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

To-dos Map
VIEW FULL MAP

so gorgeous!

hiking
1 day ago

This was my very first hike and the fellas and i really had no idea what we were in for .. If you aren't a regular hiker (like myself) and aren't in top shape , be prepared to push yourself harder than you ever have . The trail was beautiful, the views were beautiful . There are some very steep areas that will test your quads . Personally i had to take lots of little breaks to let my legs recharge . It was hard mentally and physically to accomplish but well worth it in the end. It was a great accomplishment. It was just under 12 km from where we Parked so about 23.5 km round trip ! My biggest regret was not having buying hiking poles.. it WILL save your legs

Amazing hike, it should be on your list to do in Washington! There was a lot of amazing waterfalls, fallen trees, the mountains were breathtaking and Lake Serene was just gorgeous! I went on a rainy Sunday and it wasn’t very crowded, also it was easy to find parking (even if you go a little late).

We went there Labor Day a few days after the trail had reopened. Parking was abundant at 830 am. Trail was well maintained. Glad we stopped at Bridal Veil first otherwise I don’t think we would have stopped in the way down from Lake Serene. Both were very pretty breathtaking. Wonderful hike!

One of my favorite hikes in the PNW. It's a very popular trail, so get there early. Leave yourself at least 5 hours to complete the trail, but give yourself more time if you want to stay at the lake for a bit. Try to go on a sunny day as the water looks a brighter shade of blue in the sunlight.

This is an amazing hike worth every step. I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
4 days ago

We went 2 days in a row and were unable to cross the river to hike to the hole in the wall. The water was slower the second day and we may have crossed through if we had brought sandals, but it's a wide crossing and we decided to skip it rather than go barefoot.

A tough hike but well worth it once you leave the switchbacks and forests behind. The views of the surrounding mountains is the warm up for getting to see Blanca Lake. It truly is worth the gruel and I will do it again when the seasons change in a few weeks. Two things 1) Don't give up and 2) coming down takes half the time it takes to get up.

hiking
7 days ago

Arguably the best beach in the state. I loved the rocky outcropping and the pretty cliffs and beaches.

hiking
8 days ago

Trash Everywhere!

First I need to say how disappointed I am with the hikers using Washington trails! I watched volunteers spending an entire day cleaning trash from this one trail. It took a team of people the entire day to pick up trash that should never have been left in the first place. Very Sad.

If your going to hike this or any other Washington State trail take your trash out with you. If you see some disrespectful hiker leaving trash say something.

And to all you pet owners! If your dog poops don’t put it in a bag and toss the bag off the trail. Seriously, what is wrong with you people.

If you can’t show respect for other hikers and the environment, stay off the trail.

This is the second most beautiful thing I've seen this year! The first was female so I don't think that's a fair comparison. I had to hold back my emotions, I'm a man of course, I was just not prepared for how stunning this lake was in person. This is something you must see for yourself.

The lake is not made of a non-nutonian fluid, I tried walking on it and I sank.That's how my pictures came out so awesome!

If you're not quite sure if you have bad knees or not... You'll definitely know after this hike! LOL

Don't forget to see the falls at the end of the trail. I got in the water to take some pictures from the other side.

hiking
8 days ago

It was a bit raining but I enjoyed my trip to Ruby beach. It wasn't too cold at all. I love the rock formations. It is simply beautiful.

Great trail. The trail starts out really easy until you reach the fork either to Bridleveil or Lake Serene. Choose wisely.... actually the dynamic are close to the same except the falls is a way shorter hike. When you head up to the lake the incline increases and switchbacks and big stair steps for a while. Worth the sore legs afterwards. I went to Serene first then the falls on the way down. There is bathrooms at the trailhead and the lake. The lake is beyond gorgeous. Got there at 5am of course no cars. Got back down around 11:30am parking lot was packed.

Beautiful! I’ve done the bridal veil falls many times, I very excited to do the lake trail this time. It was worth it for how hard the incline of stairs was! The water has an amazing emerald bluish color. And we hung out there for a while. I totally recommend it! My discover pass didn’t cover this area, must be a northwest forest pass!

Great hike. The last two miles up to the lake are a challenge, steep and very rocky, but there's enough points along the trail with fantastic views to keep you motivated. The lake itself, and the towering cliffs behind it, are spectacular and very worth the effort. We started at 8am and still had quite a few people up top with not much room at all along the water, so if you want to find a place of your own to sit and eat lunch, be prepared for for a little disappointment and plenty of human interaction.

