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Wonderful and rewarding hike. The many bugs made it hard to eat our lunch. We brought bathing suits but could not find anywhere we could safely enter the lake. Not too many hikers the day we went, though it was a Tuesday. Highly recommend.

Excellent trail! We were able to hike this after leaving Mount Baker on our way back to the Seattle airport. Rained all day in Bellingham Sunday so we needed one more hike before hearing back to hot, humid Atlanta !

hiking
1 day ago

A few too many people for my liking. Hard hike but the view was pretty.

so gorgeous!

It was a good hike, enjoyed it. The lake is very beautiful!

It does not have a stunning scenery but it was very peaceful easy walking along the pathway and sitting on the big rocks and looking down the lake from it and it was the most peaceful moment ever and also so good for meditation :) It’s the best part of this hiking! It’s probably good for fall and easy hiking!

hiking
3 days ago

It looks like they are working on the road to the trailhead. All types of vehicles are able to make it to the parking lot and trailhead. Very nice paved road until you get about 12 miles from trailhead. From there, no big rocks/ruts, but very washboard! I drove very slow much of the way in a Corolla, some people cruised by going 30mph. Very nice trailhead area with bathrooms. It was full with about 20 cars along road as we left.
4.4 miles, 2 hours roughly to lake, another .5 miles to the far end of lake.
Dress for fall, on our way back, saw people going up in shorts, tank tops, sandals, and little gear. They were already looking and commenting on being cold. It was cool and breezy at the lake.
No mountain goats out today.
Didn’t catch any fish. Had a bite. Tried some slow spinning flies, spinners, and power bait. We’ll have to do more research before fishing there again.

One of my favorite hikes in the PNW. It's a very popular trail, so get there early. Leave yourself at least 5 hours to complete the trail, but give yourself more time if you want to stay at the lake for a bit. Try to go on a sunny day as the water looks a brighter shade of blue in the sunlight.

This is an amazing hike worth every step. I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
5 days ago

Great, easy hike. Lake is absolutely beautiful, could spend the whole day there. Took German Shepherd and wasn’t quite enough to tire him out.

Walk this weekly Beautiful

we went during the week in the evening so it wasnt very busy, only saw 2 other couples. there was so many amazing views along the way! the falls were absolutely breathtaking! we just went to the 2nd level since we ran out of daylight but definitely want to go back! id say moderate is fitting for this one:)

Fun short hike! Brought my puppy to explore the outdoors and socialize him with kids! It was good to see so many kids out with parents!

9 days ago

The hike is beautiful. Very worthwhile, and lots of stunning views. That said, real talk-- Several people said it took them around ~5 hrs RT, or that it was more 'moderate' etc. but just for some perspective, I'm a short legged hiker from the lowlands and this hike took me more like 7-8 hours. I'd say the trail was 80% easy to follow, but the last mile is real rocky and marked mostly with stone towers-- I definitely had to pay attention and got turned around more than once. The other parts of the trail are really well maintained though. The last section requires some scrambling (again, short-legged hiker-- maybe the grasshopper legs out there had another experience, but for me it was quite a bit of scrambling.) My phone also tracked 13.4 miles, rather than the 8.8 listed here. Part of that was walking to the trail head (cause I had to park a bit away) and some of that was getting lost from the trail :) But I would still say that 11-12 miles is closer to the truth? The lake is beautiful, and the last few miles of the hike are well worth the effort . For me I would say the 'hard' ranking was pretty on point (although I'd probably go more with 'a nice challenge' than 'hard' as a ranking, because I was enjoying myself and things aren't usually hard when you enjoy yourself.) Obviously, perception of difficulty is contingent on lots of things, but for the sake of perspective, if you're a short-legged, leisure hiker, like myself, this one may challenge you a bit ;-)

Amazing experience. Will visit again.

Easy hiking. I love this place ⛰

hiking
10 days ago

Excellent hike. Definitely moderate grade with lots of roots and boulders to navigate. Get there early.

hiking
10 days ago

Great did with dog and friend I had to take like five breaks going up but worth it for gorgeous views

hiking
11 days ago

This is a great short hike that is on the easier side of moderate. Really cool view at the top with the lake surrounded by mountain peaks! Lake 22 is cooler in my opinion, but Heather lake is an easier and quicker hike that is less trafficked.

Super fun, but busy hike. Parking was a mess and there was a lot of people. Beware of livestock as well (keep dogs on leash).

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked on 9/10/18.

