Explore north cascades - 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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Get there early. Excellently maintained trail. Great view from the middle.

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

hiking
22 hours ago

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.

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.

Ice last on north side out of sun
Still quite doable

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!!

Our gps said there was a road closure but that was false. Got there with no issues. At some point the cave has collapsed a large portion. see pics. There is also a huge crack on the left side of cave. Also a crack in the upper center piece of the cave. Hiking baby did not go inside the cave. I went in and walked towards the back and there is an amazing waterfall in the back of the cave. After leaving the cave went further down the trail and if you stand next to the small opening you can feel a draft like a fan. Pretty neat. Further down there is another waterfall.

Absolutely stunning view. Went in the middle of November. It was chilly and icy. But soo worth it! My favorite so far

Hiked from Heather Meadows - lots of snow but still totally worthwhile and doable (note that there were lots of tracks from groups prior, so we never had difficulty trying to find the trail). Would recommend getting up there if the weather is nice, otherwise look forward to the flowers in 2019.

Super nice day, clear blue sky and 30 degrees. 4 inches of fresh snow, lakes are frozen over. Great little hike, if you go slow and easy takes about 5 hours including a little site seeing along the way. The tree people talk will only be a problem if you are driving something really tall like a truck with a camper on it.

It was an easy hike... it got cold at the top. Enjoy the hike.

Yeah yes! I did this trail is incredible it’s very hard I feel proud of my health, on the top it was a big snow you must need snow shose, , the view is amazing, Good Luck for everyone!!!

good for kids

Great trail! So many beautiful sites. Great workout but, not too hard. Be sure to take the small off trails to the overlook and waterfall on the backside of the lake.

hiking
10 days ago

Really nice hike with beautiful view points!

One of my favorite hikes in the area! Beautiful, well maintained trail with a sweet, woodsy fragrance that's impossible to describe. Linger at the lake for a swim & packed lunch.
Will be a little challenging for new hikers but on the easy side for stronger ones.

Easy trail. The ice caves are very cool. If you go inside of them there is a waterfall at the end. Because the caves are melting the ice drips from the roof, so prepare to get wet. Bring a flashlight.

hiking
12 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. Went on October 19th which apparently was the perfect time between when all the last year's snow had melted and right before the next year's snow started to hit so I had minimal trouble making the scramble up to Trapper's Peak. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Two things I would recommend to any one looking to do this:

1) Bring a high clearance and/or 4-wheel drive vehicle. The road up is bumpy, gravel-y, somewhat narrow, and steep. I drove a low clearance compact car up it and had my tires spin a couple times going up some of the hills. I was also somewhat surprised I didn't pop any tires going up or down it. This was also when the road was in good condition and without any precipitation so again I would recommend caution with an every day city driver on this road

2) Bring a buddy. I went by myself and wish I brought someone else along. The common sense of this being a safe practice became obvious to me over the course of the hike as I saw only 1 other human on my way up. A fall or dangerous encounter with wildlife would have dire consequences here. Additionally, I feel this would have been good for the scramble up Trapper's Peak. The trail up there is not maintained and, as such, is easy to lose track of. I decided to call it before getting to what I believe was the top because I was afraid I would lose myself down a game trail and not be sure how to get back, especially considering my fatigue level at that point. Having another person to bounce ideas off of and try to identify where the trail was going next would have been very welcome.

hiking
15 days ago

K and I did this one in the rain. The Falls look great. Per NOAA the Skykomish flow was over 35.2 KCFS. The trail is in good shape, not too much of a crowed.

A clear October day and all the fall colors makes this trail one of the most gorgeous hiking experiences. If I were going to try to get a beginner hooked on hiking I'd start them here! The scenery payoff is huge for such a moderate hike. We started from the upper lot, but I'd recommend starting at the lower lot. It has a lake and picnic tables. A perfect spot to finish up!

Super easy hike to the really cool caves!

hiking
18 days ago

My husband and I did this (we're not in the best shape) and huffed and puffed on the way up but man was it worth it! Great views, lots of beautiful greenery along the way!

hiking
20 days ago

this was probably one of the hardest hikes i’ve done. it starts out flat for about a mile and then it’s just straight up the entire way. when you think you’re almost there you have about another mile to go. the basin was beautiful and gorgeous and while we were up there a person fell off the ledges of the hike and had to be airlifted out of there so i really suggest being careful when you’re up there! the hike kicked my butt but it was beautiful!

Beware! There are two parking lots. The upper one, at Artist’s Point, was where we started. 4 hours later, when we got around to the lower one it was pretty demoralizing to find that we still had a ton of steep uphill to climb. Next time we will start in the lower lot and go counterclockwise so we get the uphill part done first.

My 12-year-old rates it as “moderate”. Her idea of “hard” is Mt. Si.

Views were incomparable. Dogs were off leash but friendly. People were also off leash but friendly.

I havent hiked in 25 yrs.this was my 2nd hike in a few months an it kicked my butt.i do have some lung disease.but it was so beautiful an the scenery was breathtaking..

We randomly woke up Friday (10/26) morn and decided to head up! It was really warm here in Arlington! Got to the trailhead at 9am and reached the peak at 11! As we slowly (so many terrible potholes)descended up the road it started to get very windy and the fog was so irie! The different landscapes were so beautiful and the trail very wet, we pretty much walked in water the whole time but no big deal! The saddest part was this was my first time and the fog never cleared and covered the whole view :( We were alone all morning and didn't see another group till we were half way down, then we passed 4 more groups all clumped up! Overall it was a perfectly irie October day, but I will be going back on a clear day to see the view I missed!

Quick but invigorating 2-hour hike with lots of Fall color on this late October day. Be sure to take the .2 mile hop out to the view point overlooking Bellingham Bay and the San Juan islands, and the .75 mile loop around the little lake. (This makes for a total distance 5 miles, up and back to the parking lot.) Enjoy a handful of pretty spots on the lake edge for snacks and the pretty view. A classic Bellingham hike with easy-moderate difficulty.

WAY steeper than I anticipated, little longer too. Wow oh wow on the view though! The lookout itself was shut up so couldn’t inside it, however it was a gorgeous day so it was really unneeded. Like I said, for the duration of the hike it is very steep, you’ve been warned. A lot of hikes towards the end get that steep but not for the whole darn thing ... lol ... enjoy

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