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If you’re doing this hike in the summer (as we did), bring at least 3 liters of water- it is hot and dusty all the way to the summit. After you pass the tree line (2miles), the terrain is very rocky so bring gloves - you will spend ~ 2 miles scrambling over boulders. The last part is the hardest to go up - an incline of loose ash for about a mile. The view from the top is nice, but in the summer everything is brown and dry looking, and the sky can be hazy. Took us about 10 hours with several nature pee and snack breaks. Bring water, sunscreen, layers, gloves, boots, and poles.

Great day hike! For sure harder than I thought it would be. The view is worth it for sure!

Finally heathy enough to try this. It bugged me every time I drove up I-90 and saw it sitting up there. Did it last Saturday on a nice cool, but cloudy day. Got a glimpse of Chester Morse as clouds lifted for a minute. Loved the fact it was not crowded. Only saw about 10 people all day. I was slow up and down, including a clumsy stumble. Just a flesh wound, so nothing other than some scrapes and pride. Funny, my first thought was “did anyone see that” knowing full well no one was around.

Trail is not as well travelled as Mt Si despite their similar statistics. It has some more rocky spots, hence the stumble.

I’m not much of a repeat hiker, too many places to hike, but would like to do this again on a clear day.

Awesome workout! Treacherous hiking! Short trails, beautiful falls.

Been there on Saturday 08/04/2018. One of the best hikes. Though it is little long hike for me, I enjoyed it fully because of few view points on the way. Trail is wide and good. The lake at the end is nice and easily accessible for swimming. Small parking area. I would go there again.

My first hike after being cancer free will always be in my heart.

Great hike. Beautiful views.

We loved this hike! The Ira Spring trail is fairly steep and provides a good work out, with some interesting exposed sections periodically up switchbacks and then amidst boulder fields toward the summit. Views are incredible on a cloudy day. We went up and over to the Mason Lake trail on the other side of the peak and enjoyed a nice break at the lake, enjoying the serene water and quiet before making our way up and back down the front side.

Great cool weather today for our first "hard" rated training hike. The trail is a bit hard to find in a couple of spots, but there are signs at most of the decision points. Be prepared for lots of rocks and overgrown berry bushes flanking long sections of the trail. Minimal bugs and great opportunity for views if skies are clear. Light traffic made this an enjoyable hike.

Go to BelSquare if you want to be around this many people. Beautiful lake. Lots of bugs. Very scenic trail.

on Snow Lake Trail

3 days ago

Hike is beautiful, but it is so packed and literally ZERO trail etiquette. Lots of loud people on the trail. Because of the amount of people we turned off snow lake and went up to another small lake. Couldn’t get down to the water but had beautiful views and ended up being a 5 mile in and out hike. Won’t do it again but it is very beautiful.

Trail well maintained, nice view on the top, lots of berries , no bugs

Solid trail. Not tough but good length. Bring that bug spray and get an early start because it gets busy but great longer hike for beginners.

hiking
5 days ago

This was our 1st hike and we were ill prepared. I thought a pair of Nike Tennis would be fine, but boy was I wrong. The hike was beautiful though. Swimming in the lake was very rewarding. My feet hated me afterwards however!

Great trail! The only downfall is it having potholes. And, don't bring your 55 yr. old dad.

I started this hike at the Granite Creek Connector Trail which is about 2.5 miles before you get to the Granite Lakes trail. Ultimately, my log said it was about 5.8 miles in which, I guess, is close enough! The Connector trail is a bit overgrown. Mostly easy to follow, but a few spots I had to just look for some space between the shrubs. Granite Lakes trail is nice and well maintained. Beautiful lake and scenery.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked to Cascade Pass the other day with my sister and dad. It was pretty special because my dad originally did the hike in 1968 - and 50 years later, he was able to do it again. It starts out in the forest in switch backs and then opens up to gorgeous views. After having lunch on the pass, we ventured a little further up Sahele Arm, which was definitely challenging in hot weather! Made it to the lake lookout and cooled ourselves by doing snow angels in some leftover patches. I would love to get back here next summer but quite a drive for me for a day hike - might end up being a backpacking trip! Amazing views, amazing hike. One I will remember forever.

Best hike we've ever done! This hike is really hard being its all uphill pretty much the entire way but the views are totally worth it!

on Snow Lake Trail

hiking
8 days ago

Harder than expected but the views were beautiful the entire way and the lake is perfect to swim in!

