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Insane views. semi-steep with the occasional patch of snow approaching the lake.

got to the trail head at 830. there was light rain but not much. the trail was in great shape. a few muddy spots but nothing that couldn't be worked around or walked through.

the falls were all especially strong today. the lower falls are great with a view of the middle falls in the distance.

the middle views are what you come for.

the trail to the upper falls is more difficult than the rest but nothing more than difficult moderate. the upper falls are great as well.

the valley overlook is also stunning.

on Granite Mountain Trail

hiking
snow
4 days ago

Great workout. Hiking through the forest was steep but do-able (be advised if bringing children). My dog had no problems with the varied terrain. At roughly the 2 mile mark, until the top, there is icy snow. Poles and snowshoes recommended, however, hiking boots are sufficient. Had to turn around near the 3 mile mark due to too deep of snow and the trail was unclear. Views were great even with clouds and had some snowfall. Minimal foot traffic on this trail which was nice. Will definitely be going back in a month or two in hopes of making it to the top!

This was a thrilling and energizing hike. Wasn't too sure how to pack for this hike, (ie. Snowshoes, yaktrax, or micro spikes), but I packed my yaktraxs, and was glad I did. The last 1/4 mile was covered in packed snow. You can get away with good hiking boots alone, but the extra traction helps with the slippery accent and decent. The frozen lake was a great site, but even more amazing was all the avalanches occurring across the lake. We started our hike at 1:30 pm, and reached the lake at 4:10. We were back down at 6:45 pm. Head lamps were a must, and very much used. It was exciting to hike back down in the cover of night, and moonlight.

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!

Road in wasn't bad, and could handle my tiny Hyundai Accent perfectly. I assume it isn't always that way, but there wasn't any snow and pot holes were easy to navigate. As for the trail, not slippery or icy for my trip. Some downed trees, but a hop over, and you're hiking again.The falls were well worth it, as well as the view you got of everything else at the top.

hiking
10 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.

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...

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.☺

Difficult!!! Thick snow, it was raining, view is worth it!

Great views, interesting varied terrain and marmots. Usually a bit of snow even in summer. As others have written, don’t short yourself on water.

Beautiful hike! Perfect weather beautiful lake and Mt Rainier in full view!

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!

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.

hiking
20 days ago

Completed this a few months ago. Was great.

Trail was in good winter condition. A little muddy in some spots, but nothing that couldn't easily be navigated. It was fairly icy for the last 1/3rd of a mile or so, especially on the steps and wooden walkways.

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!

hiking
22 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.

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.

This was the hardest hike I have ever done (hiking around a year only 2nd trail ever in Cascades). extremely steep. the rocks you have to climb were covered in and ice making it super difficult. the waterfall was amazing to see and the tree was very cool. the stairs were also very icy. Be advised you basically climb up the waterfall/streams lots of rocks!

hiking
23 days ago

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

hiking
23 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
24 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!

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!

go in the winter time.

it is definitely worth the effort especially in the winter time. The snow is beautiful

Good hike but view a little disappointing

I've done this hike 3 different times during many different times of the year. The destination is always worth the steady climb up!

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