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.

To Do! Map
VIEW FULL MAP

We started at 5:30 AM on Friday and the parking lot was relatively empty. There are some stunning views as you get farther up the mountain! Keep in mind that the hike is very difficult if you are not an advanced hiker. I found that it was constant gradual uphill with sections of steep uphill hiking and some rock scrambling/steps. I was relieved that I brought Gatorade for the hike. Bring a jacket for the early morning start and the top. It can get pretty chilly. Also, be on the lookout for wildlife. We ran into a massive bull moose on our way up. I personally like the Timpooneke trail better because I feel like it is easier (better for trail running etc.), but I was glad that I ventured to the other side of the mountain. This trail isn't as heavily trafficked as Timpooneke.

I hiked this trail with my brother after doing Mount Olympus as a warmup. We got to the parking lot at 4:30 AM and it was already 3/4 full. The hike up was beautiful including stewart falls. We ran into multiple groups of mountain goats. My brother who wasn't in the best of shape turned around at Emerald Lake while I continued on through the mile long boulder field and then up to the summit. Breathtaking views at the top. I quickly came down. Overall a great hike.

Beatiful sites along the trail. Difficult, but well worth the effort! Views from the top were unreal. There weren’t many wildflowers along the trail though. Started at 4 am and the parking lot was mostly full.

we did 4 of the lakes, well worth it. saw a huge moose about 15 paces from us, as well as a lot of other wildlife. lake mary was moderately trafficked, but catherine and the smaller one we saw only had one or two others in sight. we only saw two other people on the actual loop (they worked for the watershed) but there seemed to be people both going to mary or catherine, just not via the loop.

I love this trail! So many great views, wildlife, and scenery.

We started this hike at 12:30am so we could watch the sunrise and we were finally got back to our car at 11:30am so we were hiking a lot longer than expected! This is the hardest hike I’ve ever done, but it’s definitely possible and very rewarding and BEAUTIFUL at the top! I don’t think I’ll do this hike again for a long time since it’s SO difficult especially the last mile and a half (It took us an hour). But I still highly recommend this hike! It is absolutely FREEZING at the top so wear very very warm clothes! Also all trails says it’s 14 miles, but it’s definitely longer. My Apple Watch says it was 18 miles so keep that in mind!

My husband and I hiked this trail for the first time two days ago--excellent hike! On the way up it's a slow burn through the trees, with lots of gorgeous flowers. We started at 5 am and were able to enjoy seeing the sun slowly fill Primrose Cirque while ascending. After getting through the trees, the views are spectacular. We also saw many waterfalls, and wound up crossing one at least three times on the way up. We decided to turn back before going up into the trees leading to Emerald Lake, because we'd heard from others coming down that the ice field was too dicey to go through. Again, it being our first time going up, we decided to call it a day and headed back down. We will definitely try this again later in the season when the snow is melted more!

It had been 25 or so years since I'd been up this side, and I'd also forgotten how much easier it is in comparison to the Aspen Grove Trail head. I just love the long climbing switchbacks across the terraces, and how the views in both directions are changing continually throughout the hike. Between the two and three mile marks (approximately) there is also excellent opportunity to see plentiful sea life fossils, if you know what you're looking for. Water sources become more and more limited as the season draws out, so be aware, carry plenty and consider a filter. This mountain is so amazingly majestic, and never disappoints, at least in my opinion. Even if you only plan to hike to the basin, this is one of the easier places to always spot Mountain Goats, which is always entertaining. Excellent hike, I need to knock this one out again before the season is finished!

Great hike this time of year, be aware THE LAKE HAS NOT BEEN DRAINED. The water levels can get low this time of year especially with dry conditions, but Red Pine and White Pine do have water in them.

backpacking
4 days ago

We started at 5pm on a Friday. There were plenty of spaces to park. The incline isn’t bad, it’s the distance that makes this hike difficult. By 9pm, the sun went down and it was amazing! As you look down the valley, you’ll see people starting their hikes for sunrise. We made it to the meadow/basin area in 7 hours (we had large backpacks on requiring multiple stops), slept over, started our summit at 9am. It took us 2hrs to get from the meadow to the saddle. From the saddle on is where it gets tough; if you’re scare of heights, this is where you’ll have to debate if you’ll summit or not. Pass the saddle, you’ll do a bit of scrambling to summit. It took us another hour from the saddle to the shack to summit. I highly recommend bringing a lot of water and a filter. There’s not much water on the trail, all the spring falls are dried up now.
Totaled hours hike (for a slow hiker): 14hrs.

Beautiful hike! We started around 9:30pm and got to the Basin around 1am. I had some altitude sickness during the last mile that added some time. We camped in the basin and watched the sunrise then headed back down. Hard hike but worth it!

hiking
6 days ago

I hiked up this morning. Be forewarned - they have drained the lake. It is currently a much smaller, much less attractive lake. I'd skip hiking here until it is refilled. And I don't know when that will be.

Great hike. We camped at Emerald Lake and it was a beast with camping gear. In the morning we threw on day packs and hit the summit. Amazing views.

