Explore Summer 2016 to do List - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer 2016 to do List Map
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hiking
1 day ago

Pretty steep hike near the end, but a super fun one to do right now (mid-end of October) to see the lake frozen over and the glistening frost!

Mason Lake trail is a wonderful hike. No snow or ice on the road. We enjoyed the waterfalls, even green trees, Mount Rainer view on the way up. No so much traffic, the forest is nice and quite. The Lake view is stunning. The hike is much easy than we expected.

Hiked Saturday 11/17 with sunny conditions. Spikes were helpful with snow and ice above the turn-off at the cairn. Stunning view of Rainier and the surrounding ranges. Road had a couple rough looking spots, but nothing a standard SUV can’t handle. Plenty of wind up high!

the best views, and no snow! beautiful, well maintained trail, clearly marked. started from the upper trail head, 8 miles round trip. highly recommend, very much worth the work.

hiking
3 days 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.

Beautiful, only able to get to Williams lake due to heavy snow in the past month. Trail is easy to follow and packed down good to the lake (very popular hike) I tried going up to wheeler but it’s still soft and deep snow. Not many people summiting anymore. A hiker coming down informed me the trail disappears after timberline so it looks like next year will be my summiting chance.

hiking
7 days ago

We didn’t have ideal weather which impacts my rating a bit. Extremely foggy and misted a bit but it was still a great, challenging hike. Saw several groups of mountain goats along the way up to and at the peak. The fog did manage to part for about 10 minutes while we were at the top so we could see some of the nearby peaks and the lake below. Down seemed to take a lot longer than up, but that was probably mental because of the weather.

backpacking
7 days ago

We did the hike from the lower trailhead. We lucked out with the weather - November 12th and sunny, temps in the mid 40s, but this hike is such a workout that we shed our coats pretty quickly. No snow anywhere on the trail, a few parts were slightly muddy. The first part through the forest is very pleasant, but fairly steep already. After the merge with the upper trail, it becomes very steep, and very rocky. Our lab is pretty fit and used to hiking, but she was not happy crossing one section which is all big rocks (an old rock slide?). Other than that, the trail is wonderfully maintained - fresh log railings and LOTS of rock steps. Beware, what was supposed to be a 5.3 mile hike was really more like 8.9 miles according to our smart watches - and sure felt like it, too! The views from the top are amazing and get progressively better the higher you go, so it's definitely worth it, but next time we may consider leaving the doggo behind.

beautiful hike! Gotta love up hill!

Left parking lot about 0830, got to mason lake about 10. Put on micro spikes somewhere near the lake and kept them on the rest of the hike until returning back down to that spot. Walked on rocks to cross stream and continue to the peak. I didn’t use poles but they seemed to help many people with the semi-rock scramble near the top. Had lunch at the peak and put on a bunch of layers. Got back to parking lot about 4pm. Remember sunset is 4:30pm now!! It was beautiful when I hiked but I’m sure there is more snow to come.

This was my second time hiking Mount Ellinor. It was a beautiful hike not as difficult as the last time I hiked it .We had a great day and beautiful views Definitely recommend this hike ..

Gorgeous day on the trail today. Nice people enjoying the mountain (special thanks to the man that gave me a lift back to my car!)

About a foot of snow at the summit. Dog really enjoyed herself. Bring crampons and boots. Parked about 2 miles from trail head due to road conditions.

very cool and well worth the hike. this was our first actual hike so it's hard to measure it against anything. pretty steep incline but we'll marked trails and plenty of stuff to see. people along the way were very friendly. had an unbelievable time.....yes well worth it. ad thank you to those of you who donate your time to keep those trails looking the way they do.

hiking
15 days ago

The lower trail was really scenic with a nice forest view, I would only do this part once.

The upper trail was AMAZING and very tough during the last stretch of it.. It was pretty hard to find the trail due to the big rocks and the hard incline up. The whole trail had great lookouts. though. The top was really cold, but that was expected. We made the sunset in time.

