Explore South Cascades - 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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Teaser views of the summit along the way, as well as various smaller waterfalls, before reaching Comet Falls. Continue past the falls to Mildred Point for a great view of Rainier, glaciers/glacial streams, and the upper valleys. Well worth the visit! Best visited in late summer/early fall when the snow has melted in the upper valleys.

Absolutely worth the hike to get the awesome view up at the fire tower! Definitely feels longer than you might think at times. Bring some food to replenish & plenty of water. Had no issues with parking or bugs when I went over labor day weekend 2018 - arrived around 9:30am. We spent our time after the hike over at Mowich lake for the rest of the afternoon. Great way to relax and enjoy your accomplishment.

great trail! beautiful views at the lakes and definitely will be a repeat for us

This is one really tall waterfall. Using a trekking pole was helpful on the way down to keep my 50-year-old knees from getting sore. If you are short on time or stamina, the view from the bridge ABOVE Christine Falls is very worthwhile and about 10 minutes from the trail head.

Great, easy, dog friendly hike. The view of the lake is beautiful, if you can tolerate the crowd. The trail is in excellent condition and there’s plenty of parking at the trailhead.

hiking
1 day ago

I did this trail on Sept 9th (took about 3 hours), and it was breathtaking despite the cloud cover! Get there early to beat the crowds. I started at 8:30 am and took the little dirt path to Sunrise Rim trail towards Emmons Glacier overlook, inclined via Burroughs Mountain trail to 1st Burroughs Mountain, and came back down via Sourdough Ridge trail. The incline might be a small challenge for beginners since it's on a narrow trail at the edge of a cliff, but more experienced hikers would consider it a piece of cake. Nice weather, no bugs, and no ice on the trail. The scenery is diverse... forests, rivers, lakes, meadows, and at times barren, rocky alpine conditions. Coffee and a black bean burger at the lodge were much needed before the drive back to Seattle. Overall, worth it for the views!

hiking
1 day ago

A lovely, challenging hike with a stunning reveal at the end. Bring a small picnic to enjoy by the lake. We saw many other hikers and lots of interesting wildlife. Just beautiful.

Wonderful and rewarding hike. The many bugs made it hard to eat our lunch. We brought bathing suits but could not find anywhere we could safely enter the lake. Not too many hikers the day we went, though it was a Tuesday. Highly recommend.

It’s a hard road throughout hiking. It was a challenging rather than enjoying the scenery nature offers like other hiking b/c up/ down hills hurt feet a lot. I felt I go through a hardship but resting and majestic scenery on the top after a long hard walking makes all of hardship worthy and grateful to survive from it and appreciate the beauty of nature!

It was a good hike, enjoyed it. The lake is very beautiful!

Beautiful hike!!! Pretty rocky. Highly recommend hiking boots with good ankle support. Make sure you continue down to lake once you get to the lookout. Will absolutely go again!!

hiking
2 days ago

Did a beautiful, but cold sunrise hike to First and Second Burroughs on 8/25/18. It was WAY too windy and cold to continue to Third Burroughs. I’ll definitely have to make it the next time :)

hiking
2 days ago

Great trail. Road to the trail head is very bumpy, but I was able to make it up there with a VW Jetta. Easy first mile, the last mile and three quarters is definitely a climb.

When you can’t see the mountain, this hike is a nice alternative. Beautiful falls, and a moderate - easy hike. There are a lot of switchbacks and very poor signage so it can be very tiring if you don’t know where you’re going, and continue past the falls to the meadows area. Saw lots of kids on the trail, so it is very family friendly

Nice hike and a decent view. But I hope you enjoy sharing the trail.

great hike up. good workout. did it with my 12 yr old son. he only complained minimally. view is absolutely gorgeous. will be doing this one again.

Hiked on September 14th, started from Parking lot at Sunrise. Started hiking around 9am, cold with light snow . Hiked to the 3rd mountain, which had much more snow, even lost the trail a couple times. Very peaceful and quiet with a beautiful view of glaciers. Not tough hiking at all, dress warm as the weather has changed on the Mountain. Total round trip with a lunch break on 2nd mountain (30 minutes) and several stops to take pictures was about 4hrs.

It was such a pretty trail with an amazing view. There are some point where the trail is steep but it’s worth it when you see the views.

hiking
5 days ago

Rained off and on the whole hike. Was beautiful and not too busy on a Thursday.

hiking
5 days ago

Wow what an amazing hike! The scenery from start to finish is beautiful, and the ending is definitely worth the effort, resulting in a superior view of Mount Rainier.

