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

Nice hike to a nice lake that’s perfect for swimming!

Nice easy to get to hike. A good amount of people and dogs however on a Thursday morning. Still very enjoyable.

hiking
3 days ago

Awesome trail, but try to avoid it on weekends. It is literally the interstate of hikes.

This hike is easy to moderate there are some steeper switchbacks but it’s not that hard and it’s in the shade. It’s pretty dry up until the last 2-3 miles then it gets more green the higher you go up and it’s very pretty. The view of the lake is amazing. I didn’t swim in it because I fear of dead bodies and sharks in all water lol. If you have a dog bring them because they will love swimming in the water there was two waterfalls and areas of water going on the trail so if your dog is thirsty that is a plus. Rocky in some areas and the tree roots are coming up in some of the trail so watch your step. Did see beat skat that everyone was talking about but saw no bears at all

hiking
6 days ago

We loved the hike and would recommend it to others. But we have a few words of caution. Though very beautiful, the bluffs and scenery were somewhat difficult to see due to so much smoke in the air from fires. Afterwards, I asked about the smoke at the nearby ranger station and the ranger did not know the origin of the fires causing the smoke. On our descent we ran into two families with kids aged about 4 to 10. The kids were struggling, especially through the rocky sections. I would hesitate to take young kids on this trail unless they're used to hiking a lot.

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.

hiking
7 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Took Lower Elliott on the way up and Upper Elliott on the way down. Lower had beautiful scenery and soothing water sounds. The last mile of the hike is the toughest part and the trail gets a bit confusing but the lake is worth every bit. So beautiful, great for a swim and plenty of trees for your hammock ;) The waterfalls near the lake were equally breathtaking! We went later in the day on a Sunday and ran into very few people, even at the lake. Upper is perfect for the way down because it’s majority downhill. As mentioned in another review, make sure you have the right pass because they’ll get ya. I will 100% be coming back here.

hiking
7 days ago

TLDR... Very worthwhile hike, if early. Bummer crowds. Keep your dog on it's leash for the love of all things decent. Nike running shoes will get you there, but for sure would recommend boots.

We got to the trailhead around 7:15 am and the lot was only about half-full. We were pretty fortunate to not encounter anyone for over a mile and a half - just the sweeping fog and light rain. The hike itself is a relatively gentle climb through some old growth and a couple slightly more tedious sections (think Pennsylvania on the AT) added in for a nice kick. The trail is well maintained. The alpine lake at the top is gorgeous and was well-worth the trip up. We strolled around the lake for awhile before the crowds arrived and decided to head back down around 9:45 am.

Unfortunately once we started heading back down we were smacked with a never-ending (as in, from the lake down until the parking lot) line of people heading up. The crazy foot traffic was harsh, but not nearly as lame as how people treat that place. We encountered about 10-15 deposits of trash that were not on the trail when we ascended a couple hours earlier and lwayyyyy too many groups of tech-bros and bro-ettes that were letting their dogs run off the leash - WE GET IT, you're dog is "chill" but with the amount of traffic (and kids), coupled with how narrow and rocky it can be at times, the entitlement isn't warranted or beneficial.

All-in-all, the hike is incredibly enjoyable and not very taxing and could be rated +4/5 on quality of trail, scenery, and workout alone. However, considering you're bound to come across a bunch of people here, it's worth knowing that... yup, a bunch of them suck.

hiking
7 days ago

The view at the top is totally worth it!

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

on Lake 22 Trail

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked this last week with a girlfriend and kids (ages 9-15). Definitely bring water. Gets rocky but still doable in regular running/athletic shoes. I’m not in great shape (lol) but we all made it up and back okay.

Lake is gorgeous and worth the work to get up there. We did it on a weekday, started about 10:15am - got back to car about 3:15pm. Slow and steady and hung out at lake for a bit and ate our lunches. Several waterfalls along the way. Well maintained trail. Mostly in forest.

Decent view, nice hike

I don't know who wrote the trail summary. "Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash." NO don't even think of taking your dogs, kids or elderly grandparents up Red Mountain. Red Mountain is a scramble from Red Lake to the summit.

hiking
10 days ago

moderate 2.2 miles up with a few spots to swim. water is warm. mosquitos are out. if you find a gray lululemon ballcap, you can keep it :)

hiking
11 days ago

Gorgeous/ Moderate hike/ worth it!!

hiking
12 days ago

absolutely beautiful hike and Lake. You can even see some trout swimming around in the lake. Still some snow up on the canyon wall set if you're careful you can get up to. As a reminder people with dogs please pick up your droppings.

hiking
12 days ago

Arrived at 7 AM on Sunday morning and had plenty of parking space. However, in the 5 minutes it took us to get ready, 10 other cars arrived. This won't be difficult for anyone in decent shape. Trail sneakers with good grip are fine, but you'd be wise to wear boots. Not for the grip but to protect your ankles. Lots of roots and rocks. I've posted a bunch of photos of the actual trails so you'll get an idea of what to expect.