I'm sure it's typically busy, but I went on a Thursday morning and basically had the whole trail to myself. Multiple view points along the way and they're all beautiful. The trail is extremely well maintained. I'll definitely be coming back here again.

hiking
13 days ago

Incline don’t miss leg day. Breath taking worth the hike.

backpacking
13 days ago

A 50 lbs pack on this hike was a real leg burner but worth it. We camped 2 nights and 3 days. The downside is that we got stuck in a constant rain+wind storm for 2 days and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of us. The the views were of a gray cloud that we were stuck in. Upside, bears and bugs don’t like that weather so no run in’s, ha. I have an inReach Garmin and kept holding onto hope for Monday, our last morning, since the weather report kept updating at 0% chance rain. It did finally blow out and I’ll admit, seeing that happen was almost worth the storm. Once the sun finally pierced through the clouds, it was amazing. Then it took about an hour for the cloud cover to blow away and reveal why the North Cascades are my favorite. Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to come and see for yourself. Just don’t be a jerk, pack out what you pack in and no fires. The plant life up here is like a PNW rainforest. It’s gorgeous and there are also tons of wild blueberries around. We got to spend 3 hours exploring around which was great. We all had tent fever pretty bad and needed to stretch out minds and our legs. I’m just happy we were able to see the endless sea of Cascades before heading down. We were also stoked that we didn’t have to scramble down wet and muddy rocks. I will say that the scramble area is way longer than posted on here. It wasn’t constant but there were scrambles for the last mile. Some of them were so high that my full pack top touched what I was climbing. Trekking poles and hiking boots are a must, and not worn down hiking boots, you’ll need good outsoles. Also, the split from Barlow trail to Gothic Basin happens a little before what’s posted on here. The original trail is unsafe, looked like a tree fell through. They made a new trail to connect over, just follow the wooden sign that says “Gothic Basin” and ignore your preloaded maps. I use OnX, it lets you preload high resolution maps for offline use. They’re better than my Garmin maps. Definitely bring a bear canister or ursack. There was a warning sign saying they “strongly discouraged camping” at Barlow pass, which is the trail you begin on. Apparently it’s a bear hangout and the trial head where you park, bears have gotten into vehicles and aren’t easily scared off. So while Gothic Basin isn’t Barlow pass, they share the same parking and part of the trail and it’s still bear country. So be smart. Do your research and enjoy the view! It’s worth every bit of leg burn.

hiking
14 days ago

I really really liked this hike. I did this right after Mount Pilchuck so in comparison, much quieter, less people, and easier terrain and under half the elevation. A very moderate hike in terms of terrain and scenery but diverse in scenery. The majority of it is dirt, roots, and the occasional pile of rocks to walk over. The best part of this trail to me was the view at the end and the smells and sounds around the lake. In the distance about a half mile from the lake you can vividly hear a waterfall and around and near the lake you can smell the flowers, damp dirt, and a faint smell of pine. We came on a clear day but right after some rain, I bet the smells are even better!

-Difficulty-
Nothing too strenuous in my opinion but I am 24, 135 lbs, and in fairly good shape. My friend Brian, his Australian Shepard name Oz, and I were able to knock through this no problem in about 1.5 to 2 hours including walking around the lake and taking some spectacular pictures. Our pace averaged around 20 min or so. You could easily trail run this on the way back just being careful of roots, small wet rocks here and there, and your speed down the switchbacks.

-Notes-
No music please! There were a couple groups playing music and in this kind of area (valley and open), you can hear a med loud song for easily a 1/4 mile or so. My friend and I ran to get past the group and far enough ahead so we could enjoy the sounds of nature and our own company. If you wanna listen to music, wear some headphones. Remember, most people do these hikes for the sheer joy of disconnecting and finding peace within nature. Music scares away peaceful thoughts, peaceful sounds, and the wildlife.

Awesome hike! Arrived at parking lot around 8:30 and it was 95% full. Started out on the trail around 8:45. They need one of those jumping deer signs as we scared up a couple of deer and they jumped! Watch out for the tree roots that seem to be alive. We stopped counting the number of times we tripped. The lake is gorgeous. The hike was tough (we are in our mid 50s), but very doable. We were out about 4 1/2 hours with a 30 minute break at the lake and picture breaks along the way.

backpacking
14 days ago

We went on Sept 2nd for our honeymoon. The trail was great, rugged but definitely worth it!

Short, easy hike with beautiful views the entire way. the only downside was the crowds of people but it was worth it to see the waterfall.

Hiked on 8/5/2018

This is a great place to break in your trekking poles. I walk a but faster than most but I'll be the first to admit that the elevation gain on this hike is a workout for newbies.

You have three lookout points on your hike: Lower; Mid: and Upper falls. Bring some extra water if you don't carry a pack. Watch out for loose rocks on the trails.

This is a popular location so arrive early.

A easy one but, get early, after 9 or 10am is heavy traffic. Is beatiful and couple really nice spots!

hiking
14 days ago

Awesome day hike, took about 5 hours total RT. Lake is really pretty, a small alpine lake w stunning views in the background. Really neat rock formations surrounding the lake. Would’ve loved to backpack and spend more time in the area.

The trail for 99percent is easy to follow, the very last segment was a little confusing. There are Some rock piles to follow and keep an eye on to help with guidance.

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