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backpacking
18 hours ago

I did a couple of nights on the trail and opted for the counterclockwise route from Black Lake to First Lake (~20 miles with all the side trips). Less crowded campsites are Fifth Lake and Summit Lake. Explored all the seven lakes including Black Lake and Summit Lake. Reserved permits are hard to come by, but easy to obtain walk-in permits in October

Awesome day hike. Challenging but very worth it. Incredible views of the Pacific Ocean at the beginning. You then dip into the redwoods before climbing about 1800’ to the summit of pole mountain. On top you have 360 degree views. Very well maintained path. About 4000 elevation gain and descent on my route and 18 miles. Sea to Sky on the way up and side trail of Russian gulch on way back (steep section out of Russian gulch). Stream crossing before pole Mtn climb was running well. Next time I will bring Sawyer filter and pack 2L instead of 4L of water (I drink a lot). Sun exposure the whole time besides brief redwood section. Highly reccomended. Pick a clear day the views are awesome. Took me close to 8 hours with a 30lb pack and weighing 300lbs+ with lunch and breaks. Gate opens at 8AM and locks at sunset.

great views of the area. about two areas with steep elevation gain. there is a little network (3) of trails that can get a little confusing, so be sure to download the map. took us about 4 hours with time for pictures and resting. no reception in the parking lot, but spotty through out the trail.

The trail was clean, no snow but cold. Not very busy but the falls is gorgeous!

Very beautiful. Loved the waterfalls.

Hiked in about 4 hours but only because a ranger was afraid I wouldn’t make it before the sunset so I really hauled ass. Otherwise I’d plan for 5-6 hours. Also, saw a mountain lion in the area (far enough away from the trail to still hike but keep an eye out). Really great views of the ocean, looks great at sunset. And fun drive to the actual hike.

The road was fine. Some potholes, but manageable. Started at the lower trailhead. Four cars when I arrived at 11AM. Heavy overcast day with some fog. It was still a very nice and of course very challenging hike. Steep obviously. Trail through the forrest was in good shape. I like old growth. Snow on the trail on the way up. A bit slushy in parts. Used microspikes about 2/3 of the way up and to the top. Took the Summer route. Fair amount of snow on the ground during the main ascent. Maybe 5". Met two guys who had hiked up with skis but they were only able to do a short run at this time. A few dramatic cloudy views on the way up, but at the top it was heavily fogged in. I loved being there anyway. Great and tiring hike. I saw about 18 people over the course of the hike, but had some quiet time. I'll be back on a clear day, but I would recommend it even if it's not.

Very beautiful love it!! I will be climbing it again in the summer. I went two days ago made a video of my climb. You be the judge of this mountain. Here’s the link
https://youtu.be/e2Wf0KKeEmY

It’s a great walk with changing terrain and great views, especially at the summit. 25.5 kms in 5 hrs 26 minutes- including 30 minutes lunch at the top and chatting on route. There are cattle on route but very quiet Belted Galloway’s. Saw a young bobcat too and mountain lions have been sighted lately. The trail head parking lot fills up quick and not RV friendly. Take water! 2 litres per person for December, even. There is one creek crossing but it isn’t too deep. Highly recommend!

hiking
13 days ago

A beautiful hike with rewarding views. The climb up definitely feels a bit harder than moderate but it’s a much easier return. As some have noted, coming back down all the stairs and downward train can be a little rough on the joints. I’d mark it a 5-star trail if it had more regular alternation between the up and downhills.

If you’re not up for the full hike, within the first mile you’ll have seen most of the prettier landscape.

backpacking
13 days ago

Backpacked one night (Dec. 1-2nd). This was my third time on this trail. I was hoping to reach the top of the first lake, between the first and second, to get a good morning photo. I got a late start and the snow kept me from even making the first lake. I ended up camping at the Cabin and didn't have enough time to continue on. Can't say what the conditions are after the Cabin, but expect deeper snow. It was about knee deep in most places and deeper after the first falls. Its all fresh snow and soft.
Overall amazing trail in summer and winter. Temps were around 1-5F at night with a negative wind chill, but the wind died down. It was about 11F this morning around 8am. Nice easy hike down after plowing.

