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

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walking
9 hours ago

A long but very easy doable hike. I definitely suggest completing the loop, because the way back is a lot prettier and more exciting IMO. Use caution when crossing the river, there was a decent log for crossing, but water was flowing too hard to walk through. Use discretion about bringing your dog(s)! With no bridge they either have to walk through the river or cross a log, which the water was too fierce for the poor Shepherd I saw be forced across by his owner, and was very scared. The stream is lower and less fierce when it hasn’t been raining as well as earlier in the AM. A beautiful waterfall and peaceful place to sit and enjoy. Definitely a great hike for a cloudy day when Mt Hood isn’t visible or anyway!

Moderate hike for sure. It is uphill most of the way except for the area around Mirror Lake and part of the hike after the large hairpin turn on the mountain. There are some parts that get a little rocky, but still very manageable & not treacherous. Views are simply amazing. Parking is right on route 26, and there are only about 20-25 spots so get there early or expect to wait for a spot. I did this hike in 3.5 hours round trip with about 45 min in breaks along the way.

Such an great hike! The lake was absolutely beautiful & the lookout was amazing! I recommend hiking boots, we ran into a bit of mud in several areas.

Hard hike but the view is definitely worth the climb! Be carful coming down the ropes, the sand can get a bit slippery.

The trail was great and beautiful, but I should have heeded the warning about the bad road. My '06 Dodge Charger, low to the ground, hit a huge pot hole that cracked my coolant tank and the return trip to Portland was less than fun with overheating and pulling over until Fred Meyer in Gresham. Low cars, be careful!

Great trip even in the rain. The trees provided good cover. I chose this hike because it was recommended as a good “rain shadow” hike. I only wish the summit hadn’t been so cloudy.

Loveeeee This hike. Even In the fog and rain, it’s was beautiful.

extremely challenging but we'll worth it! we started from the upper trailhead which cut about 2 miles from the trip. Although pets are allowed, we noticed many owners carrying their dogs back down (including ourselves). Many parts of extreme steepness and loose rocks. We would absolutely do this hike again, but next time, we will leave our sheltie home.

Such an amazing view! Even the woods are glorious on the way up. The last bit is relatively steeper because of the rock you have to climb but it is well worth it. The mountain is larger than life. We got to the top and we had a two minute view before clouds covered us but even that was worth it.

I would rate this hike as easy, since the ascent can be done very fast. The views, nature, and different landscapes are truly special and diverse. I would recommend this trail to anyone who's looking to have a hike that is fewer than three hours, but sets the stage for what Pacific Northwest hikes can be. The parking is interesting, since it is literally right off of the freeway. Make sure to buy passes for the National Forest System online or at the Ranger's station in ZigZag before parking, since there is no place to purchase tickets here. Finally, there are a tremendous array of better hikes in the area, but this is good for those looking for something easier.

Just went up today with three friends in the fog and wet weather. This hike is a real workout but so beautiful in the mist. Despite the rain it wasn't muddy or slippery except for a few spots near the top. We got to the ropes at the very top but chose not to go up the last bit because it looked pretty wet and slippery. If you don't like a very steep climb then you can do Merrymere Falls nearby instead.

The views at the top are unparalleled - absolutely amazing. I was lucky enough to get a nice day, so I literally had 360 mountain views. I also had the whole lookout to myself! Three other people were leaving as I was about to hit the top, so I was super lucky.
As much as this hike kicked my arse (to which I’m still not really sure why - I’ve done longer, higher altitude and more elevation, and this seemed worse to me??), I would do it again for the views. Took me about 1h 10 to get up, and 50 minutes to get down - I’m not overly fit, and I took a lot of breaks.
There were a lot of bees at the top, which is kind of random haha but something to look out for.

