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went there August 12th 2018. it was cloudy but definitely a great hike.

Did this with my 8-year old granddaughter and son and we all had lots of fun!!

As a follow-up to the review by PhLo S just below...my group went August 10-12. There were some flies and mosquitoes at the lower elevations, but nothing close to plague-level. As a precaution we wore long sleeve shirts and long pants, with the option to wear head nets. While hiking these precautions weren't really needed, but during rest stops the bugs can get annoying. The views at the upper elevations are amazing. This was one of the best hikes I have been on.

Beautiful hike! Took about 3-4 hours in and out. Stopped a lot along the way to enjoy the views. Moderate incline going in. Good trail, rocky and rooty at the elevation. This was not a difficult hike but not for novices.

Amazing hike but little bit steep with rocky stairs and roots. Surprisingly it was bugs free! Parking was good.

Groomed trail. Beautiful views. Aggressive huge horse flies; bee body with fly wings! Steady climb up. No cover at about 2 miles. Suggest starting early to avoid the hot sun. Beautiful display of wild flowers at 2 miles.

Amazing hike and well worth the effort! Feels a lot longer than 3.2 miles. I would recommend trekking poles for coming back down the trail due to some of the steps. they helps steady you. trail is in fantastic condition and there were no bugs. parking sucks!

This review is WAY off on mileage. We hiked this today and recorded 2.2 miles to the falls ONE way.
Everyone’s comments are correct this is moderate to hard hike. Lots of stone and wood steps and rocky terrain, plus steep sections that are helped with switchbacks.
We pushed on the extra .75 miles up to the Van Trump part of the park. We had incredible views of Rainier even though it was a little smokey from the current fires. Well worth the extra push.
Parking got full by around 10 so come early. Then opened up again around 2:30. Bring lots of water on hot days.
Not that many mosquitoes, but annoying little black flies that didn’t bite.

*3.8 Miles to Comet Falls, the Trail winds next to the river, which provides ambient noise. Trail is beat down with roots exposed. Definitely well trod. Still, beautiful views!

Excellent moderate hike. a bit steep and rocky, runs along the river, several waterfalls and plenty of mist at the end to cool off with

Epic views & a good trail. I loved the alpine meadows and wildflowers everywhere. It’s a beautiful hike.

Three friends and I did an overnight along this route, staying near Goat Lake. The hike is absolutely miserable near the beginning and end due to plague-level biting flies that easily eclipse the also annoying mosquito infestation. A ways above the treeline all that junk disappears. The views and nice weather made up for the terribly buggy ascent and descent. We did the side trip up Hawkeye Point on our way back, well worth the extra effort. As the first evening approached, the clouds cleared off Mt. Adams. The view south from Goat Lake is amazing. The wildflowers were fairly abundant, especially near small streams. Keep in mind that standard insect repellent does absolutely nothing for the biting flies even if it keeps the mosquitoes from biting. Deet, Picaradin - no effect. Had I known, I would have read up on specific solutions for biting flies as they were far worse than mosquitoes. If you can tolerate wearing pants on a hot day, it will reduce the flies' annoyance at least a bit. Slapping your full body is harder, though it burns more calories. If you plan to camp, I highly recommend going on a weekday. It's a very popular and crowded trail. Maybe we saw over a hundred people total. Luckily we stayed Sunday night, so most of the weekend hikers were on their way down as we went up. If you are concerned about snow, as of August 6th there isn't any on the trail this entire loop route. There is a big, steep snow patch in the saddle going to the Hawkeye Point side trip, but there is a makeshift trail below and east of the snow to keep it safer. From Hawkeye Point we were able to see 28 goats to the northeast. Keep in mind they might be in the snow, in which case they blend in a bit. Bring a powerful lens (like 200 or 300 mm at least... aka 10x zoom+) if you want to get a decent photo of them.

hiking
13 days ago

The best views of Rainier I’ve found, but in the heat of summer the bugs were out in force. You may need to reapply bug repellent and sunscreen. We met groups of all ages, but had plenty of trail time to ourselves as well. Definitely recommend trek poles for this hike, especially for people with bad knees.

Excellent hike. A lot of uphill on the way up but my kids did fine (8 and 10) and it was worth it for the views. Wildflowers all over and we saw a buck and marmot right off the trail. Go in the evening to see a beautiful sunset!

We planned our arrival in hopes that 830 at the trailhead would get us parking and avoid the crowds. We were right and wrong at the same time. The trailheads at West Parking and Berry Patch were both packed, but as it turned out, it was mostly day hikers.

The trail condition heading up Snowgrass Trail (We did the loop counter clock wise) was in great condition, and the bugs were only bugging us if we stopped. We were hiking with two dogs, and the bugs were more interested in them than us.

