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Ice last on north side out of sun
Still quite doable

A little busy but the view from the top was absolutely amazing! The trail was icy in several spots. Should have brought some light ice cleats but it was still doable.

Always an amazing hike!!

on Red Top Lookout Trail

hiking
5 days ago

11.12.2018
First time on this hike and it was worth it. The road is bumpy and lots of potholes. The trail was only a half a mile up from the parking lot. Incline is steep but not super challenging to get up. There was a layer of snow coming up the road and some snow at the top of the lookout. I’d definitely be going back again. The view was clear and crisp up there.

A 360 view at the top! First hour is tiring then it actually gets more gradual as you get closer. Today, in November, it had snow about half way up or the last third. it's all packed down though. you don't need spikes but polls are helpful.

11/10/18

We got to the trail around 10AM and we didn't see another person the entire time, until we were almost back to the car. It ended up being a beautiful, sunny day and the views were amazing. Well worth the trek up.

As another person said, it's pretty easy to miss the sign that says trail. As soon as you walk out of the trees, there's a great opening to see Mt. Rainier and it's easy to get distracted and miss the small sign. Be sure to look behind you as you probably passed it. There is another trail if you continue walking straight, but from what I read, it's a bit more of a scramble.

The trail was pretty narrow the entire way and there was already a light layer of snow. It was manageable without micro spike but there were a few slippery moments. As soon as you're out of the trees and start the switchbacks, that's where you feel the gain. It wasn't terrible, but I did have to take a few short breaks here and there (I'd say I'm about an average hiker). The closer we got to the top, the more snow started to appear. Probably a few inches already. I'd suggest when going down to at least have spikes or hiking poles, but that's me personally.

Road conditions - there was already snow on the road and there were a few moments, mostly going downhill, that we slid a little bit. The road itself wasn't bad and parts of the drive were a bit exposed, so take your time.

Google maps had us make a right turn about 6-8 miles(ish) (once we were on the dirt road) which had a pretty big pot hole, but it's not actually a road. It dead ends into woods a couple hundred feet up. Keep to the left/straight and it will meet up again with the road google tries to tell you to take. The parking lot to the trailhead isn't very big at all and you see a trail sign but there's no name to it.

Yeah yes! I did this trail is incredible it’s very hard I feel proud of my health, on the top it was a big snow you must need snow shose, , the view is amazing, Good Luck for everyone!!!

trail running
15 days ago

Good technical trail for running. A lot of gain on the way to the top. Will have to come back when its sunny and clear, nothing but most, rain and the occasional frozen rain waves. There are places snow is either on or next to the trail.

Great trail! Very rainy and foggy, but still amazing views and flora. It is longer than the beta shows. I got kind of confused between the water washes and the trail near the top and my phones GPS was not reading correctly.

Very windy at the top but well worth the hike to the top , wish it was much clearer. Started at 7 am and was done by 11 pm .

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
21 days ago

Wonderful hike with an amazing view of Mt Rainier at the peak.

However, the main road to the trailhead is closed for the season. We did not know this. So it was an additional 5 miles from the parking lot to trailhead.

All in all an extra 10 miles, but it was worth it.

it was breathtaking

A beautiful hike!
I would suggest using a 4 wheel drive, or high clearance vehicle. The road to the parking is plagued with potholes. That makes the journey a lot longer to park. There are no facilities here.
It wasn't too busy, and it was a gorgeous fall day!

hiking
24 days ago

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

hiking
24 days ago

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

hiking
24 days ago

10/19 (Fri midday): Picture perfect views at the peak and all along the way. We had a clear, sunny, warm autumn day with no wind. Not one, but two clear blue lakes along a mostly flat trail to a short, steep climb to the peak/fire lookout and stunning Mt Rainier looming super large, so close you could almost touch. Big wow for my east coast guests. Popular hike but not overrun. All mountain hikes I know require driving a long gravel road like this route in, so not sure why everyone is so freaked out by it? Road is in great shape and well maintained, as you would expect with a back road in any National Park. Handled it in a rented Impala no problemo.

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

I did this during the summer and it was definitely worth it. The views when you get on top are awesome! Before you get back to your car, stop by Mowich Lake and check it out.

hiking
25 days ago

Great trail, intense on the lower body. The initial part is through the woods, and then opens up with spectacular views of Mt. Rainier. You can see and hear vehicles from I-90 for most of the way. There are lots of blueberries on the way in the latter part. The trail has a lot of rocks which can get annoying while coming down. The views on top are fantastic with Mt Rainier towering about the other mountains. The fire/lookout tower on the top is closed.

Elevation gain on the trail is about 3,800 feet and can be quite intense. Wouldn’t recommended this trek for beginners. Make sure you carry enough water since the trail is long and it can be quite exhausting on a sunny day.

hiking
25 days ago

I hiked this trail in mid October on a foggy-turned-sunny day with a couple friends. The views were spectacular. Mt. Rainier consumes half your view when you get to the top and St. Helens is off to the west. The hike was really easy and fast so it's a great hike for a half day instead of a full day. Also, the dirt road leading to the trail is long but wide and well kept. I took my Ford Fusion up it at 25 mph no problems.

hiking
26 days ago

A must do hike if you live in Washington or Seattle! Great views of greenish blue lakes break up the hike on the way up. Not a super long hike - once you hit Eunice lake, it gets steeper but not long to the top. Amazing view from the peak of Mount Rainier! Drive in gets bumpy about 45+ minutes from trail head.

When we got to the lake it was nice and sunny, but not much longer when we got to the peak the fog had come up so fast we - couldn’t see anything

We hiked the trail on a beautiful sunny day and the scenery was gorgeous. The 10+ mile gravel road is like a wash board in many areas but there are few potholes. A truck or SUV will have no trouble. A car will have a bumpy, slower trip. It took our group of three 60 year olds and two 30 year olds about 4 hours to do the round trip. We took a lot of breaks, pictures, and had lunch at the fire lookout. The rating of moderate is accurate for this trail.

Simply amazing. A relatively short hike with some of the most breathtaking views at the end. We were lucky to get a sunny fall day and see Rainier in all its glory, along with Adams and St Helens. The drop off the edge is insane, incredible photos for a little effort!

Beautiful.

hiking
27 days ago

We started at 6:15 and reached the top in 2.5 hours. The first 2 miles are through the woods and later the trail opened up with awesome fall colors all around and my rainier starting to show towards the south.
The second half of the hike up is truly picturesque. There were just 2 other folks when we reached the lookout. The best view to grab your breakfast bites.
We ran into quite a lot of people on the way down though. And by the time we were back around 12(we stopped in places for photos) the parking lot was full with around 30 other cars parked outside on the road. Getting in early was a good idea.
My tracker clocked 11.5 miles and an elevation gain of 4070ft. Completely snow free today.

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

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