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.

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hiking
20 hours ago

$5 permit needed for parking. No issues finding parking at 4pm. Such a fun hike given variety of nature such as little creeks or a fallen tree blocking the path. Best of all is the reward of a beautiful lake at the top!

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

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

backpacking
22 hours ago

Great hike! Awesome payoff! Went in using the actual hiking trail, easy and clear except for a few horse pies!

Spectular views, mostly well accessible. Bit crowded at the beginning but the further up you get, there will be less people. It gets strenuous at times, but there are enough places to catch your breath and take in the scenery. Parking is difficult if you don’t start early. Bring enough water and snacks.

hiking
23 hours 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.

We did this hike on Friday, 8/17/18. Glad we did since it wasn't as hazy out as the day after. We got there after 3 PM and the parking lot was full. We hiked it counterclockwise. Breathtaking views everywhere! Some hikers warned us about a black bear although we didn't see one. Lots of marmots and chipmunks tho! I highly recommend this trail. Will definitely go back!

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.

We did this hike last week. We luckily counted on a break in the smoke from the Canada fires. The views are stunning and there are still some wildflowers along the trail. I highly recommend this trail but do it early and on a weekday if you can.

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!

Beautiful and friendly. Make sure you have the right pass (mountain pass or something like that.) Many rocks and roots and lots of uphill, including some switchback. But absolutely worth it.

Nice place to hike. Love this trail.

An amazing trek. It was pretty smokey when we went through but still gorgeous. Water sources were plentiful once you pass much of the mine work down closer to the townsite of Monte Cristo. The hike to Glacier Basin is pretty vertical at times and is not for the beginner hiker, but certainly a challenge worth taking. The reward is one of the most beautiful views ever and on a clear night the stars are close enough to touch.

Warning! Trail is closed until 08/31. Rangers are actively ticketing trespassers

backpacking
1 day ago

Went up to Gothic Basin this past weekend and is sad to report back that almost every single campsite had a fire pit in a location where fires are prohibited. We disassembled some of them but was frustrated and angry to see that people have no respect for these fragile places that we are so lucky to go and for LNT principles. Please educate yourself before heading out there and leave places better then when you found it.

Love Beacon Rock, it’s in our “backyard” and we grew up hiking it many times. We took our kids for the first time last week. It’s straight up via switch backs all the way up, but there are many viewing points where you could stop for a rest. (Our five year old complained quite a bit and wanted frequent rests). The top viewing area is very small, not many people will fit together up there. But it’s worth the hike for the view! And the downhill is fairly easy. Love that there are restrooms at the trailhead. You will need a Discover Pass to park here.

Loved it, get there early to get a spot and bring your Discover Pass. You can purchase a day pass in the parking lot for $10. Recommend walking sticks for the descent. Beautiful views of river and falls.
Air quality was good but a bit of a haze still lingered.

Beautiful hike all the way up. Definitely tough with the quick elevation but the views make it totally worth it. Bugs are an awful but as long as you’re moving they aren’t too bad. Very seep ledge and no flat surfaces at the top, I would not feel comfortable bringing younger children. I saw some people in flip flops walking up and that is just a disaster waiting to happen.

This wasn’t my favorite hike for several reasons. This is a VERY populated hike. Way too many people on this touristy trail. The view and scenery was just ok. For a beginner, I’m sure it’s spectacular. But I’ve been on more beautiful hikes in the Mt Rainier and Mt Baker areas. It is a nice soft and well groomed trail but extremely dusty and dirty. Your shoes will be covered with dust/dirt after this hike. It took almost 7 miles (3hrs) in and out to the Freemont Lookout so its a nice little walk with some inclines. I would rate this as moderate. The view of Mt Rainier was fairly obstructed by all the wildfire smoke unfortunately. You are not able to access the lakes here because they are off limits but there are lots of trail offshoots and loops. The best thing about this hike for me was the wild life. Saw a marmot, lots of chipmunks, and other little small mammals that look like gerbils and guinea pigs! Also, be aware that on weekends, the line through the ranger station at the park’s entrance at 410 is crowded and will take a long time to get through even with a pass.

Arrived at 10am on Saturday, August 18. Main lot was full but the overflow lot had plenty of spaces. Trail was beautiful and well marked with lots of options to jet off and take other loops along the way. There were a lot of people on the trail between 10 and 12:30, including some groups preparing for Rainier. You have a view of Rainier almost the entire way, and about halfway through the loop you get to Panorama Point, where you can see the cascade range including a view of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood on a clear day. It was hazy from the wildfires but we did see the top of Mt. Adams.

First of al, if you follow the recording provided by this trail information (the loopI), you won’t find the peak. And do remember to drive up counter-clock wise, until you see the trail entrance to your left that is off the road. We hiked this trail by following the recording a loop but couldn’t see the trail head, then turn back to by following the cold creek trial said by the recording. But it was not worthy to came back that way. The cold creek trail was totally over grown.

Next time we would just drive up the road until we see the entrance then walk up and pass the PCT sign then come down the same way. When we got up and saw the sign of PCT trail, my husband just gave up and wanted to get down, but it was definitely a mistake. For the scene, I would definitely try again next time.

1 day ago

Wonderful day on the mountain. I'm old and slow so it took me 5 hours, lots of time to enjoy the scenery and photograph the flowers that were out. Started early, well before the crowds arrived. Highly recommended! even for you "creaky knee" set.

Beautiful hike. Gradual elevation the whole way through. It really is 7.4 miles to the lakes for almost exactly 15 mile hike round trip. Totally worth it.

I’m new to hiking so I wasn’t sure how I’d do on this one being all uphill but it wasn’t so hard to get to Comet Falls and it was beautiful all the way. We went ahead and went all the way to Van Trump Park, which for me was quite a challenge. My phone tracked me going up 150 flights in less than 4 miles. At the top we saw some mountain goats in the distance. It was beautiful up there.

Great trail with lots of views- if you’re in pretty good shape give or take 3 hours with stops (took me 2.5 going clockwise with picture taking). If you have knee trouble or not a typical hiker, plan the recommended time. The first mile or so is high grade, but I feel it levels out nicely after that. No hairy spots, didn’t use poles. Great views of wild flowers and hoary marmots.

I’m a novice hiker and this was my second hike in the PNW so far. The views along the way made it really enjoyable the whole way.

We did this hike today and it's beautiful. The first cave is easily accessible however the others require little effort but worth it. There was a water curtain due to a small water fall behind the cave in the last one. It was worth taking the effort to go up till there. We actually entered and experienced the cave from inside however one of the cave, which was small and fragile collapsed right behind us, be careful and don't risk.

Beautiful! Moderate hike, hard on some of the switchbacks and uphill parts (depending how much weight you’re carrying). Bring a lunch to eat on the lake with a gorgeous view. Definitely worth the hike!

Love this area. Shaded, not a flat trail in all areas but plenty. Has some gentle hills to work on the heart rate. Beautiful place to put in a few miles.

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