Explore Summer of 2018 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Summer of 2018 Map
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Hiked up to the lookout today 8/13/18. Started at 7:30am and was the first one at the empty lookout. Unfortunately it is entirely socked in with smoke at the moment, making the views extremely limited at the top. The hike itself was pretty strenuous but beautiful. Wildflowers galore! The road up to the trail is in pretty bad shape. Definitely recommend a high clearance vehicle and some good tires. (My outback did fairly well)

Great hike with wonderful views of the lake at the end! Scenery changes often with forest at the beginning, followed by meadows that transition into alpine vegetation and finally the overlook of the beautiful lake at the end. We found camping spots on the ridge just before getting to the National Park, but you could also camp about a 1/4 mile before the ridge and find many spots. Very difficult to actually get down to the lake. Road takes a while on the drive in/out so plan accordingly.

hiking
1 day ago

The view at the top was good but crowded. My favorite part was the alpine lake near the look out point. The water was so clear and cold. I went in and swam to the other side where there was still snow. Overall would recommend if you are looking for an easy and short hike with a view of Mount Rainier.

Good hike with the family when camping nearby.

great hike. Wife is a beginner but had great time. Lush wood made for cool hiking

There was a point where you think that the hike is done by seeing the lake but then you realize that there’s still huge cliff to hike. It was hard for inexperienced hikers but very self-rewarding. If you don’t bring the national park pass then wait for a 30$ ticket that can be then used for 7 more days in the Rainier area. The lake was unfortunately pretty cold but the hike itself is really good and pretty :)

Amazing, had such a good time

Firstly: to get to the trail you have to drive about 15 miles on lose gravel. If you have a small car, you will want to go slow unless you don't care to spend money on issues that could be avoided because it is rough. If you have a car that is high off the ground and has the appropriate tires, then you may not have to go as slow but just be careful. Otherwise, this trail is moderate with some strenuous uphill sections, but the distance makes it doable because it is not very long. Trail is well kept, easy to follow. I did not have any issues with bugs or mosquitos at all. I mean there were just a few of them but it wasn't like there were herds of flies following me, although at the tower I did spray some just a few times. This trail is BEAUTIFUUUUUL. The lakes are gorgeous and it is so worth the effort and the drive!! It is like a hidden gem.

Beautiful place

Went off hours, late afternoon on a weekday, and had the place almost to myself. Can get packed on weekends.

also did this via the Knox Mountain Trail. The road is sketchy for the last few hundred feet so a high-clearance vehicle is mandatory. Ran into groups of people from four different trails

hiking
6 days ago

Great views of lake Mowich as well as Lake Eunice on the way up to the fire lookout.

on Pratt Lake Trail

7 days ago

Great trail thats in good shape. A few flies and mosquitoes near Talapus connector but nothing crazy.

view was socked in but it was beautiful on the way up. trail was well kept.

Spectacular!!!! There was smoke from the fires but none the less excellent hiking... 8/9/18

Fantastic hike with challenging elevation, well worth with 360 view at the top

hiking
9 days ago

Started the trail at Smithbrook Trailhead. Parking lot nearly full on a July afternoon, but the lake was uncrowded. Trail is nicely switchbacked and the elevation that you gain on the way up to the junction with the PCT goes quickly and easily. The lake is spectacular. We had lunch on a large rock situated above the water and could easily see the fish swimming around the logs below. Crystal clear water. Just about a perfect dayhike.

hiking
10 days ago

Went on Saturday 8/4 and it was busy! If you do a weekend get an early start or you’ll be parking way down the hill. Went from Mowich to Eunice to the lookout.

Holy shit, bring big spray. Bust out that DEET! We brought some hippie natural organic stuff and it did not work whatsoever. These mosquitos were of a different breed! Great trail, took my 60 year old Mom and she took her time and had a great day. Picnic at the top and hope Mt. Rainier is visible! Great hike, but bring that bug spray!

hiking
10 days ago

Hiked to Cascade Pass the other day with my sister and dad. It was pretty special because my dad originally did the hike in 1968 - and 50 years later, he was able to do it again. It starts out in the forest in switch backs and then opens up to gorgeous views. After having lunch on the pass, we ventured a little further up Sahele Arm, which was definitely challenging in hot weather! Made it to the lake lookout and cooled ourselves by doing snow angels in some leftover patches. I would love to get back here next summer but quite a drive for me for a day hike - might end up being a backpacking trip! Amazing views, amazing hike. One I will remember forever.

