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hiking
19 days ago

A difficult yet rewarding hike. The incline starts immediately after leaving the trailhead, and continues all the way to the divide. Once above the treeline, the views are panoramic and wonderful! I encountered snow about 2/3 up the climb in early July, but a little caution and it was fine – even with no poles. The hike's biggest downside is the road getting there; it's fairly long, and quite rough.

Beautiful trail! Not too hard getting up as it only takes an hour to get to the ridge views. Made it up in hiking shoes only although it was snowy throughout and a bit icy. The views are worth every minute! Definitely doing this one again soon.

This was my first hike when I moved to Oregon in 2016. I hiked one week before the fire. I will always cherish this trail as my favorite.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked this with my son in September. This is a great hike for all ages and levels.

Late entry from Fall last year. It was amazing views of Baker, and Mount Shuksan. It was clear day that day. Amazing views at the summit. It was worth it every sweats and to be rewarded with such of beauty..
The signs were pretty visible from the main highway. 12 miles of dirt road to the trailhead. Very narrow dirt roads and uphills. Compact car is doable. 4000 ft to the trailhead. And it’s about 6000 ft or more to hike to the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

Drove up in a SUV, drove slower to avoid the potholes. Saw some cars in the parking lot, so doable. In a previous comment, someone mentioned it is more like a walk. It is not. Right off the bat, you start with a 2 mile climb to the first ridge., approximately 1 hour up. Definitely not a beginner’s hike. The views from the ridge are spectacular. You can continue for another 2.5 miles, climbing on and off to the top ridge ( another hour or less).
We had sunny skies, clouds coming in as we left. Would highly recommend this hike!

hiking
1 month ago

hiked this about month ago and the trail was not hard the climb to buckhorn lake was long switch backs but well worth the hike just for the views

hiking
1 month ago

Superb hike with great view of Mt Baker.

Hiked on 10/21 and it was a perfect day to do so. The first few miles were very flat so a nice warm up to where the elevation starts. We also went to rampart lakes and some of the little lakes were a little frozen probably from not getting much sun. It was super cold when we started at around 8ish but warmed up as soon as we started to walk. I saw about 6 dogs and only one was on a leash. I understand that your dog might be well behaved but some people get really nervous around them specially if they are not in a leash. Im one of them. I saw dog poop bags too which was super disappointing I wish people would just carry their dog poop and not leave it for people to see. There were not many people so it was nice. I didn’t really think it was a hard hike more Like a moderate hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great to backpack, but it's a little extreme to call this one "moderate" in difficulty.

People talk about a rough road and 4x4s only, when there's no real reason to take the 4x4 road. Start from Shellrock Lake, and it's a dead-easy 6mi of friendly, even trail with minimal (mayyybe 1500 ft) gain. As of fall 2018, there are very few sections with roots/tough footing/blow-downs. Unless you're (mentally) unstable or have a new 4Runner you want to try out, there's no reason whatsoever to shave-off 1.9 dead-easy miles by attempting a Gresham "truck nuts" approach. I drove to Shellrock in a 40 year-old German convertible and it was fine. Your 1999 Honda Civic with the huge muffler, ground effects, and the 4ft fin on the back? It fine. Trust me. I mean, no one likes it and--contrary to popular belief--that bass *will not* get you women, but your sick whip?? It'll do just fine, bra.

So let's rate the difficulty, as these reviews make this wonderfully peaceful, friendly, and mellow trail sound like trying to do Dog, Defiance, and Devil's Rest in the same day with a 60lb pack (and yup, that's called the TripleD: only really bored Mazamas, tweekers, and--for whatever reason--mechanical engineers like doing that.)

So if the PCT from Mexico to Canada is an 11 on the 1-10 scale of backpacking difficulty, and you were bored/silly enough to want backpack Defiance (9), then this is maybe a 3.5. Maybe. Mind you, on this scale walking to PSU from the Pearl with your Jansport full of books is a 1, and Mirror Lake with a tent, a bag, a sixer, and Cheetos (no Tom/Dick/Harry) is a 2.

The Serene Lake backpack is great, easy to drive to, and most any first-time backpacker could make it. If you stopped every 30 mins for rest, you'd be fine if you started before noon: it's only 6mi to the lake. Also, so many little baby lakes and mellow camp spots are peppered throughout this hike. Even if the 8 or so decent lake spots were taken, there are a ton more cool flat spots within a mile of the lake that'd be great if you just ported h20 in your Camelback.

Oh, and take the wonderful "long way out" heading west out of Serene Lake on the return and use the Grouse Point trail to then head back east. It adds another mile or two and maybe an additional 6-700ft of overall gain, but is equally mellow given enough time.

Anyway, loved this backpack. It'd be a go-to for taking first-time backpackers who wanted to do something that was quiet and friendly, but gave you that (priceless) feeling of being more than 10 miles away from a Plaid Pantry.

For a challenge, might be cool as a snowshoe.

5 stars. And I'll include a complete trail map from the Shellrock Lake start point in my profile photos with a title if that's of use to anyone.

Went up to the Rampart lakes yesterday and there was no ice or snow. It was perfect!

Walked the first mile to Devil’s Punchbowl. Gorgeous when you get there and well worth the walk, but otherwise a lackluster hike on gravel.

1 month ago

Beautiful trail. A nice gradual incline for about an hour and then you have the most spectacular views the rest of the way. We drove up in a small car (successfully, despite the potholes). The hike wasn’t that difficult, we saw a lot of families with small children hiking.

hiking
1 month ago

Great experience today! Fantastic glacier view.

hiking
1 month ago

No bugs, just a few nice people, a perfect alpine lake. What more do you want?

