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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.

hiking
1 day 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!

hiking
2 days ago

It took about 2h30m getting to the lake and 1h30m going down for my team. It was so windy at the lake while we got there (about 2pm).

hiking
2 days ago

Too many insects/bugs during hike.

hiking
2 days ago

Great long hike with rewarding views at the end. There are beautiful waterfalls along the way.

The only reason I am taking a star off is the lack of signs this trail has. Towards the end my friend and I took a major detour because there were fallen trees and the trail was hidden with snow. We found the lake though! So worth the hike we did it round trip in 4 hours and a half. Very icy towards the end so be careful.

hiking
5 days ago

this hike from trail head to lake only about 3 miles one way. easy and pretty.

hiking
10 days ago

Absolutely stunning. We did this hike in a day that was supposed to be rainy but for the most part there were no rain. The trail was very beautiful, it was among these trees, mosses, fallen leaves and ferns. It was one of the most beautiful trails I've seen in Washington.
The hike is super moderate and the gain is very gradual. We did the loop, taking the Upper Elliot trail hiking up and Lower Elliot trail hiking down. My AllTrails app says 11.4 miles total. We walked around the lake too.
At this time of year, there were many waterfalls on the way up and also around the lake itself. All were really gorgeous. I should also mention, we took highway 530 and the tree colors were really beautiful.

hiking
10 days ago

My friend and I, who I'd classify as novice hikers, were able to complete this hike in 7 hours. It took us 4.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down.

We went on Nov. 2nd the conditions were muddy at most. No ice on the trail that we experienced.

There are some seriously beautiful viewpoints on the way up and was well worth it at the end. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so we hope to go back again in the summer to see it all again.

We persevered but I wouldn't recommend this to someone who is totally inexperienced. It was very hard for us. However, a great hike for any seasoned hiker.

In addition, we both recorded approximately 10 miles, not the the listed 7.7 miles.

hiking
10 days ago

This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life! The trail is tough but not as hard as some other hikes I’ve done. The views at the top are absolutely worth it, take a day trip and go here. You won’t be disappointed! Also, lots of Chipmunks!

hiking
13 days ago

Hiked this trail for the 2nd time yesterday. And as always it was awesome. Trail was dry, had mud in spots but nothing to worry about. Brought a fishing pole up and managed to catch a few rainbow trout. All in all it was a great hike, ass kicker for sure. But worth every bit of it!

Hiked up today, there was a fair amount of snow & ice on the trail, but still manageable without any equipment or microspikes. Beautiful views ! I’d read peoples recommendations about high clearance vehicles but I drove to the trailhead just fine in a regular car, so don’t let that deter you.

Seemed further than the 7 miles listed. Hiked the trail 10/29/18 very went and muddy with quite a bit of snow and ice halfway up. Views were well worth the pain in the butt.

hiking
18 days ago

hiked from iron horse trail it is about 2.5 miles off trail, well worth the hike good views not too busy but there are people

hiking
18 days ago

Was intimidated by the length but it was totally worth it. Beautiful. Lots of waterfalls along the way. Trail gets a little sloppy at times, meaning it was unmarked and we were a bit unsure but it was still easy to follow. Towards the end it was a bit uphill and tiring but tolerable. Will for sure recommend. We saw a total of three people the entire hike.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful trail. I got there at 10:30am and there were lot of parking spots. It took 2 hour uphill and 1hr 15min down hill. I will be back in the summer, Great Lake and picnic area.

hiking
18 days ago

Really a lot of fun- agree that Lower Elliott is a lot more interesting with water views and lots of up and down. The middle flats are pretty through the birch forests and easy...the switchbacks just below the lake will kick you a little after that but the lake views are worth it.

Steep. Short. But beautiful views once you get to the top! Must have a vehicle with good clearance to get to trail head. Some people parked and walked the road however. Once you turn off highway... make sure you turn up the hill before you get to residential area. I was chewed out for going too fast and driving past the “residential” signs. Oops!

I did this hike last summer and even got to swim in the lake. This is a must do trail. I can only imagine how spectacular the thru hike is if you’re one of the lucky ones to win the lottery.

