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backpacking
18 hours ago

Strenuous backpacking trip that was well worth the amazing scenery. Definitely pick as light as possible and consider caching food to save weight. I did the entire loop with about 60 pounds on my back which I really felt on the sharp inclines and declines. Bugs weren't too bad except for the miles around Devils Dream. Obtaining a walk-in permit was surprisingly easy if you're flexible in your plans. I did it in 9 days which seemed just right. Get out and check this off your bucket list!

Tough hike but amazing time out there. Bring a trash bag for the way down.

Had a great hike with KR on 8/14. We started from the lower trail head. The trail started easy and slowly the grade increased. For the last km form the summit the trail was rocky and quite demanding. We saw a mountain goat at the top. We took the summer tail in and out and it took us 5 hours. This would have been a 5 Star hike but views were limited due to smoke from area Forrest fires. It was still worth it and a great first hike in Olympia Park.

trail running
2 days ago

Nice run... nice and peaceful trail. Some of the parts were narrow and I had to wait for bicyclist to go through, but that is really not anything to complain about. My biggest complaint was that I heard many small caliber gunshots at the very beginning of the trail. I no longer heard any closer to the falls, just at the beginning of the trail. Based off of the name, I was expecting a nice run to a beautiful waterfall… But that’s not the case. The “falls“ were so small that it is possible to even miss it. I heard some running water hiked down a baby trail and saw it. If you are looking for a nice waterfall, the nicest in the area is Tumwater Falls. If you are looking for a nice hike or trail run, this is the place.

I wish I'd done this on a clearer day, I'd been looking forward to it all summer. I hiked it yesterday, 8/12, and it was both cloudy and hazy from fire smoke. I knew it would be, but decided to be optimistic and try it. At least the bugs were not too bad!
I would say that the hike itself is not quite worth it unless the scenery from the top is clear, as I've heard the views are quite amazing on good weather days. I found the hike to be tedious and a bit unexciting, though the steep rock scrambling near the top is pretty fun.
I'll blame the weather on being underwhelmed. I plan to try again in the future!

hiking
2 days ago

Trail is in good condition. Good hike on a hot day, mostly shaded. Not the best views on the way up. Awesome view at the top.

excelente montaña mucha adrenalina

As a follow-up to the review by PhLo S just below...my group went August 10-12. There were some flies and mosquitoes at the lower elevations, but nothing close to plague-level. As a precaution we wore long sleeve shirts and long pants, with the option to wear head nets. While hiking these precautions weren't really needed, but during rest stops the bugs can get annoying. The views at the upper elevations are amazing. This was one of the best hikes I have been on.

Just did this hike today. It was cloudy and foggy so no views. We did see a Mt Goat. The hike was challenging and fun. It just gets steeper as you go. So I also tracked the hike with my Garmin watch. Total distance from the lower trailhead was 6.7 miles. We really didn't take any detours so not sure where the 5.3 miles listed above comes from. Maybe they didn't go all the way to the top? We had 3590 feet of elevation gain but that is with a GPS altimeter so may not be perfectly accurate but I think it is closer to reality than that which is listed above. So be prepared and have a great time.

Awesome experience to hike the trail... We completed first 4 miles of hike within 2 hours but the final miles once we reach Rocky Mountain area it took more time and we got tired a lot... But with the cool breeze and most around we enjoyed our hike and finally reached the destination “Mailbox”... Nice to see people leave something that remind their visit in there... Since it was covered with mist/clouds we couldn’t get the view completely... Later when we started back, it was raining like anything and finally end up getting wet completely. While return we took the old trail or primitive trail thinking that we will get nice views... But the thing is that it is very steep and while coming down we need to extra careful and also we may get lost in the trail since the pathway is damaged and not clear if you don’t have a map downloaded offline... though it had few nice views I can say... Overall we had an awesome hike with great views, wild flowers, fruits and sceneries!!! It’s worth a hike!!! Remember to take a Discover pass with you.. Or else you get a parking ticket...

I hiked up toward the Margaret McKenny Campground and loop back around to the Mima Falls. Not much of a visual hike. The day before, there were horse events, so the trial was riddled with horse poo. It was hot and nasty that morning and the water fall was terrible. The only good thing about the hike was at the top you had a clear look at Mt. Rainier.

