Explore summer 2018 hiking 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 2018 hiking goals Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Great hike. There are many switchbacks for the first two thirds of this hike that will really test out your thighs, and much of the trail is rocky with plenty of tree roots to dodge. It's all worth it, though, once you reach the lake. Hiked on a Wednesday, arrived to an empty parking lot at the trailhead at 7am. We took our time on the switchbacks and were at the lake by 9:30-10am. Started to get plenty of people showing up by noon, with the trail practically a downtown Seattle sidewalk worth of foot traffic on the way back down. Arrive early.

Gorgeous hike with bridges, staircases and water along the way. We thoroughly enjoyed the cold pools and waterfalls at the top. Kids didn’t want to leave!!

the parking area is private property and you get charged to park by a sketch dude. just passed the gate, it's state park land so it's a little frustrating that there is no free access. we only paid for the ghost town parking buy where able to walk to the river from one of the side trails after the gate for the ghost town. the ghost town trail was unbearably sunny the day we went with no shade until you went toward the cemetery. there are some structures to the right of the fork when you get to the coal cart. there is a subtle sign that says private property but we went about 1/4 mile passed and stayed on the trail. no shade on that fork nearly killed me but I get it's been unseasonably warm this time of year.

Took this hike this past Sunday, the hike was very beautiful and the dense canopy provided necessary shade in the hot weather. I got to the trailhead at around 3:00, and reached the lake via lower Elliot by 5:30. I ate dinner near the lake and took in the beautiful views, and left the lake around 6:00. I reached the parking lot via the lower Elliot at 7:45 (last car in the lot), but the trail was getting very dark, fast, due to the trees. I did spot two piles of fresh bear poop on the trail and a very large paw print, so that sped my walk back quite a bit. Overall, a very nice hike, I would recommend getting to the trailhead at no later than noon to leave enough time to enjoy the walk, the views, and the lake.

hiking
3 days ago

wasn't to sure where to go, as nothing is marked. after a decent incline we came to a sign pointing to the cemetery which consisted of a few tombstones. we then proceeded to an area of dilapidated buildings which was very interesting, just wish they were labeled or had info boards. we kept going to the "Y" and decided to go with the fairly steep switchback that took us to a summit like view point. on our way out we took a side trail that ended up on the river which was refreshing and beautiful.

Hike #4 ✓

hiking
4 days ago

Got there on a Sunday morning around 815 and there were plenty of parking spots available. We took upper Elliot both on the way up and down and got in 11 miles. No bear to be seen! It definitely warmed up by the time we got back to the cars, so bring plenty of water, or there’s plenty of sources for filtering water if need be.

hiking
4 days ago

This was my first “real” hike ever and the rapid elevation gain was pretty tough at times but having lunch and a quick dip at the lake made it worth it. I think it took us about 3.5 hours up and 3 down. Be sure to bring lots of water, sun protection, and bug spray. The flies, mosquitoes and bees were no joke and honestly I don’t know if the bug spray helped at all.

Trail condition was great! Bring your bug spray though because those will definitely get to you, no matter how fast you're making it up. I'd say this was more of a moderate hike for me, but it was definitely challenging at some times. Lots of wildlife to look at, but unfortunately I didn't see the goats. The lake is perfect for a dip, especially in hot summer weather.

Great hike. I’d rate more of a moderate, but definitely a harder moderate than some. The road up to the trailhead was rough. The hike itself was beautiful, and that view at the end couldn’t be beat. We went swimming in the lake to cool off and it was so refreshing.

Summer 2017.
Headed up after lunch on a week day to avoid the crowds. Solid hike and great lake. The biting flies were awful though and no amount of bug spray could keep them away for long.

hiking
5 days ago

Nice walk, but can’t reconcile what it is with the price and admission. We met a couple on the path asking the same thing we’d been saying: “Is this it?” I’ll stick to my free hikes.

