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Good workout with hills but overall it’s not too difficult

A decent hike with some moderate technical aspects on the west side, or the loop back. We did it in winter with some snow and it was really nice. Would recommend this loop for most hikers with a reasonable level of fitness. It’s very doable and should take roughly two hours at a steady pace. Stunning views all around.

trail running
1 month ago

Awesome quick and easy hike right in the heart of residential area! The cool part is that it's in a valley so you don't really notice or feel like you're in a residential area. Quick and awesome little Jog if you live in the area, 100x better than runnin on pavement. It's got good groomed gravel.

Little gem in town.

beautiful surprise great for weddings

backpacking
3 months ago

The effort was 100% worth the reward. Fall colors and a beautiful day.

Nice trail lots of people. Beautiful scenery this is an awesome time of year to go there. But have to like being around people.

This was my second time up to the peak but the first time I had such incredible views of Washington and Oregon's peaks. Not many people on the trail. The elk were bugling in the valley and the fall colors were spectacular.

hiking
4 months ago

A great late summer hike. Trail is wet at places from the rains over the week but nothing too bad or uncrossable. Couple of fallen trees too but again - crossable. The last mile sees pretty much most of the elevation gain - but that view of the lake - so worth it.

A variety of beautiful views to see.

on Crystal Peak Trail

4 months ago

go on a clear day and you can see mt. Baker to the north and mt. hood, adams, and st Helen's to the south

hiking
4 months ago

Decided to continue the weekend theme of Alpine Lake hikes after hiking Snow Lake on Saturday. This is my 6th trip up Box Canyon and 3rd time visiting Rachael Lake. The road to the trailhead is very dusty. Its been hot and the dirt reeks of the heat. The parking lot at the trailhead was full as we decided to get a midday start around 11:30 to avoid the morning crowds. We passed many parties coming down on our way up the trail. Contrary to prior trip reports, we did not encounter many bugs. We lathered up in Jungle Juice and brought anti-itch medicine sticks as a precaution. There were some bugs on the way down, but nothing bothersome. Perhaps the dry weather is keeping the bugs at bay. Some other parties at the lake were complaining, but we had no issues. The trail up is in good condition. Very dry and dusty initially, as you climb the 300 feet of initial elevation to gain the main trail through the canyon. The creek beds are full of beautiful pools of water, covering colorful, smooth green rock slabs. The sounds of the creek follow the trail, providing a melodic gurgling to accompany your hike. We noticed the sound of the water more coming down than going up. Most of the trail is dry along the flat portion in the canyon, save for a few areas where some minor tributary creek crossings. Views of Hibox mountain peek through the trail on the right as you go deeper into the canyon. At approximately 2.75 miles in, the stroll ends and the climb begins. You will cross the creek and the uphill begins, gaining over 1300 feet in a little over a mile. The trail up is rough and primitive - a virtual staircase of large rocks, boulders, roots, stumps - unrelentless, save for a few breaks where you encounter a rock face, streaming with water, about 3/4th of the way up and a few areas of waterfalls. I have been hiking many trails and mountains this summer and have been on this trail before - I forgot how hard it is. About as challenging as Mailbox peak if not more so. There are a couple of flat spots where the trail eases, mostly large, slabby rocks, with great vistas of the canyon below, and of Hibox Mountain. The effort is worth it, as Rachael Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Alpine Lake Wilderness. The Eastern Shore is very accessible and there are many trails leading to good campsites. We found a great spot for lunch and to inflate our sleeping pads - makeshift inflatable floatables. I strongly recommend packing in some type of inflatable vessel, as the water is absolutely divine, crystal clear, refreshing, warm for the first foot - then diving in temperature with the depths. Rachael lake would make a great spot for a couple of nights of camping. You could bag Alta Mountain, Rampart Ridge, and Hibox Mountain, with this as your base. Also exploring the Rampart Lakes and Lila Lakes area would be great day excursions as well.

lots of roots and boulders the last .33 of a mile. gorgeous little lake. hike in a light rain up to Lila the next morning was SO worth it!

hiking
5 months ago

We made an overnight trip out of the trek and glad we did. The final mile uphill is pretty steep with a number of waist-high step ups. It was quite a climb wearing overnight packs. There were less than a dozen campers for a Saturday night in July and we located an amazing spot to shelter for the night. So the mosquitos, OMG the mosquitos! You must remain in constant motion or you'll have the woodland insects whispering the secrets of the forest in your ears. I cannot emphasize enough to bring powerful repellant or you'll be hanging out in your tent ⛺! At times inching downhill the next day makes an extremely sore following day. At times you're scaling up rocks. Another time we were throwing our bodies and packs over a fallen tree. It's an adventure!

hiking
5 months ago

Views along this includes beautiful waterfalls, mountains ranges, river, creeks, and a beautiful view of the lake at the end. A variety of terrain includes flat & bushy, wide and flat, climbing uphill using the embedded rocks for stairs to climb up, and walking through & over large tree roots
Definitely worth it. The total out and back for us took 5 /12 hours with a few breaks on the way up.