Took the first step at 5:30 a.m. Hit the summit in 3 hours flat, back down in 2.5. Trail was beautifully uncrowded on a Sunday morning. Found myself face to face with a couple good-sized mountain goats, but they were super chill. Pretty wiped out, but a great hike!

Entire summit was about 17.3 miles. We hiked it from 10am until 7pm. Very difficult but definitely worth it (especially seeing the mountain goats near emerald lake on the way up and way back down)! The air quality is really bad right now so the views are pretty hazy. But you should still make it to the shack for that overall sense of accomplishment! We saw a lot of people backpacking in around 6-7pm with hopes of camping. There didn't seem to be a ton of places to camp so that was interesting. A fellow hiker told us the chipmunks are so bad up there, they'll eat through anything you have. Anyways, do this one. You may hurt the next day but it's worth it!

Hiked this trail on 8/4/18. Started around 5:00 am and found very little parking available. We parked on the highway and walked to the trailhead. Hiked in the dark for an hour or so and then had all the spectacular views all the way up. There were so many people coming down from the top looking pretty miserable and tired. Overnight hiking is overrated. 3:40 to the top. and and about 3 hours to the bottom. 3L water. It was a fun day.

This was a longggggg hike! Not too hard though. We started at 2:30am and our group ended up splitting up in the meadow. Made it for the sunrise at the summit and it was FREEZING!! But the east side of the mountain warm and nice. So bring a jacket if you go that early. We encountered a moose and it’s baby about an hour in right on the trail. The group right behind us sent their dog to get the moose off of the trail but it ended up charging at us! Super scary and thankfully we were able to slide down the cliff a little bit so we didn’t get trampled. Definitely need headlamps but I liked hiking at night. I didn’t need all the water I brought because it wasn’t too hot. The sun coming back wasn’t too bad but I felt for the people heading up around 10am. That’s a different hike I’m sure! Not sure I’d do it again but it was so beautiful and worth it!

This hike is so AMAZING. The shack! The goats! The mountain meadows! The 3 waterfalls! Loved it!

backpacking
12 days ago

Amazing trail. Morning is definitely the time to go. It’s gradual at the beginning and gets very steep at the top. There were only a few good flat sites at the top for a tent, though.

wowowowwowoowwow so pretty. but also I just got back and I am dead. this is a pretty hard hike but work yourself up to it. its totally worth it

I did the hike on a Sunday and started at 6 am. The trail was not crowded the day that I went little more people in the afternoon but not bad. I would rate the first 6 miles as moderate and the last mile or so as hard as you will go up some steep slopes at the top. It took me just over 4 hours to get up with a lot of stops to enjoy the trail and see the wildlife. I was able to see a moose with baby, 4 deer, and 2 mt goats with in the first 3 miles but did not see much after that. I would bring plenty of water there is water on the trail but it’s all within the first 2 miles unless you are hiking to the lake then you will have water at the top. After hiking this trail I would tell anyone that is into hiking this one is a must. Even if it was only to the saddle it would be worth it.

Beautiful but crowded on the weekends. Started at 6:30am and had to park down the road a ways. Saw some mountain goats and a baby, so cool. Not terribly difficult the first 6 miles or so. The last bit was a climb. The last few miles were long but over all it’s not terribly hard just long. Lots of people made for lots of passing in close areas. Oh and you will most likely need to use the bathroom along the way. There were tree areas that were used for the bathrooms. Please pick up and pack out your trash there!

It's a burner. But it's beautiful.

Ran out of water just after the saddle - after that, the riverbeds are dry-washes and the next time you'll see water is just before Emerald Lake. There's a small spring trickling out of the rocks on the south end of the saddle. If you're not looking/listening, you'll miss it.

It was a beautiful hike. Hard, but rewarding.

Hiked to the peak for the first time yesterday morning. Started just after 2am and made it to the peak by 5:30 with enough time to relax and enjoy the sunrise, which was absolutely beautiful. Summiting from the saddle to the peak was challenging after already being exhausted from hiking for several hours, but believe me, it is worth it. Plan extra time for water/ snack breaks. Pack a headlamp if you will be hiking at night, and pack layers. I started with just a long tee shirt and pants, then had to add layers at the top, but hiking down in the sun became pretty hot. Bring a sharpie to sign your name on the shack at the top!

trail running
14 days ago

My friend brought me up here for a trail run and it was so beautiful and peaceful... perfect for a trail run. We even saw three deer and a moose.

mountain biking
14 days ago

Awesome trail

hiking
14 days ago

Gorgeous area. I’ve done it in the summer and winter.

Finally checked this hike off the bucket list! It was a fabulous day. 3 hours and 45 minutes to the summit and then back to the car in 7.5 hours round trip. It was a Saturday and super crowded. We had to park on the road about .5 mike from trailhead. Started at 6:00.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful views and great hike.

First timers for my brother in law and I. That mess was hard lol. Ran out of water at the saddle. Luckily the park ranger had a water purification system and helped us out. Definitely take something like Powerade or an electrolyte drink. Not just water. That rock path sucks. Seeing the goats made it worth it all

Load More