Explore summer 2017 goals - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

summer 2017 goals Map
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hiking
blowdown
scramble
snow
5 days ago

A good day hike, clear skies.

Several large trees cover the trail, some are tricky to get by.

As you go up the valley towards the glacier, there is snow on the ground, not enough to need spikes or snowshoes. Poles are needed as you get closer to the glacier.

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.

Trail is currently closed!!

Ameizing view!

Started around 8am with a group of hikers. We summited after about 2 hours and 40 minutes. We were back to trailhead at exactly 1pm (5 hours total time including the stop at the summit). Trail condition is good. Only needed microspikes and poles (some among us did not even use microspikes at all). No need for snowshoes. Make sure to check the signs to the correct trail as there are few “social trails” that can divert you from the actual trial. Views are amazing at summit.

Hiked with a group on 1/1/19. Microspikes needed after about 1 mile. We were fine without snowshoes.

This is one of my absolute favorite hikes I’ve ever been on in my life. It’s challenging but absurdly beautiful, and when you reach the top you’ll just be blown away. It’s one of the best trails Washington has to offer. Go early so you can continue further to the next water feature, I didn’t get to go that far but it’s supposedly amazing.

DISCLAIMER: NOT SURE ABOUT CONDITIONS POST-FIRE

I drew an Enchantments permit in 2016 and my group and I camped in Stuart Zone for 5 days, 4 nights. Horseshoe Lake was our day hike destination on day 3.

We hit it during the golden week and WOW what a sight to behold. "The Meadow" on the way to Stuart had been a sign of things to come but we had no idea what we were really in store for.

Contrary to the AT description, this is NOT a highly trafficked trail. It's a dead end, stand alone attraction that lies "far" beyond the Colchuck turnoff that most people take. Even Stuart itself was a ghost town all week.

Anyway, the hike from Stuart isn't all that far but the ascent is a grinder with short switchbacks and a lot of gain vs. distance. After you clear the meadow, look for a horseshoe on a tree. As you ascend, you can lose the trail in spots, just keep heading "up".

Once you're there, you'll know it. The initial view is one of the most amazing first impressions you'll ever get from anywhere. It's like a mini Core Zone, tucked away in the back closet. Huge crags and insane skylines, tons of scrambling and bouldering to be had, crystal clear/emerald water and tasty larches in all the right places. The most beautiful place I've ever personally been to.

If you have to choose between Colchuck and Horseshoe, take Horseshoe every time.

Enjoy

backpacking
1 month ago

Snow packed trail on upper section towards the lookout. Hiking boots were sufficient

Great view at the top. Snow halfway up. Was deep and windy near the top

hiking
1 month ago

Mostly dry and no snow or bugs. Great hike, hard on the knees on the way down.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is nice and beautiful. It’s an easy hike up and a great place. Unlike Mount Si and Mailbox Peak Trail, this trail is not crowded at all. The view at top is gorgeous.

Trail condition is pretty good. There is a creek crossing that’s not bad at all. The upper 1.5 miles has a thin layer of snow (about 1”) but no microspikes are needed.

Parking usually is not a problem at this hike because it is less crowded.

My AllTrails recording says 8.2 mi round trip and 3287 ft elevation gain. It took us 3 hours and 45 minutes to do the whole hike up and down.

A 360 view at the top! First hour is tiring then it actually gets more gradual as you get closer. Today, in November, it had snow about half way up or the last third. it's all packed down though. you don't need spikes but polls are helpful.

trail running
2 months ago

Good technical trail for running. A lot of gain on the way to the top. Will have to come back when its sunny and clear, nothing but most, rain and the occasional frozen rain waves. There are places snow is either on or next to the trail.

Great trail! Very rainy and foggy, but still amazing views and flora. It is longer than the beta shows. I got kind of confused between the water washes and the trail near the top and my phones GPS was not reading correctly.

hiking
2 months 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!

Very windy at the top but well worth the hike to the top , wish it was much clearer. Started at 7 am and was done by 11 pm .

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, intense on the lower body. The initial part is through the woods, and then opens up with spectacular views of Mt. Rainier. You can see and hear vehicles from I-90 for most of the way. There are lots of blueberries on the way in the latter part. The trail has a lot of rocks which can get annoying while coming down. The views on top are fantastic with Mt Rainier towering about the other mountains. The fire/lookout tower on the top is closed.

