Explore Need to Go - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Need to Go Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Two words... HEATED RESTROOMS. (Located at the trailhead). Great amenities for a chilly November morning!!! Arrived at 830am to an abundance of parking... Much fuller around 230pm when leaving... Only saw about 15 others total throughout the day. A few super respectful dog owners (Appreciated!!!)/trail runners and mushroom foragers (How PNW of them...). Overall easy hike with well maintained trails... Great views of the falls. A missed off-shoot did head us up a steeply inclined maintenance road... What's another 6 miles???

Get there early. Excellently maintained trail. Great view from the middle.

Nice stroll with a couple loops to give options as you go.

Trekking poles: good to have it with you.

Great hike for the first two lower falls, the last one really is a killer for the stairs to get to the top falls!

Good walk through the woods. Very easy hike with such a good view of the lake.

Just do the bottom half of the trail.

Too hard and far to drive to there.

hiking
1 day ago

Great hike, serene setting and landscape.

One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Challenging but worth it. Road is washed out so it’s 2 miles to trailhead. From trailhead you climb 3000 feet in right over 3 miles. At 3.2ish you’ll reach virgin lake, it was frozen over today (11/17). From virgin lake it’s all downhill to Blanca lake, about 0.82 miles. Snow was packed down but yactracks and poles were super helpful.

Good hike. Can be muddy in areas. Very well maintained trail.

We decided on this trail and we all enjoyed our time on the hike. Don’t stop at the lake keep following the trail and you will end up at a massive bolder you will want to see. Beautiful views make this a must do.. The falls are worth the extra steps.

Definitely a lot of potholes on Pilchuk Road, but the hike and the lake were beautiful. There were maybe 15 cars in the lot when we got there around 11 on a Saturday, but the trail wasn’t crowded by any means. You warm up hiking in the forest but it definitely gets cold when you’re at the lake and don’t have the tree cover. Like others are saying, the boardwalks along the lake were frosty but it was manageable. There was some snow at the lake (not on the trail itself) and the lake was iced over a bit. We saw a lot of younger children in rain boots that definitely were not enjoying themselves because there are a lot of rocks and tree roots that can be difficult to navigate at times.

Short 2mi. round trip hike. The bridges are a little slick during the Winter months. Beautiful hike and the cave is breathtaking! A child friendly hike.

It was most def a leg burner for me, but the sun is consistantly in your eyes, and the scenery could be better... but that's just our valley.

Wonderful hike easy for the kids!

Great hike! It’s a long haul to the falls, but completely worth it!!

Amazing old growth trail. I agree with the moderate rating because of the elevation gain and the difficulty of navigating the trail. Roots and rocks can be a big problem if you don’t pay attention. The reward at the lake is well worth the effort. Beautiful even on a cloudy day! I had the trail and lake to myself today. I ran into 4 people on the way down. I will return to this trail in the summer I am sure it’s even more stunning!

We did this hike on Mothers Day. We took the old trail up & new trail down..wear proper shoes for the down hill. Amazing accomplishment....hardest
one for me so far

Peaceful walk and only steep for a short while, and a great view of Seattle.

Wow!! That will be the reaction of 99.99% of people who do this hike, the other .01% are most likely crazy people. The magical, towering mountains around this mountain lake are simply breathtaking. It was a cold day with ice and a little snow in the higher elevations of the trail. The lake isn’t frozen over yet and the water still shows the bright blue color it’s known for. We clicked it at 8 miles round trip. Took us about 3 hrs up and 2 hrs back down. There is a few spots with fallen trees that you will need to go over or under. But overall the trail is very well maintained and easy to navigate.

5 days ago

Incredibly simple trail down to a beautiful waterfall. A bit crowded due to the ease, but would still highly recommend because the waterfall it’s an atypical one.

Not overly impressed by this easy hike. For a “popular” trail it was pretty poorly marked and it’s really just a short loop through the forest (the 2nd half is paved). The bridge is kind of cool from my engineering standpoint, but otherwise there are much better trails that offer better views in the area so I wouldn’t really recommend this one.

on Rialto Beach Trail

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful but surprisingly more difficult than expected due to being on sand and pebbles. Crowded but understandably so due to the views and starting right on the beach.

I'm only giving this trail a 2 because I took a wrong turn. Missed the lake trail completely, so, I can't really rate the lake trail.
The trail we did walk was well traveled and clear.
Heads up, you are supposed to have a Discovery Pass to park at the trail head.

A hidden gem. Multiple shots of the peaks as you hike. the panorama is the cake!

A little busy but the view from the top was absolutely amazing! The trail was icy in several spots. Should have brought some light ice cleats but it was still doable.

Always an amazing hike!!

Definitely a workout! Did this hike on Monday (11/13) and it was relatively busy at the top from it being a holiday. My phone recorded round trip about 12 miles, but I’m not sure how accurate this is. The last 0.5 miles are a grind but the view from the top is worth it. Watch for ice patches, poles are a good idea. When we hiked a group of hockey players were taking up a fire hydrant, look for it at the top!!

hiking
6 days ago

Really beautiful hike around this time of the year, this hike offers some of the best views Washington trails has to offer. The lake is starting to freeze up and theres lots of snow and black ice once you start getting to higher elevations so be cautious! I would say this trail falls more on the moderate side than hard, it took us 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours going back down. Would recommend this hike for everyone!

Load More