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one of the nicest hikes I've discovered in the whole area. height 2 days ago very little bugs left campsites were full. Would love to have climbed over the Ridge from the lake and do a loop hike back to parking area. Should have actually done that after I seen on Google how easy it looked. we hiked with our dog up to the ridge 1 km before the lake and found a sign that said dogs were not allowed any further from that point. So be sure to research that

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

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

hiking
3 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!

backpacking
4 days ago

I did not make it all the way to the lake due to lots of smoke from the wildfire in Hamma Hamma not too far away, and very hot. I would classify this as a more difficult hike carrying an overnight backpack. Trail was in good condition, some pesky wasps circling my head for much of the hike. I look forward to trying it again when it cools down and the smoke clears out.

Beautiful!

hiking
7 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
8 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
8 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
8 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.

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
10 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.

hiking
11 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
12 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
12 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.

hiking
14 days ago

INSANE amount of bugs on the trail! We did this hike on July 29. The weather was hot and humid. We just couldn’t even stand for a minute because of the bugs which included flies, mosquitoes and bees. There are new views except at the end of the trail.

hiking
16 days ago

I love this trail ..... 2 weeks ago did it and started at 8:30 with EVERYONE else I guess
Today started at 7:30 and saw only a few on the way up and the “everyone else” on the way down :)
Up and down total time less than 4 hours.
Very dusty trail lots of bugs near the top. Bug repellent is a MUST.

Amazing views. Hiked 7/27 and the trail was completely dry. Started at 5 am and found the bugs to be bothersome only when I would stop walking.

The trail was a little more rocky and rooty than I am used to. I had to use more caution than usual in the descent for that reason. But I tend to be a clutz anyway.

The incline was steady and fair. Easily kept 18-20 min mile pace, taking 5H 30M total. I got a little off track and ended up walking 15.7 miles, 3900 elevation. I would rate this more of a moderate hike than difficult.

Super enjoyable views; saw a mountain goat and a ground hog, heard eagle screeches, and saw many varieties of butterflies and wildflowers. Also met a few groups of friendly campers along the way. Overall, great hike!

on Lake Ingalls

hiking
17 days ago

Tough trail but not too hard. The alternative route is much nicer and easier to follow. We got to the trailhead pretty late (2.30pm ish), so we didn't see any goats, just lots of bugs. The lake is very pretty.

Great hike-3 hours to the Katwalk including several short water and photo stops. 2 1/2 hours down. Breeze and deet kept bugs at bay. Lots of flowers in bloom and lots of butterflies. Couple snow patches but didnt impede walking.

Talus field fun! Such a great class 2 scramble, and it’s totally optional. At the loop, go right for the trail and left for the scramble, which takes you over the ridge to the firehouse. The granite’s got great friction, even with the moss. All trails has you going up the trail and down the talus field, which is what we did. Definitely go up the talus field and down the trail, i.e. do the loop clockwise. It is way more fun and faster this way. Took us just over 2 hours up and about the same coming down. The views are fabulous. The black flies, however, are awful. When you put the directions in your map app, make sure it tells you to get off at the right exit. Apple maps wanted us to walk 1.4 miles to the trailhead.

Beautiful hike. Trail was clear and easy to follow. Saw a lot of mountain goats. Trailhead was accessible in a small car. The lake is gorgeous, and the view of Mt. Stuart is great. Lots of bugs though, so bring some bug spray.

hiking
19 days ago

Very difficult but very rewarding hike to this gorgeous lake up in the mountains, went last year and it was definitely a one to remember! Always get an early start as it has a million switch backs and it gets harder as you go up! If I remember correctly the trail was very maintained and no overgrowth

Absolutely stunning!!! No snow to cross at all. Bugs are pretty bad at the lakes but were minimal the rest of the way.

hiking
19 days ago

Amazing hiking day. Got there 11am and back off the mountain at 5pm. The distances are a bit off. But it is 3.7 miles if you scramble up the front but there is a nice trail up the back which is 4.8 miles up and back.

Last weekend the mountain flowers were just starting so they should be great this weekend.

hiking
20 days ago

Arrived to the trailhead at 8am (7/22/18). Air was a comfortable 57° with a slight breeze. This was a welcome start as 90° was the forecasted high. There are 2 streams early on but nowhere else for water along the trail until you reach the meadow which is almost to the summit. Everyone in my party carried 2 liters which was enough for us and one dog until opportunity to refill. We each drank 4 liters (twice as much as usual). This was definitely due to the extreme temperature. The trail was well maintained and easy to follow until there are multiple branches near the meadow. We stayed right for the summer trail too soon and accidentally ended up off trail for a short period until our route met up with the actual trail. There is one other section where it is easy to lose the trail once the snow starts. The summer trail actually passes over the snow but there is a well worn bare trail that continues too far right. After walking for a bit we realized we missed it and had to backtrack along with 3 other groups. The epic views keep you distracted through the final push to the summit. There is plenty of room to find a boulder to call your own for lunch. 360° views and Rainier is just gobsmackingly gorgeous. This is my 2nd time up Granite and I will do it again. It took us 3 hours up and 3 hours down. We had a smallish dog with us and took frequent hydration/photo breaks.

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