Explore Next Time - Washington - 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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The whole hike was excellent! the first few miles started easy then it gradually increase as you work your way up to the top. Going down from the top is a little scary so I suggest you take you steps carefully. It took me almost 4 hours from top to bottom (lower trail)

With the fire going on, there's too much smoke. And no shade. Good workout, but mediocre Vista. I'm sure it's splendid when visibility is good.

on Blue Lake Trail

10 hours ago

One of the bed trails I have hiked, there are many beautiful views; I like photography, so it was a real treat, everywhere I look it was an excellent opportunity to take a photo. I was made aware about the presence of goats, but I didn’t see any; the view of the lake and surrounding mountains was quite impressive.

It is definitely a moderate trail...some really steep hills . I personally thought the view while walking was better than the water view at the top. We saw a deer as well when we reached at the top.
The trails that branch off at the top are kinda nice.
Would suggest to go on a clear day...60F and sunny will feel very very hot while walking.

hiking
16 hours ago

I did this trail on July 23, 2018 counterclockwise. This trail has some dramatic scenery of 2 pristine lakes, wildflowers, and snow capped peaks. Personally one of the most beautiful and the hardest hike I’ve ever done. I would consider it on the hard side for a moderate hiker although in honesty I had done the Blue Lake trail right before this so I was already starting from a tired state. I had also hiked just to lake Ann and then came back to do the full loop (you have to backtrack). My advice would be have hiking poles, start early and take your time. I finished the round trip counterclockwise in about 4 hours with a very short break at the top. I ended up hurting my knee (in a lot of pain on the way down) and couldn’t hike another trail for a few days. I think I made the mistake of starting late so I rushed coming down. By the way, the blue lake trail is probably my favorite ever and it’s easier than this one. It’s not too far from this one either.

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.

hiking
1 day ago

I've been here twice. Last year, in the first week of August, the wild flowers were peaking. This year in the 2nd week of August, they were still gorgeous and lovely. I prefer the clockwise route to get the hard elevation out of the way in the shade and fast, so that the rest is more enjoyable. I don't like downhill on my knees. Starting with the counter clockwise route is a longer more gradual ascent, but also more exposed in the sun. This latter area is dazzling with flowers and I prefer to take my time here at the end. Enjoy quite a beautiful hike.

hiking
1 day ago

My family and I hiked this trail on July 27th 2018....we started at 1:00pm and got back by 4:30pm. Spent a while taking pictures of the breathtaking views and my husband and son event went for a swim. If you like hiking this trail is definately a must!

Very steep trail with a big payoff in views. From the peak of Mt. Ellinor you can see Rainier, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and the Olympic range. It is almost guaranteed you will also see mountain goats.

hiking
2 days ago

A spectacular trail that is easy enough for most hikers. Moderare altitude gains with no scrambles. We went counterclockwise and were not disappointed. There is a new vista at every turn and they are all fantastic. A little buggy near Ann Lake and in the trees but otherwise perfect. Well worth the trip and the effort!

hiking
2 days ago

We were there the first week of August 2018. Great hike! We were there with our 2 daughters who are 9 and 5. Grandma and Grandpa (68 y/o) came along as well. It is a great hike that they were all able to enjoy. We hiked this area last year. We loved it so much we did it again this year! Amazing part of the country!

Great hike for all skill levels. very rewarding view at the top. plenty of other trails branch off from the main trail to turn a few miles into a few days in the Olympics.

I came here twice. Once in the afternoon and another time in the morning to catch the sunrise. You could see cascade mountains on one side and Victoria, B.C on the other side. The hike is very easy and paved. There is only 1 part of the hike that has a steeper incline. It takes about 45 mins from the trailhead to the peak. It was definitely a nice hike, but not the best Olympic has to offer.

Amazing hike! First clear day in awhile due to all the fires. Saw 4 goats on top, 2 babies so stayed clear. Did this hike last week as well and visibility was pretty bad. Glad to be able to see Cushman and the canal.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep your dogs on leashes! This is WAY too hard of a hike to not see goats!! Also, one unleashed dog helped me loose my footing on the scramble up, resulting in a very sore ankle on the way down. This is NOT a good trail for dogs!

Absolutely worth the grueling and challenging hike. Spent 1 night up at the lake and although my body is still dying, I'm already planning a second trip!
Definitely not for the lighthearted!

Beautiful views at every turn. Lives up to its reputation.

Awesome view and lots of wildlife!

hiking
3 days ago

I did this hike on July 23, 2018. It was a little hot but beautiful sunny skies. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been is Blue Lake and I’ve been hiking all summer in many national parks. This took me about 3 hours with a lunch break. Definitely a moderate hike for the average hiker. Don’t miss this hike!

8/12:/18 Perfect hike for me and the lake was stunning. Spotted momma and baby mountain goats.

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.

Had a great hike with KR on 8/14. We started from the lower trail head. The trail started easy and slowly the grade increased. For the last km form the summit the trail was rocky and quite demanding. We saw a mountain goat at the top. We took the summer tail in and out and it took us 5 hours. This would have been a 5 Star hike but views were limited due to smoke from area Forrest fires. It was still worth it and a great first hike in Olympia Park.

Great trail home to many mountain goats

Beautiful views the entire way up! Loved this hike!

I wish I'd done this on a clearer day, I'd been looking forward to it all summer. I hiked it yesterday, 8/12, and it was both cloudy and hazy from fire smoke. I knew it would be, but decided to be optimistic and try it. At least the bugs were not too bad!
I would say that the hike itself is not quite worth it unless the scenery from the top is clear, as I've heard the views are quite amazing on good weather days. I found the hike to be tedious and a bit unexciting, though the steep rock scrambling near the top is pretty fun.
I'll blame the weather on being underwhelmed. I plan to try again in the future!

hiking
6 days ago

This was my 2nd time making this loop, and it didn’t disappoint. We had cloud cover for most of the hike, which helped with potential heat. The smoke hadn’t rolled in yet so we had great views. Clean, well-marked trail, lots of off-shoots for fun views, and a great pay-off at the end. Make sure you look back to the range off the other side, and also take a left and scramble out the point for spectacular full views off the summit.

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.

great hike, slightly challenging for us older folks, but well worth the effort. Views are spectacular and wildlife did not disappoint. Not a lot of shade and it was a sunny warm day, so bring sunscreen and of course water. Enjoy the hike.

Just did this hike today. It was cloudy and foggy so no views. We did see a Mt Goat. The hike was challenging and fun. It just gets steeper as you go. So I also tracked the hike with my Garmin watch. Total distance from the lower trailhead was 6.7 miles. We really didn't take any detours so not sure where the 5.3 miles listed above comes from. Maybe they didn't go all the way to the top? We had 3590 feet of elevation gain but that is with a GPS altimeter so may not be perfectly accurate but I think it is closer to reality than that which is listed above. So be prepared and have a great time.

8/11/18 Enjoyed this trail from beginning to end. Beautiful scenery of the mountains, glaciers, wild flowers and lake. Its a moderate hike, our walking sticks helped our knees on the way back down. Make sure to wear good shoes We saw a couple of people in flip flops who im sure we’re struggling. There was a black bear on the trail on our return back, about a 10th of a mile from the parking lot.

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