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absolutely amazing. spend a night if you can. after seeing the beauty went back to car, drove to walupt lake. put on backpack. hiked up nannie ridge trail, night at sheep lake and then back through cispus pass to snow grass. camping in cispus would be amazing but sheep lake was awesome as well. if coming from snowgrass hike to sheep lake for night. then back to snowgrass but follow pct to snow peak. that way you will see it all.

hiking
2 days ago

It is a long hike but the views along the trail and from the summit make it worth it. The huckleberry bushes are now (9/18) a deep red and there are a lot of berries on them higher up. Could hear elk bugle frequently near St. Helens Lake and saw two herds of elk on the way back.

Good hike, though we were both pretty tired by the end of it. There is no cover throughout the duration of the hike, so if you're going on a sunny day - wear sunscreen and/or a hat. We went on a cloudy, cool day so there weren't many other hikers on the path. There isn't much that is particularly difficult about the hike other than it's a lot of up and down. The last 3/4 mile to the peak was probably the worst part of it. I wouldn't recommend wearing pants that leave any skin exposed because of some overgrowth on the trail - you don't want to risk getting you ankles cut up. Other than that, it was quite a bit colder as we got up so be sure to layer. On a clear day, you'd get some amazing views of the mountain. I think the coolest part of the hike was seeing so much of Spirit lake. Side note - I accidentally left something at the peak and we tried to go back to get it the next day, but there was too much rain. For that hike we started at South Coldwater lake since we didn't want to do all the up and downs, and I think I liked that way better to get up. You get great views of Coldwater Lake and there's a lot more vegetation.

Amazing hike with some awesome camping sites surrounding the lake. Just got back and we had absolutely no problems with mosquitoes or flies. Went up on a Friday and there were only a handful of people at the lake. We will be going back to this gem. Can’t beat the views at the top either.

Go early. First one out in the morning. probably saw close to 150 elk. The bugles were like a symphony. Everyone I talked to on the way back saw no elk. Probably one of the best hikes ever, but you have to go early before animals bed down for the day

I would give this 4.75 stars if I could. There were a few spots where the trail was slightly hard to follow. Those were the only downsides though. Great views of Adams, Hood, and a sneak peek of Helens after Horseshoe Meadow. We saw plenty of late-blooming asters as well. The trail is very exposed sun-wise so we were glad to have waited for a cooler day. Lightly trafficked...we only saw one backpacker on the trail. Like a previous reviewer, we clocked about 12 miles round trip.

Whoever said this hike isn’t strenuous and is good for any skill level is trolling you. There is 1200 feet of elevation gain in the first 1.5 miles if you go clockwise from Berry Patch (or a terribly steep descent at the end of your hike if you’re coming from Snowgrass Flat). The ascent is pretty relentless until you reach the ridge, so I wouldn’t recommend it for brand new backpackers or anyone who isn’t in decent shape. Going out and back from Snowgrass Flat to Goat Lake would be an easier hike for those who can’t handle Goat Ridge.

Went Sept 2-3. Parking lot was overflowing but we didn’t encounter throngs of people until we hit Goat Lake (also saw goats!). I counted 20-25 tents around the lake. Other than the view, I don’t understand the appeal of camping there- it’s overcrowded, cold, and totally exposed to the elements. Found a better spot below the tree line. Didn’t encounter many people on the hike back and the parking lot was nearly empty— weekdays are definitely the way to go!

Spectacular hike, perfect weather (it gets cold at night- bring layers), no bugs, and still a few wildflowers in bloom.

Beautiful Scenery and a great loop hike.

backpacking
16 days ago

We went on Sept 2nd for our honeymoon. The trail was great, rugged but definitely worth it!

backpacking
17 days ago

A couple friends and I did this loop and added Old Snowy and Hawkeye Point onto it. Incredible views of Adams, as well as Rainier, Helens, and even Hood in the distance. We did the loop clockwise from berry patch trailhead over two days, camping at goat lake overnight from August 31-September 1. Didn’t see a single mosquito, probably because it was a little cooler, but comfortable hiking weather. The hiking itself is not strenuous and any incline feels very doable for any skill level, nothing technical. We were each carrying packs that were about 35-40 lbs. The views of Adams are just incredible. The whole hike above the tree line is basically worthy of a postcard from any direction you look. Stop to eat huckleberries in the meadows, and enjoy idyllic views of mountain goats grazing on the cliffs and marmots scrambling around in the meadows. I recommend planning a trip during off-peak traffic times so you can get a good camping spot at goat lake to watch the clouds settle in the valley in the evening and wake up to an incredible view of Adams in the morning. I strongly recommend adding Old Snowy onto your loop. It’s an extra 5 miles that felt like 2-3, and despite the elevation gain of about 2000 feet was surprisingly easy (I dropped my pack at the turn off and enjoyed a packless ascent up Old Snowy). It’s worth the effort to enjoy getting above the ridges and seeing numerous others peaks and into other basins and valleys. At a minimum tack on Hawkeye for a similar, view as Old Snowy. I recommend this hike to anyone starting at even the most basic skill and generally healthy fitness level. Oh, and fun to interact with some thru hikers on a little bit of the PCT.

