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hiking
1 day ago

Climbed Mt. Si for first time today while taking a back to school shopping break. The parking lot was not crowded. The trail was in great condition and easy to follow. It was quite the climb the entire way. It took me about an hour and 20 minutes. I thought this was great, until someone ran passed me almost at the top. It did take some others I met almost 3 hours to get to the top. I enjoyed being in the trees for most of the time until the top. I followed some others to the top of the haystack. It was quite the view, too bad it was smoky. I would recommend this hike just bring water and be prepared for a ‘great ‘ leg/butt workout.

Beautiful hike. Gradual elevation the whole way through. It really is 7.4 miles to the lakes for almost exactly 15 mile hike round trip. Totally worth it.

Amazing trail with plenty of water view and river trail!

So beautiful

For a more novice hiker, this trail is hard but not impossible. Took us about 3.5 hours to get to the lake and 2 to get back out. Saw two black bear and two moose on the trail, tons of wildflowers back towards the lake, and of course spectacular views the entire way.

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)

hiking
1 day ago

I hiked it this morning, hoping to see a sunrise at the top. However the rain clouds blocked any “red” from the chimney top you can see. The trail is well maintained and easy to hike in the dark with a head lamp. I’m hoping they work on the last quarter of a mile and open it to the public so you can get closer to the unique tops.

Great for training but, not really much else.

backpacking
2 days ago

Considering it is monsoon season, I studied the hell out of this hike before leaving. They really put the fear into you about flash flooding and we obsessed over the weather. Greg Grawunder's review is excellent and mostly what I used in my planning process. Here's what I have to add:

Absolutely bring at least one trekking pole. Everyone in our group had a set of two but me, and I didn't feel I was lacking anything. It was very useful to be able to use my free hand to scramble around obstacles and fiddle with my camera. You will especially appreciate the pole on the second day where the water gets deeper and faster, and you are starting to feel the mileage. It's especially helpful to test the depth of the water with since it's murky with the hordes of people stomping through it.

I was the only person in our party that didn't buy neoprene socks. I read someplace that merino wool socks are just as good, and I would agree for this time of year. My feet never got cold, and they drained well. They also dried completely overnight. I wore well-vented trail shoes and my ankles were just fine.

I highly recommend camping overnight if you can. We stayed in campsite 3 and it was delightful. It's high enough above the water to not feel worried as I drifted off to sleep, and people don't walk through your camp. The first 2 campsites are right on the river and that would have made me super nervous. Sites 6, 7, and 9 looked pretty rad also. It was great to rest, dry off, and then hit the harder parts (and the chaos) the next day. Sleeping by the river was awesome. A person in our party had a hammock and was able to find suitable trees to use. Plenty of space for 6 people with lots of wiggle room. I slept in an Outdoor Research Bug Bivy and a synthetic 45 degree bag and was toasty. Didn't see many bugs or critters.

My phone tracked 20.5 miles.

This hike was spectacular. Seriously don't forget to stop and look up, around, and behind you.

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.

Nice trail with a great view from the top of Mt. Pilchuk!

The tree cover is lovely, the views are breathtaking (if you don’t get caught in cloud cover) and the hike is a steady incline, with some harder switchbacks near the top. Only negative: it gets really packed with people.

I love this hiking.

hiking
3 days ago

Well marked trail and a change up from the normal adventures around Mount St Helens

backpacking
3 days ago

This trail absolutely destroyed my legs, went camping for 2 nights, Gorgeous scenery, but do not let the "light scrambles" confuse you. There were some parts where I should have hiked in a ladder. All in all the hike is beautiful but a very very strenuous all uphill/rock climbing hike

on Chimney Tops Trail

hiking
3 days ago

It’s a great hike, not as strenuous as people claimed. Nicely maintained trail, with a lot of stairs. My 5 year old hiked up without any problem. She was super disappointed that we are no longer allowed to climb the big rock on the top. I thought there would be some rocks to climb at the end, but it was only the newly built platform. The view on the top is ok, not spectacular. The view of the stairs is much better.

