Explore To Do - 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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hiking
4 hours ago

Beautiful views but we had to walk a mile or so to access the beginning of the trail since it was closed for repairs

hiking
6 hours ago

We’ve hiked this trail numerous times! First hike we took our son on as an 12 year old. Steady uphill climb with beautiful 360 degrees views at the top. Historic fire lookout! Love this hike. Fast easy decent, a little hard in the toes and knees.! A bit crowded at the top. Be at the trailhead early for a more peaceful climb.

hiking
11 hours ago

Did this hike yesterday! So enjoyable. I arrived around 7:30, I was one of three cars on the Monday morning. It felt like I had the trail all to myself for most of my ascent up. It was only until the last half of my lake loop and my descent down the trail, did I actually start to see more people and groups.

Seems to get packed quickly the later in the day it gets. I can’t imagine the traffic on a weekend. I was thankful that I wore my most water resistant boots. Some casual stream crossing, water fall gazing, and splashing around was well worth it. The trail was very well maintained and I personally enjoyed the mixture of man made bridges / stairs in contrast to the occasional array of rocks and stones.

Great hike! very challenging as its switchbacks almost the whole way up. We reapplied bug spray 6 times, they are vicious. we had our dogs on leash the whole way up and on the way back down we let them off due to the rocky scramble. We ran into a park ranger on the way down and she told us that it was not required to have the dogs on leash, which was comforting and I wish I would have known sooner. I tracked the hike on my phone, it was a total of 12 miles round trip from car to the lake and back. Be prepared!

Not a complicated hike but steadily uphill and worth the view. Weather should be close to perfect for the perfect view. Be sure to download directions to trailhead as cell service is very sporadic.

hiking
22 hours 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.

23 hours ago

1. Tracked this hike and it's a total of 17 miles from car to lake and back to car. You hike 2.5 miles from your car to the actual trailhead.
2. Left at @10:30am, Lake @1:30pm, hung out for an hour, then got back to our car @6:30pm
3. Absolutely the most hardest hike I've ever done, but stunning and rewarding. 4. Bring a suit! You've got to jump in the lake, it's definitely worth it.
5. (tip) Some parts of snow, but dig toe down as you cross, at least that's what I did
6. (tip) The descent is hard on your feet!

One of my favorites so far! This hike is good for kids, but not small kids. At least not for me. Dogs are also welcome. If you could do a sunrise or sunset, I highly recommend. There are 2 roads. One is very sketchy and cannot be driven to by car. The other is okay. Make sure you take the path most traveled...

Hiked today and it was gorgeous. I got there at about 7-7:30 and there weren't too many people there, but tons of people got there around 9 or so. Multiple waterfalls and incredible lake at the top. Definitely recommend hiking shoes if you have them. There's lots of walking on rocks, wet rocks, and over creeks. Also, don't forget to pay for parking or have a pass.

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.

Fantastic hike! The views from the top are stunning and the mailbox truly is iconic. We went up and back on the new trail and my watch clocked it at a bit over 11 miles. This seems to be a trend for this hike, but I'm not sure. Would still highly recommend, just know what you're getting yourself into. That being said, the trail is incredibly well maintained, making it easy to hike--especially towards the top/steepest part.

beautiful trail with wonderful views. the switch backs were gradual which was nice but still steep and long even when coming back from the lake. Bring a minimum of 2L of water!! Made this mistake and ended up eating snow on the way back. the section in snow was completley manageable in runners.

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Arrived around 8am Sat morning and snagged the last parking spot. Small lot for such a popular spot. Apparently there's parking in the campground across the way. There are bathrooms at the TH. So just FYI...I found this a moderate ++ hike for me...I'm 70. Took me some time to get thru the rocky section mostly going up but coming down was really hard on my knees. Lots of tree roots and wet rock surfaces to maneuver. OK...enough. The trees are wonderful. awesome views, the smell of the forest, the waterfalls and the lake at the top with some lingering snow on the slope. All beautiful!!

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.

Wow, what a workout! The view was amazing!
Old trail up, Old trail down, toes haven’t forgiven me yet. Hardest trail I ever hiked.

great loop hike with plenty of shady forest and fantastic pool of water at base of small waterfall. beware of broken glass in the water and around the pool.

hiking
2 days ago

Unbelievable views! We went early and didn’t run into too many people. I really didn’t think the snow was too terrible to cross over but the bugs were insane! Definitely will be prepared for those next time. I didn’t bring my dog and glad about that. The rocks at the top are not dog friendly :)

was a great hike well worth it beautiful waterfall and the water was not that cold nor was it deep

Great hike as always! Would have enjoyed it more if less people were there.

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
2 days ago

The view is worth it. Small parking - must get early or after 2PM.

hiking
2 days ago

Such a beautiful and relatively easy trail. Went on it in May and there was still snow up at the lake. The trail itself is beautifully routed through the lush forest with multiple views of small waterfalls and grand views once you reach the portion of the switch backs. Be careful when walking on the log stairs as your foot may slip as mine did and you’ll take a log to the knee. But sore knee aside, this lake was truly breathtaking and the scenic drive out to it also matched in its beauty. You will need to purchase a North Forrest Park Pass prior to going as a heads up.

hiking
2 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.

Definitely a good amount of snow still on the trail (7/14), makes going down pretty slippery. Hard but great! For me, 1:40 up, 1:40 down. Go early because it got busy quick. And bring bug spray.

Perfect sunrise hike. Started the hike at 4am and made it to the lookout just before the sunrise. We had the place to ourselves. So glad we got there early. There was a crazy long line to get into the park entrance when we left around 9am. Definitely a few difficult spots that we had to stop and catch our breathe for but overall it’s a hike most skill levels can do.

So beautiful but so windy when I went. Recommend going at sunrise. Gorgeous!

hiking
3 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

This hike was gorgeous! Multiple types of terrain the whole way up. You hit snow around the mile marker- it is slightly slushy, so if you aren’t stable on your feet, I recommend trekking poles. I did without and was careful, all went well. There is quite a bit of bouldering, mainly towards the top of the hike. But boy are the views worth it! Loved that the fire look out had maps of what you could see from the distance. Note to all wanting to do this hike- bring bug spray! I reapplied 2 times because bugs were so bad.

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