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Beautiful hike, it was very smokey on 8/14 so the views could be much improved on a clear day but still a great hike. The hike itself is moderate difficulty, I think what may make it harder is the length.

Went up this past weekend; although it was cloudy the panoramic of the Cascades was still stunning! A favorite for sure. Quite a bit of bugs so bring some bug spray.

Finally heathy enough to try this. It bugged me every time I drove up I-90 and saw it sitting up there. Did it last Saturday on a nice cool, but cloudy day. Got a glimpse of Chester Morse as clouds lifted for a minute. Loved the fact it was not crowded. Only saw about 10 people all day. I was slow up and down, including a clumsy stumble. Just a flesh wound, so nothing other than some scrapes and pride. Funny, my first thought was “did anyone see that” knowing full well no one was around.

Trail is not as well travelled as Mt Si despite their similar statistics. It has some more rocky spots, hence the stumble.

I’m not much of a repeat hiker, too many places to hike, but would like to do this again on a clear day.

Been there on Saturday 08/04/2018. One of the best hikes. Though it is little long hike for me, I enjoyed it fully because of few view points on the way. Trail is wide and good. The lake at the end is nice and easily accessible for swimming. Small parking area. I would go there again.

We loved this hike! The Ira Spring trail is fairly steep and provides a good work out, with some interesting exposed sections periodically up switchbacks and then amidst boulder fields toward the summit. Views are incredible on a cloudy day. We went up and over to the Mason Lake trail on the other side of the peak and enjoyed a nice break at the lake, enjoying the serene water and quiet before making our way up and back down the front side.

Great cool weather today for our first "hard" rated training hike. The trail is a bit hard to find in a couple of spots, but there are signs at most of the decision points. Be prepared for lots of rocks and overgrown berry bushes flanking long sections of the trail. Minimal bugs and great opportunity for views if skies are clear. Light traffic made this an enjoyable hike.

Well graded trail 2/3 in the forest and 1/3 in the open alpine. Great views

Uphill but paths are nicely maintained. It takes about 30 minutes to get from the parking lot to the Sugarloaf viewpoint.

A definite favorite! Have your forest pass worked out beforehand - we wasted some time with this.

Great views, not too many people, very hot, bring lot's of water. Bugs

Trail well maintained, nice view on the top, lots of berries , no bugs

hiking
5 days ago

One of the best hikes I’ve been on! Absolutely amazing views at the top, had some rain come in but created some nice cover and rolling fog over the crest of the mountains!

Truly a peaceful hike. There were lots of small waterfalls, beautiful clearings in amongst the rocks, lovely wildflowers, and picturesque lakes. Hiked in August and had no problems at all, except the mosquitoes; definitely bring bug spray.

This hike is a pleasant workout. I started the hike from the Alpental parking lot, not from the recommended trailhead on this map, because it would save me an hour of driving. I logged 20 miles on this hike, but I also did a little extra exploring.

This one is on my list for backpacking. Two super enthusiastic thumbs up. Happy hiking!

Very doable, very pretty views of the waterfalls!

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked this Sunday 8/5. Started at 7:30 am and it was a long beautiful hike. We ended up going past the Katwalk to have lunch by the lakes (total miles ended up being 15.2 miles). We stopped at Ridge Lake, the smaller of the two. There were some amazing places to camp for a future overnight trip to venture further on the PCT. The trail wasn’t too difficult nor was it too crowded. The bugs were pretty aggressive and after 3 applications of bug spray I still came home with 20+ bug bites. I definitely would do this one again.

Very fun hike outside Seattle. I went on 8/6 and started at 9 am, stopping at Lake Ridge and heading back. It took about 6 hours. If you plan on stopping, make sure to bring bug spray.