My impression? I loved it. Worth every drop of sweat. We arrived to the lake just before 9 AM and there were already at least 50 people up there. Didn't feel crowded yet as the trail around the lake is just over a mile. If you want to swim, and you really should if the weather permits, go to the other side of the lake where access is better. Lots of large rocks and boulders where you can enjoy the view, and if you go higher up, you'll really get some peaceful time as most people don't bother climbing rocks. We spent good 3 hours up there before we headed back down.

It was crazy busy on the way down. Met good 200 people heading to the lake, with lots of people who seemed rather unprepared for the hike, wearing inappropriate shoes and carrying an 8 oz. bottle of water in their back pocket. When we arrived to the parking lot, there were cars waiting for a spot, and other cars parked by the side of the road. And yes, saw absolutely no bugs.

hiking
12 days ago

Got there at 8am and there was lots of parking. By the time we left at 1:15, the lot was full (and it was a Monday)!

Trail was in good condition. According to my friend I hike pretty fast so it took us about 1 hr 15 min to reach the top. Not a lot of bugs which was nice. Bring your bathing suit- it’s the perfect lake to hang out for a few hours and swim at. If you have the time, walk the path that goes all around the lake!

Loved the view!

hiking
13 days ago

I do both lower and upper trail I like more the lower one batter view but what shack me is the huge water full hiding in the trail you will love it more of the lake

hiking
14 days ago

Loved this hike . Parking was difficult.

hiking
14 days ago

4 Stars. About 3.5 hours round trip. Little rocky at a few switchbacks, but overall good tree cover most of the route.

very easy, but slightly steep going up. bring your bathing suits...saw many people enjoying the lake.

hiking
15 days ago

Did this trail today (Saturday) and here are my tips as a 30 yr old woman not in amazing shape, hiking with a dude of similar health and our two small dogs (10# yorkie/minpin and a 7# chihuahua mix). This was our first real hike in a while.

Parking: yikes! we arrived around 9:15am, parking lot was full and grabbed 1 of 2 remaining spots at the picnic place just down the road.

Trail time: we took about 1hr 45min to go up - certainly took our share of breaks, passed some people, got passed by others. About 45 min to go around lake (lots of pictures) and walking a lot on essentially large gravel. Took just under 90 min to go down.

Lake: if you walk around to the far side there are good places to sit on rocks without getting muddy/wet/disturbing nature! Also good rocks to sit on if you start walking around the lake to the left.

Gear: just had sneakers, we did fine, though given the amount of loose rock, we really wished we had hiking boots with some ankle support on the way down. Was wet/muddy a lot.

Dogs: they did great! The 10# did awesome no real issues, the 7# didn’t like walking through the streams and got carried a bit going down the steep scrambling area. There were lots of dogs on the trail (even saw 2 bulldogs), but mostly they were labs/retrievers. Dogs should be leashes but we saw some that weren’t - please don’t be that person! Your dog might be great offleash but a dog onleash might not be.

Downsides: not a lot of great areas to stop for breaks (especially if you want to sit) and trail can get narrow in places (no biggie but can make passing a little tricky). We didn’t have bug issues except when we got to the lake.

Cell phones: fwiw we lost signal about 20 min from trailhead, so don’t expect to rely on your phone!

In sum, do it! It’s great and doable! Lots of different people from very young to very old on the trail so it’s doable. Do be careful because of wet rocks and scrambling areas, but worth the views!

hiking
15 days ago

It was an awesome hike! We took our young 5 year old and almost 7 year old and they agreed! The waterfalls on the way and the lake at the top was a perfect place for lunch! Can’t wait until they are a little bit older and we can backpack and tent it up there!!

Tried to make a loop from PCT-N and back via PCT and back on Commonwealth.....couldn’t find the trail after the river

Did this trail last weekend with my 5 yr old daughter. She was a champ and walked the whole way plus around the lake. She also wanted to touch the snow, rocks were a little loose so take it slow. It's a pretty steady incline to get to the lake. We got fairly early, before 8, ad I wouldn't suggest getting there much later. Trail was packed, people had no where to park. Maybe it was just that day but I didn't think the bugs were that bad. Going again tomorrow.

backpacking
17 days ago

It was quite a hike the way up there, but the view was definitely worth it! Took a dip in the cold water - felt amazing after the long hike :)

Load More