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I live this hike. The caves are beautiful

hiking
1 day ago

Beautiful hike! The trail is covered in compact snow and ice the last mile. We were fine hiking up in boots, but opted to use micro spikes on the way down. Views at the top were gorgeous

hiking
1 day ago

This is a GREAT hike. We went in November and it was one of the last nice days of the season, which made for a beautiful frost cover near the Lake. It’s colder up there so layers are a must. Water proof shoes, the pot holes and the frosted walk way (not unsafe) in other reviews are accurate. It’s only an hour and half from Seattle and easily done in a half day. Light traffic during this time of year. We loved how you could hike all the way around the lake too. Highly recommend.

Went during low tide the walk is easier. Amazing opportunity for pics.

hiking
1 day ago

We did this today and it was a cool and crisp day. The trail definitely gets more steep after the falls, but it's worth it to make it to the beautiful lake. Bring layers! Got hot on the way up from the exertion, but the lake area was very cold and windy. There was ice in places with some very slippery rocks near the top, which slowed our pace. I recommend poles for this very rocky trail.

hiking
1 day ago

Nice, quiet hike. Worth the committment once you get to the top. 4/5 stars because there isn't much to see along the way. I took my time for photos and still finished in less than 3 hours. HUGE cedar trunks close to trailhead. Lake is just about frozen all the way across the top. No snow yet. Planks a little slippery.
Started as first car, ended with 5 other cars.

hiking
1 day ago

This is a great hike. I went yesterday with my husband, our 7 year old and 3 year old and a couple friends. The drive up is pretty rough for about 5-6 miles. You will need a vehicle with good ground clearance or take the drive up very slow. The trail was very Icey in some parts. We ended up busting our butts on the trail a couple times. If you are taking a little one this time of year, I recommend putting them in a hiking carrier. Beautiful views from the trail and definitely an incline on the way up. We were feeling the burn. Snow and ice on parts of the trail and at the top. The view of Summit Lake was beautiful. The lake is so clear. The hike was worth it just to see the scenic view from the overlook and to see the lake. It was breathtaking. This wasn't a very busy trail. We saw only a couple people during our hike an this was during the morning to afternoon.

Two words... HEATED RESTROOMS. (Located at the trailhead). Great amenities for a chilly November morning!!! Arrived at 830am to an abundance of parking... Much fuller around 230pm when leaving... Only saw about 15 others total throughout the day. A few super respectful dog owners (Appreciated!!!)/trail runners and mushroom foragers (How PNW of them...). Overall easy hike with well maintained trails... Great views of the falls. A missed off-shoot did head us up a steeply inclined maintenance road... What's another 6 miles???

hiking
2 days ago

The trail is in very good condition. As with many other hikes in Washington, 95% of the trail is in the forest. There is one opening along the way, but the payoff really comes at the very end. The views at the end are fantastic, 360 degrees of the mountains at the top. Great views of Mt Daniel, Baring, and Glacier Peak. A neat view of Skykomish from the top as well. Snow in the last mile, but was fine with normal shoes, that may change by weeks end.

hiking
2 days ago

High clearance and decent tires are your safest bet getting to the TH, I made it in my Chevy Cruze though, so make good judgment calls before heading to this trail. Beautiful day on the trail and amazing views at the lake and above! Compact snow is very icy!

Very good views of the lake nestled amongst tree-lined peaks - well worth the hike. One of the rockier trails I’ve done, so sturdy soles are a must. It does get pretty slippery and icy close to the top. I had to bundle up as the wind picked up closer to the top, but then is cut off once you get through the switchbacks towards the lake. Overall, great hike!

Get there early. Excellently maintained trail. Great view from the middle.

hiking
2 days ago

This was our first hike in the PNW! We loved it! It was a little bit slippery at the top, thankfully we had read reviews and used microspikes, they made all the difference!
We really enjoyed it! and the view was amazing!

Great hike for the first two lower falls, the last one really is a killer for the stairs to get to the top falls!

hiking
3 days ago

Did this hike today with my brother in law . Overall a decent hike with a moderate grade. Nothing too challenging. First 2 miles is a bunch of switchbacks in the woods with not much to see but with a decent grade. After that it starts to level out a bit and then we hit the snow line around 5000 ft. This is where it actually got fun and much more scenic. The views were great and seeing all the burnt trees made for some interesting scenery. The top was windy and cold (25-30 degrees) but the sun kept it tolerable. Good hike if you’re looking for something with some distance but not too intense of a gain. I would probably hike this again.

One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Challenging but worth it. Road is washed out so it’s 2 miles to trailhead. From trailhead you climb 3000 feet in right over 3 miles. At 3.2ish you’ll reach virgin lake, it was frozen over today (11/17). From virgin lake it’s all downhill to Blanca lake, about 0.82 miles. Snow was packed down but yactracks and poles were super helpful.

Good hike. Can be muddy in areas. Very well maintained trail.

We decided on this trail and we all enjoyed our time on the hike. Don’t stop at the lake keep following the trail and you will end up at a massive bolder you will want to see. Beautiful views make this a must do.. The falls are worth the extra steps.

hiking
3 days ago

Super crowded. But the spectacular view of the lake was worth putting up with the hordes of people.

Definitely a lot of potholes on Pilchuk Road, but the hike and the lake were beautiful. There were maybe 15 cars in the lot when we got there around 11 on a Saturday, but the trail wasn’t crowded by any means. You warm up hiking in the forest but it definitely gets cold when you’re at the lake and don’t have the tree cover. Like others are saying, the boardwalks along the lake were frosty but it was manageable. There was some snow at the lake (not on the trail itself) and the lake was iced over a bit. We saw a lot of younger children in rain boots that definitely were not enjoying themselves because there are a lot of rocks and tree roots that can be difficult to navigate at times.

Short 2mi. round trip hike. The bridges are a little slick during the Winter months. Beautiful hike and the cave is breathtaking! A child friendly hike.

I did this hike 2 months ago. Trail is well kept. Pet friendly and just gorgeous spot to visit.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike, not too hard but a decent workout. Some snow and ice at the top once near Snow Lake right now, if you have crampons on poles it’s not a big deal. The scenery was great, temperature wasn’t too cold, and not overly busy, worth the time.

Amazing old growth trail. I agree with the moderate rating because of the elevation gain and the difficulty of navigating the trail. Roots and rocks can be a big problem if you don’t pay attention. The reward at the lake is well worth the effort. Beautiful even on a cloudy day! I had the trail and lake to myself today. I ran into 4 people on the way down. I will return to this trail in the summer I am sure it’s even more stunning!

I did this hike awhile back It can get crowded but enjoyed it all the same!

So beautiful especially when the larch trees are in all their autumn glory. I hiked this 10/24 and the larches were in full effect. I hiked counterclockwise and I was very happy with the decision. It was a busy trail even on a Wednesday so I would suggest off peak times if possible.

hiking
6 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.

the scenery is gorgeous, the air smells like christmas candles as you climb. First 3/4 of the trail are easy slow climb, after that it turns into more intense switchbacks. Very snowy and slippery at the top, so wear appropriate footwear. If you have removable krampons or hiking poles I would suggest those for the top portion as I saw lots of people fall and almost fell myself a number of times. I even saw a lady with a sprained ankle being carried down by her husband. Bring lots of layers so that you can take off as you ascend and then put back on as you descend. This time of year when we got to the top at 2:10 the sun was already set on the lake so get an early start, aim to be at the top for noon. Amazing view, so worth it!

hiking
7 days ago

Stunning hike! Highly recommend. The drive up is pretty rough but it’s worth it.

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