I was wearing outer shells and snow shoes. I'll post some pics. Happy backpacking.

Recent snowfall from Nov 29/30 will make your trek longer if you decide to do the full loop...not sure what the conditions look like as I only hiked a mile in to scope out the trail and will return in the spring! It is gorgeous. If someone does the full loop with the current snow let us know the conditions and time!

Tried to drive up to the trailhead but recent snow will make it difficult to drive past the winter closure gate (45-60 min south of the peak trailhead). Follow the road from the winter closure gate and my tracks in the snow and you can do the Shulman Cove Discovery Loop for a 5.5 mile round trip instead if you wish!

hiking
15 days ago

Easy but beautiful trail. All I want to see is the second lake!

amazing
love the waterfall...

Hiked Ellinor on 11-24-2018 and there is snow! it doesn't begin until about a mile in, but as you got higher it got deeper. I would definitely bring trekking poles, krampons and any extra pair of gloves. I've never hiked Ellinor in the summer, but with the snow it really didn't get too hard until the last half mile heading up to the summit, but once you're up there, it is magnificent!! we felt like we were on top of the world!

There was a lot of snow on road and one map said we were at trail. We decided to park and hike the road to trailhead. 2.5 miles we finally got to trail head. It was a pretty hike in the snow even on the road. It was getting dark so we decided wouldn’t have enough time to do the hike, with walking down road with the cars that still needed to come down. Snow was deep as we got higher. We had spikes so they helped walking the road.

It was a beautiful hike in the snow even though we didn’t make to trail.

hiking
18 days ago

We started at the lower trail, figured it would be a nice warm up before starting the steeper stuff. Had to put on the spikes before the lower and upper trails merge as the trail is packed ice and snow. Beautiful weather in the early morning, and great views of Lake Cushman when you break out past the timberline. We climbed the steep sections, which have about 2.5 feet of snow, but there are paths thru it -very icy and packed so be careful. A storm front was fast approaching and when we got to the summit we were greeted with freezing rain, strong winds and dark clouds coming in quickly. We did not linger, nor did we continue to loop the last bit of trail section, ( is it used in the winter?) we went back the way we'd come. We encountered about 20 other people during the course of the day. No goats to be seen today. Very pretty, will go again and hopefully get some nice weather to enjoy the summit views. Vlog of our day showing the hike if your interested: https://youtu.be/yVLkhDbZp6w

Did a two-nighter out there a while back. Backpacked to one of the campsites a couple miles away from the hot springs and then hiked up to the springs the following day. Hot springs were nothing too impressive, but the hike up was really beautiful with just the right amount of elevation for a good workout.

So I rarely give 5 stars to anything. I loved this hike. Something interesting to see at pretty much every step with variety and beauty. Starts with nice forest and a beautiful river with multiple waterfalls. Then you break out to beautiful rugged views and rock fields in avalanche chutes. Meadows and old growth throughout. Wonderful views of Mt Baker along the way and the Olympics at the top. It is strenuous, and a constant climb. Per our garmins 5.6 miles each way to marmot pass. But so worth it. The day we went was beautiful and clear.

hiking
20 days ago

As others have said, it's definitely a steep climb, and I was surprised this hike was labeled as moderate (I couldn't finish and turned back around about halfway through); that said, it's one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done in the Bay Area -- from the minute you start out you're surrounded by stunning scenery, and every few feet is another gorgeous spot to rest and breathe in the incredible atmosphere. I went fairly early (9:30am) and the trail was really quiet and empty -- on the way out around 11:30 I passed a ton of groups, so I suspect afternoons there are quite crowded. Would definitely recommend to anyone with a moderate fitness level, provided you bring lots of water and are prepared to take a lot of breaks!

hiking
20 days ago

I LOVED this hike. It's about 11 mi round trip if you go to lakes 1-3. We went on November 23 which was the day after the first snowfall, and it was gorgeous -- I could see it getting slippery in certain places once the snow has a chance to melt and refreeze a couple of times. Nothing insurmountable, but hiking poles could be helpful in the winter.

