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We did this hike on Sunday 12/2 between 10am-2pm, the actual road to the hike was uphill and lots of potholes in the beginning but it does get better and turn into an actual road closer to the top of the trail. Snow on the entire trail, gets a bit deeper closer to the top about 1 inch of snow. Not very crowded, saw more people as we were coming down than going up. The last section of the hike is like a mini rock climb to get to the tower you have to climb up some rocks and then climb the ladder to the tower, bring good snow gear if you plan on going to the very top at this time very cold and icy! Great hike overall, one of our favorites. Bring northwest forest pass!!

went out for a bit today (11/27/18) and it was nice up there. a little windy and foggy but overall a nice hike. I only did about half of the trail because o was short on time but I did not encounter any snow. the road is as bad as always but I still manage to make it up in my Subaru Crosstrek with relative ease.

Hiked this trail in the spring/early summer of 2018 this is a beautiful trail. the water is gorgeous! plenty of creek crossings with no bridges. There are bathrooms here if you park at the lake parking area. I parked at south cold water trailhead and there are no bathrooms there. Didnt see a lot of people when I went, maybe less than 10 and there were also not a lot of bugs out at this time. I would highly recommend this trail. I do believe that no motorized boats are allowed on this lake. If you do the loop from south cold water you do have to hike back to the trail head on the highway for a mile or two, which can get busy later in the day. Trail can also be narrow and steep at times if you are doing the loop. You do need a northwest forrest pass or national parks pass to park in any areas where a pass is required.

hiking
16 days ago

This was a very beautiful hike! Easy to do but requires shoes with good traction. There is a section after the bridge that allows you to go down by the water but we were unable to venture down due to slippery conditions. Highly recommend this hike in summer/fall!!

This one is fun. Suspension bridges and ladders make it especially unique. Great views of waterfalls and cascades. I did the entire trail and as other reviews have said just be careful and know that you probably shouldn’t bring pets/children. At the split near the beginning of the trail I veered right and went over the bridge. I think this is the better route because you get great views of the falls on the way back up.
Here's a video of my experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF5ragxSIw8&t=4s

***After the 30 foot ladder but before the next bridge there is another smaller ladder that is somewhat hard to find. It leads to a short out/back trail on a ridge that pays off with extraordinary views.

Travelers note:
Forest pass: YES
Parking fee: $5 without forest pass
Travel time from Portland: about 2 hours
Driving conditions: road to the trailhead has a fair amount of potholes and such. Drive is possible in a car but probably better to have a vehicle with clearance.

Ice last on north side out of sun
Still quite doable

A hidden gem. Multiple shots of the peaks as you hike. the panorama is the cake!

hiking
29 days ago

Just a heads up. It's hunting season. Worth the $5 to buy an orange hunting vest so you don't get shot. Ran into a couple hunters who informed me of hunting season and let me borrow a vest. Better safe than sorry. Suspension bridge was awesome.

Gorgeous, unbelievable views! Ridiculously windy at points, thought we might blow off the side. Also be warned the last few miles of the forest road are pretty rough and require an agile 4 wheel drive vehicle (ideally with high clearance).

Great hike! We didn’t intend to do this one, but we were finished hiking Ape Caves and realized this was so close. The first two sections are pretty great...rather short...so totally doable. Parts were a little scary since it was so wet out. The bridge was quite frightening for someone who is afraid of heights. More than adequate amount of signage. I would recommend this hike when it is dry out. Gorgeous views. Did not attempt to hike the most difficult part, I read in forums that it’s quite dangerous when wet.

hiking
1 month ago

this was probably one of the hardest hikes i’ve done. it starts out flat for about a mile and then it’s just straight up the entire way. when you think you’re almost there you have about another mile to go. the basin was beautiful and gorgeous and while we were up there a person fell off the ledges of the hike and had to be airlifted out of there so i really suggest being careful when you’re up there! the hike kicked my butt but it was beautiful!

We randomly woke up Friday (10/26) morn and decided to head up! It was really warm here in Arlington! Got to the trailhead at 9am and reached the peak at 11! As we slowly (so many terrible potholes)descended up the road it started to get very windy and the fog was so irie! The different landscapes were so beautiful and the trail very wet, we pretty much walked in water the whole time but no big deal! The saddest part was this was my first time and the fog never cleared and covered the whole view :( We were alone all morning and didn't see another group till we were half way down, then we passed 4 more groups all clumped up! Overall it was a perfectly irie October day, but I will be going back on a clear day to see the view I missed!

it was breathtaking

hiking
1 month ago

It was amazing trial ,worth spending time and beautiful scenic view !! everyone should visit and have fun!!

hiking
1 month ago

It was amazing trial ,worth spending time and beautiful scenic view !! everyone should visit and have fun!!

