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This must be one of my favorite, if not "the" favorite hike - it has really just about everything: an adventurous drive to the trail-head (more on that later), a forest to start your hike in, a lush mountain meadow, plenty of snow-fields (mid July) all the way to a rock-scrambling part to the lookout at the end. And the views, oh my, the views. Going up, they are beautiful already but once you make it to the ridge that will get you to the lookout, you're in for a real treat. I just wish we had known that it was possible to stay overnight in the lookout - sunset and sunrise must be absolutely stunning from there.
The hike itself is not easy and the last part would be tough for people with vertigo but otherwise we didn't think it was too difficult. It's easily manageable in an afternoon even if you take plenty of time to soak in the views at the top. We saw a bear and a pica rabbit too.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the drive. I saw cars parked at the trail-head that had pretty low clearance, so it must be possible to get there in just about anything but I was really happy that we took a rental 4WD SUV. The forest road is quite steep in places and littered with potholes large enough to break your axle in, so having a higher clearance vehicle comes in handy.
Overall, if there is just one hike you are going to do in this part of the park, make it this one!

2 months ago

Incredible. Most beautiful hike I’ve ever been on in the US so far.

2 months ago

Hiked it in July 2017. Beautiful views. Beautiful hike. The last mile is basically straight up. Pack a lunch and enjoy it. Took the kids with us (almost 4 and almost 2 at the time) one in a hiking pack and the other on foot. Older one hiked all but the last mile up to the look out. Would do it again. Wish clouds hadn’t covered Rainier once we reached the top. But still stunning non the less.

Hidden lake lookout. Attempt number 3. Success.
It was king of challenge for me, I tried to get to the lookout two times before (May and November), two times in snow, two fails.
The initial plan for today was relax and enjoy snowshoe around Artis Point, but yesterday evening when I was checking reports I found on alltrails.com that somebody put 5 stars for Hidden Lake trail 5 days ago, it was enough for me to change my plans and try Hidden Lake again. Despite great weather I was not sure if I can make it, I still remember how much snow and avalanches was in May, but I decided give it a shot.

Came to trail around 10:30, actually I didn't get to trailhead even on AWD and parked mile or so before TH, 6 or 7 cars already were there. I reached TH in 40 mins and tired, it was difficult to go by snow, decided put on snowshoe after forest part. Forest part was easier, since less snow there, you can do in hiking boots, but gaiters recommended. Met two people going back, they done forest part of the trail and turned back.

Once I reached basin area I starded to follow by ski track, it was not easy, but doable in snowshoe which is a must at this part. I folowed ski track by right side from the stream, when actuall trail goes by left side. There are few avalances already came down, snow looks stable and solid, but anyway pay attention. Clibmed up to second avalanch, which came from the top and turned left to actual trail. Then did couple switchbacks and crossed this avalanch again toward to travers part of the trail. Despite hard and stable snow it was little bit scary to walk by avalnches, but I decided to go, maybe not too smart.

Travers part was very nice and much easier! View was gorgeous, clear views of peaks around, mt Baker, sun, snowshoe. Btw there are some steep slopes on this part as well, I even used iceaxe to go throug it, but as I said I followed by ski track, maybe it possible to find less steep route.

Once I reached end of the travers part I saw many snowshoe footprints at this point I realized that it should be some winter route. Definitely! I've seen many cars but met only two people, and ski track I followed by was few days long.

From this point there are few snowshoe trackы - first is regular trail, second goes to hidden lake peaks. I climbed up by second one, but at this point I did't know that it goes to the peaks, i realized it lated once I got closer. I didn't get to the peak, because it was already 2:30 pm and I had not so much time. I turned right towards to the lookuout, getting closer I've seen some people doing travers by peak to the lookout. In some report guys called this part "do it or die", kind of true :)

So, I reached lake viewpoint, then I took one of the snowshoe track up, travers part to the lookout is very steep, if you will go there you need to be very careful. I put of basket from my right pole and used it as iceaxe, before doing next step I put it deep in snow.

Finally I reached lookout, there were five people and two dogs, they came for overnight. They told me about winter route, it is shorter and much steeper. But! it much safer from avalanch standpoint since it goes through forest and there less snow now. So, if you go tomorrow or before next snowfall you can go by regular route, after snowfal basin area will be risky, but you can try winter route. But as I said it is very very steep espesially at the beginning (from road to lookout)

I took some food and photos and went down by regular route. Yeah, views were just awesome!

