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Totally packed in on Saturday December 8th. This hike is no joke! Killer on the knees. We only needed microspikes and poles starting around the 2.5 mile mark, however with the predicted snow this week, this would easily become a very difficult snow shoe. Avalanche danger is high here, so be sure to check that avy stats before you go or come prepared with adequate training.

Great view at the top. Snow halfway up. Was deep and windy near the top

Good hike, switchbacks get a little tiresome coming down. Once the trail opens up near the top, it becomes a winter wonderland! The summit was socked in, but I was able to get a glimpse of some nearby peaks through the clouds. Lots of people on the trail, so parts of the trail got a little slick. Most had snowshoes but were rarely used. I carried snowshoes and microspikes. Microspikes were wildly helpful but not absolutely necessary. It was a great morning!

Trail was in great condition. There was a full parking lot at 10am on a Sunday, but we only ran into 6-7 people on the way up and down. Decent views. Awesome trail for dogs!

Nice hike, but unfortunately weather wasn't great at the top and we had no view at all. Saw a lot of people carrying snowshoes on the trail but nobody needing to wear them. Definitely helpful to have microspikes the second half of the hike, but not necessary. I didn't put mine on until the way down to make it a little easier. A hike that I will have to do again when the sky is clear.

Counted 17 streams along this trail. Arrived at the trailhead a few miles past Mailbox Peak at roughly 9am. There were only 7 cars in the lot that can fit 50 vehicles. The trail is nicely maintained

parked at the trailhead with one car in the lot at 8am. never saw another person as my partner and I went up. never saw snow or ice. stayed at the lookout spot up top for about 40 minutes watching the fog move in and out. finally saw half a dozen people on the way down. pretty empty out there today, it being a holiday and all. beautiful views from the summit.

hiking
21 days ago

Almost all switchbacks. Loose rocks, needed my spikes up above as it was pretty icy on the trail snow. On the way down I stopped at a view point off the trail to tighten boots and strip a layer, I forgot my leather dog leash there when we left, it’s a good one if you care to have it. Got back way after dark, stumbling along the trail. The views when you finally get up there are terrific.

hiking
22 days ago

Mostly dry and no snow or bugs. Great hike, hard on the knees on the way down.

The trail has recently received some tlc, so it’s in fairly good shape. Plenty of signage along the way. The last little scramble to get to the balcony is so worth it! The views are incredible!!

Absolutely stunning view. Went in the middle of November. It was chilly and icy. But soo worth it! My favorite so far

hiking
28 days ago

This hike is nice and beautiful. It’s an easy hike up and a great place. Unlike Mount Si and Mailbox Peak Trail, this trail is not crowded at all. The view at top is gorgeous.

Trail condition is pretty good. There is a creek crossing that’s not bad at all. The upper 1.5 miles has a thin layer of snow (about 1”) but no microspikes are needed.

Parking usually is not a problem at this hike because it is less crowded.

My AllTrails recording says 8.2 mi round trip and 3287 ft elevation gain. It took us 3 hours and 45 minutes to do the whole hike up and down.

A 360 view at the top! First hour is tiring then it actually gets more gradual as you get closer. Today, in November, it had snow about half way up or the last third. it's all packed down though. you don't need spikes but polls are helpful.

Hiked from Heather Meadows - lots of snow but still totally worthwhile and doable (note that there were lots of tracks from groups prior, so we never had difficulty trying to find the trail). Would recommend getting up there if the weather is nice, otherwise look forward to the flowers in 2019.

trail running
1 month ago

Good technical trail for running. A lot of gain on the way to the top. Will have to come back when its sunny and clear, nothing but most, rain and the occasional frozen rain waves. There are places snow is either on or next to the trail.

A clear October day and all the fall colors makes this trail one of the most gorgeous hiking experiences. If I were going to try to get a beginner hooked on hiking I'd start them here! The scenery payoff is huge for such a moderate hike. We started from the upper lot, but I'd recommend starting at the lower lot. It has a lake and picnic tables. A perfect spot to finish up!

Great trail! Very rainy and foggy, but still amazing views and flora. It is longer than the beta shows. I got kind of confused between the water washes and the trail near the top and my phones GPS was not reading correctly.