Great pay off once at Comet falls with teaser falls along the way. Probably best in spring with more water and wild flowers. Not too strenuous. Really enjoyed it.

hiking
7 days ago

Stunning hike that starts by a lake. The first mile or so is extremely easy as you’re either walking on flat ground or heading down. The second half gets far more difficult with the elevation gain. Both lakes are beautiful but Eunice Lake is far more visible. Once you make it to Eunice Lake the trees open up and you can see the fire lookout perched on the mountain. The fire lookout itself is beautiful and has an amazing 360 degree view. My only complaint is the 16 mile gravel road that leads to the trailhead which feels like it will destroy your car. Also $30 for a week pass to the park is a little steep (when I highly doubt anyone goes for more than 1-2 days).

Have done this trail a few times. One of my favorite, “quick and easy” trails. Yesterday I went to hike it again with my brother when we spotted something about 25 ft down a switchback running into the brush. Back end looked like a cat. We had no issues but def be prepared, always!

The waterfall at the end made it well worth it!

Great hike, not a lot of parking. the falls were awesome.

Stunning view from the fire watch tower! The drive up there is the worst part. It’s an hour of driving on gravel. It costs $30 since you’re in Rainier National Park so have cash or a check ready OR visit the ranger station. The lake is a nice way to cool off during the hike

Hiked to Lost Lake via Packwood Lake Trail #78 Sunday of Labor Day Weekend for an overnighter. 20 miles RT (counting a 4 mile RT to the Old Lookout above Lost Lake), with 4216ft elevation gain including Old Lookout that took 5hrs to Lost Lake.

As expected, the parking lot was packed and started a second parking row. Arrived and on the trail by 9am. Arrived at the Packwood Lake in 1.5 hrs, had a snack and continued on Packwood Lake Trail #78 UP 4 miles to Lost Lake. This section is step climbing approx. 2500 ft. Mosquito Lake is overgrown by brush and not really suitable to stay, however there is a nice campsite next to it. Afterward there is a nice meadow with the first views of the Goat Rocks. From there the Junction of Coyote Trail #79 is just ½ mile and Lost Lake is another ½ mile after that. I arrived at Lost Lake at 2:15pm.

I made camp, had lunch and left for a 2 mile side trip up to the Old Lookout site above Lost Lake. Left at 3:30 and arrived at 5pm. Beautiful. There is a 360 degree view including Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, The Goat Rocks, Old Snowy and the White Pass ski lifts. Spent 30 minutes up there and headed back. Made it back by 6:30pm.

From the Old Lookout, down to Lost Lake and to the Junction of Coyote Trail #79 is part of the detour of the PCT around the Miriam Fire near White Pass.

Lost Lake had a lot of people, and some sites were open. There are at least 6 sites with lake access, maybe more. 2 were open. The water level at Lost Lake was VERY LOW, about 12-15 ft below years past. There are more camp sites available, however they don’t have lake access, but a seasonal stream is nearby. They are about ½ mile past the lake.

Going down the next day was quick and took 3.5 hrs vs 5 hrs going in. Tough hike after Packwood Lake but easy starting and finishing. Lost Lake is beautiful and a peaceful place to camp with no bugs this trip anyway. Well worth the effort!

hiking
9 days ago

This hike have great and amazing views of the lakes but it’s very rocky all the way up to Gem Lake. I do recommend to go early in the morning to get a good parking and also to avoid a lot of the day hikers. I started at 08:30am and there’s not many people at that time. Once I passed Snow Lake, I’ve only seen a few people on my way to Gem Lake. And most of them are coming back from camping. Once I got to Gem Lake, there’s only a few people there (I counted 5 to include myself). I stayed for half an hour and enjoyed the quietness of the nature. I completed the hike with a moving time right under 5 hours. I could’ve finish it earlier but there were a lot of people going the other direction :( So, yeah. My recommendations: Early start, good hiking shoes, and drinking water

We loved this hike! Moderately trafficked, but parking is minimal. Nice steady incline to keep heart rate up. Beautiful hike even when cloudy, though I can only imagine what this would be like with a clear sky! The falls and the meadow are gorgeous. Took us 3 hours to Van Trump and back with a snack break.

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