Explore North of Seattle - 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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Hiked up about 1.5 hours at a slow pace and did not quite make it to the lake. Trail was in good condition; wet and rainy but no snow or ice. Saw other hikers both solo and in groups. Seems well trafficked for a Thursday and therefore great for the solo hiker! Lots of parking (2:00pm Thursday). Bring Northwest Forest Pass. Bathrooms still closed. Beautiful hike!

Such a nice hike! I packed extra layers & I’m so glad I did. They were needed at the top, once you stop moving it gets really cold, but the view is worth it!

hiking
4 days ago

We went on 1/11/19. Definitely need waterproof shoes on this one. You have to cross through quite a bit of water, not deep water. We didn’t have Microspikes and we were fine. I used trekking poles once we got to the icey part of the trail. When you get to the lake it is vey beautiful. The lake was almost completely frozen over. We had lunch at the top and it was very cold just sitting there. Hiking warmed you up, but when you stood still for too long it got cold fast. We did the loop around the lake and the snow was deeper there. Worth it to see all the angles of the lake. At the end my Fitbit said 5.50 miles. And yes, just like everyone else said the pot holes are bad on the way to the trail head. Just take your time driving and you’ll be fine. We saw all kinds of little cars that made it too.

hiking
4 days ago

Weather on the trail was perfect, no need for poles or yaktracks. The trail is super wore down and good for a person looking for a stroll or a family. The upper falls is worth the extra ~1 mi to the top. Also we started our hike at 8:30am and was completely alone most of the time, trail didn't start to get heavy with people until around 10:00.

Climbed this one in the winter. Definitely need a 4x4 and snow chains to make it to the TH. Recommended to have knowledge of avalanche safety for the winter route, as there are 3-4 hazardous areas of crossing. Overall, a fair bank for your buck.

We hiked on 1/12/19. Clear trail most of the way with slick rocks and compacted snow near the top. We managed with athletic shoes, but more traction is highly recommended. Much colder and windy at the lake, but beautiful. High foot traffic. Bathroom is locked due to the government shutdown...

We went yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful!! The road was still closed to drive to the trailhead so it ends up being about 7-8 miles total (About 2.5 miles to trail head) but SO worth it!! The entire hike is full of views on every side. Everyone was fine in hiking boots. Highly recommend!!

Doing this hike again, after 5 years. This time we are doing it with Daughter, our 8mth old puppy and more friends. Going Saturday January 12th 2019. This will be the 3rd hike of the new year.☺

Beautiful trail, we hiked it on Jan 9. Majority of hike has slushy snow on it - it rained the night before which made some of the spots fairly slick. Decent amount of steps as well as occasional rocks. Microspikes encouraged. Beautiful lake - we had it all to ourselves!

They were literally closing the road when we arrived yesterday, this makes it around 7 miles total. We arrived about 1:00, it was a Monday and were only the second tracks up. We wore WP Keen hiking shoes, I wore little running gators and stayed dry. Snow got to about 12” where the group before us turned around. Gorgeous day.

Beautiful trail to hike in the winter! We went today on 1-6-19, it took about 3 hours for us to hike the trail (which included some breaks for pictures). There was some snow on the trail leading up to the lake, we brought microspikes in case but didn’t need them, it was mostly just wet (bring waterproof shoes!!). Once you reach the lake you feel like you are in a winter wonderland, it truly was stunning! Potholes galore on the road just before the trail head, please drive slowly and bring a high clearance vehicle if you can!

Trail is in good condition for winter, there are muddy and wet places but overall solid. The snow only starts about an 1/8th of mile from the lake but there are some slick, icy spots. Poles and micro spikes can't hurt but most people were fine without.

hiking
11 days ago

The cave was stunning with lots of snow today. Went there around 11AM today. The small parking lot was half full. Road condition was good, just some icy patches in the parking lot. 50% of the trail was icy, luckily we brought ice cleats. However, we saw many people are fine with just hiking boots.

Did this Jan 2, 2019. Beautiful views! I’d say there’s not snow until 2/3 of the way up? Maybe 3/4? Not a lot but enough that micro spikes made life 1000% easier. Would be tricky to do without, especially coming down - the snow is packed down enough on the trail that it’s quite slick and you’d be sliding down. The lake was very pretty and the views were lovely the whole way up. I’d say this is moderately difficult, with the last couple miles to the top being quite steep. It’s also closer to 9 miles according to my Strava recording. Took us about 4 hours to do with a snack break at the top.

This hike offer all scenery from forest to flower fields to mountains. Absolutely stunning! One of my favorites!

I’ve hiked to the ice caves twice so far and I love it every time. The hike is super easy — just be careful of snow during winter season, wear boots. And once you get to the ice caves they’re absolutely breathtaking.

hiking
14 days ago

Completed this a few months ago. Was great.

Well maintained trail. Stairs at a lot of places add convenience but feel not belonging there. waterfall first. if you feel you have exhausted less than 30% energy, go for the lake. On 1st Jan, the last one mile had snow requiring microspikes. I did without them but had to struggle a lot. Ample parking space and toilets in parking as well as when you reach lake serene. Mesmerizing view of lake serene from lunch point in winter.