On my way back I met three people going up, they came by regular route as me. So, I tool winter route back, first half was easy, since I went down, moderate level of snow, good snowshoe track. Second part was more tough, slopes were much steeper, lots of fallen trees, I lost track little bit, because snow disappeared and I just followed direction to the road. Finally I reache the road, walked down to my car and went home.

Finally I can cross Hidden Lake Lookout trail in my list as completed.

Lots of snow up there. I got to the lake viewpoint but not to the lookout, since I was first on the trail and spent lots of time for trail finding and overall visibility was awful. Poles, gaiters is a must. Snowshoe, spikes might be helpful. Find my report on wta

Incredible 10/31/17 hike! No snow cover yet, great views of Ranier plus Adams, Hood, St Helens, and Baker. Tough but worth it!

Northern Cascades at its finest.

Amazing hike! Absolutely beautiful views; definite bucket list worthy. Just be very careful on your way down as there’s no clear trail markings.

My favorite hike in the lower 48!

5 months ago

I absolutely loved this hike! We got up to the lookout early so we could secure our spot, but I would have loved to camp out by the lake as well. The lookout is the most maintained and well kept lookout I've been to! I will definitely be doing this hike again.

5 months ago

Hiked this 10-14-17
Road closed 4.2 miles from the trailhead/Mowich Lake so be prepared to hiked 4.2 miles in snowy conditions. The snow levels will change obviously with the temps going up and down but here is what we expericed on 10-14-17
-Parked car at gate closure and hiked 4.2 miles in
-First 2-3miles was packed snow approx 3-4", you will walk in one set of tire tracks the first couple miles.
-At approx 3-4 miles in the snow is deeper 4-8" and the snow is no longer packed and you just have one tire track to walk in to keep feet dry.
-Last little section, maybe 15-20min, the tire tracks stop and you are just left with footprints to walk in to stay dry.
-When you get to the lake we expericed 1-2ft of snow around the lake basin. The actual trail to the lookout was completely snowed in and unaccessible (at the time of hiking this).
- We were bummed we couldnt do the lookout but were satisfied with Mowich Lake...its was AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL with the fresh snow and crisp air. Totally worth hiking 4.2 miles up to the lake. We had clear sunny skies and about 40 degrees so it was enjoyable since we dressed accordingly.
Get out and do this hike BUT be ready for snowy conditions and a long hike in the snow. We pretty much power walked it up and it took us 2hrs and a pretty fast rate we hiked.
ALSO the last 10-20 min of the road up is an absolute pot hole nightmare. No snow on this part but just a ton of pot holes. Any car can make it up (we had a tiny car) just take your time and try to serve around them.
Get out there and see it with the snow its amazing!!!
I'll have photos in in the coming weeks of the hike on IG if anyone is interested @m_packmore

Amazing views throughout. Upper half of the trail had plenty of snow but thankfully hikers before us blazed an easy trail. The snow made the rocks at the top pretty slippery but still manageable at a slow pace. Snow also made it difficult to get to the lookout cabin so we'll have to do that next time!

Hi Katherine Wong, This is a late reply to your questions, but I'd say YES to all of them! I did this as a solo female hiker who rented a Hyundai to take me to every trailhead in the North Cascades, Olympic NP, and Mt. Rainier areas. It is a beautiful hike with views of Mt. Rainier the whole way. The trail to the outlook is on the edge of the mountain that can seem kind of sketchy if you have an issue with heights, but I recommend it since it gives you a different viewpoint of Rainier and the surrounding mountains and valleys. The signage is good and the trails are easy to follow. The Frozen Lake wasn't a lake when I was there, so it confused me to thinking I was on the wrong trail, but the signs straightened me out :) I also hiked to the first and second Burroughs to catch a view of the glacier at a wonderful overlook to eat lunch. Most of the trail is in the sun and above tree line, so bring hat, sunscreen, and water. Totally doable by yourself if you are used to hiking distances.

Awesome time! A little harder than I thought but so worth the sweat!

