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First hike in the PNW and although it was great to get out... this hikes “work to reward” (views) ratio was lackluster.

I went at 10 am on a Friday morning and it was uncomfortably packed. There were at least two scout groups of about ten to fifteen kids, and two adult groups of about ten each later up the trail. Not to mention the numerous single and double hikers. Because of the crowds the hike became unbearably slow and wasn’t tranquil. I guess I am a bit of a curmudgeonly hiker.

Having said the above, Pros: pretty views, lovely foliage, usually nice weather during the summer. Cons: going very slowly due to getting stuck behind so many crowds, listening to lots of other people’s conversations, stopping often to let others pass the opposite direction, difficulty finding parking.

I will say that this is a great hike for children because it has a fun payout for not too much effort. Just be sure to use the bathroom before you get to the trailhead because the bathrooms there are so gross.

I hope you all have a better experience than I did. :-) Happy hiking!

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.

Definitely a workout on the legs and knees, but worth it. Always come prepared! It can be quite chilly and windy at the top. We took a little side trail loop on the way down - it was a nice change in scenery and much warmer.

The waterfall is about a mile and a half into the trail, and it did not disappoint. Pictures don’t do it justice to how massive it is. We thought that would be the highlight of the hike, but the meadows up in Spray Park itself were unbelievably beautiful. Even with the haze, Mt. Rainier still showed through and acted as the perfect backdrop to our time in the meadows. We didn’t see any wildlife, save for the absurd amount of mosquitos! The road leading up to this hike (and Tolmie Peak) has a few rough spots but overall is pretty darn passable for a gravel road.

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.

hiking
7 days ago

A fantastic experience heading back to Spray Park today. Make sure you keep going past the meadows for some amazing alpine and glacial exploration. Not too difficult and quite otherworldly!!

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!

It was extremely foggy, making it impossible to see anything at the view point. But still so worth the hike. We were able to climb up to the base of the waterfall from the spray park view point! Definitely my favorite waterfall yet!

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.

10 days ago

Gorgeous hike! This hike is full of beautiful falls, bridges, wild flowers and views of mount Rainier! Loved everything about it....except the bugs:))) Bugs we’re annoying. As soon as you stop moving, they attack you:(

hiking
10 days ago

Gorgeous/ Moderate hike/ worth it!!

hiking
11 days ago

Since today was a hot and hazy August day I thought the shade on the trail would be a nice way to stay cool.
Overall, the shady center of the trail was the best part in my opinion. The first part and final parts of the trail are a little steep. I feel like Little Si is more challenging than the views are worth. However it's very well maintained and traveled.

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!

hiking
12 days ago

Don’t be fooled by the name. I did not see one dog on Dog Mountain. It is dog friendly though, so I assume it’s a BYO situation.

The assent is hard. With a very steep incline. When the path forks go to the right of you want to really feel the burn. Better views on the left fork, but you can loop back in the opposite direction on the way down.

The peak is confused. We did go off the AT main trail to find a higher point. Views of the Gorge are pretty good. Hard trek. Recommend swimming down at Little White Salmon to freshen up on a hot day.

13 days ago

Climbed on a hot day and the shade in the fern forests was great. One of my favorite hikes in Washington.

Tough hike with absolutely beautiful views!

Note: The Discover Pass does not work as I found out with my $5 ticket. It is $5/day or an interagency pass will work.

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.

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!

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.

Nice cool shaded hike below until you start the face where you are exposed. The first mile is the toughest as far as elevation gain which doesn’t seem like it should be but it is - get past that and you will be alright :) Foliage up top was all brown and dried up so I’d recommend going earlier in the summer.

Beautiful hike. In my opinion a very easy hike but there are a lot of rocks. This is a good family hike as I don’t think it’s too hard for anyone and the reward is worth it. The lake is beautiful, you can walk around the entire lake and take a swim!

**Even though there is a Mount Pilchuck State Park, this trail is in the National Forest so you’ll need a National Parks pass and not a Discovery Pass**

Get to the trail early. I went up at 8:30 and it was very quiet but there were a lot of people coming up as I was leaving. The parking lot was full at 11:30 on a summer Tuesday.

It’s gorgeous at the top.

Mosquitos weren’t a big deal but other posters have said this was a huge problem. It may depend on the time of day you go.

There are no surprises on the trail. It’s a slow steady climb to the top but it’s never especially steep. It’s a workout but very manageable.

No cell service (T-Mobile) at any point on the trail.

hiking
20 days ago

My first hike in Washington and now I’m hooked. It was beautiful. Covered in wildflowers, relaxing waterfall, creeks all over. The trail was well kept. Pockets of steep climbs but overall moderate. Worth the climb! Once you reach the meadow at the top there are a ton of cool little trails to adventure on!

hiking
20 days ago

This is a great hike, you do have to be up for it. It is a lot of work to get to the top, I haven’t much experience, but I still got there. Honestly it’s worth the veiw. Not gonna lie your back will probably hurt pretty bad at the end of it, just bring some Advil. Oh and on a side note, definitely bring some first aid up there with you, god forbid you get hurt or someone els. You need to be prepared. (We went up about a year ago, this kid was climbing on these giant rocks when you get to the top, he fall and cut his leg open right to the bone. This won’t happen if you are, well...not stupid. My aunt was a nurse and my uncle had the supplies for this accident. But always be prepared for anything)

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