This was definitely more of a walk than a hike. It was stroller friendly and just a great outing for me and my three kids (ages 5,3,1)

hiking
5 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes of all time. You’ll never want to leave the top (unless of course you forgot bug spray). Such a beautiful, peaceful, lake at the top. We took floaties and got into the lake for a bit !

hiking
5 months ago

We loved this hike so much that we came back and stayed overnight the very next week. As others have said, the last bit is really steep. We found it to be easier than other steep hikes because you are continually thinking about what your next step is, crossing small streams, passing waterfalls, etc. The lake is absolutely stunning. Make sure you take a dip before hiking back down! LOTS of bugs that seem to come and go throughout the day, wear long pants and long sleeves if you can. Bug spray is a must.

Loved this hike! We went on Friday morning, got there around 9:00am and there was only maybe 8 cars in the parking lot. I definitely recommend downloading the map as we went off trail a few times and thank goodness I had the map downloaded and was able to get back to the trail. No service on your cell phone (best part! Well unless you’re lost).
We got to the lake by 12:00pm, hung out for an hour and started our descent down at 1:00, and got back to the car by 2:50. Roughly 5 hours. Our GPS said 9 miles though

hiking
5 months ago

The views were beautiful. Good advice in the reviews below about staying to the left when in doubt of which way the trail goes. There is water all along the way. Pesky flies too. We didn’t continue to Rampart Lakes but will return. Hiking poles were great to have on this hike due to rocky paths and tall steps.

hiking
5 months ago

I rated this five stars for the hike, but would give it one star for the bugs.

We did this hike on 7/15. The first portion of it was super easy and relaxing—you walk through forests with beautiful tree canopies, past some streams and through a few fields. Then in the last mile or so, you begin to climb. It’s pretty steep, and the path is moderately well-maintained. There are some great views here, so if you need to take a break, you’ll definitely get some good pics out of it.

As we headed up, we encountered many people on their way down who were complaining about the mosquitoes. Our group laughed and told ourselves they were probably being dramatic. But as we neared the top, we realized they weren’t exaggerating at all. These were the worst mosquitoes I’ve ever encountered in my life. The air was literally swarming with them—at one point, I looked down at my leg and saw at least six of them on me. They were the worst at the lake, and unfortunately this put a damper on what normally would have been an awesome reward at the end of a fulfilling hike (the lake was gorgeous). One member of our party followed the trail around the lake a bit and claims the mosquitoes weren’t as bad over there, so maybe try that. I would recommend gallons of bug spray and as much protective clothing as possible. Or you could always just wait and do this hike when there aren’t as many mosquitoes (if that’s a possibility). All in all, I walked away with at least 40 mosquito bites, a suspicious-looking spider bite and a lot of beautiful pictures taken in a hurry.

Beautiful 6 volcano view at the top. great workout

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike! Lots of beautiful water features. The trail is a bit overgrown and they definitely need to add some signs as we got lost multiple times. We found that always heading left kept us on the trail. The lake is beautiful and well worth the difficult last mile.

Sweeping views

backpacking
6 months ago

A group of 4 of us did this as an overnight backpacking trip yesterday/today. So much fun! Fill out a quick tag near the post at the front of the trailhead to hang on your backpack (it helps them document numbers to apply for granting, etc but doesn’t cost anything). Beautiful views and it does change scenery throughout! Lots of roots and huge step ups. I’ve done many more hikes with 3000+ elevation gain but somehow this one seemed a bit tougher! I attribute it to the huge step ups/downs that are a little tougher on your body. It was definitely a bit more technical, which lives up to it’s difficult rating (lots of cool stream crossings, balance, rough terrain, climbing through a stream, trail finding a bit). Rachel lake was beautiful! Bring bug spray, mostly near the lake. Be aware, there are no campfires allowed near the lake (1/2 mike away actually) and none above 5000 feet. That was a bit of a bummer and it got cold overnight!! I would have loved to get to Rampart or Box Canyon or Lila or Alta Peak but another time!

6 months ago

Nice view from the top. Don’t let the first section fool you, the last mile is a challenge. Bring some lunch.

hiking
6 months ago

First time up this trail and it starts out gaining altitude quickly. I climbed up into the clouds (well clouds passing through anyways) and actually got caught in a couple of little snow bursts! Nothing serious. The views from the top are amazing looking right down on Crystal lake and over towards the Sourdough Gap.

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