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We did this hike on July 29th. This is an easy hike that our 3 year old can easily walk himself. Even though it’s a short hike, I still recommend bringing water. A great place to pack a picnic.

hiking
2 days ago

Fun hike! Not too difficult but enough uphill/roots/rocks to present a bit of a challenge (keep in mind, I moved here from one of those flat states in the middle, so you’re mileage may vary). It was a bit hazy today, due to wildfire smoke, but still a pretty spot! Hung out by the lake for a bit and only saw a few other people. Got to the trailhead about 10 and only four other cars in lot...lots more when I left at 1 (especially for a Monday, I thought).

Last four miles of the drive to the trailhead are on a gravel road...the road isn’t in bad shape but not fun if you already have to pee!

Beautiful hike. Well maintained "manicured" pathway that's friendly to visitors of all abilities including kids on strollers. Trail ends near the caves and many will go off the trail to get close at their own risk.

hiking
4 days ago

Beautiful trails with moss covered trees. The trails are labeled really well so you can shorten and extend you hike through the park easily. Definitely going back!

Neat, short trail. Decent little hike. Very public-friendly. Prone to crowds. Amazing views. Was very rainy before the holiday this year, but still well-worth the hike. LOTS of dogs

hiking
7 days ago

This is a fabulous easy hike, the last little bit before the peak was a bit burley but still a blast. This is one of my favorite hikes so far.

The bugs everyone complaining about? they are everywhere in Washington so wear bug repellent.

PLEASE keep dogs on leash, it's upsetting to get charged by unruly dogs, it concerns me for the wildlife nearby.

The road up is long and crappy but I've seen worse, go slow and use caution the rocks are sharp and I could see a tire getting popped easily.

I read the reviews before we went and knew ahead of time about the road up. Having an anxious dog who needs to see everything, the ride up was pretty brutal. But, as soon as we got on the trail itself, it was pretty easy going and the views were awesome. I cannot express enough how important it is to leash your dogs though. Even if they are well behaved, you never know what can happen with other approaching dogs/people. It is definitely better to be safe, rather than sorry.

Great easy hike! My 6 year old had no trouble going there and back and even we spent time "exploring" the edges of the ice caves for a few hours before heading back. No T-mobile cell service shortly after getting onto mountain loop highway. Our only complaint today were the aggressive flies near the end of trail near the ice caves.

hiking
11 days ago

The road is very rocky and there's a lot of huge potholes. It is not advisable if your car is not fit for off-road driving. The view of the cascades and the lakes are amazing. And the fields of wildflowers were beautiful. However, the bugs were insanely ANNOYING! The bugs will constantly swirm around you and the horse fly bites stung.

Lovely evening walk 30 mins. in and 30 mins. out, the trail is so easy you could push your grandma in a wheel chair, well almost. Saw 3 people do it in flip flops. Berries available for snacking. Cave made it's own fog and it was visible at 8pm, very cool to see. Waterfalls are full and many. Lot's of downed trees in avalanche zone from a windstorm years back. LOVE this walk and nice picnic tables with a mountain view near first parking lot. Go late and avoid the crowds and enjoy the bird calls.

Great trail for all and the dogs were allowed. Well maintained and it’s an easy hike for all.

This was a BEAUTIFUL hike up to the caves with an even more beautiful finish. It was fairly easy if you’re well and able to hike at a small incline.

hiking
14 days ago

took two 4 year olds. harder than anticipated but still not difficult. the lake is beautiful and totally worth it. took about 3 hours round trip with about an hour break in the middle for lunch

walking
15 days ago

Awesome local urban walking, running and biking surfaces.

Really pretty trail! Very scenic but highly populated. Make sure to go to all the caves! The last one was by far the best! Very easy trail

hiking
19 days ago

If I had a favorite shade of blue, Summit Lake would be it. A nice gentle hike through the woods with lots of shade, leading up to a gorgeous (and freezing!) alpine lake. Take the loop around the lake for an amazing view at the summit overlooking Mt. Rainier and the water below.

We went to the right on the loop, which was a very gradual ascent. We took the other way down, and that was much rockier and steeper, but still doable at a slower pace. The bugs are NO JOKE!

We only saw a handful of other people along the trail and had the lake to ourselves once we made it down to the beach. The trail that leads to the lake will provide an access point to the water, albeit rocky. If you're looking for more of a beach feel, about a quarter of the way to the right on the lake loop, some side trails wind down towards the water. Again, it's a steep climb, so walk carefully!

And for the road: Yikes. It's exceptionally rocky and filled with giant potholes the entire length. We did pop a tire on our Jeep Wrangler, and had a spare, but no jack. Luckily, we were able to drive up onto a rock and balance the weight to change the tire. If you do venture to the trailhead in a vehicle, make sure you had both of those things so you're not stranded! We didn't get cell phone reception until we hit pavement again, so arranging a tow truck is highly unlikely.

Not worth the drive up

hiking
20 days ago

its pretty at the top

beautiful lake and views from peak above lake. Not worth the access road drive for a 1 hour hike.