First off, DO NOT follow the directions on AllTrails! Take FR 21 instead of FR 48 and search for directions ahead of time from somewhere else as the ones here are horribly inaccurate (wrong forest road and not 9.5 miles, more like 20 once on FR 21). If it weren’t for the payoff when you make it up to Goat Lake, I’d have a hard time recommending this trail. I went counterclockwise to how Alltrails has you do it (I went through Snowgrass Flats then onto Goat Lake) and the first 4 miles are brutal but not because the trail is incredibly difficult, but because of the relentless biting flies and gradual ascent. I pushed through faster than I wanted and when I’d stop for a break I’d be covered in seconds by dozens of flies, none of them caring that I had 100% deet all over. So then you just keep going and by the time I made it out of the forest I was exhausted. Once you clear the forest, Snowgrass flats is great. Crowded, but beautiful and with plenty of water sources so no need to carry a lot of water if you have any way to filter. The last push up to the lake is absolutely gorgeous though a pretty steady climb. Once at the lake, madness; it was a Friday evening and there must have been over 50 people camping at the lake (including a tent city with 6 tents all clustered together) so I pressed on to Jordan Basin and found a spot to hang my hammock for the night. Easy 5 miles into the Berrypatch parking area the next morning and then the short connector back to the other parking lot. Overall it was worth it but I won’t come back until the weather has turned in the fall when I think the bugs won’t be an issue and the crowds will have died down.

backpacking
6 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.

To get to the trail you have to go through about 5 miles of rocky road - heads up. Trail started out at steady incline through forested trees that were pretty and kept me shaded which was good. Once you come out though it’s nothing but a straight climb up rocks and a steady incline up the mountain. Had to take a couple breaks and I’m a pretty experienced hiker. Huge horse flies on the way up which were annoying and I would say the trail wasn’t marked clearly for the rock part. The top was crowded with people and horse flies. The view was just eh because it was foggy so pictures were hard to get from any angle. The trip back down the trail was tough on the knees, quads, calves -pretty much entire legs lol but I finished it. Not sure i would climb it again. It’s three days later and I’m still sore all over my legs. Bring lots of water - for the steep incline rock part. I went through 64oz by the time I was done.

Highly recommend going on a clear day. No bug issues. Hardest hike I’ve ever done but so glad I did it. Lots of chipmunks, birds and a few goat sightings on our visit 8/2/18. Beautiful and majestic.

Everyone else’s review is spot on. Lower Lena... no problem (very popular with a lot of chatty Cathy’s, small dogs, and families on the weekend) but Upper Lena is a bit challenging. Steep, trails overgrown with vegetation, often difficult to decipher or find, and random spots with heavy horse flies. I counted 15 downed trees that I either had to climb over, under, or around and I missed a switch back shortly after the lower Lena split and wandered off the trail. There was also another questionable creek crossing that was not clearly depicted. Needless to say I found Upper Lena and it was definitely worth it! Heard a mountain goat bleat in the distance around sunset but never saw one. A lot of deer activity at night near my tent (5 feet away/campsite #9) and mosquitoes were thick! Mosquito/insect repellent is a must!

Hiked this today, such a shame the view from the top was super bad because of a local fire, it was really smokey up there. Also the theme of the day from other hikers I encountered seemed to be “it’s so much longer than I thought!”. My strava GPS had this at 11kms there and back. The trail was super easy to follow and there was beautiful wildflowers especially towards the top of the mountain. The last road there is gravel but actually in pretty good shape. I’m sure when the conditions are better and the view from the top is clear it’s amazing, however without that it was a bit of too much effort for not enough reward for me, sadly.

backpacking
8 days ago

Epic views and ever changing scenery. The Wonderland takes you through subalpine meadows, old growth forests, over talus fields and raging glacial rivers. Challenging elevation gains and losses, I think there might be 10 feet of flat path on the whole trail! Challenging terrain in places and smooth forest path in others. Snow crossings, sketchy washout sections. Always, ALWAYS check trail conditions report before heading out, especially to see if bridges are in and never underestimate the danger of the water crossings, never ford alone. Be prepared to change plans or bail out if you cannot cross safely. Campsites all have backcountry privy and bear poles. Cache points at Sunrise, Longmire and Mowich, and abundant water sources make it easy to travel light. Trail is well marked and traveled.

