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Wonderful trail to hike if a bit muddy and slippery in some spots. However, be careful about parking. Three cars, including mine, were broken into.

Got on the trail around 10:30 am. It was very snowy. Once we got towards the top you can branch off to the Upper Ashland Lakes (.2 mi) or Lower Ashland Lakes (1 mi). We headed towards the Upper Lakes but with all the snow it was hard to see the trail. We weren't able to find the trail with all the snow so we turned back and didn't do the extra mile to the Lower Lakes. We ended up stopping at Beaver Lake on the way down and it was absolutely beautiful. Loved the hike, but be warned the road has multiple potholes going up and then deep snow, so make sure you have the right car for it.

There was some confusion if we should take ext 52 or 47 thanks to Apple maps. We chose to go with ext 47. The gate to the FSR is closed. We parked on the street near the gate. It was Sunday afternoon so there were plenty of places to park. We knew that we would be racing against the sun but are pretty fit, experienced, and prepared. There is ice on the two mile stretch of road you have to hike to get to the trail head. The trail itself is covered in snow and ice. I would not have attempted this trail without micro spikes. With warmer temps I was careful to stay on the trail and not get too close to the edge (could easily slip or snow could give way on the cliff side). Round trip this hike ends up about 8 miles. From the gate and back it took us about 2.5 hours round trip, including our stop at the falls.

Such a beautiful hike! The parking lot was full but there was plenty of parking on the side of the road. Lots of mud so I would definitely bring good hiking boots and you will be fine!

Awesome hike! Steep climb, but only a mile one way so totally doable. Took 40 minutes to get to the top. There were a few muddy patches, but no snow, so it’s still good conditions for January. It was super sunny today so the views were incredible. Highly recommend for an afternoon hike.

Hiked this trail today. A little mud, but very easy to navigate. Had a blast.

Muddy but worth it! We went before it got too peopley. If you have a stroller, make sure your strong enough to steer it over the roots and rocks. We did it but it was definitely a work out!

hiking
2 days ago

Weather on the trail was perfect, no need for poles or yaktracks. The trail is super wore down and good for a person looking for a stroll or a family. The upper falls is worth the extra ~1 mi to the top. Also we started our hike at 8:30am and was completely alone most of the time, trail didn't start to get heavy with people until around 10:00.

Felt bad for parents with young kids lugging them over slippery rocks and muddy roots. Parents check conditions. You might be biting off more than you anticipated.

hiking
3 days ago

Definitely not an EASY hike. And I've been on some butt-kickers. Moderate to high level skills. Families beware; you will be lugging your little ones over rock and root through cutting switchbacks carving up often slippery and muddy subalpine escarpment. Coming down isn't any easier. Great hike for calorie burning. Not so good for daycare.

Perfect short little hike. Super kid friendly.

Doing this hike again, after 5 years. This time we are doing it with Daughter, our 8mth old puppy and more friends. Going Saturday January 12th 2019. This will be the 3rd hike of the new year.☺

Plenty of parking, pretty muddy. But pretty

Such a nice great little hike. My husband and I hiked with our kids and my brother in law. It gets a little steep towards the end and but over all an easy great hike with a beautiful view

This is a great little trail for families and small dogs. its very short but still has a great view at the end.

Beautiful, but super busy trail. Since the road is closed prior to the trailhead it adds an additional long, boring walk (approx 2-3 miles each way). The trail was super slick when we visited, we saw a few people managing with hiking boots but they were moving very slowly. Bring microspikes-it really helped!! Also, turn left once you see the sign for “franklin falls parking,” don’t follow the sign for parking - turn left then the trailhead will be on your right!

hiking
9 days ago

Very easy. arrived to an empty trail head parking lot around 9am on 12/30/18. Trail conditions were wet and muddy, but an easy hike up. Very well maintained trail. encountered no snow. very foggy at the summit, got some views for a split second.

Beautiful in the snow :)

Hiked today (Jan-5, Sat), arrived around 11am, there is not much parking but was plenty of space today, not a high season. Trail is easy and in a pretty good condition, muddy sometimes, but nothing bad. Main challenge was the Hannan Creek crossing near the falls. There is a fork and loop on the second part of the trail, you can go left or right, both trails go to the falls. I took the left trail and that was a mistake, creek crossing on the left side was worse than on the right, it was not easy to cross without getting wet. There are some logs and rocks but pretty slippery and you have to jump. I wish I had my poles with me just for this crossing, left mine in the car for this easy hike.