Great runnable trail to an amazingly scenic lake if the sun is out. Most of the trail is through woods and the bushes along it rub you along the way. Important to note if certain plants give you rashes you may want to wear long sleeves. There is a great waterfall that comes off the lake in the woods. You can get to it by going a bit off trail and following the sound. It’s worth seeing. The trailhead is off Mountain Loop Highway however this highway turns into a dirt road with some large potholes so drive carefully as you’ll likely spend 30 minutes on the dirt road part. You’ll be 35 miles from the nearest gas station or cell service some plan accordingly. There have been bear sightings here too. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”, which include some solid Goat Lake pics from a nice sunny day. Great place to camp.

This is one of my go to trail running spots. Most of the trail is runnable and the views along the way are amazing, however be super careful since in some spots the trail is very narrow so one wrong step and it will be your last. Most people turn around after reaching the Katwalk however if you keep going the lakes at the end are scenic and will tempt you to stay awhile. In fact the lakes are a fantastic place to camp. Since this is part of the PCT you won’t be alone, but it is not a crowded trail at all. Bring warm clothes because the area past the Katwalk tends to be pretty cold. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”, including the ones from this hike.

Okay hike with a nice lake at pay-dirt and a pretty rushing river along long parts to f the hike. Why only 3 stars? other mountain lakes in the same area are better and with easier access. While we enjoyed the hike, it’s not one we’d do again.

Nice Hike. An adolescent bear wandered up the trail while we were having lunch near the mid-point of the lake. We stood tall and made noise and, fortunately, it backed off and chose another route. Definitely our closest encounter with a bear, tho we were intent on eating and weren't making a lot of noise before it came upon us.

Would hike it again, probably skip lunch at the lake.

hiking
25 days ago

Visited 8/25/2018 Great hike. No smoke. Elevation gain is very gradual. I’d recommend hiking shoes/boots as the terrain changes from dirt to rocky to rocky with tree roots. Definitely worth the 14 miles!

backpacking
25 days ago

My wife, 120 lbs German Shepherd, and I did this hike. We took upper Elliot the way there (~6.2miles) and t was generally flat, slight incline until about the last mile or so. If you stay on the trail and don’t get distracted by the first waterfall, it’s switchbacks the rest of the way up. However if you get off trail, you likely follow the trail of ‘travelers-lost’ and likely go straight up adding a ton of incline. We did the upper Elliot in about 3.5 hours with back packs.

The lake is worth every bit of the walk. You’re not allowed to camp as close to the water as you would like, but the designated camping area is nice, well-used making most of the sites flat for sleeping.

On the way out we took lower Elliot and it was about ~4.6 miles and that took less than two hours. Much better views than upper Elliot. Many wonderful waterfalls and sounds of water flowing down the river.

This was my wife’s first backpacking trip and she loved it.

backpacking
1 month ago

It was a fabulous backpacking trip. we only stayed one night but it was just right amount hiking. Took my 70 lbs dog with me and he did just fine. we did see some bear tracks but no bear. the views are awesome! well worth it.

8/6/18
Hiked windy ridge to abraham flats (this trail is very narrow for the most part on slippery sand and on a ridge. Watch your footing. The stairs were the scariest part for me going both up and down, they are really steep and slippery...the sand will just fall from under your feet. pretty trail with a lot of interesting bugs I've never seen before and the grass hoppers are super loud here! couple of steep parts when your crossing dry creeks in the hills before you get to the plains.) to loowit trail (I thought I could get to the falls this way instead of having to go back down abraham trail, but it was a no go... the loowit trail is basically non existant when you get to the last lava field at the base of the mountain. I could see trail markers at every lava field except the last one. I attempted what i thought was the trail from the se side and feared I would get hurt, so I scrambled back down. I would not recommend doing the loop. I then backtracked. this trail connects with june lake and ape canyon. Make sure your wearing good gripping hiking boots or shoes. the sand is very slick and this trail can have some really steep parts. Started this hike at 6am and saw no one else on the trail till my descent back down around 10am and they were on the windy ridge trail.

