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Came here on 12/7/18 roads were icy on the route alltrails takes you on Google maps. Dirt road coming in seemed a lot worse (pit hole riddled) than leaving. There are two vaulted toilet stalls here and they were clean. You can rent cabins at jawbone flats. If you want to do the loop I would make a right at the trailhead for the pools when you first come across the bridge it will be easier to follow if you don't have a preloaded map. This place is a must see the road is easy and opal pools trail is moderate to hard. This trail is 9.9 miles and we finished it in 5.5hrs. In jawbone flats the bathroom is closed for the winter. You can rent cabins in jawbone flats and if you are handicap, you can drive in if you are renting a cabin. Cabin prices are fairly expensive over $100. Jawbone flats is privately owned and surrounded by national forrest. You need a northwest forrest pass to park here or an American the beautiful or day pass. I believe $5/visit/day. We were the first ones on the trail and when we left there were 3 or 4 other cars in the lot on a Friday. There is ice on the trail this time of year in the early mornings so use caution. No drinkable water here if you are doing a day trip here, so make sure you bring plenty of water or have a filtration system. There are people that live here all year long (we saw 3 people that worked in jawbone flats). We saw 3 people and 3 dogs while we were heading back to the car (2 dogs were not on leashes). The small trail on the opal pool side I'd call moderate to hard with some steep climbs and drop offs, it is a single track trail. Lots of place to camp on this side.

This was a beast of a hike! We did it Nov 18th on a beautiful Sunday. We overdressed and had to shed layers on the way up. The first few miles are on a nice trail and pretty easy, then you get to the rocks. The trail is marked by white dots on rocks and some ribbons on trees. We lost the trail both on the way up and back down which added to our trip and involved climbing more rocks and crossing a scree field. We did a little over 10 miles out and back in about 6hr 45min. We spent a little time at the "false summit" to eat and then continued on up to the top. Beautiful views and totally worth it, but be prepared for a battle. This is a mountain and you best be prepared to climb rocks using all 4's.

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.

backpacking
9 days ago

Incredible 4 mountaIn views: Mt Adams, Mt Rainier, Mt St. Helen's and Mt Hood. Take gaitors!

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

This and the Enchantments are my favorite trails I've done. I hiked up with my best friend and a duffle bag (lol wut?) full of awful gear back in 2012 and didn't realize what I was getting myself into. Spent the freezing night at Camp Muir and woke up to the most amazing views of my life - you could see Mt. Jefferson, St. Helens, Adams, and Hood. The sunrise comes up right behind all them. Really want to do the trail again and summit the mountain.

A challenging hike with a rewarding view at the top! We went in the winter and it was cold and snowy at the top. Very beautiful.

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!

hiking
20 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

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
23 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!

Great views of the falls but I did not do the entire trail because it was closed. This was one of 3 waterfalls I was visiting so I was not too disappointed that it wasn’t much of a “hike”. I was treated with gorgeous views of a rainbow over the waterfall. I assume on any sunny day this occurs. As others have mentioned it is difficult to find. You will park at a gravel parking lot right off the road on the right and then you will need to cross the road by foot to find the trail head right off the edge of the road.

Here is a video from my day where I visited panther creek falls, lower creek falls, and spirit falls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KasE9uJGAOA&t=630s

Travelers info:

Forest Pass: YES
Parking fee: no but forest Pass needed
Driving: about 2 hours from Portland, potholes on the road up to panther.

Too hard and far to drive to there.

hiking
30 days ago

Did this hike today with my brother in law . Overall a decent hike with a moderate grade. Nothing too challenging. First 2 miles is a bunch of switchbacks in the woods with not much to see but with a decent grade. After that it starts to level out a bit and then we hit the snow line around 5000 ft. This is where it actually got fun and much more scenic. The views were great and seeing all the burnt trees made for some interesting scenery. The top was windy and cold (25-30 degrees) but the sun kept it tolerable. Good hike if you’re looking for something with some distance but not too intense of a gain. I would probably hike this again.

hiking
1 month ago

Steep. The road to the trail is well marked and well maintained. Little slick in November, probably not great in the rain. The trail is up the road 8810 just before where it narrows, about 50 yds back down the road from where you stop. There’s a sign. If you’re not on an obvious trail that’s marked at the trailhead, go back and look. Trust me when I say you don’t want to try going up the wrong way. (I did find the trail eventually). It doesn’t get less steep, but keep going to the top. The view of Mt Adams is spectacular. Mt St Helens is 80 miles away and looks great also. You can easily see mt hood as well. I understand Rainier is visible but it was clouded over. It’s very cold and windy on top, so layers. Trip down is a breeze.

