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1 month ago

This hike is different than other Baker hikes like Park Butte or Skyline Divide – because you start already above the treeline, most of the hike is alpine trail with dust and the occasional rockfall. A great part of the hike is that a) it offers amazing views starting 10 minutes from the parking lot, and b) it's noticeably flatter than the hikes mentioned above (though it is slightly higher in elevation). Continuing all the way to the final viewpoint, Baker is fronted by a massive valley, making the mountain feel much bigger than at Skyline Divide or Heliotrope. A great hike for someone who wants a slightly easier introduction to Baker hikes!

2 months ago

Did this hike on 18th of November, pretty late in the season. At this point the road to the Artist Point parking lot was closed due to snowfall. You park further down which adds another 3km or 45 minutes of hiking each way. The hike was glorious, lightly trafficked at this time of the year. Due to a few days of clear sky the last 2/3rds of the trail was mostly crossing iced over snow and crampons are a must. An ice axe is a welcomed comfort. After an hour walking, around the point where the trail splits off into the Chain Lake trail snow and ice covered the trail which made it impossible to see at times, but with proper gear you can easily navigate your own trail as there are very little obstructions.

Overall not a very hard or steep trail, although the snow increases the effort a little. Absolutely gorgeous views especially with most of the crowds being absent and the snow covering the mountains. Highly recommend.

The beginning of the hike to Monte Cristo is easy. From here, you follow the trailhead towards silver and twin lakes. The hike to Silver lake is relatively difficult. If you choose to continue to twin lakes, plan ahead. This part of the hike is extremely difficult and steep. The trail can be difficult to follow at times. However, twin lakes is ABSOLUTELY beautiful and 100% worth the extra effort.

This is is right in the middle of a busy area but is unknown! Disclaimer: this hike is not 12 miles it’s just over 14 RT! The hike to trap lake is easy to follow. After that it becomes more difficult. As the other reviewer said once you get to the junction of the PCT follow the sketchiest trail to the left that kind of hugs the cliff line. I would suggest bringing GPS as from here it gets difficult at times and easy to loose the trail. We had it out most of the way through the bouldering part just to make sure we were close to the trail. Well worth the soreness from 14 miles and close to 4K gain! Thunder mountain lake was incredible! Trail was quite icy in many sections above trap lake. No snow as of yesterday but the snow level is expected to drop tonight to 4K so I’m sure this info will not be correct soon!

This hike is a hidden gem. Once you make your way past the second lake you’ll come to a spot where you can continue the PCT. The trail to Thunder Lake Mountain will be a bit harder to make out and is left of the PCT. Be prepared to scramble the last 1/3 of the hike and occasionally lose the trail. Don’t fret, just follow some of the rock piles and be observant for where the trail will pick up again (usually the grassier areas).

2 months ago

Superb weather. Last Saturday was a very busy day with substantial hikers and we had to park down the road from trail-head. Road off of Hwy 2 to the trail-head had numerous washboard areas but manageable pot holes.

Trail conditions were very good. The hike was excellent but very strenuous from the right turn as you head up Mt. McCausland to the summit rock. Had several younger parties resting at intervals on the way up so it made me feel like I was doing ok. The views are spectacular and I liked this vantage point of the Cascades better than the Beckler Peak hike outside of Skykomish. Knees were sore as I headed down and throughout the switchbacks to the trail-head entrance. For my reward I headed to Leavenworth around 5pm for Brats & Brew.

2 months ago

Worth the pain of that last incline coming home just to see these beautiful mountaintops up close and personal.

While the hike up to Spade lake from Waptus is difficult. The payoff of Spade lake is one that can’t be missed if you’re in the area.

BEAUTIFUL! This is a must do hike. Fairly gradual so take the whole family with you too! Love love loved it. We didn’t do the entire thing because it was crazy busy but we will be back!

Perfect day today for this gorgeous trail. A little harder than Joffre Lake trail.

3 months ago

Great hike. Showed up as 6.5 on the GPS, but would have been a little less if I didn’t pull off for all of the views. The first 2 miles are mostly in the forest, with a few views here and there. It really opens up after the trail splits from the PCT. Then it is hard to put away the camera/phone because every step gives a new stunning perspective. The climb to the peak is very steep, just take it slow, there are plenty of rewards along the way and at the top. There is a guest book at the end of the trail. This is a very popular place to hike, so be prepared to see a lot of hikers on the weekend.

Unforgettable hike! Took us about 3hrs round trip, lots of stops and a few curse words were used. Although I have to say even though my knees are aching and calves are screaming, I don't regret this one bit! It is now one of my favorite hikes! The trail is pretty well maintained. You gain quite a bit of elevation in the beginning, the middle is relatively flat, and the end is a PAIN! Road up is only 3 miles off HWY 2, made it in a low clearance vehicle no problem. Just watch for potholes and washboard!

Beautiful fall day with peak colors over 5,000 feet.

