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on South Sister Trail

hiking
2 hours ago

We hiked yesterday, beautiful but hard! I am a runner & in good shape but struggled with altitude as was a grind at certain places (smoke from fires didn’t help). Took us 8 hours & we started early at 6AM based on reviews which was good suggestion- gets hot! Dress in layers as hot on hike up but cooler at top. There are some rocky/ sandy sections where hard keep footing so be careful. Bring hiking poles, good shoes, lots water & snacks. Sadly 8/19 had lots smoke & think today & next few days will be worse so check air conditions & put off if you can as marred our views, although still beautiful. I saw a few dogs on trail & as a dog owner/ lover- don’t bring them! It is a hard hike- lots climbing & hot, rocky & hard on my feet so can only imagine theirs.

backpacking
12 hours ago

Camped in a wind shelter near the summit August 17 to 18, 2018. High of around 65 during the day and low of 40 at night, though it felt colder from the wind. From noon to 3pm, it is comfortable to wear just a t-shirt and shorts at the summit. Outside those hours, the temperature got chilly. Sunset, sunrise, and stars were fantastic.

Leave early, bring lots of water and don’t bring your dogs. Take your time. This was my first Mountain with high elevation gain and I took it slow. We left at 6 am and got back around 4:40 pm. Beautiful butterflies at the top. The smoke was a bit intense and didn’t let us see far out views but it was still rewarding.

I’m from Florida so this mountain was tough!!!! The elevation was hard on me. It just gets worst the higher up you go. I took two poles and thank god I did. They saved me twice from falling coming down. Bring lots of water and snacks!!

hiking
1 day ago

I did this trail on July 23, 2018 counterclockwise. This trail has some dramatic scenery of 2 pristine lakes, wildflowers, and snow capped peaks. Personally one of the most beautiful and the hardest hike I’ve ever done. I would consider it on the hard side for a moderate hiker although in honesty I had done the Blue Lake trail right before this so I was already starting from a tired state. I had also hiked just to lake Ann and then came back to do the full loop (you have to backtrack). My advice would be have hiking poles, start early and take your time. I finished the round trip counterclockwise in about 4 hours with a very short break at the top. I ended up hurting my knee (in a lot of pain on the way down) and couldn’t hike another trail for a few days. I think I made the mistake of starting late so I rushed coming down. By the way, the blue lake trail is probably my favorite ever and it’s easier than this one. It’s not too far from this one either.

Good cardio for first hour and stunning views.

Avid adventurer hailing from the Wasatch Front, Utah. This was a great hike, plenty of good elevation gain in various sections, views from all sections were amazing. Such and interesting landscape, really enjoyed the variety of environments. The lava field was amazing to look at from the false summit. It’s immense and is very Jurassic looking. The ascent up the ridge to the south sister summit is awesome, the only drawback being the volcanic sand that’s hard to keep solid footing on. The glacier on the right was beautiful and fun to look at. Reaching the summit of the south sister...greeting you is a volcanic bowl with a glacier and two small glacial pools. Plenty of great spots for scenic photos of the valleys and lakes below, along the rim.

hiking
2 days ago

I've been here twice. Last year, in the first week of August, the wild flowers were peaking. This year in the 2nd week of August, they were still gorgeous and lovely. I prefer the clockwise route to get the hard elevation out of the way in the shade and fast, so that the rest is more enjoyable. I don't like downhill on my knees. Starting with the counter clockwise route is a longer more gradual ascent, but also more exposed in the sun. This latter area is dazzling with flowers and I prefer to take my time here at the end. Enjoy quite a beautiful hike.