Did this hike today, Sunday 10/21. The trail is in great shape and I could not experience and iced rocks as reported before. The NF-4200 definitely has quite a few and big potholes. I drove over carefully but you better plan 30-45min for the last few miles on the dirt road to the trailhead.

Temperatures were awesome. Did it all around in a t-shirt and it was mostly on the warmer side.

I recorded 4.75km one way from the trailhead to the fire lookout at the top.

Don't forget your Northwest Forest Pass;)

Amazing hike! Feeling my muscle pain now) I read and expected rocks on top, but didn’t know that it’s almost rock climbing. There wasn’t snow.

Beautiful hike, to say the least! Breathtaking almost the whole way, In one way or another.Kicked my butt though.

Beautiful.

Fantastic day for hiking Mt. Pilchuck ( Thursday, Oct. 18). The weather and the view were fenomenal; also very little traffic.

The views were 5 Star...

But so many people, I picked up trash left on the trail. I met several people who were left behind by their hiking group. No trail courtesy... Lots of people from out of state/country feels more like a tourist destination. There is nothing wrong with that, just trying to give you an accurate review...So many people both on the trail and at the lookout. About 3 pm there were so many day packs scattered everywhere around the building. Both inside and around the cat walk, hardly a place to sit. My hike was on 10/6/18 and wonder if mid-week would be best. I met several 4 & 5 year olds along the hike, lots of dogs in back packs. It was a lot of fun. If your looking for tranquility, probably NOT your hike....The road up was filled with potholes more than I would expect so take your time.

Tips:
With fewer daylight hours, bring a headlamp if your hiking too late in the day.

Hiking poles are great help. You will appreciate them probably at final 1/2 mile and your hike down.

I e only ever done the very short part of this hike where we loop back after the suspension bridge but this time we decided to go right and continue on. I looked at the map and I saw where we could stay in the Lava Canyon trail by keeping left at the bridge. Once we hit SCOTT trail we took a little break over looking the river. We decided to go down SCOTT trail u til it met up with the upper part of Lava Canyon trail. It is t marked but you can see the trail to the left. Also I knew it was only .3 of a mile. They really should put signage there. The upper trail is all up! Looks like an old Forrest access road overgrown. But we had to take a couple short breaks to rest. It’s over 3 miles up. I believe we climbed about 1204 feet. I could definitely say no dogs past the suspension bridge and this is definitely rated HARD in my book. Scary at times. I am glad I did it.

We started at 9am Saturday morning and reached the top at 11am. We recorded 6.4 totals (definitely not 4.8) but well worth it. Some of the rocks after halfway up were iced over, so just take your time! The view was amazing, but next time we will go for sunrise!

60 mile an hour winds at the ridge made it pretty difficult to go the entire distance but it was absolutely gorgeous with all the fall colors.

on Mount Pilchuck Trail

1 month ago

Be aware of potholes, drive carefully and arrive early for a parking spot. Did the hike on Saturday morning and some sections were very icy, I fell even with trekking poles and saw a lady fall hard luckily she was ok. Just be careful and take your time, some scrambling at the top but well worth it. The day was clear and gorgeous views of Baker and Rainier.

Beautiful day on Saturday the 13th on the mountain. At the top there was some ice on boulders that was difficult to navigate, a lot of people fell and one hit his head on the rock pretty hard. Be careful, bring spikes and poles, but definitely check it out!

Nice hike. Great payoff. Tracked it as 5.7 miles not 4.8. 3-4 hours total. Get there early.

hiking
1 month ago

Couple sites on the way to camp over night
Severe pot holes
Not much scenery on the way up
Great trail wide and well maintained

This was our first hike in Washington during our vacay. We started at around 7:30am, the parking lot was pretty empty. The weather was great and the trail was dry so no chances of slipping on rocks.The trail was surprisingly easy, it might of been because we were really excited to start our week of multiple hikes. We ended up taking only 2 hours out and back to complete the hike. there is a good amount of rock scramble to the top, We stopped at the summit to eat and take photos but it was heavily trafficked going the way down. I suggest going earlier if you want to beat the crowds. I would recommend doing this hike! I also saw doggies the size of our roommates cat complete the hike so its deff dog friendly.

hiking
2 months ago

Literally one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. Get there early to beat the crowds! We hiked up past the clouds and had an amazing view of mount baker AND mount rainier. We really lucked out :) the fire lookout is awesome and full of history. The hike itself is not that hard, took a little less than 2 hours to get up to the top.

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