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

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backpacking
20 hours ago

Great hike! Awesome payoff! Went in using the actual hiking trail, easy and clear except for a few horse pies!

Great moderate-difficult day hike with outstanding lake views at the end. The trail to Rachel lake can get a bit confusing as there are no marked trail signs but keep looking for where you find the maximum density of footprints and follow along. Recorded about 11.5 miles RT to Rampart lake and back.

I’m 22, 5’1, 120lbs and I left my body and soul on the trail. This is hike is definitely difficult. It took my group and I about 3.5+ hours to get to the lake. I’d say this hike has 2 parts. The first part is the most intense, you’re going on a steep uphill for about 2 hours? It seems like never ending, never look up it’s discouraging. Bugs weren’t bad, weather was fine. The second part is when it plateaus a little then you go down hill for 1.5 hours? When you get to the lake go to the small little water fall on the left side of the lake it’s beautiful there. Water is cold.
Tip: WEAR GOOD SHOES. I wore running shoes and they were not comfortable throughout the trip
Bring at least 2L of water! You will be sweating tons
Enjoy the hike!

Warning! Trail is closed until 08/31. Rangers are actively ticketing trespassers

Fantastic hike. You get to experience all sorts of terrain :) And no bugs whatsoever this morning. It was good knowing that most of the elevation gain occurred as you approach Hemlock pass. Consistent pace is the key.

nature trips
2 days ago

Magical afternoon along the river! Only one there, so peaceful and my dog especially loved being right next to the river, we both got in quite a few times! Easy lil flat trail and parking right off the road, no crazy long dusty potholey roads lol ;) Loved it!

Found out about this hike on Instagram and decided to drive 4 hours to hike it. Well worth the time and money because the view of the lake, and the color of the water, is breathtakingly beautiful! Planning on going back!

Great little trial took 2.5 hours I'm not sure if the map is wrong or if the actual trail is gone but you still make it from beginning to end in 6.2 miles beautiful woodlands and river!

been there last summer. it was my first hike in Washington. the view was amazing but the hike was kinda hard and I don't recommend this to beginners

This hike is easy to moderate there are some steeper switchbacks but it’s not that hard and it’s in the shade. It’s pretty dry up until the last 2-3 miles then it gets more green the higher you go up and it’s very pretty. The view of the lake is amazing. I didn’t swim in it because I fear of dead bodies and sharks in all water lol. If you have a dog bring them because they will love swimming in the water there was two waterfalls and areas of water going on the trail so if your dog is thirsty that is a plus. Rocky in some areas and the tree roots are coming up in some of the trail so watch your step. Did see beat skat that everyone was talking about but saw no bears at all

Lovely trail! It is appropriately labeled as " moderate" due to some steep, rocky areas with loose rocks. Hiking poles recommended. Saw some out-of-shape people struggling and not having a good time...The trail was well marked and not too heavy with traffic. Probably good for out of town guests who want a hike close to Seattle with a nice payoff at the end. Bring bug spray!

backpacking
6 days ago

Beautiful lake. Went up for one night. Very limit camp sites. Lots of people

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.

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.

hiking
7 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Took Lower Elliott on the way up and Upper Elliott on the way down. Lower had beautiful scenery and soothing water sounds. The last mile of the hike is the toughest part and the trail gets a bit confusing but the lake is worth every bit. So beautiful, great for a swim and plenty of trees for your hammock ;) The waterfalls near the lake were equally breathtaking! We went later in the day on a Sunday and ran into very few people, even at the lake. Upper is perfect for the way down because it’s majority downhill. As mentioned in another review, make sure you have the right pass because they’ll get ya. I will 100% be coming back here.

A definite favorite! Have your forest pass worked out beforehand - we wasted some time with this.

hiking
8 days ago

A very easy day hike, or stay over. It's worth walking over to Lower Curtis Glacier, though it's a bit more difficult and some rock scramble. Swim in the icey Lake on a hot day. Very refreshing.

hiking
10 days ago

Started the trail at Smithbrook Trailhead. Parking lot nearly full on a July afternoon, but the lake was uncrowded. Trail is nicely switchbacked and the elevation that you gain on the way up to the junction with the PCT goes quickly and easily. The lake is spectacular. We had lunch on a large rock situated above the water and could easily see the fish swimming around the logs below. Crystal clear water. Just about a perfect dayhike.

Did this one back in may, beautiful wilderness area, lots of switchbacks..