Hiked up to the lookout today 8/13/18. Started at 7:30am and was the first one at the empty lookout. Unfortunately it is entirely socked in with smoke at the moment, making the views extremely limited at the top. The hike itself was pretty strenuous but beautiful. Wildflowers galore! The road up to the trail is in pretty bad shape. Definitely recommend a high clearance vehicle and some good tires. (My outback did fairly well)

This is probably one of my favorite hikes I’ve done. It’s definitely a workout, but very doable if you have the right gear and endurance for a 12 mile hike. We started out early (6am) and were happy we did as it got pretty hot in the afternoon. Took us 5 hours to summit (taking a fair amount of water breaks) and 3.5hours to come down. I would echo the recommendations for good hiking boots, tall socks (gaiters, if you have them), hiking poles, and 3L of water. The views at the top were really incredible and worth every step!

hiking
3 days ago

A spectacular trail that is easy enough for most hikers. Moderare altitude gains with no scrambles. We went counterclockwise and were not disappointed. There is a new vista at every turn and they are all fantastic. A little buggy near Ann Lake and in the trees but otherwise perfect. Well worth the trip and the effort!

Great workout as its mostly uphill. Helps to bring walking stick for the up and downhill. Amazing view at the top. But lots of flies and mosquitoes. Recommend bug spray or wear long sleeves to cover.

Great hike with wonderful views of the lake at the end! Scenery changes often with forest at the beginning, followed by meadows that transition into alpine vegetation and finally the overlook of the beautiful lake at the end. We found camping spots on the ridge just before getting to the National Park, but you could also camp about a 1/4 mile before the ridge and find many spots. Very difficult to actually get down to the lake. Road takes a while on the drive in/out so plan accordingly.

hiking
3 days ago

The view at the top was good but crowded. My favorite part was the alpine lake near the look out point. The water was so clear and cold. I went in and swam to the other side where there was still snow. Overall would recommend if you are looking for an easy and short hike with a view of Mount Rainier.

snowshoeing
3 days ago

Nice moderate trail, I wouldn't categorize it as hard. Amazing views at the end. In the summer it's a great 3 hour return hike, in the winter it's an even easier 3 hour return snowshoe trail.
Highly recommended.. here is a video of our snowshoeing trip earlier this year: https://youtu.be/7FVLNTGHriw

Great climb, great views, and overall great experience! The climb will test your endurance and potentially your route finding skills (although the snow is quickly melting).

I did it as a sunrise climb and it was well worth it!

Video: https://youtu.be/nQiuuwkJUkI

There was a point where you think that the hike is done by seeing the lake but then you realize that there’s still huge cliff to hike. It was hard for inexperienced hikers but very self-rewarding. If you don’t bring the national park pass then wait for a 30$ ticket that can be then used for 7 more days in the Rainier area. The lake was unfortunately pretty cold but the hike itself is really good and pretty :)

Beautiful views at every turn. Lives up to its reputation.

Did hike today.. nice beautiful hike... fantastic view..

Awesome hike! view was phenomenal! I think I'd prefer to do it with snow on the ground. It was a very toughugh hike with no snow. View is great the whole way up. Really hot once passed the tree line. Be sure to have your snacks, 3-5 liters of water, trekking poles, and sunscreen. Can get windy.

hiking
4 days ago

Amazing hike with amazing views. It was definitely the hardest hike I’ve ever done. Trekking poles are strongly recommended. The wind towards the summit can be extremely intense, so bring layers.

hiking
4 days ago

amazing views

Amazing, had such a good time

Firstly: to get to the trail you have to drive about 15 miles on lose gravel. If you have a small car, you will want to go slow unless you don't care to spend money on issues that could be avoided because it is rough. If you have a car that is high off the ground and has the appropriate tires, then you may not have to go as slow but just be careful. Otherwise, this trail is moderate with some strenuous uphill sections, but the distance makes it doable because it is not very long. Trail is well kept, easy to follow. I did not have any issues with bugs or mosquitos at all. I mean there were just a few of them but it wasn't like there were herds of flies following me, although at the tower I did spray some just a few times. This trail is BEAUTIFUUUUUL. The lakes are gorgeous and it is so worth the effort and the drive!! It is like a hidden gem.