Elevation gain on the trail is about 3,800 feet and can be quite intense. Wouldn’t recommended this trek for beginners. Make sure you carry enough water since the trail is long and it can be quite exhausting on a sunny day.

Beautiful hike, to say the least! Breathtaking almost the whole way, In one way or another.Kicked my butt though.

hiking
2 months ago

We started at 6:15 and reached the top in 2.5 hours. The first 2 miles are through the woods and later the trail opened up with awesome fall colors all around and my rainier starting to show towards the south.
The second half of the hike up is truly picturesque. There were just 2 other folks when we reached the lookout. The best view to grab your breakfast bites.
We ran into quite a lot of people on the way down though. And by the time we were back around 12(we stopped in places for photos) the parking lot was full with around 30 other cars parked outside on the road. Getting in early was a good idea.
My tracker clocked 11.5 miles and an elevation gain of 4070ft. Completely snow free today.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is definitely a workout, but on Sunday, 10/14/18, we had the most beautiful, clear day with bright fall colors that made it work the work! Snow-capped Mt Rainier with a foreground of red, yellow and orange leaves on the ridge was breathtaking. Layer up, but we ended up taking off most of what we wore because the weather was so beautiful.. It's a lower body burner for sure, but definitely doable for anyone in good shape. You never lose the trail or have you make your own path or anything like that... just a lot of elevation gain in a short time. Lots of sweat!

What a great hike! Has a bit of that “alpine lakes” feel near the top- not bad for being west of the pass. However, not sure where the measurement for the hike begins, but we logged 9.9 miles from the trailhead, leading us to think that AllTrails measures from the cut off to granite mountain about a mile up the trailhead. That, and the fact that we logged over 4100 ft. elevation gain instead of the 3700 ft. or so they list . So be forewarned if time is an issue- it’s a bit longer hike than you may expect. But good!

Very beautiful hike!

So beautiful! It’s a tough hike with all the switchbacks, but well worth it on a clear day. I highly recommend this one.

Most beautiful ever ever! Colors are everywhere! One of my best fall hikes!

Went up on a beautiful fall day and it was a nice hike. The way up is nice and we went off trail up boulders before the peak which added a nice effort. Great view up top but would imagine it’s crowded during the weekend.

Started the hike on oct 1,, at around 7:30am, took about 3.5 hours out and back. The fall colors were amazing in this little valley before the final push to the summit and the top was covered in clouds which looked surreal. It was a bit challenging, my legs were pretty tired from the few hikes we did the day before so it felt like the switchbacks went on forever. there weren't very many people on this trail, we did see someone with a dog so dogs can definitely do this hike. There were blueberries that lined the trail which made for a great snack on the way up.

Great trail!!

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked 10/05/18 from Colchuck Lake to Horseshoe on my last permit day before leaving that evening and I will never regret it. It started snowing as I got closer to Lake Stuart and didn’t stop for my whole ascent/descent. From the trail head, enjoy the insane levels of day hiking foot traffic on the the very abused main section... before the Stuart/Colchuck junction. After the junction, the trail is very plush until you reach southern extents of the Jack Creek burn just before you start the last major uphill ascent. 1,000,000 logs are down everywhere, and there is still relatively little vegetative cover on the scorched soil. The trail is in desperate need of maintenance in the first part of the climb and you will have trail finding issues. The key is to remember that the climb mostly follows the major drainage on that section of the side slope. This is more obvious when you are descending. This is not a hike for inexperienced users. You must have well honed way-finding capability. Reading the landscape is crucial to help reduce human impacts in this area while it is in the process of healing. It is almost appalling that a bigger effort has not been made by the Forest Service to minimize human related impacts here. Isn’t that why we pay for the overnight lottery?

Awesome - longer than stated here. We tracked 11 miles from trailhead to tower round trip. There’s approximately 6inches of snow once you start curving in from the ridge and it’s pretty slipper in some areas with all the slush. Looks like a winter wonderland though. Couldn’t see anything because of cloud coverage from the tower (it was closed so sat below it) but the views from the ridge were incredible with bright fall foliage. We plan to visit again in the summer.

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