There were plenty of people on the trail, but almost all of them were day hikers in large groups. We saw maybe 5-6 backpacking groups (2-4 people) the entire way up. We stopped and ate lunch at Snowgrass before pushing on towards Goat Lake, where we intended to set up camp. The bugs were worse up in snow grass flat, but not unbearable and as the valley opened up the views made us completely forget it.

We ended up deciding to make camp about a mile shy of Goat Lake. I'm not one for crowds, and everyone was headed up there and we were early on the trail for backpackers. It ended up being a great call, as we found a nice shaded spot a little off the trail with a perfectly framed view of Mt. Adams and easy access to fresh water. Through my telephoto later that evening, I counted over 15 tents in the vicinity of Goat Lake.

The next day, we continued the loop, stopping for pictures and to let the pups play in the snow at Goat Lake.

The trail from a mile prior to Goat Lake, and about 3 miles after it is absolutely beautiful, but a little precarious for novice hikers, hikers with inexperienced dogs, and children. The drop offs exceed 1000 feet in places, and while the path is mostly in wonderful condition, there are sections that require a little more concentration, and they generally match up with those steep drop offs. Just a thought to consider when deciding how best to tackle this loop, or whether to just do an out and back on Snowgrass.

After crossing the ridge into Jordan Basin and following the long ridge-hugging trail down into the treeline, the trail slowly widens, the canopy thickens and despite a last minute climb before the 1.8 mile elevator descent to parking, the trail was very enjoyable.

Water is pretty available the whole loop, but the wooded section on the western part of the loop has only one good creek access, and the rest of the water is available above the tree line. Jordan Basin has a wide, cool stream to fill up in before your descent. We packed too much water in, considering the availability of fresh water throughout the hike.

For a weekend backpacking trip on this trail, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of crowds, availability of camp sites and the friendliness of everyone on the trail. There were lots of dogs, lots of families with young kids and hikers of all ages on the trail.

This is a beautiful scenic trail. Unfortunately I ran out of gas about one half mile before Goat Lake. The views are amazing but I ended at 12 miles which was too much for me to day hike. I will have to try it again another day. A side note, the biting flies are insane, bring lots of repellent or you will be miserable.

18.07.28 (Overnight)
The trail itself is in good shape and the spectacular views begin around 5 miles in. The trail was very busy, but not excessively so.
Bugs were an absolute horror until you get above the treeline, to the degree that even my 2 dogs were actually groaning and thrashing around in frustration whenever we stopped for water.
The lake is 90% frozen and there was still snow around Goat Lake, but solid ground could be found for tents. However, there were easily >30 tents crammed throughout the vicinity and campfires were in use by some groups despite very visible signage stating this was prohibited. In short, it was a zoo.
The gross misconduct by overnighters and general overuse of the area will unfortunately keep me away. Please, be respectful when you enjoy these beautiful trails.

hiking
15 days ago

Most beautiful falls but it’s a little bit steep. You should come early so that you have to take pictures. Because everything is so majestic!

We did the hike yesterday, 7/27. We picked a sunny and clear day. We had hiking sticks, good shoes, and a bottle of, Off Deep Woods. It appears we survived the bugs without any bites. They were pretty annoying but could have been worse. I’m not an experienced hiker and I’m in average shape but I was able to do this hike. I am also scared of heights but managed as well. Nothing too scary. We did not encounter any snow on the actual trail. Lots of wildflowers along the trail. We also saw a marmots and ground squirrels at the top. The views are magnificent and worth every step to the top. We layed out a tarp and had lunch up there. On our way down we took a break and stuck our feet into the water trickling down one of the small waterfalls. It was harder going down. I highly recommend this hike.

Best maintained hiking trail I’ve been on. Went today and it was beautiful weather! A little hazy at the top but well worth every step up. Take bug spray and use it frequently- lots of bugs. Get there early for parking. Best hiking trail I’ve been on!

Pretty easy hike, ended up running it. Stopped for lots of photos.

Nice hike. Make sure if you are going clockwise that you take the time to walk out to view the river when there are lookouts. If you wait to get to the bridge you'll miss the rapids!

This is a great trail if you’re looking for a quick hike! There are some parts that are a little tougher, but overall it’s pretty easy. Awesome views of Helena!

hiking
23 days ago

Completed 7/14 Tough for footing and climb, but relatively short. Completely beautiful, one of the best short ones. Took us ~3hrs with stopping and taking pics

Not for kids younger than 5. Too many trip hazards, too steep, too many ledges for younger kids.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful views. Worth the trek up. Highly recommend putting this on your summer to-hike list. It is a popular hike so preferably do this on a weekday and start early if you like solitude.

Beautiful hike somewhat strenuous but well worth it get under the water fall so u can get that chill breeze

Especially rewarding on a clear day. Views of Rainier are spectacular on way up (make sure to look behind you every so often and you'll see what I mean) and when you get to the saddle you can see Mt Adams, Mt Saint Helens and Mt Hood too. Avalanche Lilies we're in full bloom too!

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