Explore To do - Washington - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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snowshoeing
snow
1 hour ago

We did the hike today and loved it. It was our first snowshoeing experience. Although people had their regular hiking shoes on, I think it is best to wear snowshoes. It was an easy hike even for beginners such as us. However, we couldn’t reach the lake because it got super steep after we completed 2/3 of the hike. It got crowded after 1pm or so. I will definitely come again for dry season.

Jan 21st 2019. Road leading up to the trailhead is closed. We had to walk 42minutes before reaching the trailhead. Snow at trailhead. I would recommend spikes.

hiking
6 hours ago

Well cut trail, family friendly - amazing view!

Insane views. semi-steep with the occasional patch of snow approaching the lake.

snowshoeing
10 hours ago

Tons of snow, avalanches risk only for advanced hikers.

hiking
20 hours ago

Easy hike, falls were beautiful. A little muddy but not too bad.

hiking
1 day ago

Early morning is key if you want to avoid the crowds, even in January. The falls are beautiful, and it's an easy mild hike. Trails are clear, a bit of mud here and there but not an issue if you're wearing proper footwear.
We explored the main trails and a couple side trails that were far less traveled. You can hear the highway pretty well unfortunately, and there were a few people with dogs off leash.

got to the trail head at 830. there was light rain but not much. the trail was in great shape. a few muddy spots but nothing that couldn't be worked around or walked through.

the falls were all especially strong today. the lower falls are great with a view of the middle falls in the distance.

the middle views are what you come for.

the trail to the upper falls is more difficult than the rest but nothing more than difficult moderate. the upper falls are great as well.

the valley overlook is also stunning.

This was a thrilling and energizing hike. Wasn't too sure how to pack for this hike, (ie. Snowshoes, yaktrax, or micro spikes), but I packed my yaktraxs, and was glad I did. The last 1/4 mile was covered in packed snow. You can get away with good hiking boots alone, but the extra traction helps with the slippery accent and decent. The frozen lake was a great site, but even more amazing was all the avalanches occurring across the lake. We started our hike at 1:30 pm, and reached the lake at 4:10. We were back down at 6:45 pm. Head lamps were a must, and very much used. It was exciting to hike back down in the cover of night, and moonlight.

Hiked up about 1.5 hours at a slow pace and did not quite make it to the lake. Trail was in good condition; wet and rainy but no snow or ice. Saw other hikers both solo and in groups. Seems well trafficked for a Thursday and therefore great for the solo hiker! Lots of parking (2:00pm Thursday). Bring Northwest Forest Pass. Bathrooms still closed. Beautiful hike!

Several small creeks to cross, and beautiful vistas as you climb to the top. The frozen lakes are amazing. The view at the top was incredible! This time of year, a lifted vehicle with chains highly recommended.

Road in wasn't bad, and could handle my tiny Hyundai Accent perfectly. I assume it isn't always that way, but there wasn't any snow and pot holes were easy to navigate. As for the trail, not slippery or icy for my trip. Some downed trees, but a hop over, and you're hiking again.The falls were well worth it, as well as the view you got of everything else at the top.

There was some confusion if we should take ext 52 or 47 thanks to Apple maps. We chose to go with ext 47. The gate to the FSR is closed. We parked on the street near the gate. It was Sunday afternoon so there were plenty of places to park. We knew that we would be racing against the sun but are pretty fit, experienced, and prepared. There is ice on the two mile stretch of road you have to hike to get to the trail head. The trail itself is covered in snow and ice. I would not have attempted this trail without micro spikes. With warmer temps I was careful to stay on the trail and not get too close to the edge (could easily slip or snow could give way on the cliff side). Round trip this hike ends up about 8 miles. From the gate and back it took us about 2.5 hours round trip, including our stop at the falls.

Beautiful easy hike. Trail was icy. Yax Trax came in handy. The first bridge over the water was icy and kinda scary to cross. Road to the trailhead was bare but there was ice in some spots. Parking lot has snow in it but drivable.

hiking
8 days ago

Weather on the trail was perfect, no need for poles or yaktracks. The trail is super wore down and good for a person looking for a stroll or a family. The upper falls is worth the extra ~1 mi to the top. Also we started our hike at 8:30am and was completely alone most of the time, trail didn't start to get heavy with people until around 10:00.

on Snow Lake Trail

hiking
8 days ago

I hiked on Friday. This was my first time doing a snow hiking so it’s little bit difficult for me. Just made 2/3 of the trail because the snow was deeper in the last 1/3 and the trail was so narrow. I def. hike again with a better preparation to complete the trail. The scenery was very beautiful tho.