My suggestion - take the right trail, there is a crashed car right after the fork, so you will know what place I am talking about. Creek crossing is smaller on this side and there is a big tree over it, which you can use for easy crossing. Then after the falls you can try the other side of the trail to go back, if you can’t make the crossing there, it’s not far at all to return and go back the same way. And, as I mentioned, poles will be helpful for creek crossing. Unless you are fine with wading through the creek and get wet.

A little mushy on the trails right now, but a good hike.

little bit of snow spitting at the bottom but definitely sticking at the top. muddy in places but totally avoidable!

My dog and I arrived around 1pm on a Wednesday (January 2nd) and got back to the car at about 2:45pm. We're meandered and stopped a lot. Some switchbacks but nothing too strenuous. It's been dry for a couple days so there were hardly any wet parts of the path. In some places there was mud but still very doable (I was just in running shoes). A little snow just before the tower. The tower gave me sweaty palms, but what an incredible view from the top! We only ran into 3 pairs of hikers during our trip. I may not go again but really enjoyed it while we were there.

Short hike with a beautiful view at the end. The switchbacks suck and conditions are pretty muddy but the payoff at the end is great. A little snowy towards the top and the stairs to the lookout can be icy. Highly suggest going on a clear day to fully experience the mountains around you.

Such a gorgeous trail all through. One can hear the sound of river pretty much from the entire trail. the views of water gushing on the rocks and the waterfalls are to unbelievable! Middle falls are the most pretty but lower falls are quite a beauty too. Upper falls has a much steeper climb but not the views as impressive as middle or lower. Also if you go to upper falls, the total trail length is 5.5 miles. I think the 4.4 miles mentioned in the description is only till middle falls. But Valley overlook point is beautiful, after middle falls and before upper. The trail condition is very good. Various bridges, stairs and paved paths all through the trail. Hiking poles were such a savior. the climb is steep on this trail, so if you can take the poles, please do!

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike on a beautiful and maintained trail. Being that it was New Year’s Day and free day at state parks we were still lucky enough to find parking.

We had some sunshine and a bit of blue skies. We saw a lot of cool fungus.

Hiked with our two kiddos, ages 5 and 7. The ranger station has a fun scavenger hunt to complete.

Super chilled gravel road 99.9% of the trail. It should be rated EASY. Not much to see on the trail itself but if you get off the gravel road you'll find some interesting scenery.

15 days ago

Super busy trail, nonetheless it is very beautiful at this time of the year. The final stretch to the falls is very icy making it difficult to go all the way down without spikes.
The snow is very compact, there is no need for snowshoes.
Parking spot can be very difficult to get if you don’t arrive in the morning.

beautiful day to hike to the falls, compact snow and some icy areas, good to have micro spikes!

hiking
15 days ago

This is a beautiful hike. Avoid the crowds and go on a weekday.

hiking
15 days ago

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPR3FnXSfgk or https://www.YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA to see a video from the trail.

This was my first opportunity to hike this trail and I have to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. This is one of those trails that offers a lot in a short amount of distance. It just seemed like there were views around every couple of corners.

For those who are interested in doing the hike, going early is a definite recommendation. I arrived at the trailhead at 8 am and there were about 20 cars in the parking lot. As I hiked, I saw many people and by the time that I was finished, a good portion of the parking lot was filled. I did this hike on New Year's Eve, which is something that not as many people are going to do. I can only imagine that on a nice summer day, parking is going to be taken up fast. There is no parking on the side of the road on the way to the trailhead so you'll have to find parking elsewhere in the surrounding residential area.

On this day, I only hiked to lower falls so take that into consideration as you read this report. That being said, the hike to lower falls is relatively easy. A more experienced hiker or someone with good cardiovascular endurance would have little problem. I would like to note that there was a little girl less than 5 years old that I saw throughout the trail walking on her own. That kind of tells you about the difficulty of this hike. To me, it seemed like there was not a lot of elevation gain. More so smaller patches of incline climbs rather than a constant climb.

Conditions on this particular day were great. It had been raining consistently for the past couple of weeks and this was an unusually good weather day. I was layered up pretty well and stayed warm throughout the hike but my hiking partner did complain about being cold and losing sensation when not in motion. Keep that in mind as you plan your trip! Another thing that would be helpful is to bring a waterproof layer because there were a lot of water droplets falling from the trees even on a nice sunny day. If you're going on a wet day, bring waterproof gear for sure.

Overall, this is definitely a recommended hike. There is a lot of reward for the amount of effort put in, even if you don't do the entire hike.

If you'd like to see more coverage of various hikes around Washington and the rest of the world, consider checking out my work whether it's through YouTube or my various other social media outlets!

Hải Hoàng Trần
Photographer | Videographer
TheUpperLeftUSA.com
Instagram.com/TheUpperLeftUSA
YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA

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