Make sure you allow time for the breaks you might need on the incline switchbacks and the break you will surely want when you get to the gorgeous lake. Lunch Rock was a perfect spot to drink your wine and eat your lunch while viewing the snow packs, trees and jagged rocks reflecting off the lake.

hiking
10 days ago

This trail is very difficult but worth the effort! I would recommend going on a weekday and starting early in the morning. We started at 8:45am and arrived at the lake at 12:00pm. (I took several short breaks along the way!) We spent about an hour at the lake relaxing and refueling. The trip back was almost as difficult as getting to the lake. Because of the steep incline, it can be hard on the knees. The blueberry bushes are ripe and ready to eat along the trail. The mosquitoes and flies were out but not too bothersome. This is definitely a trail that shouldn’t be passed up.

So hard. So beautiful..

hiking
12 days ago

Incline don’t miss leg day. Breath taking worth the hike.

backpacking
13 days ago

A 50 lbs pack on this hike was a real leg burner but worth it. We camped 2 nights and 3 days. The downside is that we got stuck in a constant rain+wind storm for 2 days and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of us. The the views were of a gray cloud that we were stuck in. Upside, bears and bugs don’t like that weather so no run in’s, ha. I have an inReach Garmin and kept holding onto hope for Monday, our last morning, since the weather report kept updating at 0% chance rain. It did finally blow out and I’ll admit, seeing that happen was almost worth the storm. Once the sun finally pierced through the clouds, it was amazing. Then it took about an hour for the cloud cover to blow away and reveal why the North Cascades are my favorite. Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to come and see for yourself. Just don’t be a jerk, pack out what you pack in and no fires. The plant life up here is like a PNW rainforest. It’s gorgeous and there are also tons of wild blueberries around. We got to spend 3 hours exploring around which was great. We all had tent fever pretty bad and needed to stretch out minds and our legs. I’m just happy we were able to see the endless sea of Cascades before heading down. We were also stoked that we didn’t have to scramble down wet and muddy rocks. I will say that the scramble area is way longer than posted on here. It wasn’t constant but there were scrambles for the last mile. Some of them were so high that my full pack top touched what I was climbing. Trekking poles and hiking boots are a must, and not worn down hiking boots, you’ll need good outsoles. Also, the split from Barlow trail to Gothic Basin happens a little before what’s posted on here. The original trail is unsafe, looked like a tree fell through. They made a new trail to connect over, just follow the wooden sign that says “Gothic Basin” and ignore your preloaded maps. I use OnX, it lets you preload high resolution maps for offline use. They’re better than my Garmin maps. Definitely bring a bear canister or ursack. There was a warning sign saying they “strongly discouraged camping” at Barlow pass, which is the trail you begin on. Apparently it’s a bear hangout and the trial head where you park, bears have gotten into vehicles and aren’t easily scared off. So while Gothic Basin isn’t Barlow pass, they share the same parking and part of the trail and it’s still bear country. So be smart. Do your research and enjoy the view! It’s worth every bit of leg burn.

Awesome hike! Arrived at parking lot around 8:30 and it was 95% full. Started out on the trail around 8:45. They need one of those jumping deer signs as we scared up a couple of deer and they jumped! Watch out for the tree roots that seem to be alive. We stopped counting the number of times we tripped. The lake is gorgeous. The hike was tough (we are in our mid 50s), but very doable. We were out about 4 1/2 hours with a 30 minute break at the lake and picture breaks along the way.

extremely beautiful and moderate traffic. plenty of water along the way. most of the trail is hardpacked and easy terrain. everyone on the trail was very friendly.

The trail is open again and Lunch Rock is waiting for you.

14 days ago

Beautiful hike with impressive views to the valley on the way up. Almost all of the hike is under heavy growth, so very pleasant and fragrant. Drastically insufficient parking, though the picnic area across the highway has a fair amount more. The lake is more impressive than I think most people expect it to be. It’s small but in a dramatic setting. Nice access to the shore for swimming. Possibly among the most rugged trails around, resembling a stream bed more than a trail for long stretches, especially the third quarter of the hike up, or so. Quite fatiguing especially on the way down, where each step is fairly calculated. Not a place for solitude, but quite lovely.

hiking
14 days ago

Magnificent old growth, gnarly beauties all along the trail, peekaboo waterfalls and many rivulet crossings even this dry season
Must go round the lake to appreciate the grand scale of Pilchuck backdrop with ice caves, giant talus boulders, and views across the lake
Sturdy shoes needed to traverse rugged, rocky stretches

Hiked today on Labor Day. lot was half full at about 8:30 am. Trail got gradually more packed as day went on. Despite the crowds, the trail and sites were great. Can’t beat hike given proximity to Seattle.

It is work getting to both the falls and then the lake, but anybody in reasonable shape and with patience and perseverance can do it.

Beautiful hike Sept 2. We got an early start and it was not too crowded. Met lots of people coming up on our way down. The early start was well worth it.

hiking
14 days ago

one of my favorite trails. the trail is in amazing condition. lots of people camped out at virgin lake and the blue berries were all over the sides of the trail.

Load More