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked as far as we could today- a recent avvy slide completely demolished the rest of the trail right before reaching the lake. Multiple hikers that got there before us said they tried going around it right, then left, and ultimately couldn’t make it to the lake. Some of them had GPS and still didn’t make it to the lake.
Otherwise a beautiful hike! There was a decent amount of snow, although we didn’t need snowshoes. We just had microspikes and we were absolutely fine. The snow on the trail was decently padded down when we went and it was warm enough that there was no ice- the microspikes just gave us good grip on compact snow.
Didn’t see any extreme signs of imminent avvy danger, besides the recent slide that ended up stopping our hike early. There is water running through the trail area and one stream was noticeably running underneath a small snowfield, but it wasn’t too steep of a grade and didn’t concern me.

We hiked on 1/12/19. Clear trail most of the way with slick rocks and compacted snow near the top. We managed with athletic shoes, but more traction is highly recommended. Much colder and windy at the lake, but beautiful. High foot traffic. Bathroom is locked due to the government shutdown...

hiking
9 days ago

Went up today! Beautiful hike. With snow plows, needed to jump up to trail head. Hiked with spikes for 1.75 miles then lost trail. You could see the divots but didn’t bring snowshoes so decided to turn back. Saw a few hikers, snowshoers & cross country skiers. Maybe they good blaze the trail. A few slides in open fields. Fun streams to cross

Doing this hike again, after 5 years. This time we are doing it with Daughter, our 8mth old puppy and more friends. Going Saturday January 12th 2019. This will be the 3rd hike of the new year.☺

Beautiful trail, we hiked it on Jan 9. Majority of hike has slushy snow on it - it rained the night before which made some of the spots fairly slick. Decent amount of steps as well as occasional rocks. Microspikes encouraged. Beautiful lake - we had it all to ourselves!

Such a nice great little hike. My husband and I hiked with our kids and my brother in law. It gets a little steep towards the end and but over all an easy great hike with a beautiful view

off road driving
13 days ago

this is more of a road rating went up there just to drive more snow on the ground than expected but still had loads of fun highly recomend a lifted vehicle to get through all the way and dont go alone

hiking
14 days ago

Took us 2 hours up, 1.5hr down. The whole trail has snow on it, but the first half of the trail was packed down snow. We had spikes on the whole time, but snow shoes would be good for the last half of the trail since we started blazing the trail. There was only one area that was a difficult to get up. Definitely need poles! There was one other group in front of us making a trail since you can't see it eventually. Once we started hiking down we saw a lot more groups hiking up.

Beautiful, but super busy trail. Since the road is closed prior to the trailhead it adds an additional long, boring walk (approx 2-3 miles each way). The trail was super slick when we visited, we saw a few people managing with hiking boots but they were moving very slowly. Bring microspikes-it really helped!! Also, turn left once you see the sign for “franklin falls parking,” don’t follow the sign for parking - turn left then the trailhead will be on your right!

Beautiful in the snow :)

hiking
16 days ago

Very nice hike. Beautiful waterfall. The road is VERY bumpy, not recommended for small cars. Waterproof shoes are a must! Lots of down tress towards the end but if you're up for it you can get around them.

Did this Jan 2, 2019. Beautiful views! I’d say there’s not snow until 2/3 of the way up? Maybe 3/4? Not a lot but enough that micro spikes made life 1000% easier. Would be tricky to do without, especially coming down - the snow is packed down enough on the trail that it’s quite slick and you’d be sliding down. The lake was very pretty and the views were lovely the whole way up. I’d say this is moderately difficult, with the last couple miles to the top being quite steep. It’s also closer to 9 miles according to my Strava recording. Took us about 4 hours to do with a snack break at the top.

walking
17 days ago

Be prepared to get wet if you go in the winter! The falls were incredible. It was a very easy hike and took us about an hour to get there, take in the falls and relax a bit, and get back to our car. Some tourists in running shoes and umbrellas managed it just fine, too!

hiking
17 days ago

Beautiful setting.

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