Explore Want to Hike - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Want to Hike Map
VIEW FULL MAP

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.

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!

hiking
5 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.

hiking
5 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.

on Snow Lake Trail

hiking
5 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
5 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.

it's a long haul but well worth every minute of it.

hiking
6 days ago

Went up today! Beautiful hike. With snow plows, needed to jump up to trail head. Hiked with spikes for 1.75 miles then lost trail. You could see the divots but didn’t bring snowshoes so decided to turn back. Saw a few hikers, snowshoers & cross country skiers. Maybe they good blaze the trail. A few slides in open fields. Fun streams to cross

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.☺

Just wanted to correct some misconceptions: 1) Out & Back: Yes, you do have to come back down the same way unless you are OK with road walking (go down West Access to SR900 & head south), but there are loops to be done from the top, and future connections farther down. To make it a one-way, park a second car at West Access, Mountainside Drive, or Sequoia Court trailheads. 2) View area & privacy. The view area with bench (below Debbie's View) is better than D'sV and quite spectacular. Don't worry about bothering the neighbors, as all the houses (largely out of sight) were built or bought after the viewpoint was developed so they know the deal. 3) Shooting (also barking dog). This is on a privately owned ridge north of the park & doesn't occur often or for very long.

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

trail running
10 days ago

Absolutely love this trail! The first mile is a bit steep, then the trail levels out a bit in mile two then has some great switchbacks in the third mile. Perfect for repeats.

hiking
11 days ago

Took us 2 hours up, 1.5hr down. The whole trail has snow on it, but the first half of the trail was packed down snow. We had spikes on the whole time, but snow shoes would be good for the last half of the trail since we started blazing the trail. There was only one area that was a difficult to get up. Definitely need poles! There was one other group in front of us making a trail since you can't see it eventually. Once we started hiking down we saw a lot more groups hiking up.

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 trail to hike in the winter! We went today on 1-6-19, it took about 3 hours for us to hike the trail (which included some breaks for pictures). There was some snow on the trail leading up to the lake, we brought microspikes in case but didn’t need them, it was mostly just wet (bring waterproof shoes!!). Once you reach the lake you feel like you are in a winter wonderland, it truly was stunning! Potholes galore on the road just before the trail head, please drive slowly and bring a high clearance vehicle if you can!

Trail is in good condition for winter, there are muddy and wet places but overall solid. The snow only starts about an 1/8th of mile from the lake but there are some slick, icy spots. Poles and micro spikes can't hurt but most people were fine without.

Beautiful in the snow :)

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful setting.

Love hiking in the winter as a rainy day or break alt from skiing. Multiple stream crossings are my son’s (5) favorite. Watch out for streams filling up. Need grippy shoes (we turned the hike back into a slip and slide due to my son’s Bogs). We only have done the first mile. Definitely coming back in the summer for some backpacking.

hiking
15 days ago

MUST DO.

From the East Coast (specifically New Jersey) and this was our first West Coast hike. Wow, wow, wow. The views were insane, the flora was gorgeous, and the temperature was perfect in August! This review is written late, but if you can make the trip, DO IT!

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!

As mentioned in the previous reviews, the road leading to the trailhead parking has some big potholes. The trailhead was fairly packed by the time we reached there around 11 AM. The trail is rocky, muddy and icy. Microspikes definitely help in the last 1 mile of this hike as some areas had ice on rocks which was tricky to pass through. Took us 2 hours for whole hike including staying there up there for a couple of minutes and doing the loop around the lake. Overall, a really good hike. The lake looks beautiful!

hiking
16 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.

hiking
16 days ago

It is beautiful for sure for a bit too crowded for my liking.

It was a great hike to start the New Year. I started hiking around 6:50 AM and enjoyed the trail to myself all the way to the waterfall. I also enjoyed around 40 minutes of solitude at the waterfall before heading back down. I did find a stick on the side of the trail for assistance in the rocky areas. Next time I’ll bring poles. I didn’t run into any snow. A little muddy in spots but totally manageable.

17 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.

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

hiking
17 days ago

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

hiking
18 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

Load More