Oh - and how has nobody mentioned the fact you drive about 9 miles on gravel roads to get here?! It’s absolutely, totally worth it, don’t get me wrong - but it was a very long half hour, especially knowing I had to go back haha!

hiking
4 days ago

Such a beautiful hike. The road was bumpy but definitely not as bad as we anticipated. Need good hiking shoes (not regular sneakers) as there are lots of rocky parts, tons of tree roots and some muddy parts as well. Started the trail at 8AM on a Monday and had the trail and the fire lookout completely to ourselves! Didn’t see anyone until we were on our way down. The view was stunning! Definitely recommend this hike!!

hiking
4 days ago

Great loop good chance to see wildlife

I really enjoyed this hike! I went on a day when it was raining a bit so my pup and I essentially had the trail to ourselves. The climb to the top wasn’t too bad and man was it worth it. The views were breathtaking. Even though it was cloudy and raining it was still amazing. I was not able to see Rainier because of the clouds but I plan on going back up on a clear day. The fire lookout is really cool too. You are able to go inside and sign a trail register. Lots of cliffs so please be careful! Rocks at the top can be slick in the rain.

Incredible day on Mt Ellinore. Started out from the lower trailhead around 1:40 p.m. made it to the top by 3:00 p.m. had a snack and headed back down and in the truck by 4:20. I could see Mt. Rainier, Hood Canal and most of the Olympics. I lucked out with beautiful weather. Yes, this is a tough climb and I loved every minute of it.

hiking
5 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike to a stunning, cascading waterfall. probably best to AVOID WHEN RAINING you have to cross a river and The logs get very slippery....slipped and sprained my ankle...but,still worth it! Lol

hiking
6 days ago

Absolutely worth the hike to get the awesome view up at the fire tower! Definitely feels longer than you might think at times. Bring some food to replenish & plenty of water. Had no issues with parking or bugs when I went over labor day weekend 2018 - arrived around 9:30am. We spent our time after the hike over at Mowich lake for the rest of the afternoon. Great way to relax and enjoy your accomplishment.

I’ve done this hike a few times. The falls are beautiful and peaceful, perhaps the most spectacular on the mountain. Take your time enjoy a snack at the falls and snap a few photos on the bridge. Make the loop to see the rocky cliffs and walk along the stream. The only tricky part is crossing the Sandy River, but there are usually big logs and a couple of options for crossing.

Cloudy day, so we missed the great views at the top.

hiking
7 days ago

Great trail. Road to the trail head is very bumpy, but I was able to make it up there with a VW Jetta. Easy first mile, the last mile and three quarters is definitely a climb.

Beautiful even in bad weather

I’d love to come back and do this hike on a clear day :) couldn’t see any views of Hood, but I’m sure it would’ve been stunning... a pretty easy hike no high elevation gain or steep inclines. It was nice

So beautiful... tons of hikes and camping. This is a must see!!!

backpacking
10 days ago

The very beginning 15 minuets where the toughest as we were also carrying heavy overnight backpacks. But the rest of the trail was very easy and beautiful.

hiking
10 days ago

Wow what an amazing hike! The scenery from start to finish is beautiful, and the ending is definitely worth the effort, resulting in a superior view of Mount Rainier.

THIS IS CLOSED - NOT ACCESSIBLE AS OF SEPTEMBER 11. The road to the trailhead is closed until October 5 apparently - the road closes about 5 miles from the trailhead (I recommend driving the open part anyway, as it’s beautiful), so maybe you’d be able to walk if you were super keen... but I wasn’t that keen hahaha

hiking
12 days ago

Stunning hike that starts by a lake. The first mile or so is extremely easy as you’re either walking on flat ground or heading down. The second half gets far more difficult with the elevation gain. Both lakes are beautiful but Eunice Lake is far more visible. Once you make it to Eunice Lake the trees open up and you can see the fire lookout perched on the mountain. The fire lookout itself is beautiful and has an amazing 360 degree view. My only complaint is the 16 mile gravel road that leads to the trailhead which feels like it will destroy your car. Also $30 for a week pass to the park is a little steep (when I highly doubt anyone goes for more than 1-2 days).

This was incredible. Got there really early (about 6:30am) on Saturday. Literally no one else there for whole hike. The falls are beautiful and the rocks near Ramona creek are stunning.

Stunning view from the fire watch tower! The drive up there is the worst part. It’s an hour of driving on gravel. It costs $30 since you’re in Rainier National Park so have cash or a check ready OR visit the ranger station. The lake is a nice way to cool off during the hike

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