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Definitely a tough hike. Went up the old trail and down the new. Old trail was pretty wet/muddy for the first 1.5miles. snow and ice the last mile. Snow was super soft the last half mile push and was tough even with microspikes. the new trail seems exceptionally easy albeit long after the steep climb up. Fun and challenging trail though.

Heading back soon as I was unable to complete due to work ;( Expect this trail to take a minimum of 3 hours at a decent pace (3 mph average)

Awesome..made it today inspite if severe snow storm & rain...

Done it for first time twice in one day part of our training for Himalayas. 8.000 ft vertical gain and descent in a day is not bad. The trail is great experience and training ground to. The old trail requires a level of fitness but is doable for a beginner in shape. Amazing you have perfect phone signal.

Spikes were definitely needed. I wish I had poles. Old trail was very icey and hard to manage with how steep it was. It was still very satisfying to make it to the top. My Fitbit tracked close to 4 miles up the old trail and 6 miles down the new.

Simply beautiful!!! Bring microspikes.

Hard but worth it

hiking
1 month ago

made it all the way but the last 1 mile due to snow. last 2 miles is very rutty. recommend snowshoes but we postholed and made it in others tracks falling through about 1-2 feet+ at times. super duper windy did not summit today but will be back. 3-10-18

Great trail - steep but worth the climb. Microspikes are a must now, poles would have been nice too. Definitely a little windy up in the boulder field, but totally doable.

Old trail up. Great workout. Packed snow in a trail too narrow for snowshoes. Summit is snow covered rocks and boulders so can’t use snowshoes there either. A bit icy towards the top, I had yaktrax but I wish I’d had microspikes. Ok the new rail down, seems long with lots of switchbacks. My favorite hike in the PNW so far.

Hardest but most rewarding and beautiful hike I've ever done

hiking
2 months ago

I went in November and trail didn't have snow till half way up.we didn't have right shoes or microspike but we able to go the top and great view!

Road to the trail head is closed for the season at Heather Lake trail head, be prepared to hike an additional 5 miles up the road to Mt pilchuck’s trail head.

2 months ago

incredible hike. you need a jeep, lifted 4x4/AWD SUV, or offroad capable truck for the final 2 miles of road

hiking
2 months ago

Went up the old trail. Rain all the way, snow at the top. A semi whiteout at the summit. But the workout was great.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my husband's and I's favorites!

hiking
2 months ago

We didn't start where this trail map says to. Instead we started at one a bit further down the road that makes for a shorter hike.

A very pretty and very wet trail. The trailhead had almost the nicest parking lot for a trailhead I had ever seen. Very nicely paved and clean. We were the only ones there when we first arrived at 8:30 am. We got on the trail at 8:50 and started our way up. The first mile or so is the steepest part and winds through mossy forest. Very picturesque. The trail is extremely well groomed in this portion. We got to the junction for the granite creek trail and turned left. After a few hundred feet the creek (granite creek) is visible directly to your left and you will walk along it and a relatively flat but slightly inclined trail for just under a mile. No snow before this part. After crossing the bridge to the other side of the creek, it was different terrain. Snow started accumulating as we inched our way up in elevation. Less mossy trees and more bare ones. Snow was on/off at first. Saw a nice little waterfall at one of the stream crossings (which there were a lot of). At a certain point the trail was all snow covered so we put on our micro spikes. It was a bit slippery and we just continued trudging up the one way trail looking for the split off of granite and Thompson lakes. At 3070 feet, we found the junction (WTA very accurate), and veered right looking for granite lakes. This is where the very deep snow started. We were the first ones on the trail for the day so we took turns leading the way through the thick snow. I am 6'2" and it was up to my knees. That being said, it was a lot of fun and a good workout. Oh, by the way, there are very nice views of Mailbox peak, or whatever mountain it is, to your right as you walk through the snow. We kept trudging along but at this point our feet and ankles were pretty soaked for all the snow and stream crossings. There was a fairly wide and strong one we had to cross but definitely doable. Looking at my GPS, I could see we were between the two lakes but could not see them. We were getting kind of impatient and didn't realize that the end of the trail was just past the second lake. So, we just turned around and went back down. My boots and socks were pretty soaked at this point so I didn't mind too much. We saw four parties on the way back down but nobody on the way up.
In summary, very pretty and wet forest hike in the beginning. Classic WA forest with a creek scenery. After bridge crossing, snow starts to slowly build up. Fun waterfall and lots of stream crossings. Lots of snow after turn off for the lakes. Unfortunately didn't get to see the lakes but still had a blast!
Fun fact: a tree fell down (apparently by itself) after our hike about 30 feet into the woods away from the parking lot. Very loud and I think my first time seeing one fall naturally.

Completed this tail on the 31st of January. It was snowing but the absolutely amazing. The snow was stable so we were able to walk on it without sinking.

Recommended winter hiking trail.. just be armored with the proper hiking gears and snack..

Icy, windy. I should have brought face protection for the exposed hills.
Traction important. I fell through snow in several places. Not many people on this day.

3 months ago

you will need a high clearance vehicle FR 4109 is in bad shape. we went yesterday and didn't reach summit due to 55 mph winds on the ridge. it was very unpleasant. there were patches of snow along the ridge but nothing impassable. I can't speak for snow at summit as we didn't make it but it didn't look bad from the ridge. I've hiked this before and thought it was a pretty cool hike. probably the best approach to silver star.

Definitely a intense hike, tried to do a sunrise but took longer than planned to get to the top. Went up new trail and down old. And boy are my knees sore from going down old trail! Fair warning!
But the view at the top! Well worth it! No need for spikes at the moment.

Awesome hike! Old trail is a beast and new trail down was perfect on the knees. Put on microspikes right after the boulder field.

A must do on a hike bucket list. Old trail both ways.

Definitely hardest thing I have done in a long time but so worth it! I didn’t have show spikes or else it would have been much easier so prepare for weather better than I did! Took quite a few hours but I could have stayed at the top forever.

3 months ago

Great work out & views. Typically take 2.5 mile shortcut (old trail) up and 5.0 mile (new trail) down. All season trail. Recommend bringing spikes during winter.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this hike. Did this in July and forgot to log it.. The Mrs, the teen and even my trusted Chocolate lab made the trip.. Great 360 degree view

koo koo machoo

It’s definitely worth to go to the top! Amazing view!

4 months ago

Went to do this hike today and had to turn around due to road conditions. The last 10 miles are unpaved road but we’re no problem for my Ford Focus but the final 2.5 miles were too rough and I️ had to turn around. Unfortunately I️ didn’t get to do the hike but thought I’d give everyone a heads up that you’ll need more clearance than a 2013 Ford Focus to get to the trailhead unless you want to park 2.5 miles away and hike to the trailhead

Well went hiking. They closed the trail head and I had to start all the way from heather lake. Snow was crazy but I wanted to do it. I had to stop at the 2 mile mark because my party got too tired. I am going to do this again.

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