There are 2 levels to this cave. The main tube (I think it's the lower cave) is really easy walk. We got bored with it and turned around. The other level ( upper cave) is pretty rough. The Rangers said that it is for more experienced cavers. People have had to be rescued due to concussions, broken bones and getting stuck. There's a wall that you have to climb over. Once you do that, there is no turning back and you have to continue onward. This was our first cave, so we didn't do that one. This is info that the Rangers shared with us. Have fun, but be careful!

hiking
4 days ago

SO MUCH FUN. I’m so used to trail hiking that this was such a fun break! We did the lower cave first, then walked up the hill and went DOWN the upper cave rather than up. The rock scrambles in the upper cave are so cool and tons of fun to climb up, but going DOWN there are a few 6-8 foot drops you have to get down that are a little complicated (I needed help down one of them because I couldn’t reach the foothold). USFS and NW Forest Passes not sold on site from what I could see, so make sure you buy ahead of time. I used a flashlight and the flashlight on my phone because I left my headlamp at home. Would definitely suggest a headlamp, possibly gloves, and hiking boots to make your life a little easier on the way. Also FOR SURE dress in layers! The caves hang out at about 45*F year round! Lots of bruises from the rocks but it was totally worth it, one of my favorite adventures I’ve done to date!

One of my favorite hikes in RMNP! The views are incredible! If you are going to hike Flattop you might as well go to Hallet Peak. Maybe another half hour push from Flattop but well worth it for the unobstructed 360 views of RMNP.

Beautiful hike, it was very smokey on 8/14 so the views could be much improved on a clear day but still a great hike. The hike itself is moderate difficulty, I think what may make it harder is the length.

hiking
4 days ago

Rocky trail. At first I was looking at the data and wondering why this trail was rated as hard, but it all made sense because of the extremely rocky trail starting at 1 mile from the trailhead. However, the view at the top made it all worthy. We camped near the lookout (it was soooo crowded), and watched the Perseid Meteor Shower!

There was a little stream at 4347 ft, and also a lake on the north side with some distance which was not easily accessible. Otherwise there was no water after you get started on the rocks, so bring enough water on hot days.

This hike is awesomely hard and rocky. Even though the views today were obliterated by smoke from the wildfires (we accidentally missed the media's warning to avoid strenuous outdoor activity), the gorgeous and dynamic rock formations made the effort worth it. We did not see as many people or bugs as previously reported, probably a positive side effect of the smoke. For dog owners: I would recommend this hike to dogs that are used to hiking on rockfaces and unstable surfaces. Our jack russell terrier made it up the mountain like a champ, except we did not take him on the final rock scramble because the rocks were too big and slippery for him to gain the appropriate traction. On a clear day, I can imagine the view from the top is breathtaking.

Went up this past weekend; although it was cloudy the panoramic of the Cascades was still stunning! A favorite for sure. Quite a bit of bugs so bring some bug spray.

Finally found parking at Glacier Gorge Trailhead. Hiked out to Alberta Falls and then headed back to the trail junction and headed to Bear Lake. Walked the .5 mile loop around Bear Lake. Took the shuttle back to Glacier Gorge. Absolutely beautiful hike. Took a lot of pictures. Not a pro hiker. Uphill stretches are tiring but well worth it.

hiking
5 days ago

This is a Smoky Mountain classic. The second mile to the overlook is intense but the views are totally worth it! Great mix of forest setting in the beginning to panoramic views at the top. Wife and I had a great time and would definitely would recommend!

hiking
5 days ago

Yup, STEEP. Felt like more than 3-4 miles up to the top, but when you go the way back down, you’ll be “oh that’s all?” :-) I enjoyed hiking this trail even though I had to make some stops to catch my breath! Spot a black bear on the trail, and had to wait some good 10-15 minutes before it left the trail.

Not an easy hike but a mid-40's couple from Denver took their time and got to the top in about 3 hrs. Some of the most amazing views the park has to offer. Surprised how many other people were on this trail, most younger than us and blazing by. Oh well! We were beat afterwords but loved this hike. May take it all the way into Grand Lake next time.

hiking
5 days ago

This trail was even better than we expected! I would actually consider the destination to be not just Flattop Mountain summit, but also Tyndall Glacier, which is incredible! The views were amazing and we saw lots of pika and marmots as well. The Emerald and Dream Lake overlooks are a nice bonus! We didn’t try hiking up adjacent Hallett Peak this time but will try it on a future trip. We hiked this trail on August 11, 2018.

hiking
6 days ago

Awesome hike! We took our 5 year old and he did awesome. There were some hard parts with climbing rocks but he made it through the whole trail! I suggest flash lights, gloves for climbing the rocks and hiking boots, no flip flops.

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