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Beautiful hike. Pretty quick hike, but you’ll definitely get a good workout in. Amazing view from the top. Lots of smoke because of wildfires at this time.

Easy hike for kids with an amazing view. This was my niece's first hike (3 years) and she did well, but tired by the end. The rangers at the top were great about answering questions and explaining to my kids how the caves formed and why they were dangerous. Please listen to all the signs and do not go inside!

The trail is very well maintained, lots of benches and break spots if ya need it! Did this hike early on a Monday and almost had the trail to myself! It was lovely!

13 hours ago

moderately challenging hike with some great views of 3 beautiful lakes. it was very popular and there were lots of folks on the trail. the smoke doesn't seem as bad in that area and its a fantastic hike. somewhat steep climb but many non-hikers on the trail so it's on the easier side. bring your suit and take a cold dip if your brave enough. highly recommended!

hiking
14 hours ago

Hiked Blanca Lake August 18th-19th. As you may have seen, the service road that leads to the trailhead is inaccessible (due to previous flooding) so the parking is on the side of the service road leading up to the area. In other words, don’t worry about parking because there’s plenty of room. Unfortunately, walking that service road to the trailhead is about 2 miles, which makes the total trip a clear cut 14 miles. Since I was planning on staying the night at the lake, I had about 25-30 pounds worth of gear in my pack and wow it made this hike so brutal. Essentially, the 3,900 feet of incline is really in the 5 miles of the actual trail, not the service road. It took my sister and I about 3 1/2 hours to get to Blanca Lake and still another 3 hours to get down back to the car the next morning. Once you reach Virgin Lake, you’ll start hiking down to Blanca Lake. Like other people have said, bring at least 2L of water if not more and make sure you have plenty of time to hike this trail. It’s gorgeous. Enjoy!

A great trail but there is a lot of smoke from the BC fires currently obscuring the views. I'd recommend starting early if you decide to take on this hike with the smoke. The air is quite heavy / thick esp for the first mile plus. It seemed to clear a bit as we climbed and there was a breeze that picked up after about a mile and a half.

I think they are under calling the length of this hike. We reached the split in the trail at just over 2.0 miles when the details here show it at about 1.6 miles. A few other people noted the trail clocks in around 7.9 miles or so roundtrip.

We bailed due to the weather / smoke and ended up with 6.3 miles roundtrip and we had another 0.7 or 0.8 miles to get to the Yellow Aster Butte summit.

I'd try this hike again when the weather is a bit better.

A great trail but there is a lot of smoke from the BC fires currently obscuring the views. I'd recommend starting early if you decide to take on this hike with the smoke. The air is quite heavy / thick esp for the first mile plus. It seemed to clear a bit as we climbed and there was a breeze that picked up after about a mile and a half.

I think they are under calling the length of this hike. We reached the split in the trail at just over 2.0 miles when the details here show it at about 1.6 miles. A few other people noted the trail clocks in around 7.9 miles or so roundtrip.

We bailed due to the weather / smoke and ended up with 6.3 miles roundtrip and we had another 0.7 or 0.8 miles to get to the Yellow Aster Butte summit.

I'd try this hike again when the weather is a bit better.

hiking
17 hours ago

Definitely not for sissies or if you out of shape like me. My 19 year old Army son didn’t break a sweat. Totally worth it. Too bad it was smoky to see all the beauty!

hiking
19 hours ago

hiking
23 hours ago

Beautiful lake, but it is too smoky now. I suggest hiking this trail when smoke clears. Lake is definitely very beautiful.

rock climbing
23 hours ago

First hike in the peninsula. The cascades were smoked out so we drove to mt ellinor. ellinor was smoky so we drove to storm king. Storm king was smoky but we hiked anyways.

Amazing hike. First portion is flat, wooded area that feels rainforesty, then a steep portion through beautiful forests until you start reaching rock outcroppings (and I assume without smoke, a view too). Once you reach the rock out-croppings it’s not much further until you come to the roped portions of the trail. You probably don’t really need the ropes but it makes the hike a lot more comfortable to use them. If you have a fear of heights you may get a little flustered. After the first sections of ropes there’s a little flat area with a rock outcropping that is apparently the false summit. Then you have to follow a trail through the woods to another section of ropes. Again they are not needed if you’re physically/outdoors inclined but are helpful. Eventually you will come to a chain to help you through some class 4 or 5 climbing. After you summit the chain, there’s a little notch to rest in. Looking at the trail below you, you must go right from here to reach the true summit. This is another class 4 ish climb with sketchy, chossy rock to grab onto. I only recommend this part for those who know what they’re doing or are confidently in their physical and mental demeanor. After this climb this you must hike a further and do more small climbs to reach the summit.

All-in-all, reaching what I think was the true summit I logged 8 miles.


Beautiful hike whether you stop at the first set, second sets of ropes, the chain notch, or the true summit. Only go as far as you feel comfortable... I am a rock climbing instructor & there were certainly parts where I had to take deep breaths to keep my mind together. I could see a less experienced adventurer getting stuck near the summit

Beautiful hike, crowded at 7am. Walked it with our cat, don’t forget your discovery pass! There is also a pull off on the road immediately before the trail parking lot (if coming west from Seattle) that saves you about a mile of hiking.

hiking
1 day ago

Perfect hike with family to get feel for great NW.

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.

unreal views at the top. we did the trek in 2 days but more experienced hikers can do it in one. the last half mile around the scree was brutal but well worth it

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.

Definitely a rewarding hike. I loved it.. by far my favorite place.

Easy with kids! Wish we had packed a picnic!

The lake is just magical. Must return on a clear day.

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful trail, with some steep grade but the changing terrain makes it a fun hike. Views are supposed to be good too but the smoke from forest fires prevent it. Delicious huckleberries and blackberries atop were a nice treat too. I would recommend packing something more than a couple pb&js if you plan to spend close to 8 hrs on the hike like we did.
Oh also, we didn’t experience any bugs, I guess due to the smoke from the fires.

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).

The whole hike was excellent! the first few miles started easy then it gradually increase as you work your way up to the top. Going down from the top is a little scary so I suggest you take you steps carefully. It took me almost 4 hours from top to bottom (lower trail)

beautiful and amazing trail, but there were so many bugs! seriously! everytime we stopped we would get swarmed. besides this it was a quick and hard hike. My group didn't start until about 5 and made it down by 9. The snow was unexpected but pleasant and refreshing to see.

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.

I found this trail BRUTAL. Make sure you have a huge breakfast and bring at least 2+ litres of water and plenty of food and snacks. Only exposure to sun is right at the top so don't worry about SPF or anything like that unless you plan on staying up there a while.

It was gorgeous and breathtaking but I can't comment on whether the physically demanding hike is worth it. That's up to you to decide.

I used the trailhead direct bus from seattle, only $2.75 and drops you off right at the bottom of the trail. These run at the weekends in summer only I believe.

Trail wasn't too crowded for a Saturday and everyone was really friendly and encouraging. Some athletes ran up and down it then back up again in the time it took us to climb up!

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!

hiking
1 day ago

Hike is okay. The view is nothing spectacular up top. When I got back at 10am Sunday, the parking lot was full, so get there early.

Nice place to hike. Love this trail.

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