Beware! There are two parking lots. The upper one, at Artist’s Point, was where we started. 4 hours later, when we got around to the lower one it was pretty demoralizing to find that we still had a ton of steep uphill to climb. Next time we will start in the lower lot and go counterclockwise so we get the uphill part done first.

My 12-year-old rates it as “moderate”. Her idea of “hard” is Mt. Si.

Views were incomparable. Dogs were off leash but friendly. People were also off leash but friendly.

Very windy at the top but well worth the hike to the top , wish it was much clearer. Started at 7 am and was done by 11 pm .

Got to the trailhead at 8 and there were only 2 other cars. The trail was easy to follow and had a gradual incline. View was beautiful, the sun was just starting to come through right before I got to the top. By the time I got done there were about 10 cars in the lot.

This trail was simply amazing from beginning til the end. Felt on another planet. Breathtaking view. Not as hard as it seems

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, intense on the lower body. The initial part is through the woods, and then opens up with spectacular views of Mt. Rainier. You can see and hear vehicles from I-90 for most of the way. There are lots of blueberries on the way in the latter part. The trail has a lot of rocks which can get annoying while coming down. The views on top are fantastic with Mt Rainier towering about the other mountains. The fire/lookout tower on the top is closed.

Elevation gain on the trail is about 3,800 feet and can be quite intense. Wouldn’t recommended this trek for beginners. Make sure you carry enough water since the trail is long and it can be quite exhausting on a sunny day.

Did the trail 10.21.18 and it was perfect weather. Clear skies, not too cold. I started early (8am) from the lower parking lot and went clockwise. Great scenery, lots of friendly people on the trails (and dogs too!) and the elevation gains were never too strenuous at any one point. I look forward to coming back! Really enjoyed this one.

hiking
1 month ago

We started at 6:15 and reached the top in 2.5 hours. The first 2 miles are through the woods and later the trail opened up with awesome fall colors all around and my rainier starting to show towards the south.
The second half of the hike up is truly picturesque. There were just 2 other folks when we reached the lookout. The best view to grab your breakfast bites.
We ran into quite a lot of people on the way down though. And by the time we were back around 12(we stopped in places for photos) the parking lot was full with around 30 other cars parked outside on the road. Getting in early was a good idea.
My tracker clocked 11.5 miles and an elevation gain of 4070ft. Completely snow free today.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is definitely a workout, but on Sunday, 10/14/18, we had the most beautiful, clear day with bright fall colors that made it work the work! Snow-capped Mt Rainier with a foreground of red, yellow and orange leaves on the ridge was breathtaking. Layer up, but we ended up taking off most of what we wore because the weather was so beautiful.. It's a lower body burner for sure, but definitely doable for anyone in good shape. You never lose the trail or have you make your own path or anything like that... just a lot of elevation gain in a short time. Lots of sweat!

walking
1 month ago

such a beautiful trail for relatively moderate amount of work. A must see. take your camera.

What a great hike! Has a bit of that “alpine lakes” feel near the top- not bad for being west of the pass. However, not sure where the measurement for the hike begins, but we logged 9.9 miles from the trailhead, leading us to think that AllTrails measures from the cut off to granite mountain about a mile up the trailhead. That, and the fact that we logged over 4100 ft. elevation gain instead of the 3700 ft. or so they list . So be forewarned if time is an issue- it’s a bit longer hike than you may expect. But good!

hiking
1 month ago

Jaw dropping sceneries starting from the 1st minute you get out from the car. The trail is easy for those who have average fitness level. Would recommend hiking clockwise starting with the Wild Goose Trail @ the Heather Meadows Visitor centre, then joining the trailhead of Chain Lakes Loop at the Artist Point. The trail had icy and muddy sections but nothing too technical. Hiking poles will help.

1 month ago

I enjoyed the elevation and length although it can become difficult towards the end.

Easy trail (for me) with very beautiful views.
Highly recommended. The only downside is the business of this trail.

What I mean by easy for me: I haven’t done any super hard trails in WA or anywhere for that matter. I’ve been hiking occasionally ever since I remember. Did about 3 hikes the past summer (not many :( ). Athletic in general but have worked out only about once per week recently.

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