Did this hike today (September 27) and the colours are absolutely stunning!! Seriously, if you’re tossing up when to go, it is definitely into prime time!!
I didn’t actually get all the way up to the top, because I have bad knees, and the surface was both steep and slippery, so that isn’t a great mix. I stopped about 200 feet from the top, before it got too tricky, just above a little opening, and the view was absolutely incredible - beautiful lake surrounded by mountains, and such vibrant colours! I met a local dude on the trail, who said they’re much more vibrant this year :)

As for the trail itself, it isn’t too difficult; the turnoff to Mount McCausland is easy to spot, and the trail is reasonably well marked (I went the wrong way once, and it’s a bit overgrown at times).
The initial switchbacks felt like they took forever for some reason - they’re not particularly hard, steep or long, but I thought the same on the way down too!
It should also be noted that it’s a horse trail too, so there’s a fair bit of shit (literally haha!) about, so just mind your step.
The road there is fine - it’s about 3 miles on gravel, but it’s pretty maintained almost the whole way. Few holes or rocks, but I easily made it in my Dodge Neon, and saw plenty of other sedans.

Gorgeous hike - this time of year the colors were absolutely breathtaking. Only a few small snowfields to cross, a bit slippery later in the day as the sun melts them, but pretty easy to cross even without poles.

Lovely and fairly easy trail. Nice vistas of surrounding area.

4 months ago

Beautiful and rewarding trail! The trees were just starting to change color and I think in the next few weeks the colors will be even better. I added on the Valhalla lake trail at the end which was a really nice and easy addition.

A great 2 day hike thats very accomplishable in 1 day if you start early

A great day hike which, while long, has varied stunning scenery, beautiful flowers and minimal elevation gain. One of my favorites. We did this hike on August 28 and we used micro spikes for two of the snowfield but I’m 73 so need to be more cautious than all you young ones!

4 months ago

Great hike up to Trap lake. Made it up to ridgeline above trap lake only. Trail was a little beat up and slick in parts. I was behind time and had to turn around. It looked like I still had about 2 miles to go and I was 6.5 miles in. I would expect about 14 miles round trip. Views of trap lake was stunning.

You really feel like you are in the mountains. From tunnel creek trail to Surprise lake. It’s up and down and the views are just amazing. You want to make sure you go on a sunny day with views. The toughest part of the trail was the beginning to the first lake. Warming up with elevation. After that the trail is smooth. We seen 4 lakes total. With mountain peak views, Boulder fields, meadows, some forestry areas with old growth. Probably my favorite trek I have done. I wished I would have stayed a night or 2.

4 months ago

Beautiful fall-like day in the Cascades. Easy hike until the last half mile up the peak; but rewarded with a 360 view of the Cascades. Hiking poles certainly helped towards the end. Should see peak fall colors in the next couple weeks.

We hiked this via the Monte Cristo trail head across from Borrow. The first 4-5 miles of the trail are easy with little elevation gain. The next 3-4 miles is where it gets a little harder and a little harder.

You can lose the trail here and there if you aren’t paying attention to small signs and markings. The switch backs towards the top (last 1000 feet) are what most Alpine lakes bring, brutality.

When you get to the top tho, you can choose to go another 2.5 miles to twin lakes or go to Silver, clearly we went to Silver lake and it did not disappoint. The lake is amazingly clear/ blue!!

I will say this, the hike is more around the 16 mile range not 13! So if you are thinking about adding twin lakes to the hike think of a 20 mile hike not 15.

Awesome hike though over all. We thought about going into the “town” but glad we didn’t

Fantastic trial, views, all of it. NOT a "hard" rating, definitely moderate instead. First 2mi to the lake are the hardest and then 1mi after that it becomes much easier and the views along the way are going to keep you excited and energetic. We saw a marmot (they're huge!), heard pikas (cute) and made friends with lots of cute dogs.

5 months ago

Wow. What an awesome time. I hiked out there just me and my dog for an overnight yesterday! I will say backpacking it was tough. I probably could have went with a little less but realistically I used everything I brought outside of extra food. This trail is a bit rough at first then evening out into a refreshing walk through some fields(3) then gradually getting more difficult. Divided into 3rds the final is the hardest. It begins going up past the Trap lake trail where switchbacks begin. Once at the top you will duck into some timber crossing a ridge then straight up the face of a timber covered mountain. Now that you’re at the top of that you will navigate through 3 boulder fields and over three ridges before you crest into the basin. Pay close attention to the stacked rocks as you might find it difficult crossing the fields. You will find snow melting away into a stream for water if you need it before the final push to the lake! We went all the way to the lake at the top at Thunder mountain. It is stocked with fish since 2014! Pretty great feeling having dinner at last watching fish jump right in front of my tent! Even with the smoke it was still worth every bit. Happy trails guys be safe!

5 months ago

The hike to Waptus lake isn't bad. The trail from Waptus to Spade is straight up the mountain. Roughly 5 miles. The only water is towards the end of the trail. Bring lots of water and snacks.

Awesome lake, this trail can be rough if you're backpacking it. The last mile and a half can be confusing but someone made rock towers to follow which makes it easier.

5 months ago

Did this hike a couple days ago. No need for crampons or snow gear, just walk slow in the snow covered portions. There were amazing views the entire way!!! Lots of exposure on this trail and little shade so bring sunscreen and plenty of water. The views of Mount Baker are spectacular, and there were about 24 mountain goats with their young bear the end along the slopes. I don’t know why this hike is rated as Hard/Difficult. It wasn’t hard to navigate and there weren’t any hard hill climbs. The trail is mostly flat.

Amazing. 7000’ of gain. Car to car in 9 hours. No ropes needed for experienced teams. Brutal on the knees coming back down!

Climbed 4th of July and the glaciers were virtually clear of crevasses. There were only those few that are year round but they were below the climbers route. Awesome climb recommend it to anyone wanted to get a good alps experience in Washington.

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