The view is gorgeous! The hike overall isn't bad, some incline spots where in hot weather (about 85 degrees when I went) seem overwhelming, but it's more the heat that gets to you so would definitely recommend getting there earlier to avoid midday heat. Pay attention to markers. The 1st lookout of the lake is beautiful, (huge rock overlooking the lake from up high), but I wouldn't stop there. Go right from there to lead you on the trail which will lead you down to the lake and from there it's up to you how close you want to get or if you want to get it. I didn't think the bugs were bad on this particular day either. Also, you don't need hiking boots (I used tennis shoes) but if you got them it would be nice because going down hill will be easier. It'soverall a pretty rocky trail, but lake is worth it. Didn't take that long either to get to the lake a little over 3 miles (just to).

hiking
8 days ago

Arrived at the trailhead by 10am and there was already plenty of people there (even though it was a Tuesday). The trail is pretty rocky but in great shape. It was close to 90 degrees so jumping in the lake was a great way to cool off! The bugs were not too bad at all either. This is a great hike, easily accessible and not too difficult.

Moderately difficult trail. Definitely wear boots. Wet and slippery in several areas. Do the Orange trail to the left to go up. At the top turn right at the fire pit and take the Red Trail. Ironically the first marker you see is a Blue Marker. This is the Red Trail even though the first market is Blue. Several sections could use a grab wire or rope. One slip and you are over the edge. Winter time be prepared for lots of ice.

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful mountain lake--and larger than you think. Well worth the hike!

Great, scenic hike. Take a waterproof backpack, wear proper hiking boots, bring water and a snack. On very nice days it can get busy and there are a lot of people who don't hike with proper attire, but it didn't bother us. People were very courteous and friendly. Take the Orange trail to hike up the falls, it's nice and cool, lots of great waterfalls! We didn't hike the whole Orange trail, once we got to the top we cut over to go down on the Blue marked trail. It is very rocky, slippery in some spots, but the adventure is fun!

Fantastic hike. Very difficult climb and certainly dangerous at many spots along the climb. We took our 15 year old and 6 year old (who is tough as nails). They did really great. Do NOT attempt this climb without hiking boots and pants. We were crawling in spots and on all fours going up. Worth the hour to the top. The falls are breathtaking! I was amazed at how many people were climbing back down the same way they came up. Seriously dangerous! When you get all the way at the top of the last fall you’ll find a fire ring. The trail on your right takes you back down a very easy decent right into the parking lot.

The trailhead is very confusing and there were a number of shorter trails making up the longer loop which made for a very directionally challenged hike. Beautiful walk but easy to get lost

on Snow Lake Trail

hiking
11 days ago

First of all I have to give a big thank you to the forest service crews maintaining the trail. They were out in force and doing an awesome job! Thank you!!

Parking wasn’t an issue for us but please oh please people learn to park without lines! We noticed so many wasted spaces when we arrived at 9am. You could park so many more cars in there if you just park properly.

The trail is one of the best trails I have hiked in terms of maintenance. No it isn’t smooth as glass and without flaws. It is the way it should be, rocky, challenging, etc. This isn’t a trail for your flip-flops.

In terms of foot traffic, this is where my rating went to 4. The trail was crowded with kids and their music, cutting the switchbacks (a pseudo “trail” is being worn in from the pass at Snow Lake down to the lake cutting through the switch backs), partying at Snow Lake. Their trail etiquette was severally lacking, For this reason I see why the Forest Service spends a lot of time working there. It would have been nice seeing someone with authority checking tags on packs and adding some sense of order to the chaos they brought with them.

While the lake and the view around it really is breathtaking, finding a peaceful place to enjoy it was extremely difficult. The base of the trail at the lake was crowded with cannonballs, drones, music and excessive drinking. If you do find a spot be prepared for it to be invaded by other people seeking refuge from the kids. For this reason, I recommend that you keep going to Gem Lake or beyond as this seems to be beyond the range of the parties. 3-4pm seems to be the hour that the parties leave and head back. Be prepared to be trampled if you are already on your way down ahead of them.

As a side note we were amazed at the number of people still coming up as we were heading down.

Lastly, we heard that there were a lot of bugs to contend with. Our challenge was biting flies before we put repellent on. I cannot say enough good about “Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent Pump”. I don’t like 100% DEET so try to stay away from it. I heard good things about Repel and it lives up to it. We sprayed ourselves down with Repel and no more biting flies and no numb tongue that usually comes with DEET!! We did bring the Ultrathon 20 lotion with DEET just in case we came across stubborn bugs but never needed it.

All in all we will do this trail again and prepare to go to Gem or beyond, probably not on a holiday or weekend.

amazing view

hiking
11 days ago

Amazing hike. Very crowded, rocky and tons of bugs but worth it.

hiking
11 days ago

Parking is $7 fee to enter Armstrong woods, drive through the woods and up a significant elevation to the very limited parking at the trail head. Gets hot and about half the trail is in sun so bring plenty of water. The trail goes right by Bullfrog Campground which looks like a lovely spot to pass the night.

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