Obstacles include mud at the bottom followed by a very steep climb up to Rachel and then the fork to Lila / Rampart / Alto. It’s a full click more rugged than trails with more switchbacks and better trail work.

Warning is I got confused on leaving Lila lake as there’s several trails out, so be sure to have a map. One option is screen shots of the all trails map, or of course buying all trails pro. There’s no cell service out there and very few people on a weekday, so be ready to be self sufficient. Apple had “helpfully” offloaded my compass app so I was without that. The ground at Lila is partly frozen so I imagine an unprepared overnight would not be fun. Fortunately I figured it out by back tracking and got to the car at nightfall.

hiking
1 month ago

I wasn't sure how I felt about this hike spot when my friend & I first got to it. There is about a 45 minute drive up to the trailhead littered with potholes, so be careful. When we got to the trailhead & began our ascent we didn't think we would make it. (We are kind of fresh in the hiking game.) Fortunately, we trekked through and pushed our way to the top & I am not exaggerating when I say it was one of the most beautiful views I'd ever seen in my 23 years of life. Worth every bit of effort we gave to make it to the top. I am definitely doing it again.

Just checked this trail today. As some have mentioned, the road to get to the trail is pretty brutal. I have a Jeep and I hit a few very iffy spots. Once you are there the parking is sufficient for about 10-12 vehicles. No facilities nearby.

The trail is in good shape, well maintained, with minimal roots. The bookends of the hike are rocky, but not bad at all. I experienced minimal bugs and people. It was just me and my little 9lb dog and we made it to the peak in about an hour and made it back down in about 45 minutes.

The peak is a sight to behold! Amazing 180 mountain views on a clear day. To get up to the peak there is a cable wire to use, which came in handy! We sat up there for about 30 minutes, had a nice lunch, and prepared for the climb down.

This is easily one of my new favorites for a shorter, moderate hike!

Random note: as we hit about the halfway point I regained cellphone service (AT&T) and the signal grew stronger the higher we went. Which is always nice if there is an emergency.

hiking
1 month ago

This was my favorite hike this year! It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday. We arrive at 7:45am and finished at 2:10 pm hiking 9.8 miles. Spectacular views!!! The hike is a little bit strenuous at times but it is more then worth it! I will definitely backpack this trail next year!

Go on sunny day. Beautiful Mountain View’s especially Mt Baker

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday with four friends. We loved the hike and felt like it was a great one for a lot of people as the incline is gradual until you turn to head up to the wreckage. We enjoyed it all, explored a cave, saw the wreckage, added a couple extra miles to the trip because we let a directionally challenged person guide us, and still we all enjoyed it!

hiking
1 month ago

Went out October 10-14 and no bugs but very very cold. If you are going to the crash site it’s very well defined for a trail with some confusion at the top of the ridge where it starts to disappear but stay to the right and you will eventually see the wreckage appear to your left. We camped here our first couple nights.

If you are going to the mine we were told it was wet and slippery. The trail to the summits is confusing at mile 3.2, stay to the right and if you end up going to the mine that’s the trail headed left but a large portion of this area has been used for camping and everything looks like a hiking trail.

Another item to note is that once you past the Creek beyond the mine camps there is another split in the trail, if you go straight it’s shorter but very steep, if you go right it’s about twice as far but a lot easier especially if it’s wet.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of the hardest hikes I’ve been on but it was definitely a cool view. Just prepare yourself for constant uphill hiking.

Amazing trail! After the 10 mile drive up the mountain ( with a lot of potholes- but we got through those with our minivan) you arrive at the parking lot which is pretty full when you arrive late ( like us). The climb up is not bad and I think more or less anyone can do it. Once up on the ridge you will have the most spectacular views ever! Make sure you follow the trail and don’t stop at the ridge. It will take you to even more spectacular views! It was one of the best hikes we did so far!!!!!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing colours. Not lots of people. No bugs. A bit muddy. Better to wear waterproof walking boots.
At Rachel lake, got a bit lost but found the trail to Lila lake. Look for a small sitting area just before reaching the edge of the lake. There is a sign with “trail” written on it. I was alone at Lila lake. Just beautiful. A bit cold up there in spite of the sun.

Drove down from Vancouver BC today to do this one and Chain Lakes. I consider neither one hikes, more like pretty nature walks. I did love the views of Baker but was glad I did a second “hike” to extend my day. Not busy at all as we went on a Friday. Road up was totally fine with me Jeep but I saw cars go up too, just avoid the potholes

hiking
1 month ago

The best trail my husband and I have done north of Seattle! Only a few other trails top it in the Mt.Rainier NatPark! Definitely a must do! Very photogenic.
If you have asthma or a heart condition like me this trail is not moderate but very hard and takes a while to get up the terrain to the summit- but SO WORTH IT. Also I expect you to know your own risks and limitations while hiking regardless of conditions. We really enjoyed this hike and hope to do it again sometime.

Very pretty and worth the drive to get up there

So gorgeous. Try to go on a sunny day to see just how crystal blue the water is!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked up the trail in the fog and rain, our only view was 1 foot in front of us. It was still a great hike.

Overall great hike. Was able to get to Rachel Lake yesterday (10/7) but not all the way to Rampart. Around 4500' we started to encounter some snow patches. Snow on the trail was compacted down to around an inch for a couple of the last switch backs. Extremely difficult to pass without poles because it is VERY slippery. We were able to do it without poles, but only very slowly and almost face planted several times.

If going on a weekend, be sure to get there early, as the parking lot fills quickly.

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