Explore Summer 2019 - 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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The road was fine. Some potholes, but manageable. Started at the lower trailhead. Four cars when I arrived at 11AM. Heavy overcast day with some fog. It was still a very nice and of course very challenging hike. Steep obviously. Trail through the forrest was in good shape. I like old growth. Snow on the trail on the way up. A bit slushy in parts. Used microspikes about 2/3 of the way up and to the top. Took the Summer route. Fair amount of snow on the ground during the main ascent. Maybe 5". Met two guys who had hiked up with skis but they were only able to do a short run at this time. A few dramatic cloudy views on the way up, but at the top it was heavily fogged in. I loved being there anyway. Great and tiring hike. I saw about 18 people over the course of the hike, but had some quiet time. I'll be back on a clear day, but I would recommend it even if it's not.

Very beautiful love it!! I will be climbing it again in the summer. I went two days ago made a video of my climb. You be the judge of this mountain. Here’s the link
https://youtu.be/e2Wf0KKeEmY

Beautiful little hike on a beautiful day! I wasn’t expecting such an awesome view of Rainier within the first hour of the hike. And then Red Mountain which is very unique. Of course the actual Katwalk goes without saying it was truly stunning & unique.

Sadly, two days after we had done this trail there was news that someone had fell. So be careful out there everyone! Happy & safe hiking...

hiking
11 days ago

Can't get any better than this lake! Gravel road for a few miles before getting to the parking lot. Be prepared for a bumpy road. Come very early coz parking lot gets really full. We got there by 730am and lot was almost full.

This and the Enchantments are my favorite trails I've done. I hiked up with my best friend and a duffle bag (lol wut?) full of awful gear back in 2012 and didn't realize what I was getting myself into. Spent the freezing night at Camp Muir and woke up to the most amazing views of my life - you could see Mt. Jefferson, St. Helens, Adams, and Hood. The sunrise comes up right behind all them. Really want to do the trail again and summit the mountain.

Hiked Ellinor on 11-24-2018 and there is snow! it doesn't begin until about a mile in, but as you got higher it got deeper. I would definitely bring trekking poles, krampons and any extra pair of gloves. I've never hiked Ellinor in the summer, but with the snow it really didn't get too hard until the last half mile heading up to the summit, but once you're up there, it is magnificent!! we felt like we were on top of the world!

Full of adventure and hard. Most of all, its worth it.

hiking
15 days ago

We started at the lower trail, figured it would be a nice warm up before starting the steeper stuff. Had to put on the spikes before the lower and upper trails merge as the trail is packed ice and snow. Beautiful weather in the early morning, and great views of Lake Cushman when you break out past the timberline. We climbed the steep sections, which have about 2.5 feet of snow, but there are paths thru it -very icy and packed so be careful. A storm front was fast approaching and when we got to the summit we were greeted with freezing rain, strong winds and dark clouds coming in quickly. We did not linger, nor did we continue to loop the last bit of trail section, ( is it used in the winter?) we went back the way we'd come. We encountered about 20 other people during the course of the day. No goats to be seen today. Very pretty, will go again and hopefully get some nice weather to enjoy the summit views. Vlog of our day showing the hike if your interested: https://youtu.be/yVLkhDbZp6w

SNOW!!! We weren't expecting it because the last review we saw said no snow, lol. Thankfully we packed for the worst so we had what we needed. The view from thr summit was CRAZY, exactly as we hoped. Able to see Rainier and all the way up to Baker. Plus Mount Washington to the east. Absolutely gorgeous up there. Highly recommend spikes, poles and a change of socks/ gloves, lol. If you have gaiters I'd bring them to. This was our first trip so we started at the lower trailhead. Honestly, the lower portion looks like any other Washington forest hike so ill skip next time. Once you hit the snow it got deep and steep. There was a trail cut but it was pretty narrow. There was a TON of people with only sneakers, no poles, no gloves and so on so be prepared, it gets cold fast. Needless to say, I didn't see any of them at the summit which gets pretty sketchy. You can safely glissade most of the way down so that was fun and quick though I ripped the butt outta my pants half way, lol. The road to the trailhead was not too bad, no snow the whole way to the lower. I'm unsure how the upper road and parking lot was. Happy hiking and be safe