Tough footing, definitely recommend poles. Took me 3.5 hrs to summit and am pretty avid hiker. Breathtaking views of the other Sisters at summit along with about a dozen glacial lakes. Highly recommend this one!

hiking
5 days ago

With much anticipation we rose from our tent in Devils Campground to beautiful blue skies. This hike had been on our itinerary since spring so we had done a lot of research. Loaded with water, snacks, and extra layers we headed of on the 6 1/4 mile trail up. The first 2 miles gets your blood flowing as you moderately ascend through the woods. Couple miles in it flattens out into more of of high desert meadow scene which begins the parade of stunning views. At this point you don't know what the reviews of this being so hard are about. Around mile 4 you begin to realize whats in store as you can see the trail to the false summit steepens considerably. This particular day is also where the winds picked up and by the time we were up to the false summit it felt like we were in gale force winds. Taking shelter at the lake at the false summit we regained some warmth and adjusted to the elevation. The final leg of the journey up gets into some very loose footing and is quite cumbersome. Once at the top enjoy the views and sense of accomplishment. Though the trek down is almost as hard. Like most here recommend take hiking poles to help your footing. We were so thankful we did. Being that it was so cold we only drank half the water we took but could see on a hot day how you would need a lot. Overall we are glad we did this hike and will do it again. Albeit somewhat more prepared for the wind, cold and elevation. Take it slow and steady and you will get there too!

I had been thinking about this hike for around a year and was FINALLY able to do it (July 29th)! Camped at Devil’s Lake (USFS pass required to park- sold on site), left next morning around 8am. Really cold in the morning, wore two jackets and pants, but soon got too hot that I actually had to ditch one of my jackets in a bush and grab it later lol. Finished at false summit and refilled water bottles. Amazing views, ABSOLUTELY stunning. It can take a pretty big toll on you physically and mentally if you’re not well prepared. Next time I will definitely plan clothes-wise better (SHORTS, TALL SOCKS) and bring trekking poles, as well as a larger water bottle instead of bunches of plastic bottles. Oh, and sunscreen and bug repellent... I got severely burnt and legs DESTROYED in bug bites and forgot my sunscreen in the car!! Absolutely recommend if you’re prepared for it! I can’t wait to do it again, but better prepared next time!

hiking
6 days ago

One of the most beautiful destinations I've ever hiked to! Highly recommend - it wasn't TOO difficult with just a day pack. Bring lots of water, warm layers for the top and bug spray! Hiked this in late July in 32° weather.

We hiked this August 11th-12th for one overnight. I want to start of with saying that my car got broken into and badly vandalized! Such a shock to find my car that way, I bought the vehicle 10 days ago! :(. They tried prying open the hood, broke the front grill, smashed a window, damaged things underneath the steering wheel, everything was turned upside down, they undid the battery. I couldn't even drive it home. After hitch-hiking to town to get phone reception I was able to set everything in motion (police, tow truck, ICBC, etc.). It was a very sad and stressful day. There were more cars with broken windows, but my car seemed the only vandalized. Be careful out there, however I am unsure how I could've prevented vandalism like that..

About the hike. It was amazing, and steep! We were in cloud cover, but still had a fantastic time camping up at Upper Pierce Lake.

hiking
7 days ago

Beware to those staying overnight: when we arrived Sunday morning (Aug 12), we saw that the cars of those who stayed over Saturday night were broken into. At least 4 cars had their windows smashed and one vehicle had the grill taken off their car and the front hood and back door was banged up. We had to tell everyone on their way down (as we were going up) that their vehicle likely got messed up - real bummer. Don't leave any valuables behind!

The hike itself is beautiful but very steep and hard on the knees (I recommend hiking poles/sticks for the way down). It's got to be more than 16 km to summit MacFarlane as 16 km out and back is just to Upper Pierce Lake. We went straight to Upper Pierce Lake - took 4 hours up and 3 hours down. Didn't have enough time to do MacFarlane on the same day. It was very cold at the top despite it being very hot and muggy for most of the way up - bring layers and lots of water!

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