Such a gorgeous trail all through. One can hear the sound of river pretty much from the entire trail. the views of water gushing on the rocks and the waterfalls are to unbelievable! Middle falls are the most pretty but lower falls are quite a beauty too. Upper falls has a much steeper climb but not the views as impressive as middle or lower. Also if you go to upper falls, the total trail length is 5.5 miles. I think the 4.4 miles mentioned in the description is only till middle falls. But Valley overlook point is beautiful, after middle falls and before upper. The trail condition is very good. Various bridges, stairs and paved paths all through the trail. Hiking poles were such a savior. the climb is steep on this trail, so if you can take the poles, please do!

As mentioned in the previous reviews, the road leading to the trailhead parking has some big potholes. The trailhead was fairly packed by the time we reached there around 11 AM. The trail is rocky, muddy and icy. Microspikes definitely help in the last 1 mile of this hike as some areas had ice on rocks which was tricky to pass through. Took us 2 hours for whole hike including staying there up there for a couple of minutes and doing the loop around the lake. Overall, a really good hike. The lake looks beautiful!

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike on a beautiful and maintained trail. Being that it was New Year’s Day and free day at state parks we were still lucky enough to find parking.

We had some sunshine and a bit of blue skies. We saw a lot of cool fungus.

Hiked with our two kiddos, ages 5 and 7. The ranger station has a fun scavenger hunt to complete.

A perfect day to start off the New Year 2019, gorgeous views, perfect day to hike...conditions were awesome.

Amazing hike. The hike to the waterfall is filled with clear ice so extremely slippery. The lake is beautiful! Try going on a clear day if you can.

hiking
17 days ago

This is a beautiful hike. Avoid the crowds and go on a weekday.

hiking
17 days ago

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPR3FnXSfgk or https://www.YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA to see a video from the trail.

This was my first opportunity to hike this trail and I have to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. This is one of those trails that offers a lot in a short amount of distance. It just seemed like there were views around every couple of corners.

For those who are interested in doing the hike, going early is a definite recommendation. I arrived at the trailhead at 8 am and there were about 20 cars in the parking lot. As I hiked, I saw many people and by the time that I was finished, a good portion of the parking lot was filled. I did this hike on New Year's Eve, which is something that not as many people are going to do. I can only imagine that on a nice summer day, parking is going to be taken up fast. There is no parking on the side of the road on the way to the trailhead so you'll have to find parking elsewhere in the surrounding residential area.

On this day, I only hiked to lower falls so take that into consideration as you read this report. That being said, the hike to lower falls is relatively easy. A more experienced hiker or someone with good cardiovascular endurance would have little problem. I would like to note that there was a little girl less than 5 years old that I saw throughout the trail walking on her own. That kind of tells you about the difficulty of this hike. To me, it seemed like there was not a lot of elevation gain. More so smaller patches of incline climbs rather than a constant climb.

Conditions on this particular day were great. It had been raining consistently for the past couple of weeks and this was an unusually good weather day. I was layered up pretty well and stayed warm throughout the hike but my hiking partner did complain about being cold and losing sensation when not in motion. Keep that in mind as you plan your trip! Another thing that would be helpful is to bring a waterproof layer because there were a lot of water droplets falling from the trees even on a nice sunny day. If you're going on a wet day, bring waterproof gear for sure.

Overall, this is definitely a recommended hike. There is a lot of reward for the amount of effort put in, even if you don't do the entire hike.

If you'd like to see more coverage of various hikes around Washington and the rest of the world, consider checking out my work whether it's through YouTube or my various other social media outlets!

Hải Hoàng Trần
Photographer | Videographer
TheUpperLeftUSA.com
Instagram.com/TheUpperLeftUSA
YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA

hiking
17 days ago

HEATED bathrooms!! The amenities here are fabulous. The parking lot is large, and they have volunteers present. You need a discovery pass to park. The trail was well marked and well maintained. If you use poles, take them! I thought since this was an easier hike compared to the last few, that I didn't need mine. The last mile.....whew! I could have used them!

This is one of my absolute favorite hikes I’ve ever been on in my life. It’s challenging but absurdly beautiful, and when you reach the top you’ll just be blown away. It’s one of the best trails Washington has to offer. Go early so you can continue further to the next water feature, I didn’t get to go that far but it’s supposedly amazing.

Discovery Pass Required (or $10 for the day to park). Discovery Pass is available to purchase at the visitor booth at the entrance to the trail ($30). The trail is gorgeous! Well maintained. There is a small trail loop that includes a bunch of stories about a native tree. The scenery along the hike is beautiful. The hike itself is moderate, the first 2 miles is fairly easy however the last 0.75 miles can be tricky, especially when it’s raining. The falls are breathtaking as well as the view of the valley. Only 1-1.5hrs from Seattle, I highly recommend it!

We went 2 days ago and the snow was falling the entire time we were there. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL views and once we hit the top we built a snowman and had a snowball fight. Saw a small size avalanche which made the hikers who went to the actual opening (which is caved in halfway due to a larger avalanche) of the caves put a little jump in their step. Even their dog took off. Heading down the path there was several people heading up with sleds. We have been spring, summer and winter and Winter is by far our favorite. Just a FYI the bathrooms at the trail head are closed for the season but they had a sign posted to use the bathroom at the picnic area. The trail up to the caves are easy to see but slick in a few spots. The Road on mountain loop was snow covered once you hit snow elevation but they were manageable. The parking lot is not plowed. Happy hiking and stay safe

go in the winter time.

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