Ok hike. Not the best views considering the miles. Would also be prettier in the summer.
Might try again next year.

hiking
24 days ago

This hike is accurately rated as moderate. It’s well marked/traveled but is all up to the late and all down back out. I spent most of the summer kayaking and haven’t lived in this area very long so I am not used to this much elevation gain. It took me about 4 hours to get up and 2 1/2 hours down. We met 2 groups that turned around and didn’t make it up because they were going to run out of time (not because they didn’t think they could ultimately do it) I think people commenting it took them 2 hours to get up are in great shape. So if you’re like me and in OK overall shape but maybe not hiking shape please know this is absolutely doable but leave time. We packed a lunch, spent about 90 minutes around the lake and then made our way back down. It was a beautiful sunny day.

hiking
24 days ago

Amazing views all along the hike! The drive there has amazing views on golden larches too. The last part of the road has some potholes - I recommend having a high clearance vehicle.
I would say the hike is more moderate than difficult compared to other difficult hikes.

hiking
26 days ago

I only made it 4 miles out. The stretch that I hiked was a nice shaded trail that ran alongside the Hoh River.

hiking
27 days ago

Wonderful hike. I can't add too much to what the other (completely accurate) reviewers wrote below, other than to say a few tips: (1) At the parking lot, the "Nature Trail" and the Annette Lake Trailhead are right next to each other. Stay to the right if you want to go up to Annette Lake -- I ended up doing an optional loop on the well-cared-for and quite photogenic Nature Trail. (2) There's a road that you cross about 1/3rd of the way up the hill. The Lake Annette Trail is well marked; to stay on it, just jog to the right and left. (3) Most reviewers are saying that the trail flattens out toward the top -- that's true, but it never really gets truly flat. Quite a lot of rocks are up there. (4) There are many logs well-located up at the top for a nice sandwich/picnic spot.

Also, at this writing, ONLY hiking is allowed on this trail.

There are several reviewers who say this is an "easy" hike -- I think it's accurately classified as moderate. The climb up to the crest is 1-2 hours, and for beginning hikers, those with young children or elderly, they might find it rougher than an "Easy" hike on the ankles and knees. It's a decent amount of elevation gain.

I took a LOT of photos so my time was about 2 hours up and 1.5 hours down. Best photo time to arrive at the lake IMO is much earlier than I did -- I'd try to catch it around 10am if you can, on a sunny or partly sunny day.

my dog and I had a wonderful hike. my dog went to swim in the lake and she loved it!

hiking
28 days ago

Beautiful hike!! The fallen leaves, old growth forest, interesting mushroom groves, waterfalls, and ending at the the lake. Loved it!

The best hike in Washington

backpacking
1 month ago

This was a fantastic 3-day backpacking trip to Blue Glacier and back. The mileage on here isn't correct. It's 17.5 miles one way to Glacier Meadows (35 roundtrip), and then about another mile to the Lateral Moraine, a spectacular view of Blue Glacier. That puts the full trail roundtrip at around 37 miles. There is another spur trail at 17.5 miles in (listed as .8 miles one way I think) to the Terminal Moraine, providing another stunning view of the glacier, this time standing high above where the glacier ends. Both of these steep-climbing trails are well worth the effort. The glacier is definitely the highlight, but the whole hike is gorgeous, with plenty of wildlife, gigantic trees covered in moss, and beautiful views of the Hoh River scattered throughout. My first night was at Mount Tom Creek (~3 miles in). My second night I camped at Elk Lake (~14 miles in), which was a nice campground in the woods. I left most of my stuff there while I hiked with a day pack (smart ranger recommendation) to the glacier and back, then packed up and hiked to Lewis Meadows for the third night. I was on my way out of the park when I stopped at Five Mile Island for lunch and decided it was too nice a spot to leave. I pitched my tent and hiked out and back in after resupplying and registering for two more nights. I definitely recommend staying at Five Mile Island either on the way in or out - it's a beautiful spot on the river, and for my stay, elk showed up before sunset both nights. I think fall is a great time of year for this hike - There are less people, and if you can time it up with good weather, it's pretty ideal. My first day was rainy and the people I saw backpacking out had been in rain the whole trip and seemed miserable. The rest of my trip was around freezing at night and sunny and 60s every day - good stuff. I'm excited to go back.

Beautiful place. The hike was easy but a bit long for my daughter and boyfriend. The lower trail is much better than the upper. The lower trail fallows the creek and is up and down The upper trail is a long gentle grade up and a long gentle grade down. It would be great for jogging but it’s not very scenic. The lake was beautiful and the views of the mountains is glorious. I would do it again for sure.

Wonderful hike! Long but moderate in comparison to other “difficult” hikes !

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