Great hike up but the down....

backpacking
10 days ago

Very rewarding hike with a beautiful lake. Would recommend getting an early start on this one to beat the bugs and crowds later in the day. Camping is not allowed at Blanca Lake however there is plenty of camping spots at Virgin Lake.

hiking
10 days ago

Gorgeous hike but steep as you turn up towards Granite Mountain (vs. going to Pratt Lake). Technical as you get into the higher elevations with rock scrambling needed at times. 4 stars b/c of the bugs, the higher you go, the worse they are - esp. towards the fire tower. Late afternoon hike that took approx. 5 hours due to the scrambling and awareness needed on the uphill and downhill. Once we got out of the technical sections we ran most of the way down. Total miles were approx. 9.5 up and back.

hiking
10 days ago

So so beautiful! But definitely the hardest hike I’ve ever done. It seemed like we would never get there but we finally did! I would definitely say take PLENTY of water. I drank 4 bottles by myself.
Check the weather before you go. We went yesterday and the weather was perfect. I think like 70-72 the whole day. I can’t imagine doing that hike in hotter weather. It would be miserable. We forgot bug spray and the bugs didn’t bother us too bad. I don’t think i have bites at all. They were only a nuisance when we stopped to take a breather. We got there and started on the trail around 11:30-12. We got back at 7:50. So it was a very long day but totally worth it. Make sure you wear hiking boots, if you don’t have any make sure you wear tennis shoes with GOOD SOLES.

The worst part was the 2 mile walk back because
It felt like it would never end.

hiking
11 days ago

Great trail. Easy and flat in places, a lot of incline and terrain most places. Middle falls is best view of the falls. Just passed that is a great view of the valley.

hiking
11 days ago

Completed this from the top down with our two Danes. A little narrow in places for two way traffic but overall a great trail. Not a huge amount of traffic for a late summer Saturday. Got about half way down before a thunderstorm rolled in and started dumping on us. Lightning, thunder, hail, and rain made this “fun” with the dogs. Will be back to do this bottom to top and allow some time to enjoy the lakes on the trail.

Did this hike today. Started at 6:30am and it took us about 8.5 hours total, including about an hour at the lake. The climb up was strenuous, but it was all well maintained switchbacks. Once you reach the top of the switchbacks, there is a meadow, then Virgin Lake, then the trail down to Blanca lake. The hike is not technical and there are even stairs at a few points. It was well worth it for the view of the lake and several vistas along the way. I would recommend getting an early start to avoid bugs and crowds. There were only two other people at the lake when we got there around 11, and the sun lit up the lake closer to noon. We weren't attacked by any bugs until we started back down the mountain, and it was a lot busier later in the day too. Happy hiking!

hiking
12 days ago

Please be aware the trail app takes you to the WRONG DESTINATION, please DONT FOLLOW it.

If you’re using high way 2 from cashmere; go past the Skykomish ranger station and turn right after the station. Follow the road for about 13 miles, it will turn into a dirt road. At the end of the road you will walk about 2.5 miles to the trail head and then about 7 miles round trip to Blanca Lake.

If coming from Goldbar; get to mile mark 50 then turn left and follow the same route as stated above.

It sprinkled and then pored rained on ya the last 1.5 miles. It wasn’t worth it but I bet on a clean day it’s nice.

Good luck to all hikers and please be safe.

Went on a very hot Monday afternoon so I was one of the only people on the trail. Certainly beautiful. The different viewpoints are good for families with different skill levels.

hiking
13 days ago

Did the hike last weekend, only two small snow patches off trail were noted. Snow balls were thrown.

Started at 10:45am. Parking lot was about 1/2 full. Temperature was in low 60s at start and low 70's at end. Sky was clear and sunny. Hiking traffic was light, though there were 11-12 people at the fire lookout at 1:15pm. Mt. Ranier was visible, but in a bit of a haze which may have been partly smoke (from CA and OR fires) and/or partly low clouds from on-shore winds. Views to the north, east and west were pretty clear and magnificent as usual. Trail was in excellent shape, but dry/dusty. Alpine flowers were limited as season may have passed. Pond near the summit was almost dry, so need to carry enough water. I went thru 2.5 liters. Elapsed time: 2h 30m up; 1h 35m down.

hiking
14 days ago

Breathtaking! By far the hardest yet most amazing hike I have ever been on. Pack plenty of water and bug spray. The bees and flies were ridiculous. But it was so worth it!!

The road to the old trailhead is still washed out and won’t be repaired, so add the 4mi round trip. The hike can be a challenge, but just go early and take your time if needed. The lake is absolutely amazing.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful and exhausting hike! Be prepared for lots of bugs. Never ending switchbacks will make you want to turn around. Bring lots of water.

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