5 months ago

The 16 mile gravel road was jarring and scary at some points, but once you get there, it was all worth it. The trailhead gives you a beautiful glimpse of Mowich Lake through the trees. About 1 mile in, the trail descends for about 0.3 mile, then starts really going up. The last mile was pretty steep and muddy at point points, but very fun- especially when you start seeing Eunice Lake. The view at the top is phenomenal and takes your breath away for a different reason. Beware: the chipmunks are clearly too used to people and will climb on you to beg for food.

I'm going to review this a little differently:
The trail and the brilliant views at the fire lookout makes this one my top favorite! I've hiked the paradise and sunrise ... but this beats them both within the Mt. Rainier NP.
About the road to get to the trailhead, what a misery :( 15miles of dirt road, of which 9miles have some serious damaged road with potholes and no neon/radium indicators or even road fences! So if you skid off of the dirt road, well you will either make it to heaven or hell. Never back to earth :/ I rate this drive 2 ⭐️
Please make sure to drive at least a 4x4, carry a swimsuit if you want to jump in one of the 2 lakes, they are both clear and quite pleasant.

I posted a few pics of the potholes :D so you know they ain't not no tiny easy puddles!

Good trail: a bit rooty for the first half hour in the trees.Upper elevations rocky with some side slabs.
Views are amazing. Cool fire Lookout perched at the Peak. Treatable water throughout, including tarns 600 feet lower than the Peak. Snow can be a problem as approach trail climbs a shaded steep valley.

5 months ago

Awesome Trail ! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much @ the top of the peak due to the fog but that comes with the season. It was still so beautiful ! I was definitely blindsided by the hour worth of potholes on the drive up & the $25 entry fee .. but still WORTH IT

5 months ago

Definitely worth the 10mi round trip hike! The 2nd half of it has been very slushy from the recent snow melting. I'd recommend hiking boots for traction coming down!

Amazing view at the top. Could see Mt. St. Helens clearly as well as Mt Baker in the far distance.

It was a great short hike and perfect for beginners. I took my little sister there for her first hike. I did not expect so much snow though and was not prepared. Overall, the view point and the view was all very worth it.

Fantastic trail! Was a far easier trail than was initially explained to me. Yes there are steep areas, but there are several places that are flat that you can get through fast to make up time spent on the steep areas. The steepest park was the last mile up to the fire lookout.

5 months ago

Highly recommended! An AWD or a 4x4 is also recommended due to the 20 mile dirt road you'll travel on to get up to the trail head. I went at sunrise and it was the most beautiful view of Mount Rainier Ive seen so far.

This trail starts off very easy, it's almost flat for most of the trail until the last .9 mile and then it's straight up to the lookout. Worth it, though.

Amazing hike great views!

First time in Mount Rainier National Park did not disappoint! The hike in challenging in spots, but so worth it once you get to the top! We even saw deer on the way up, which didn't seemed bothered by us. The view is stunning of Mount Rainier. Glad the weather was good too!

6 months ago

We can see why this hike is rated so highly! Unfortunately, we had some residual smoke which limited our visibility of Rainier. The dirt road going up certainly jars your insides for about an hour, but you forget that instantly. It was such an enjoyable hike that you don't realize how much ground you cover in a short period of time. We combined this with Spray Falls. Recommend as a must for Rainier NP.

Amazing!! So worth the hike

6 months ago

Friday 9-15-2017: My friend, wife, and I hiked to Hidden Lake Lookout. The road to the trailhead is rough. The weather was sunny and the temperature was 42 to 75 degrees. The mountains, glaciers, and the lake were beautiful. There were abundant ripe blueberries around the rock garden. We enjoyed 360 degree view at the lookout cabin. It was a great hike.

6 months ago

A super interactive and non boring trail but it was a lot harder after you hit the Lake toward the top. There are lots of people along the trail as well so if you need to hike alone you don't feel unsafe

Hello hikers, am hoping to Sunrise RIm Trail Loop this Oct.
In need of information:
1. Is trail marking visibly available?
2. Solo female hiker, ok?
3. Can sedan or require SUV car to trailhead?
Appreciate much with all the advice I can get.

We hiked up on a cold rainy day, but it was nice watching the fog roll in. Scramble to the top is quite steep.

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