Explore Weekend Backpacking - 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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There are two trail heads. The bottom one will give you more miles and it’s worth the climb.

I took my dog hiked all the way to the main lookout yesterday. Started at 11:30 AM and back to the car at 3:30. Gorgeous day shared with quite few people on the main lookout. But I was so disappointed when I got back to the car. My back trunk window was shattered and my purse was stolen out of my car. This happened during daylight! My Orange Subaru Crosstrek was parked just a few cars away from the restaurant Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive. This is sucks!! So please don’t leave any valuable in your car. Take it with you!! I learned valuable lesson here. But other than that I still love hiking up to Oyster Dome.

hiking
13 days ago

Went yesterday with my dad and our dogs. Started our hike at 8:30am. We started the hike from chuckenut on the hwy so it was the 7.9 mile hike compared to 5 miles from the samish outlook. Trail was in pretty good shape.
I’ll say if you start at the hwy and not samish outlook those extra miles are nothing buck switch backs going up. My legs are so sore today.

hiking
14 days ago

Awesome views!

hiking
15 days ago

The hike wasn’t too bad for someone who isn’t very athletic like myself. It was just very long so prepare for that! My boyfriend and I went out today for my birthday and we wore many layers but ended up getting drenched in rain water, river water (you have to cross many, some can get up to mid calf in depth) and ended up turning around before we actually reached Goat Lake because we were worried we wouldn’t make it back before sundown. We hiked Lower Elliot on the way to the lake and Upper Elliot on the way back.. which we recommend because taking Upper Elliot back allows you to descend most of the time. Our advice: wear rain boots in the rainy seasons, dress in layers, maybe bring food because of how long the hike is (took us 4+ hours and remember we didn’t even make it to the lake), and start out early so you can take your time!

hiking
1 month ago

Nice day heading up to Goat Lake. There is some snow on the trail but not deep or icy. Road is very potholed on the way to trail but manageable. Hike was very pretty, beautiful forest and Mountain View’s and pretty easy going.

1 month ago

12/8/18
Took the lower trail out and upper trail back. Definitely recommend taking both trails as on the lower you get views of the river and upper you get better views of the mountains. Upper trail is a bit longer so be prepared for that if you use it for the way back. Both are well maintained and it's a fairly easy hike.
The lake is absolutely stunning and views of the mountains and waterfalls won't disappoint!
Still now snow cover as of date above, although some icy spots during stream crossings. Mountain loop highway has no snow as well. Dirt portion is in a bit of rough shape so low cars might struggle with all the pot holes.

Did this hike today, no snow, very flat, just really long. There were a couple of little creeks to pass over, nothing crazy. We didn't finish the hike, it would have been dark by the time we got back and we waited to be leaving before it got dark. I would definitely plan on leaving earlier next time. Only saw a few people didn't seem to be a very popular hike but it was very well kept, looked like it was recently serviced! Other than a few potholes on the way up the road to the trailhead and our poor time management it was a pretty nice hike.

quick super easy hike. tons of people out and about. overall great easy hike

hiking
1 month ago

A nice moderate hike with great views at the top! A decent elevation gain and dense forest to hike through.

backpacking
1 month ago

Spent 4 days backpacking here with a student group. Being from South Carolina, this hike was insane. It is even harder with a pack. I have never seen views and been in altitudes like this hike before doing it! What a great trail. Tough part towards the top as someone from a flat area, but worth the slow and steady climb. Still can’t believe this is just a day hike for some folk...

hiking
1 month ago

10/13 (late entry). Beautiful hike. Did day hike in and out. Many were camped at the lower lake. A person was fishing lower Royal.

This was a pretty difficult hike for me but with some amazing views.

In November, expect some icy spots on the trail so be careful not to slip. We were surprised that this year 2018 many peaks were not covered in snow. Most lakes are covered by a layer of ice, which looks pretty cool.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice and long. Pretty steep and an amazing view on top. Just not that much to look at besides trees and a couple of streams on your way up

Took my dog to the main lookout today. Gorgeous views and sunset. Started the trail from Chuckanut Dr at 1:44 PM and back to the car at 5:20PM. I started little too late. It got so dark the last mile before the car. But I used my phone flashlight almost to the car before totally out of battery. 8 miles roundtrip with 1900 ft elevation gain. My little pup American Bully was such a trooper

hiking
2 months ago

Great long hike with rewarding views at the end. There are beautiful waterfalls along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely stunning. We did this hike in a day that was supposed to be rainy but for the most part there were no rain. The trail was very beautiful, it was among these trees, mosses, fallen leaves and ferns. It was one of the most beautiful trails I've seen in Washington.
The hike is super moderate and the gain is very gradual. We did the loop, taking the Upper Elliot trail hiking up and Lower Elliot trail hiking down. My AllTrails app says 11.4 miles total. We walked around the lake too.
At this time of year, there were many waterfalls on the way up and also around the lake itself. All were really gorgeous. I should also mention, we took highway 530 and the tree colors were really beautiful.