Definitely one of my favorite hikes ever and I would do the upper trail over and over again

Went up today solo, got spooked for no reason and turned back until I met with another group and they were kind enough to let me join them. It was raining on and off and we ended up crossing through two waterfalls, be very careful with your footing or you may be swept away and unless you're super careful you will likely get wet regardless. I was able to do the whole trip without trekking poles or spikes though poles would have made at least one crossing easier. Today there was 1-2" of snow at the top and it did snow on us towards the top. Really a lovely hike and I look forward to going back in fair weather!

We forgot that daylights savings meant an hour less of sunlight, so we didn’t quite make it all the way to the top, will be doing again :)

hiking
16 days ago

A great day hike in the rain and snow.
There are two sections where the water is really flowing. The first one is quite deep, 90% of people turned back and didn't cross it that we saw.
The second one is easy, go up the hill 50 ft, it is only 2 foot wide, jump it.
Interesting easy hike. Can hear the I-90 freeway the whole hike, didn't like that.

the roots and rope climbing sections here are definitely a highlight

Hard hike and not the best view but fantastic cardio. Not too busy!

hiking
21 days ago

Gorgeous fall-time hike. Starting at Norski parking lot toward Ski Basin (north). Make sure you do not step up to the Norski trail. The Windsor trail leaves from the north end of the parking lot. After 30 minutes and crossing the creek, turn left on to the Rio En Medio trail, heading down-hill along the creek. Beautimous and easy. If you later reach a fence line blocking the trail, you will have a steep up-hill portion before reaching the Aspen Ranch trail head (that means you did not turn left at an un-marked fork) Following the Ranch Road south is an easy passage and took one hour. We encountered nothing but two ranch trucks hauling cows. Turn left onto Windsor Trail for the last 2 miles. That's a bit of huffin' and puffin' up-hill to get back to the 10,000 foot level and parking lot. All together: 7.5 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes including picture taking and lunch picnic. A few nice panoramic views and plenty of colorful Aspen trees.

The last time I hiked this trail was when I was in my late 30’s/early 40’s and I haven’t been up there since, which was back in the mid 80’s. I’m 72 now and still wanting to do that hike again. Your reward for hiking to the top is the view you get when you get there. Be sure the weather report for the day of your hike is for clear weather because you will be able to see almost all of the Puget Sound and Vancouver Island, Vancouver and Victoria, BC all the big cities in Puget Sound and when you turn around you see all the snow covered peaks of the Olympic Range. The view up there is what it’s all about, so if you haven’t been there yet, you should go.

Not recommend. Although it's a well-marked trail, there are a lot of burned areas blocking the way. The trail is too narrow, so we stopped many times to make way for biker. And the view of the top was disappointing, good for biking but not for hiking.

hiking
24 days ago

Nice trail all the way to the lake

We parked at the upper parking lot and I don't regret it.

There was a heat wave going through at the time so it was extremely hot. We did this with our Golden, and the air quality was probably pretty poor because there was a fire in the Olympic Park.

But was still an amazing hike. I would highly suggest it, and, if possible go on a clear day!

Great hike, beautiful views 8 miles round trip from upper parking lot, bring plenty of water. well maintained trail.

Hiked on 10/21 and it was a perfect day to do so. The first few miles were very flat so a nice warm up to where the elevation starts. We also went to rampart lakes and some of the little lakes were a little frozen probably from not getting much sun. It was super cold when we started at around 8ish but warmed up as soon as we started to walk. I saw about 6 dogs and only one was on a leash. I understand that your dog might be well behaved but some people get really nervous around them specially if they are not in a leash. Im one of them. I saw dog poop bags too which was super disappointing I wish people would just carry their dog poop and not leave it for people to see. There were not many people so it was nice. I didn’t really think it was a hard hike more Like a moderate hike.

on Kendall Katwalk Trail

30 days ago

Legit

Went up to the Rampart lakes yesterday and there was no ice or snow. It was perfect!

good workout,had to work for some good views,beautiful weather sunny 65°

Good hike. Great views once you get to the last mile or so. You can see Rainier consistently. Mason lake was beautiful with a lot of space to spend time.

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