Explore Potential 2+ Hours - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Potential 2+ Hours Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
11 hours ago

Great hike but definitely not an easy hike. Incline most of the day with little switchbacks to change up the hike but the lake and views of Rainier make it totally worth it.

Foggy, narrow trail, and I couldn't locate the cave.

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.

We hiked with our two dogs to the peak of the Triangulation Tr. to get the most beautiful 360 panoramic view! From there we hiked down into Boca Cave to see Mt Jefferson through the eye of the Cave. Photos do not do the view and experience justice.

Phenomenal! The peak is definitely worth it, and Boca Cave is easy to find and really cool. Hike up is a bit brushy, not to difficult.

absolutely amazing hike, especially beautiful in the fall.

Wow!! That will be the reaction of 99.99% of people who do this hike, the other .01% are most likely crazy people. The magical, towering mountains around this mountain lake are simply breathtaking. It was a cold day with ice and a little snow in the higher elevations of the trail. The lake isn’t frozen over yet and the water still shows the bright blue color it’s known for. We clicked it at 8 miles round trip. Took us about 3 hrs up and 2 hrs back down. There is a few spots with fallen trees that you will need to go over or under. But overall the trail is very well maintained and easy to navigate.

So beautiful especially when the larch trees are in all their autumn glory. I hiked this 10/24 and the larches were in full effect. I hiked counterclockwise and I was very happy with the decision. It was a busy trail even on a Wednesday so I would suggest off peak times if possible.

hiking
5 days ago

Really beautiful hike around this time of the year, this hike offers some of the best views Washington trails has to offer. The lake is starting to freeze up and theres lots of snow and black ice once you start getting to higher elevations so be cautious! I would say this trail falls more on the moderate side than hard, it took us 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours going back down. Would recommend this hike for everyone!

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.

The only reason I am taking a star off is the lack of signs this trail has. Towards the end my friend and I took a major detour because there were fallen trees and the trail was hidden with snow. We found the lake though! So worth the hike we did it round trip in 4 hours and a half. Very icy towards the end so be careful.

11/10/18

We got to the trail around 10AM and we didn't see another person the entire time, until we were almost back to the car. It ended up being a beautiful, sunny day and the views were amazing. Well worth the trek up.

As another person said, it's pretty easy to miss the sign that says trail. As soon as you walk out of the trees, there's a great opening to see Mt. Rainier and it's easy to get distracted and miss the small sign. Be sure to look behind you as you probably passed it. There is another trail if you continue walking straight, but from what I read, it's a bit more of a scramble.

The trail was pretty narrow the entire way and there was already a light layer of snow. It was manageable without micro spike but there were a few slippery moments. As soon as you're out of the trees and start the switchbacks, that's where you feel the gain. It wasn't terrible, but I did have to take a few short breaks here and there (I'd say I'm about an average hiker). The closer we got to the top, the more snow started to appear. Probably a few inches already. I'd suggest when going down to at least have spikes or hiking poles, but that's me personally.

Road conditions - there was already snow on the road and there were a few moments, mostly going downhill, that we slid a little bit. The road itself wasn't bad and parts of the drive were a bit exposed, so take your time.

Google maps had us make a right turn about 6-8 miles(ish) (once we were on the dirt road) which had a pretty big pot hole, but it's not actually a road. It dead ends into woods a couple hundred feet up. Keep to the left/straight and it will meet up again with the road google tries to tell you to take. The parking lot to the trailhead isn't very big at all and you see a trail sign but there's no name to it.

Really easy summit hike and great to see both the cave and the peak at the top! Great camp spot up there too. NOTE: when going to the cave you will go through a burned forest area and the trail is relatively difficult to follow so keep your eyes peeled. It's a scramble with lots of loose rock, but doable if careful

hiking
7 days ago

Completed 11/10 - although snow was on trail from the beginning, it was still very well maintained the whole way! Wore hiking boots and runners and both were fine but traction would have been great.
Frozen, snowy lake, no larch color left, but was beautiful blue bird day! Will return, but preferably larch season.

hiking
14 days ago

My friend and I, who I'd classify as novice hikers, were able to complete this hike in 7 hours. It took us 4.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down.

We went on Nov. 2nd the conditions were muddy at most. No ice on the trail that we experienced.

There are some seriously beautiful viewpoints on the way up and was well worth it at the end. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so we hope to go back again in the summer to see it all again.

We persevered but I wouldn't recommend this to someone who is totally inexperienced. It was very hard for us. However, a great hike for any seasoned hiker.

In addition, we both recorded approximately 10 miles, not the the listed 7.7 miles.

hiking
14 days ago

This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life! The trail is tough but not as hard as some other hikes I’ve done. The views at the top are absolutely worth it, take a day trip and go here. You won’t be disappointed! Also, lots of Chipmunks!

Helpful Hints **
The directions off of here were wrong when I plugged it in. It took me to a gated off forest road. Just type in the trailhead on google and it'll take you to the right place.
The cave won't be hard to find if you know what to look for (I didn't, but eventually found it.) There's an obvious trail that y's off to the left by the summit. Follow that till you get to another viewpoint, and you'll see the burn area. Don't walk down into the burn. Walk along as close to the rock as you can and there's a small trail that dips to the left and goes down, and hooks left right along the cliff wall. The cave faces Jefferson on the cliff wall of the viewpoint you passed walking towards the burn. It's right underneath it really. kind of hard to explain, hope that helps.

hiking
15 days ago

I have hiked this trail twice before but hiked it again today on November 3rd. I went 3.5 miles and then turned back, but could have gone further given the snow. It was snowing but very lightly. People I passed said you could go further than I went—one said just one grade away from the pass. Don’t let the snow stop you on this one even if you can’t do the full loop. You can still do quite a bit and it’s still beautiful!

Note: I always go counter-clockwise.

Also, there were less than 10 groups hiking today.

hiking
15 days ago

I am a beginner and it was my second hike. I went there on Saturday around 12pm and returned at 7:15pm. It was hard for me but I enjoyed a lot. I would suggest not to add 0.7 mile for Ann lake because there is nothing to see, rather you will get nice view form the top.

If you are beginner then it’s really hard for you, as per my experience.

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked this trail for the 2nd time yesterday. And as always it was awesome. Trail was dry, had mud in spots but nothing to worry about. Brought a fishing pole up and managed to catch a few rainbow trout. All in all it was a great hike, ass kicker for sure. But worth every bit of it!

This trail is incredibly beautiful, even when it’s foggy. We didn’t have much visibility due to the weather, but it was so gorgeous with the fog and fall colors. Go before the road closes for winter, but beware of ice. We got to see the larches, and the whole trail was lovely.

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!

Absolutely beautiful! We hiked this trail on October 16, 2018. The larch trees along with the fall colors had us using the words beautiful, amazing, breathtaking several times. We went clockwise (steeper on the way up) this made for a much easier time on the knees for the trip down. We plan to make another trip next spring!

Hiked up today, there was a fair amount of snow & ice on the trail, but still manageable without any equipment or microspikes. Beautiful views ! I’d read peoples recommendations about high clearance vehicles but I drove to the trailhead just fine in a regular car, so don’t let that deter you.

Seemed further than the 7 miles listed. Hiked the trail 10/29/18 very went and muddy with quite a bit of snow and ice halfway up. Views were well worth the pain in the butt.

The views are amazing! So worth the trip, logged about 8 miles and got snowed out. A cold but fun night.

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.

Load More