hiking
1 month ago

Great place, lots of variety in the trails as well as the scenery. Hiked along the gravel road going in to Jawbone Flats, (lots of old abandoned mining equipment all along the trail) then continued to Opal Pool and came back along the trail through the forest which connects back to the gravel road.
Since I am new to hiking this last part is for those that are also just getting started, or consider this a long hike. The gravel road is relatively flat, but the section through the woods had some short but steep climbs over rocky terrain. The path is pretty narrow and has some long drop offs in several areas. Don't let that scare you off though, I'm on the older end of the scale and new to hiking and found it all very manageable.
Believe my mileage would have been closer to the 6.5 than what was experienced by Stacy if I had taken the gravel road in and back out and stopped at Jawbone Flats. Adding Opal Pool and taking the route though the forest definitely increased my mileage.
All Trails recorded me at 8.4 miles total.
Most likely due to the weather conditions at the moment, the road leading in wasn't bad at all, even a sedan should be able to make it all the way to the trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

We didn’t have ideal weather which impacts my rating a bit. Extremely foggy and misted a bit but it was still a great, challenging hike. Saw several groups of mountain goats along the way up to and at the peak. The fog did manage to part for about 10 minutes while we were at the top so we could see some of the nearby peaks and the lake below. Down seemed to take a lot longer than up, but that was probably mental because of the weather.

backpacking
1 month ago

We did the hike from the lower trailhead. We lucked out with the weather - November 12th and sunny, temps in the mid 40s, but this hike is such a workout that we shed our coats pretty quickly. No snow anywhere on the trail, a few parts were slightly muddy. The first part through the forest is very pleasant, but fairly steep already. After the merge with the upper trail, it becomes very steep, and very rocky. Our lab is pretty fit and used to hiking, but she was not happy crossing one section which is all big rocks (an old rock slide?). Other than that, the trail is wonderfully maintained - fresh log railings and LOTS of rock steps. Beware, what was supposed to be a 5.3 mile hike was really more like 8.9 miles according to our smart watches - and sure felt like it, too! The views from the top are amazing and get progressively better the higher you go, so it's definitely worth it, but next time we may consider leaving the doggo behind.

beautiful hike! Gotta love up hill!

This was my second time hiking Mount Ellinor. It was a beautiful hike not as difficult as the last time I hiked it .We had a great day and beautiful views Definitely recommend this hike ..

Nice hike. Still very little snow. Gear: trail shoes, shell pants and top, thermal. Was upper twenties to start (9:30ish) and warmed up quickly. Trekking poles would have been nice. Once you are about a mile from the summit stay close to the ridge and avoid the scree field.

Enjoyed this hike. Beautiful fall leaves this time of year!

Do not take children or dogs on this trail. Our dog had one mis-step on the narrow trail and slid and then tumbled into a ravine. He fell so far that we couldn't see him, and we thought he had been killed for sure. We got him out and were unbelievably lucky that he could walk himself back to the trailhead (and that we didn't get injured rescuing him). I have no proof, but I agree with other posters that this trail seemed longer than 7.3 miles.

very cool and well worth the hike. this was our first actual hike so it's hard to measure it against anything. pretty steep incline but we'll marked trails and plenty of stuff to see. people along the way were very friendly. had an unbelievable time.....yes well worth it. ad thank you to those of you who donate your time to keep those trails looking the way they do.

1 month ago

I went again after the first attempt and I can say this is my favorite trail so far. It is really hard and demanding and also dangerous. I agree with the fact that this trail could be marked better. Even when I loved the snow the first time I went, I would never do this trail in those conditions, following the trail in the snow is really complicated and it was overwhelming for me. The second time,I got lost twice, one in the way down from the top. Fortunately I was able to follow a group of ladies that guided me to the main trail. I was by myself and I started late, I would recommend to get there really early if it’s the first time, so you can have time in case you need it. Besides everything I said, I would do it again and again. Loved it!!

hiking
1 month ago

The lower trail was really scenic with a nice forest view, I would only do this part once.

The upper trail was AMAZING and very tough during the last stretch of it.. It was pretty hard to find the trail due to the big rocks and the hard incline up. The whole trail had great lookouts. though. The top was really cold, but that was expected. We made the sunset in time.

Definitely one of my favorite hikes ever and I would do the upper trail over and over again

We forgot that daylights savings meant an hour less of sunlight, so we didn’t quite make it all the way to the top, will be doing again :)

I’ve done this hike 6 times now. It has to be done on a beautiful day. Mid-summer is perfect as long as it’s clear. Training is important if you aren’t an avid hiker. Starting out at a slower pace helps make the whole hike enjoyable. Bring a large garbage bag to slide down the many trails. You’re on snow for about half of it.

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