Love it! Didn’t make it to the top but next time I will.. There were snow had to turn back because didn’t have the proper shoes. I made a short video of my hike. https://youtu.be/denEQQuMF18

hiking
17 days ago

What an absolutely stunning view! I tried for a late season summit and was met with several feet of snow at the top. It was fairly hard packed from lots of travel but still very slippery and challenging. I'd definitely recommend microspikes and poles. The view from the top was so worth the frozen fingers!

hiking
18 days ago

The most magical overnight trip I've ever done. Camped on a flat sandy area at the top. Bring plenty of water. You'll want to stay once you reach the top

hiking
19 days ago

My husband and I hiked the trail on Thanksgiving day and was caught in a snow storm. Dropped about 8" of snow on top of the already deep snow. The Katwalk was very windy and icy so we decided to turn around and not chance it. We hiked back to the trail head as it got dark. Beautiful day!

This was a pretty difficult hike for me but with some amazing views.

In November, expect some icy spots on the trail so be careful not to slip. We were surprised that this year 2018 many peaks were not covered in snow. Most lakes are covered by a layer of ice, which looks pretty cool.

hiking
24 days ago

We really enjoyed hiking this trail in such a beautiful and sunny day in Fall. Fabulous view at the top. The sky completely clear and sunny. Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, and Glacier peak were clearly visible. Lake Elan, Lake Copper and Spada lake were also easily visible. Lake Elan was looking very white (like a lake of milk) due to ice and snow reflection. It was a great view.
The driving was fine, there were a few potholes, but any car can make it. I had a sedan and it was fine. Parking is small, but the trail is not crowded, and we didn’t have problem finding parking.
The trail is starting among the woods and we crossed 3 streams. Then it becomes rocky. Last 1.7 miles were snowy/icy and very steep. Having micro-spikes help a lot. It was really slippery.
My AllTrails recording measured 7.6 miles round-trip and 4170 ft elevation gain.

Wow!! That will be the reaction of 99.99% of people who do this hike, the other .01% are most likely crazy people. The magical, towering mountains around this mountain lake are simply breathtaking. It was a cold day with ice and a little snow in the higher elevations of the trail. The lake isn’t frozen over yet and the water still shows the bright blue color it’s known for. We clicked it at 8 miles round trip. Took us about 3 hrs up and 2 hrs back down. There is a few spots with fallen trees that you will need to go over or under. But overall the trail is very well maintained and easy to navigate.

hiking
28 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
28 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!

hiking
29 days ago

Really beautiful hike around this time of the year, this hike offers some of the best views Washington trails has to offer. The lake is starting to freeze up and theres lots of snow and black ice once you start getting to higher elevations so be cautious! I would say this trail falls more on the moderate side than hard, it took us 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours going back down. Would recommend this hike for everyone!

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 ..

The only reason I am taking a star off is the lack of signs this trail has. Towards the end my friend and I took a major detour because there were fallen trees and the trail was hidden with snow. We found the lake though! So worth the hike we did it round trip in 4 hours and a half. Very icy towards the end so be careful.

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.

Very tough climb since it’s a steep incline the whole way up and Lots of bugs BUT worth EVERY bead of sweat for the view and experience. Make sure to plan for an hour or two to hang out once you reach the top to enjoy the experience.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

My friend and I, who I'd classify as novice hikers, were able to complete this hike in 7 hours. It took us 4.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down.

We went on Nov. 2nd the conditions were muddy at most. No ice on the trail that we experienced.

There are some seriously beautiful viewpoints on the way up and was well worth it at the end. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so we hope to go back again in the summer to see it all again.

We persevered but I wouldn't recommend this to someone who is totally inexperienced. It was very hard for us. However, a great hike for any seasoned hiker.

In addition, we both recorded approximately 10 miles, not the the listed 7.7 miles.

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