Overall awesome hike with a beautiful, cathartic view right at the top, and absolutely worth the rapid elevation gain and unrelenting swarms of mosquitoes and horseflies (that were not the least bit deterred by our bug spray). Note that the road in is long and bumpy, and probably best suited to a high clearance vehicle, but I imagine other cars could manage if taking it slow. We arrived at about 8:30am on Saturday and were done by noon and it wasn't insanely busy, but I'd still recommend getting there early if coming on a weekend, as there is no real parking at the trail head (just park along the one way road).

hiking
12 days ago

This is a fabulous easy hike, the last little bit before the peak was a bit burley but still a blast. This is one of my favorite hikes so far.

The bugs everyone complaining about? they are everywhere in Washington so wear bug repellent.

PLEASE keep dogs on leash, it's upsetting to get charged by unruly dogs, it concerns me for the wildlife nearby.

The road up is long and crappy but I've seen worse, go slow and use caution the rocks are sharp and I could see a tire getting popped easily.

walking
12 days ago

Let me just say this, this hike is worth every AGONIZING step of the way. VERY STEEP. Took us almost 2 hours to reach the top with PLENTY of stops along the way (not in the best shape) and little under an hour to get down. The mosquitos and flies are HORRIBLE. Bring plenty of bug spray. And lots of water. I went through 2 liters of water. As soon as we got to the top, it was definitely a sight to see. Take a dip in the chilly water and it is refreshing. Theseus is a sight to see. Not very many people, only quite a handful. Some downed trees that will require you to climb over or go under.

Also, if you plan to do this hike, I would highly recommend entering/coming from the lake Wenatchee side and NOT the smith brook entrance, your car will appreciate it.

I’ve counted 19 mosquito bites with 1 one of those being on my hiney... ouch.

Loved the view!

hiking
14 days ago

I do both lower and upper trail I like more the lower one batter view but what shack me is the huge water full hiding in the trail you will love it more of the lake

hiking
14 days ago

I read the reviews before we went and knew ahead of time about the road up. Having an anxious dog who needs to see everything, the ride up was pretty brutal. But, as soon as we got on the trail itself, it was pretty easy going and the views were awesome. I cannot express enough how important it is to leash your dogs though. Even if they are well behaved, you never know what can happen with other approaching dogs/people. It is definitely better to be safe, rather than sorry.

backpacking
14 days ago

Very rewarding hike with a beautiful lake. Would recommend getting an early start on this one to beat the bugs and crowds later in the day. Camping is not allowed at Blanca Lake however there is plenty of camping spots at Virgin Lake.

Closed for Search and Rescue.

Looks like a beautiful trail. However, it is closed for SR. I hope they find her safe.

This was such a fun hike. We did the short version that catches up to the PCT. You hit switch backs right away and then get on the PCT for the rest of the way which is nice because you have all of that energy and motivation to get you up the switches and then it levels out and is pretty flat the rest of the way until you do a couple of switches going down to the lake. The lake is gorgeous and pristine. It's clean enough that you could totally drink out of it if you had to but it's always a good idea to use a fitting system of some kind. We used a Bobble water bottle and we're fine. The water is a little cold but after hiking in the hot sun it is a welcomed friend. This lake also features a beach which I haven't seen before at a mountain lake. So if you know of any others that feature a beach let me know! Happy trails!!

hiking
15 days ago

So so beautiful! But definitely the hardest hike I’ve ever done. It seemed like we would never get there but we finally did! I would definitely say take PLENTY of water. I drank 4 bottles by myself.
Check the weather before you go. We went yesterday and the weather was perfect. I think like 70-72 the whole day. I can’t imagine doing that hike in hotter weather. It would be miserable. We forgot bug spray and the bugs didn’t bother us too bad. I don’t think i have bites at all. They were only a nuisance when we stopped to take a breather. We got there and started on the trail around 11:30-12. We got back at 7:50. So it was a very long day but totally worth it. Make sure you wear hiking boots, if you don’t have any make sure you wear tennis shoes with GOOD SOLES.

The worst part was the 2 mile walk back because
It felt like it would never end.

Did this hike today. Started at 6:30am and it took us about 8.5 hours total, including about an hour at the lake. The climb up was strenuous, but it was all well maintained switchbacks. Once you reach the top of the switchbacks, there is a meadow, then Virgin Lake, then the trail down to Blanca lake. The hike is not technical and there are even stairs at a few points. It was well worth it for the view of the lake and several vistas along the way. I would recommend getting an early start to avoid bugs and crowds. There were only two other people at the lake when we got there around 11, and the sun lit up the lake closer to noon. We weren't attacked by any bugs until we started back down the mountain, and it was a lot busier later in the day too. Happy hiking!

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