Beautiful hike. Gradual elevation the whole way through. It really is 7.4 miles to the lakes for almost exactly 15 mile hike round trip. Totally worth it.

Beautiful hike, it was very smokey on 8/14 so the views could be much improved on a clear day but still a great hike. The hike itself is moderate difficulty, I think what may make it harder is the length.

hiking
1 month ago

Went up this past weekend; although it was cloudy the panoramic of the Cascades was still stunning! A favorite for sure. Quite a bit of bugs so bring some bug spray.

As a follow-up to the review by PhLo S just below...my group went August 10-12. There were some flies and mosquitoes at the lower elevations, but nothing close to plague-level. As a precaution we wore long sleeve shirts and long pants, with the option to wear head nets. While hiking these precautions weren't really needed, but during rest stops the bugs can get annoying. The views at the upper elevations are amazing. This was one of the best hikes I have been on.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Took Lower Elliott on the way up and Upper Elliott on the way down. Lower had beautiful scenery and soothing water sounds. The last mile of the hike is the toughest part and the trail gets a bit confusing but the lake is worth every bit. So beautiful, great for a swim and plenty of trees for your hammock ;) The waterfalls near the lake were equally breathtaking! We went later in the day on a Sunday and ran into very few people, even at the lake. Upper is perfect for the way down because it’s majority downhill. As mentioned in another review, make sure you have the right pass because they’ll get ya. I will 100% be coming back here.

Great views, not too many people, very hot, bring lot's of water. Bugs

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best hikes I’ve been on! Absolutely amazing views at the top, had some rain come in but created some nice cover and rolling fog over the crest of the mountains!

great views, flowers, butterflies and sunshine. Not many trees there now hat and sunscreen is a must.

First off, DO NOT follow the directions on AllTrails! Take FR 21 instead of FR 48 and search for directions ahead of time from somewhere else as the ones here are horribly inaccurate (wrong forest road and not 9.5 miles, more like 20 once on FR 21). If it weren’t for the payoff when you make it up to Goat Lake, I’d have a hard time recommending this trail. I went counterclockwise to how Alltrails has you do it (I went through Snowgrass Flats then onto Goat Lake) and the first 4 miles are brutal but not because the trail is incredibly difficult, but because of the relentless biting flies and gradual ascent. I pushed through faster than I wanted and when I’d stop for a break I’d be covered in seconds by dozens of flies, none of them caring that I had 100% deet all over. So then you just keep going and by the time I made it out of the forest I was exhausted. Once you clear the forest, Snowgrass flats is great. Crowded, but beautiful and with plenty of water sources so no need to carry a lot of water if you have any way to filter. The last push up to the lake is absolutely gorgeous though a pretty steady climb. Once at the lake, madness; it was a Friday evening and there must have been over 50 people camping at the lake (including a tent city with 6 tents all clustered together) so I pressed on to Jordan Basin and found a spot to hang my hammock for the night. Easy 5 miles into the Berrypatch parking area the next morning and then the short connector back to the other parking lot. Overall it was worth it but I won’t come back until the weather has turned in the fall when I think the bugs won’t be an issue and the crowds will have died down.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this Sunday 8/5. Started at 7:30 am and it was a long beautiful hike. We ended up going past the Katwalk to have lunch by the lakes (total miles ended up being 15.2 miles). We stopped at Ridge Lake, the smaller of the two. There were some amazing places to camp for a future overnight trip to venture further on the PCT. The trail wasn’t too difficult nor was it too crowded. The bugs were pretty aggressive and after 3 applications of bug spray I still came home with 20+ bug bites. I definitely would do this one again.

This is a hearty hike with spectacular views of Mt. St. Helens (only when you are up on the ridge) and of Coldwater Lake. I went counter-clockwise so did the elevation gain at the beginning. The view from the top of the ridge is wonderful and well worth the hard work to get there. As others have described the downhill portion is a bit overgrown, so hard to see your way and there are not any views because of the dense overgrowth.

The relatively flat north side of the lake is nice - and being rewarded with lake views now and then is a nice reward after the long descent from the ridge. I found a great lunch spot with about 5 km to go in the hike - with nice views, a cool breeze and some kayakers to watch. The only reason this hike doesn't get 5 stars is because of the mile or so that you have to walk on the highway. Not much of a shoulder on the blind curves - be careful. However you get some amazing views of Mt. St. Helens and the inside of the crater which takes a bit of the sting away. No mosquito's when I went in early August. I clocked in at 19.7 km.

hiking
1 month ago

The mosquitoes and the biting flies were the bane of my existence on this hike up to Blue Lake. It was incredibly beautiful but even covered in DEET I was swatting flies and mosquitoes for three hours straight. I could hardly enjoy myself.

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