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hiking
in 8 months

This hike has a pretty moderate incline and as a medium level hiker it wasn't too much of a challenge. I thought because of the mileage it might be a bit of a process for me but surprisingly it went smoothly. There are so many beautiful places to take breaks along the trail. There are many creeks, small waterfalls and beautiful trees and greenery along the trail. Honestly, this hike is so worth it. When you finally get to the top its just incredible. The color of Colchuck is hypnotizing. It is a tranquil teal blue and the ice caps and glaciers nearby on Asgard are pretty cool to check out as well. It is such a great place for photographs. An amazing hike for anyone in my opinion!

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.

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

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.

hiking
bugs
rocky
4 days ago

I did this hike in August 2018. I would recommend starting on this trail in the morning. During the summer there are lots of insects, so bring some repellent. Trail starts out easy, relatively flat, and becomes more difficult as you go. You’ll come across two beautiful bridges, go over some boulders, and climb vertically near the end. The views along the hike are beautiful, and lots of water to be seen. Once you reach the top - the blue alpine water view will take your breath away. Sat and soaked my feet for a bit and enjoyed the view. Some went swimming, although not for long. I clocked about 9.5 miles round trip, rather than the 7.7 listed. I wish I had brought a hiking stick, though!

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!

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.

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.

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...

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

Nice short hike to get out into nature. Every skill level can enjoy this trail (my wife is 8 months pregnant and had no problem). Beautiful river and waterfalls!

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 :)

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.

This hike offer all scenery from forest to flower fields to mountains. Absolutely stunning! One of my favorites!

hiking
18 days ago

Completed this a few months ago. Was great.

I did this back in October. What an absolutely incredible hike. However, I throughly suggest doing this is two days. We were insane and did it in 1 day and it absolutely kicked our butt. The beginning is a little slow and repetitive as far as scenery goes but the second half really takes you uphill quite a bit. There is a solid stretch on the uphill to the top where the trail is hardly marked at all (only Little Rock stacks) and it is a very loose rockface you have to scramble up. Be prepared for rocks to fall and take your time going up it. It’s a little longer than this app says, too. My Fitbit clocked us at about 23 miles by the time it was said and done.

Well maintained trail. Stairs at a lot of places add convenience but feel not belonging there. waterfall first. if you feel you have exhausted less than 30% energy, go for the lake. On 1st Jan, the last one mile had snow requiring microspikes. I did without them but had to struggle a lot. Ample parking space and toilets in parking as well as when you reach lake serene. Mesmerizing view of lake serene from lunch point in winter.

Such a gorgeous trail all through. One can hear the sound of river pretty much from the entire trail. the views of water gushing on the rocks and the waterfalls are to unbelievable! Middle falls are the most pretty but lower falls are quite a beauty too. Upper falls has a much steeper climb but not the views as impressive as middle or lower. Also if you go to upper falls, the total trail length is 5.5 miles. I think the 4.4 miles mentioned in the description is only till middle falls. But Valley overlook point is beautiful, after middle falls and before upper. The trail condition is very good. Various bridges, stairs and paved paths all through the trail. Hiking poles were such a savior. the climb is steep on this trail, so if you can take the poles, please do!

hiking
20 days ago

Great hike on a beautiful and maintained trail. Being that it was New Year’s Day and free day at state parks we were still lucky enough to find parking.

We had some sunshine and a bit of blue skies. We saw a lot of cool fungus.

Hiked with our two kiddos, ages 5 and 7. The ranger station has a fun scavenger hunt to complete.

Easy quick hike, no ice, great time. Would love to see it in summer time too

21 days ago

Super busy trail, nonetheless it is very beautiful at this time of the year. The final stretch to the falls is very icy making it difficult to go all the way down without spikes.
The snow is very compact, there is no need for snowshoes.
Parking spot can be very difficult to get if you don’t arrive in the morning.

Amazing hike. The hike to the waterfall is filled with clear ice so extremely slippery. The lake is beautiful! Try going on a clear day if you can.

beautiful day to hike to the falls, compact snow and some icy areas, good to have micro spikes!

hiking
21 days ago

This is a beautiful hike. Avoid the crowds and go on a weekday.

hiking
21 days ago

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPR3FnXSfgk or https://www.YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA to see a video from the trail.

This was my first opportunity to hike this trail and I have to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. This is one of those trails that offers a lot in a short amount of distance. It just seemed like there were views around every couple of corners.

For those who are interested in doing the hike, going early is a definite recommendation. I arrived at the trailhead at 8 am and there were about 20 cars in the parking lot. As I hiked, I saw many people and by the time that I was finished, a good portion of the parking lot was filled. I did this hike on New Year's Eve, which is something that not as many people are going to do. I can only imagine that on a nice summer day, parking is going to be taken up fast. There is no parking on the side of the road on the way to the trailhead so you'll have to find parking elsewhere in the surrounding residential area.

On this day, I only hiked to lower falls so take that into consideration as you read this report. That being said, the hike to lower falls is relatively easy. A more experienced hiker or someone with good cardiovascular endurance would have little problem. I would like to note that there was a little girl less than 5 years old that I saw throughout the trail walking on her own. That kind of tells you about the difficulty of this hike. To me, it seemed like there was not a lot of elevation gain. More so smaller patches of incline climbs rather than a constant climb.

Conditions on this particular day were great. It had been raining consistently for the past couple of weeks and this was an unusually good weather day. I was layered up pretty well and stayed warm throughout the hike but my hiking partner did complain about being cold and losing sensation when not in motion. Keep that in mind as you plan your trip! Another thing that would be helpful is to bring a waterproof layer because there were a lot of water droplets falling from the trees even on a nice sunny day. If you're going on a wet day, bring waterproof gear for sure.

Overall, this is definitely a recommended hike. There is a lot of reward for the amount of effort put in, even if you don't do the entire hike.

If you'd like to see more coverage of various hikes around Washington and the rest of the world, consider checking out my work whether it's through YouTube or my various other social media outlets!

Hải Hoàng Trần
Photographer | Videographer
TheUpperLeftUSA.com
Instagram.com/TheUpperLeftUSA
YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA

hiking
22 days ago

HEATED bathrooms!! The amenities here are fabulous. The parking lot is large, and they have volunteers present. You need a discovery pass to park. The trail was well marked and well maintained. If you use poles, take them! I thought since this was an easier hike compared to the last few, that I didn't need mine. The last mile.....whew! I could have used them!

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