The first part of the trail is pretty easy. Once you hit the second bridge you have to billy goat your way to the top using lots of switchbacks

hiking
6 days ago

Well, it was a last minute decision to hike this, so, we took the ridiculous decision to Star the hike at 4:00pm, because we had such a pressure to get to the lake, it was very hard trying to keep a consistent pace going up hill, definitely this trail requires to have some condition. Anyway we made it to trailhead on time way before the sunset at 9:10ish, we were lucky!

The “mosquito hour” was crazy and as I read in last reviews, and yes they were violent and didn’t care the repellent.

Its a very good hike it’s not that hard I really liked it

hiking
6 days ago

Trail condition was good, and much of the hike was in shaded areas which helped since it was 95 degrees. There were several viewpoints, and spots to stop along the river. There was also a waterfall prior to the last ascent. Payout at the end is a beautiful alpine lake.

The trail is very popular, and heading back down was fairly busy. We left the trailhead at 7am. Would recommend going early to get a parking spot and beat some of the traffic.

Mosquitos and flies were aggressive. Bring plenty of bug spray.

Fun hike. Hard but it's worth it

Round trip is 8 miles. Once the switchbacks are completed the up hike is pretty simple, so take your time on the switchbacks. For me who is moderately fit, it took 2hours up and hour fifteen minutes on the way down. Carry good amount of water and a nice snack to enjoy near the lake.

Trail to the junction is easy on the feet and covered, for the most part. Steeper than the first half, the ascent from the junction offered numerous beautiful views. Kept moving and the mosquitos were never an issue. We were tempted to climb up the pass but opted to save that for another day. The first 2 dirt miles were a bit bumpy. Great hike with a stunning lake at the top. Not hard, moderate.

No snow and went on sunny day when Mt. Rainier was out. The lake was gorgeous and there’s not a lot of bugs.

Beautiful trail during great weather!

hiking
10 days ago

very nice views with blue /green water

hiking
11 days ago

I love the views and the lake made this trip well worth the drive from Olympia. Beautiful, awesome and just plain perfect.

The hike was really pretty. A couple different view points on the way up. The distance is off, though. It was more like 8 miles round trip. There really isn’t any “beach” to sit so be prepared for that.

We came down from BC to do this over the weekend! Got a late start (6:45) - we took upper Elliot trail on the way up and it took us 2hr15min. Got there just in time to watch the sunset behind the lake and find a spot for our tent before dark. It was busy but no problem finding a place to camp. We took lower Elliot on the way down and it was nice walking by the creek (1hr 45 min).
We didn’t see the bear !

Not a bad trail but be ready for a climb. Also, both lakes were still frozen over, but melting. There was plenty of snow from snow lake, onwards. Better have a map and compass, but it’s worth the view!

hiking
12 days ago

Did this hike on July 3rd. It was a beautiful day in the NCNP, easy parking. We clocked 7.8 miles round trip and 1750 ft elev gain. The best way to do this hike is to look up the ferry schedule and hike in one way (wish we had known this ahead of time.) Cost is $10 cash per person. I even saw several people with dogs planning to take the ferry, but I don't know the rules.

13 days ago

Would give this a 4.5 if it was available. Super bumpy gravel road for about 3 miles to the TH. Water running along the trail was really nice. View from the top was super. As others have commented, the bugs at the top - and along the trail - were plentiful and aggressive.

My second review of this hike. Went once in October last year and on July 5th, the other day. This is more of an update. Water was too cold to swim and also there was a lot more water than last time as the lake drains all summer so there were no “beach” areas. Definitely soak yourself in bug spray. I applied some and still got about 8 bites, mainly through my clothes which I wasn’t expecting so spray everything. View at the top was amazing as always. Also trail is 9.3 miles round trip, not 8.0.

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike! We didn’t see the bear. We climbed up to the top and went swimming in the lake. Seven chipmunks came and visited us and ran all around. We took upper Elliot up and lower Elliot down. I thought both trails were super cool and would recommend doing both.

Load More