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hiking
1 day ago

Amazing trail! Go early on a weekday and you’ll practically have it to yourself (I left the trailhead at 7:30am and there were only few other cars). Took me ~80’ of powerhiking to summit (excluding haystack) and 40’ to run down. But I also spent plenty of time at the summit, exploring the rocks and scrambling up haystack (do it!). The views were just stunning. Rainier towers over the rest of the Cascades and the olympics were totally clear to the west. Very little snow at the top. I did the whole thing in trail running shoes and didn’t have a problem.

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.

Beautiful and fun hike! the hardest part for me was closer to the top where all the rocks and boulders were but other than that definitely doable and so worth it. its a popular hike so definitely prepare for that and be sure to have a parking pass or get one at the station just a few miles before the hike.

Definitely need spikes up until about Mirror Lake and from there on out. Many people on snowshoes and in spikes. People with nothing were slipping a lot. Icy and well packed. Going up TDH mountain was relatively easy, this is my first time doing this hike in winter but second overall. Windy as all hell at the top! Sky was clear and Hood was shining!

Beautiful and scenic hike to do in the winter time; but the difficulty level goes from easy to moderate when there’s snow and ice.
A “must try” hike, when snow has fallen!
Micro spikes or something similar highly suggested!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful trail, arrived at 9:45 am on a Saturday and would recommend going a bit earlier. The hike itself gave a great view of the forests and the cascades at some point. Waterproof shoes are a must, the trail became a creek at times. Lots of cute dogs, saw a small avalanche on the far side of the lake (didn’t interfere with the trail.) I recommend a down layer if you’re planning on sitting near the lake at all, the sun doesn’t get into the valley at all due to it rising and setting so far south.

snowshoeing
2 days ago

1/13/2019

Enjoyed the scenery and walking in the snow. When the app says the trail has heavy traffic that’s an understatement. It was like Walmart on Black Friday with one lane in and out of the sno-park because of so many cars parked on the side of the road. People and dogs everywhere; like the house chaos of Home Alone except outside.

The snow is too compact to actually snowshoe for realz. Just did it for funz!

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike! Not much to see on the way up but the lake is stunning. Pretty easy if you’re in some sort of shape. Ice and snow when you’re pretty much to the top. Definitely doable without spikes and poles but HIGHLY RECOMMEND waterproof shoes and layers for up tops. The sun didn’t breach the ridge line so the whole lake was shaded the entire day. We got to trailhead at 9:15 and there weren’t too many people but trail was definitely crowded on our way back down. Would not recommend going on ice.

01/13/2019
Arrived at 8am on a Sunday to only a few cars in the parking lot. Did the full loop with my dog and was back at my car by 10:45am. Passed a few people on my way up but otherwise only came across one other person the entire hike, until I got back to the junction and went the last mile ish back down the main trail, at which point there were lots more people and a full parking lot.

Towards the top parts of the trail were quite wet, some patches of snow all over the top but not much. It was extremely windy - actually quite dangerous considering some of the ridges. My 30lb dog was blown about five feet sideways and I thankfully had her on the leash. The guts would’ve knocked me over if I weren’t braced against them. I recommend avoiding this hike if the Gorge is windy on arrival.

The upper half of the hike has a lot of rocky / semi-scrambling parts. Hard on the knees but nothing like Munra Point or some other areas of the Gorge. I imagine these areas would be tricky if the ground were at all icy.

Overall great hike, good views at the top. Just get there early to avoid crowds.

Awesome hike! Steep climb, but only a mile one way so totally doable. Took 40 minutes to get to the top. There were a few muddy patches, but no snow, so it’s still good conditions for January. It was super sunny today so the views were incredible. Highly recommend for an afternoon hike.

Such a nice hike! I packed extra layers & I’m so glad I did. They were needed at the top, once you stop moving it gets really cold, but the view is worth it!

The full loop is a TOUGH 8 mile hike with elevation of 2200 incline and decline. Amazing views and worth every minute. Dog friendly.

backpacking
2 days ago

easy hike with a wonderful ending!!!

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful day with our friends on this winter hike. We definitely needed our Yak Tracks for the snow at the top! Gortex boots made the stream crossing simple.

Didn’t make it to the falls, vehicle was not sufficiently equipped for snow. The road leading to the falls is paved and narrow, and currently has a decent layer of ice and snow. Vehicles without snow tires or chains should proceed with extreme caution.

hiking
3 days ago

Arrived at the trailhead at 9am on a Sunday. Roughly half the lot was full. The haystack is very dry and you climbable. Most folks didn’t attempt so I was all alone up there around 11am :)

You absolutely need traction devices on your boots. We passed person who fell and possibly broke a arm. It's a ice trail over rocks and tree roots so I recommend two treking poles to help prevent tripping, snow shoes that don't have a aggressive track on the side won't get a good bite over rocks. There was a back up at the boulder field from unprepared hikers without traction devices. My wife used micro spikes by Kahtoola I used ice trekkers diamond grippers by yaktraks. If cost if a factor check and for kids check out Stabilgear brand of microspikes at P-rkrose hardware for $19.

hiking
3 days ago

We went on 1/11/19. Definitely need waterproof shoes on this one. You have to cross through quite a bit of water, not deep water. We didn’t have Microspikes and we were fine. I used trekking poles once we got to the icey part of the trail. When you get to the lake it is vey beautiful. The lake was almost completely frozen over. We had lunch at the top and it was very cold just sitting there. Hiking warmed you up, but when you stood still for too long it got cold fast. We did the loop around the lake and the snow was deeper there. Worth it to see all the angles of the lake. At the end my Fitbit said 5.50 miles. And yes, just like everyone else said the pot holes are bad on the way to the trail head. Just take your time driving and you’ll be fine. We saw all kinds of little cars that made it too.

short hike very beautiful place a lot of people I enjoyed

on Snow Lake Trail

hiking
3 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
3 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.

Trail is well made with stones. discover pass for parking. on sunny day, Seattle and Bellevue and a bunch of popular mountains including Mt Rainier are visible.
I measured hike up to be 4 miles. Hard to find good spot for lunch. Top is mountain is a little risky with too many stones and almost rock climbing.
Overall great experience, better than mailbox peak.

3 days ago

This is one of those hikes I could do and never get tired of. I only do this one in the winter for the scenery.

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...

Felt bad for parents with young kids lugging them over slippery rocks and muddy roots. Parents check conditions. You might be biting off more than you anticipated.

hiking
3 days ago

Definitely not an EASY hike. And I've been on some butt-kickers. Moderate to high level skills. Families beware; you will be lugging your little ones over rock and root through cutting switchbacks carving up often slippery and muddy subalpine escarpment. Coming down isn't any easier. Great hike for calorie burning. Not so good for daycare.

Snowshoes optional here but helpful at an avalanche near the end of this trail. The trail has a couple of shallow creeks to cross so poles are good to keep balance and get up either side of the creeks. Most people were turning back at the avalanche because the trail went away at that point and there were low clouds so the view would have been non existent anyway. The hike ended up being about 3.3 miles versus 3.8.

We went yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful!! The road was still closed to drive to the trailhead so it ends up being about 7-8 miles total (About 2.5 miles to trail head) but SO worth it!! The entire hike is full of views on every side. Everyone was fine in hiking boots. Highly recommend!!

Did this hike in November. Very beautiful views and not too much work to get there.

Challenging ascent! Two of us hiked in regular boots and were perfectly fine the entire climb. Very windy at the too and quite chilly so bring a summit jacket... absolutely stunning views at the summit. Go on a clear day!

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