Great hike, but really technical! I carried up 50 lbs on this hike out and back in a day! From a backpacker perspective, this trail sucks in a lot of ways! The trail up to Lower Lena Lake is pretty cut and dry, but upper Lena Lake is a lot more demanding. There were several downed trees which I either had to take my pack off and crawl under or crawl with the pack on. This was irritating and also low-lying vegetation which obstructs the view of the trail. The bugs were relentless at the top so bring plenty of spray. That being said, it was a beautiful lake and a scenic hike. I hike 2 days a week and just think there are nicer trails to pack weight on! Also, I would not solo this one again!

Absolutely beautiful! Stunning views! We took the pups but it was too rugged for their paws. The first half of the trail is wooded and like any other trail we’ve taken them on but the second half is extremely rocky and not great for dogs paws.

Nice hike to a small waterfall. Also good for mountain biking.

Awesome leg burner! Recommend getting there EARLY and bring your best camera AND bug spray! Saw lots of goats and got amazing photos! The way down is almost as hard as the way up and the rock climbing section is pretty challenging.

Fine hike, but the falls were tiny and not a worthwhile endpoint. The “day use area” by the falls is little more than a picnic bench.

Nice hike with a beautiful view of Mt Hood. Quite a bit of elevation gain, but much of the trail is pretty gradual. Took us a little under 2 hours round trip.

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike, great reward at the top. The old trail up is a real test, but worth the effort just to be able to say you did it. The new trail is about twice as long as the old trail, but much more gradual. Taking the old trail up, I enjoyed the beauty of the forest while treating myself to huckleberries and blueberries along the way. Clearing the trees you will come to an open rock field that may look like the final push to the summit only to get up there and find out it gets steeper yet for another quarter mile or so before you get to take in the amazing view at the true summit. Lots of amazing spring flowers along the way as well.

Three friends and I did an overnight along this route, staying near Goat Lake. The hike is absolutely miserable near the beginning and end due to plague-level biting flies that easily eclipse the also annoying mosquito infestation. A ways above the treeline all that junk disappears. The views and nice weather made up for the terribly buggy ascent and descent. We did the side trip up Hawkeye Point on our way back, well worth the extra effort. As the first evening approached, the clouds cleared off Mt. Adams. The view south from Goat Lake is amazing. The wildflowers were fairly abundant, especially near small streams. Keep in mind that standard insect repellent does absolutely nothing for the biting flies even if it keeps the mosquitoes from biting. Deet, Picaradin - no effect. Had I known, I would have read up on specific solutions for biting flies as they were far worse than mosquitoes. If you can tolerate wearing pants on a hot day, it will reduce the flies' annoyance at least a bit. Slapping your full body is harder, though it burns more calories. If you plan to camp, I highly recommend going on a weekday. It's a very popular and crowded trail. Maybe we saw over a hundred people total. Luckily we stayed Sunday night, so most of the weekend hikers were on their way down as we went up. If you are concerned about snow, as of August 6th there isn't any on the trail this entire loop route. There is a big, steep snow patch in the saddle going to the Hawkeye Point side trip, but there is a makeshift trail below and east of the snow to keep it safer. From Hawkeye Point we were able to see 28 goats to the northeast. Keep in mind they might be in the snow, in which case they blend in a bit. Bring a powerful lens (like 200 or 300 mm at least... aka 10x zoom+) if you want to get a decent photo of them.

mountain biking
11 days ago

Great trail, the lenght was great. Just be aware of other people.

Pretty solid hike overall. It took me 45 minutes to get to the top. I would say I am in good shape, but not some elite athlete.

this is 11miles round trip if you take new trail. take plenty of water. last mile is hard climb, in the open and rocky area. overall worth the experience.

on Mount Ellinor Trail

12 days ago

My 22yr old son picked this climb, I trusted that it would be moderate, never again. We got to the upper trailhead late at 7pm. (Note, the gravel road up is pretty rutted and squirrely.) We knew we had to make the summit by 8:30 to see the sun set. We covered the 1st mile in about the 30 min but the upper stretch is very tough. I spent much less time looking for goats then making sure my feet kept moving. Around every bend was another climb through the boulders. All that aside, the top is epic. It was crystal clear making the view fantastic all the way to Rainier. The hike down after sunset would have been okay but my headlamp died leaving us with one cellphone flashlight resulting in a few bruises and scrapes. The top was worth the effort, just make sure you have excellent mosquito repelent (we did) and a backup headlamp (we didn't) for the descent.

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