Be prepared to climb up hill a lot! The view on top was amazing. If you’ve never been here bring a camera or phone to capture the moment. It has some distance to it as well so be realistic with your abilities before trying this hike. I loved every minute of it and would recommend this hike to anyone reading.

hiking
2 months ago

Was intimidated by the length but it was totally worth it. Beautiful. Lots of waterfalls along the way. Trail gets a little sloppy at times, meaning it was unmarked and we were a bit unsure but it was still easy to follow. Towards the end it was a bit uphill and tiring but tolerable. Will for sure recommend. We saw a total of three people the entire hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Really a lot of fun- agree that Lower Elliott is a lot more interesting with water views and lots of up and down. The middle flats are pretty through the birch forests and easy...the switchbacks just below the lake will kick you a little after that but the lake views are worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Easy overall with a great view! Super good for dogs!

We did High Divide clockwise and threw in part of the Hoh River Trail down to the lake for a 27 mile day.

Clockwise is the way to do it- a gradual ascent on peaty trails next to the babbling river and falls. The middle portion is more challenging because of the altitude, but the views on both High Divide and Hoh River made up for it.

Then... there was Deer Lake Trail. The only unexpected surprise of the trip, the last 3 miles (clockwise) or first 3 miles (counterclockwise) is all sharp cobbles and boulders. Come prepared to scramble on a rock field, or better yet skip completing the loop and hike back the way you came.

We did the first 24 miles including 2 ascents in 9 hours and were still fresh entering Deer Lake Trail. DESCENDING the 3 miles from Deer Lake took us 3 hours and turned our feet into hamburger. The only black mark for this trip.

Overall, a wonderful trail perfect for introducing a fit beginner to hiking

I love hitting this trail with my dogs. Gorgeous Autumn color painted the forests. Blue waters mirror the sky. It’s heaven for me

my dog and I had a wonderful hike. my dog went to swim in the lake and she loved it!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike!! The fallen leaves, old growth forest, interesting mushroom groves, waterfalls, and ending at the the lake. Loved it!

hiking
3 months ago

No bugs, just a few nice people, a perfect alpine lake. What more do you want?

Obstacles include mud at the bottom followed by a very steep climb up to Rachel and then the fork to Lila / Rampart / Alto. It’s a full click more rugged than trails with more switchbacks and better trail work.

Warning is I got confused on leaving Lila lake as there’s several trails out, so be sure to have a map. One option is screen shots of the all trails map, or of course buying all trails pro. There’s no cell service out there and very few people on a weekday, so be ready to be self sufficient. Apple had “helpfully” offloaded my compass app so I was without that. The ground at Lila is partly frozen so I imagine an unprepared overnight would not be fun. Fortunately I figured it out by back tracking and got to the car at nightfall.

Did this loop as a day hike on Tuesday, Sep. 25th. I skipped going down to lunch lake, so I believe the total mileage was somewhere around 17.5. I did the loop counterclockwise.

The upper sections of the trail were absolutely amazing, and I picked a perfectly clear day to do this hike. The climb up was steady but not terrible. I didn't have to stop much. Once you hit the section of the trail near heart lake, the views of Mt. Olympus are awesome. However, heading down once you're back in the forest, even though it's pretty, it feels like it drags on for forever. I was absolutely exhausted and I think it was pushing the limits of what I can personally accomplish in a single day of hiking. The entire hike took me about 8 hours to complete, with only short breaks for pictures and checking out the views, and I hike at a pretty decent pace. I still absolutely recommend this hike, but give yourself a lot of time to do it if you're going to make it a day hike.

The drive in was simple and easy, and the trailhead had a decent amount of parking on a weekday around 10am. All trails are clearly marked and the trailhead has bathrooms, but no place to fill water.

Beautiful place. The hike was easy but a bit long for my daughter and boyfriend. The lower trail is much better than the upper. The lower trail fallows the creek and is up and down The upper trail is a long gentle grade up and a long gentle grade down. It would be great for jogging but it’s not very scenic. The lake was beautiful and the views of the mountains is glorious. I would do it again for sure.

hiking
3 months ago

Wifey and I took the four kiddos on this trek. We had to carry two of them on our backs. The first 2-3 miles were just up hill. The lake at the end was well worth it though!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing colours. Not lots of people. No bugs. A bit muddy. Better to wear waterproof walking boots.
At Rachel lake, got a bit lost but found the trail to Lila lake. Look for a small sitting area just before reaching the edge of the lake. There is a sign with “trail” written on it. I was alone at Lila lake. Just beautiful. A bit cold up there in spite of the sun.

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