Best hike we've ever done! This hike is really hard being its all uphill pretty much the entire way but the views are totally worth it!

Stunning!! My guy and I had such a great time with this one. Lovely forested beginning which leads up to Eunice Lake. Took a dip in the blue green water and swam with the salamanders. Then up to the top to the Lookout. Wildflowers were starting to pop! The views...jaw dropping. And, we had it all to ourselves! BE WARNED: Bring bug spray, and not a natural one (which is what I wanted to bring). The bugs mean business up there!!!

hiking
11 days ago

Beautiful trail and scenery! Bring bug spray.

hiking
12 days ago

One of my best so far. Beautiful scene. And if you want to see salamanders, go look inside the lake, you will see many of them. There are sooo many mosquitos, flies and bees. Bring bug spray unless prepare yourself to be eaten alive!

hiking
13 days ago

2 bear sightings on 7/9!
Overall, wonderful hike. Slightly overgrown in some areas but easy to navigate through.
Came extremely close to two different cinnamon bears on my way down the trail and was forced to stand my ground with my dogs till they backed away.
Most bears I encounter just run away as soon as they see my dogs and I, but not these ones! Keep your eye out!

hiking
13 days ago

One of my favorite hikes by far! Hiked 8/5/18, got to the trailhead around 9:30 am for prime side of the road parking. Bring bug spray because those buggers are RELENTLESS!! But the views at the top at magnificent. Second time doing this hike and besides the road to drive to get here I have nothing but praise for this magnificent trail. It’s a pretty hard steep hike but totally worth it at the top. Make sure you get up on the fire lookout and see Rainier in all its glory. Day was beautiful and we spent about an hour at the top just taking into the view.

on Lila Lake Trail

backpacking
13 days ago

Great trail with views and waterfalls to spare, and decent canopy for much of the trail to Rachel Lake. With a 40-lb packs, I found this on the tough side of moderate, even after a lot of hiking and conditioning this year on Mailbox, Rainier, etc. This trail reminded me of Little Si, just 3x as long. Stairstepping most of the way lots of rocks, roots and water crossings, and lots of vertical, with a few flattish wooded sections. Mosquitoes were bad: but Jungle Juice and netted hats kept them at bay. Was it worth it? You bet. Gorgeous views, and only 3 other tents at Lila.

This was such a fun hike. We did the short version that catches up to the PCT. You hit switch backs right away and then get on the PCT for the rest of the way which is nice because you have all of that energy and motivation to get you up the switches and then it levels out and is pretty flat the rest of the way until you do a couple of switches going down to the lake. The lake is gorgeous and pristine. It's clean enough that you could totally drink out of it if you had to but it's always a good idea to use a fitting system of some kind. We used a Bobble water bottle and we're fine. The water is a little cold but after hiking in the hot sun it is a welcomed friend. This lake also features a beach which I haven't seen before at a mountain lake. So if you know of any others that feature a beach let me know! Happy trails!!

Very good hike with enough elevation gain to be challenging but still manageable. The view from the lookout afforded pretty amazing views in all directions. The one drawback today was the available views were a bit diminished in clarity by haze from forest fires. Bugs were annoying but not dreadful on the lower reaches of the trail.

hiking
16 days ago

Did a day hike with my dog up to Lila now that it’s all snow free. It was on Tuesday and extremely hot. I made two trips prior to Rachel and one to rampart lakes. There is a lot less water in creeks and the falls with all the snow melted. The lake was perfect temperature to swim but the horse flies and mosquitos were so awful they had both my dog and I running down the mountain as soon as we could. (I had three different types of bug spray and they still had little effect on them so be warned before going up there this time of year.) Fantastic views the whole way up and a few very alert marmots right before the boulder field to Lila lake which was really cool. Please pack out your trash. I picked up a cigarette butt and some food wrappers on the way out near the trail head.

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