We had two kiddos and a husband on crutches, so we only managed to get to the first lake, which is practically outside the parking lot, and even that was stunning. I can't wait to go back and do the full hike to see the other two.

Great hike. Last 5 miles to the trailhead requires careful driving as the road is pretty basic. A little hazy today so visibility was just okay. Bring bug spray!

Good hike for all. It’s a little steep, but not too bad. Brought my 13 year old nephew and 18 year old daughter. Both had no problem. A little smokey. Bugs are around so bring bug spray.

BTW. Whoever left cigarette butts on the trail should apologize. I removed them for you.

Been there on Saturday 08/04/2018. One of the best hikes. Though it is little long hike for me, I enjoyed it fully because of few view points on the way. Trail is wide and good. The lake at the end is nice and easily accessible for swimming. Small parking area. I would go there again.

hiking
8 days ago

Great views of lake Mowich as well as Lake Eunice on the way up to the fire lookout.

We loved this hike! The Ira Spring trail is fairly steep and provides a good work out, with some interesting exposed sections periodically up switchbacks and then amidst boulder fields toward the summit. Views are incredible on a cloudy day. We went up and over to the Mason Lake trail on the other side of the peak and enjoyed a nice break at the lake, enjoying the serene water and quiet before making our way up and back down the front side.

Great cool weather today for our first "hard" rated training hike. The trail is a bit hard to find in a couple of spots, but there are signs at most of the decision points. Be prepared for lots of rocks and overgrown berry bushes flanking long sections of the trail. Minimal bugs and great opportunity for views if skies are clear. Light traffic made this an enjoyable hike.

snowshoeing
8 days ago

Did this hike in the winter months with some snowshoes and was amazed by the stunning scenery. One of my favorite hikes of all time.

watson lakes were great. anderson lake not so much. pretty buggy

Trail well maintained, nice view on the top, lots of berries , no bugs

Wow

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