Beautiful walk, great for all ages. You can use this trail as a warm up for a another hike, or spend a great amount of time just enjoying the scene. Make sure to enjoy all the caves walk but as far as you can....around the rocks, if you enjoy yoga there are a few beautiful big rocks you can sit/stand and do the different positions. Had no problems with bugs. Bring your doggie poop bag.

The road is just as bad as advertised. Most of it is spent deciding whether to go over the large rocks on one side of the road or through the washed out ruts on the other side. I thought that it probably wouldn't be much worse than the road to Mowich Lake but I was wrong.

The hike itself is fairly enjoyable and the view from the peak overlooking the lake and Mt Rainier is fantastic.

Overall, I probably wouldn't do it again as there are other hikes with just as good of a payoff without the awful road to get to them.

Great hike! Beautiful views of the Columbia river. Not to hard but will definitely get your heart rate going! My 6 year old and I make it to the top every time! We love it as a weekly hiking route!

Truly remarkable and exciting. The caves were literally sensational - sight, sound, and the feel of the cold blasts of air were incredibly memorable and unique. Get there early. The after lunch crowd seems bigger than the pre-lunch crowd. There are more ice caves if you follow the edge of the ice field to the base of the waterfalls. Just pay attention to your paths as they are unofficial and not always clear.

Heaven on earth

hiking
25 days ago

Sunny 51 degrees at 8:45a
Trip start: 8:58a
Reached Lake: 10:00a
Arrived ridge peak via east trail: 10:30a
Duration at peak: 25-30 min
Return via west trail (did loop) to Trailhead by: 12:00p

Drive from Carbon river bridge: Its true, the road is really rough and rocky (all 6.6 miles of it). I don't feel you need a high clearance vehicle (potholes are wide/shallow, and any washout can be driven around.) Though I do recommend a sturdy reliable vehicle. Go slow and maneuver carefully and you'll be fine. Plan about 30-45 min (I took 25 min in my Audi Q5) I even saw the benchmark Prius at the trailhead. lol

Trailhead parking: The main lot area can easily accommodate about 20 cars (if people park respectfully). But many don't and do a double wide park job. Rude. As usual the road to the TH turns then into a single lane for a bit. As was the case at 12:10p.

Trail condition: Really good. No problems.

Looping the Lake: If you plan to loop the lake, take note. Once you reach the perimeter of the lake, you can go left (towards the open field) or go right via the slightly longer scenic route. Going left you will encounter a lot of side trails...just skirt along the lake. Eventually they all converge and form a single rough, rocky, bushy, steep, trail up the west side of the rocky ridge peak. Its definitely quick. Take the Right scenic route and enjoy less of an incline but see a lot more beauty all around. Either way, its a loop.

Toilets: None at Trailhead. Though, before you cross the Carbon river bridge, go a few hundred yards further (there are two toilets there) as it hosts several other trails there. Park Ranger station you would have passed has no public restrooms.

Overall a great morning hike and no bugs. Mt Rainier looked happy.

one of my favorite hikes! it's really easy but the waterfalls and caves once you get there are fantastic! what a gem!

hiking
27 days ago

Super easy. We have had people of all ages and ability complete this with us.

on Barclay Lake Trail

28 days ago

Easy trail, pretty views around the lake. Lots of camping spots, would be a nice place to backpack. Lots of children and families.

Was an awesome easy hike and amazing views.

backpacking
29 days ago

Absolutely beautiful!! There is a 5 mile rocky road with pot holes just be ware of that. If you take a car it will take you much longer to get to. It took us about 35 minutes in a truck.

The hike itself is not too hard at all. Yes incline but it's fairly quick to the lake. Also millions of Glacier Lilly's to see. We packed in on Sunday which was perfect because others who packed in that weekend were on their way out. We found the best spot thats on a ridge to the right of the lake with a perfect view of the mountain and lake down bellow. The lake is cold and refreshing. Lots of day hikers enjoying the lake too. We convinced a couple that has never been up there to go to the look out at the top, as they were just going to head home after the lake. It may look steep from the lake but it's not super hard and only about 15 minutes to the top at the most. Little snow ridge that is passable up top and the view is incredible!! You won't regret going all the way up!

Bugs. Horse flies at the lake. I had skin so soft that helped keep them at bay but still got bit. Also if you're staying I recommend going to the top to watch the sunset/sunrise but the mosquitoes come out in full force. At least at our camp site we had repellent that had a 15 ft. Radius witch worked well. We had just picked it up from Cabellas.

We did hear some music base while at the lake for about 10 minutes sounded like it was coming from behind the lake. EDM or something like that idk. I love music (at a bar, club or while w/o) but please be mindful that most of us go up there to enjoy the peace and quiet. Use your headphones or at least turn off the base on your player because sound travels easily up there. We also packed out some trash that we saw including a pair of fairly used woman's sandals. Please pack out everything you bring including food scraps. There was a full water bottle in the lake and banana peels, pistachios. Understandably things get over looked or fall out of bags. Do your best and if you can pick stuff up when you see it to help preserve these beautiful places and give the next visitors their best experience!

We will definitely go back. Maybe next time we plan on hiking up bear-mountain trail before heading to the lake. Enjoy!!

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