As far as the level of hike -- I was bracing myself because people have been citing it as a pretty challenging hike, but there was not any particularly challenging moment -- the distance makes it tiring and by the end I was feeling my legs running out of steam, but neither my partner nor I are overly active (we've recently been doing a 2-3 mile hike maybe once a week and yoga maybe once or twice a week, in addition to daily walks with our dog) and it was totally doable with enough water, snacks, and layers. The way up is pretty consistently uphill, but you're not climbing boulders the whole time or anything; it's just a mountain!

Timing -- I think that for the average healthy person, 7-8 hours is probably a good amount of time to give the hike if you want to stop for photos, food, exploration. We left just before 8:30, got to the 1st lake around 11 AM, meandered to the 2nd and 3rd lakes and back to the 1st again, stopped for some food and chatting (and some dog play between our dogs and other awesome dogs on the trail), and were on our way down around 12:45, then back to the car by 3 PM.

I can't wait to come back and see how the lakes look in other seasons. Can't recommend this hike enough.

A very easy stroll with a beautiful waterfall at the end.

SNOW!!! We weren't expecting it because the last review we saw said no snow, lol. Thankfully we packed for the worst so we had what we needed. The view from thr summit was CRAZY, exactly as we hoped. Able to see Rainier and all the way up to Baker. Plus Mount Washington to the east. Absolutely gorgeous up there. Highly recommend spikes, poles and a change of socks/ gloves, lol. If you have gaiters I'd bring them to. This was our first trip so we started at the lower trailhead. Honestly, the lower portion looks like any other Washington forest hike so ill skip next time. Once you hit the snow it got deep and steep. There was a trail cut but it was pretty narrow. There was a TON of people with only sneakers, no poles, no gloves and so on so be prepared, it gets cold fast. Needless to say, I didn't see any of them at the summit which gets pretty sketchy. You can safely glissade most of the way down so that was fun and quick though I ripped the butt outta my pants half way, lol. The road to the trailhead was not too bad, no snow the whole way to the lower. I'm unsure how the upper road and parking lot was. Happy hiking and be safe

Love it! Didn’t make it to the top but next time I will.. There were snow had to turn back because didn’t have the proper shoes. I made a short video of my hike. https://youtu.be/denEQQuMF18

hiking
21 days ago

What an absolutely stunning view! I tried for a late season summit and was met with several feet of snow at the top. It was fairly hard packed from lots of travel but still very slippery and challenging. I'd definitely recommend microspikes and poles. The view from the top was so worth the frozen fingers!

Stunning hike but we got a bit lost between Lakes 5-7 as the ground was covered in snow and we couldn’t find the trails (hiked November 24th). Might be advisable to turn around after lake 3 in snowy conditions if you’re not familiar with the route.

hiking
24 days ago

This hike is different than other Baker hikes like Park Butte or Skyline Divide – because you start already above the treeline, most of the hike is alpine trail with dust and the occasional rockfall. A great part of the hike is that a) it offers amazing views starting 10 minutes from the parking lot, and b) it's noticeably flatter than the hikes mentioned above (though it is slightly higher in elevation). Continuing all the way to the final viewpoint, Baker is fronted by a massive valley, making the mountain feel much bigger than at Skyline Divide or Heliotrope. A great hike for someone who wants a slightly easier introduction to Baker hikes!

hiking
24 days ago

This was the perfect hike! A little challenging due to the distance and carrying about 25 pounds, but definitely doable. It was a gradual incline so nothing too brutal. After the first mile, you are walking next to a beautiful river the entire time. Got to see a waterfall, then Lon Cheney’s cabin, and then the lakes were gorgeous. We only made it to lake 2 due to time, but we will be back to do the entire thing. HIGHLY recommend, one of my favorite hikes.

hiking
25 days ago

Beautiful, one of my favourite lakes in the basin. Steep climb up but fantastic views

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