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backpacking
9 hours ago

Absolutely awesome. This one definitely fits the bill for "hard" I think. I recommend planning an entire day here, or camp overnight at the top. Perfect balance of enjoying the forest but with a ton of scenery of the surrounding peaks throughout. Some of the parts, the trail isn't very visible but still easy to know where to go. I can't wait to do it again!

hiking
1 day ago

I did this hike last summer in June and it was amazing. I hiked this again yesterday (09/23/18) and it’s just as gorgeous as I remembered. This time it was awesome to see the orange and yellow leaves everywhere. Fall in the PNW is my favorite. We found it is the best route to take lower Elliot there and back. It follows the river and has a lot more to see. It isn’t as flat as upper Elliot but it’s worth it.

You can add four miles to hike and start at the bottom where the road is closed. Don’t waste your time. Most is through burned area. Much better options around.

mountain biking
7 days ago

I rode from camp shepherd down white river trail up palisades to the ranger creek trail and back to camp shepherd. The first mile of switchbacks on 1198 you gotta hike a bike and it’s pretty grueling, but once you get onto the ridge it’s amazing single track climbing all the way up to the top where it meets ranger creek. Was an amazing descent, 14 miles and 5000ft of vertical. I think next time I’ll take the Dalles trail up, cut the climbing time down to get straight to the fun! Also if your taking pallisades down it’s amazing till the hike a bike section and could be pretty annoying after a long climb and descent to than have to hike a bike. If you wanna ride pallisades down id recommend shuttling it.

We hiked the trail for the first time today and really enjoyed it. We were not prepared with the right gears and got soaked all the way up ! Hale and heavy rain. It is definitely a long long ascent and very steep ascent to the summit. We really enjoyed it tough!! The way down is tough due to the loose rocks. This trail is harder than mailbox peak in my opinion. One of the dog hikes with us and he did fine. A must do if you want a nice Sunday challenge.

Overall hike was enjoyable. Beautiful scenery along the way, but no great payout at the end. A small-children version would be to hike one mile in to the double waterfall and follow the short trail down to the beach by the river and waterfalls.

I came back nearly a month later and was able to summit. My last trip I fell short just at the lookout. This time I made the entire trip. There wasn't any snow fields to cross which turned out to be an absolute better alternative to hop boulders. Once you're through the boulder field, you'll hook around the mountain in which the Lookout is on top of and you'll instantly be mortified of how much more you have to traverse to make it up. Never fear, the last climb goes fast and it's not as hard as it looks. Good luck!

Just perfect. Beautiful views most of the way along the trail. The views from the lake and lookout are one of a kind-you can see most of the Cascades from Rainier to Baker. Perfectly ripe berries all along the way were the icing on the cake. It is certainly a lot of work though-the way down seems especially steep on the legs.

backpacking
20 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.

Did the Heliotrope Ridge trail hike. After hiking for about two mile, there will be a fork. From there, we took the climbers route as we dint wanted to cross the third water creek in the heliotrope trail ahead. The climbers route gets steeper, but we got the best views of the glacier and Mt. Baker. It is not that strenuous. It is dog friendly. There were also a lot of families with kids. We also got a glimpse of few wild flowers. And the best part was there was no annoyance of bugs.
Overall, quite an amazing hike, though its mostly uphill, its not that exhausting. Through out the hike, there were trees with different kinds of berries to keep us hydrated!!

backpacking
21 days ago

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

Great runnable trail to an amazingly scenic lake if the sun is out. Most of the trail is through woods and the bushes along it rub you along the way. Important to note if certain plants give you rashes you may want to wear long sleeves. There is a great waterfall that comes off the lake in the woods. You can get to it by going a bit off trail and following the sound. It’s worth seeing. The trailhead is off Mountain Loop Highway however this highway turns into a dirt road with some large potholes so drive carefully as you’ll likely spend 30 minutes on the dirt road part. You’ll be 35 miles from the nearest gas station or cell service some plan accordingly. There have been bear sightings here too. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”, which include some solid Goat Lake pics from a nice sunny day. Great place to camp.

make sure to have a good meal and bring a snack. I didn't have enough to eat that day and I almost didn't make it to the top last year. but it is a great hike. :)

Trail ran this today. Similar to what the other reviewer said, biggest regret was not bringing a tent. The basin is pretty awesome. Hard to describe and pictures don’t do it justice. Hike was smoke free, bug free. Super steep at times so be prepared to have your legs burning. Kind of like Mt . Si but 3 miles longer. First 2 miles are flat and easily runnable. Hiking poles and hiking shoes are a must. Trust me. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”. One final note, this hike is 30 miles from cell service so download some offline maps and get a lot of gas before you get there.

hiking
22 days ago

Only regret is not bringing our tent. Take your time, and bring hiking poles if you’re unsteady on your feet. Plan on hanging out in the basin for a while!

AMAZING!!!!!!!

Very nice and extra hard trail however well worth the view all the way to the lake

hiking
24 days ago

Trail is easy to follow and maintained but it is pretty steep and it’s made of about 80% loose rocks which made it hard on the knees. The other part I didn’t care for was I could hear the interstate almost the entire time until I reached the last 1.2 miles. So it wasn’t really a peaceful “nature” escape from the city life but it was still a nice day hike. Heard a couple woodpeckers and even picked a couple huckleberries. Started at 10am and hit the peak at about 12:30. I choose a poor day to go because the top was nothing but fog but I got a few nice views on the way back down once I climbed back out of the mist/fog. I only saw a couple people on the way back down so foot traffic was almost none. It was a good, hard, work-out but definitely could have been in better shape before I tried it haha my dogs loved it and were pretty tired by the end.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful views at the end of this hike. Stick to the Climbers Route when you come to the fork. We decided to take the Glacier route. It ends up being it's own ending. We decided not to let that stop us & crossed the little river I climbed up & then back over to the ridge via the campsite. Not recommended but I feel it was worth it! There was still a bit of snow after the ridge, luckily our route took us around it so we ski'd down it rather than climbed up it.

Okay hike with a nice lake at pay-dirt and a pretty rushing river along long parts to f the hike. Why only 3 stars? other mountain lakes in the same area are better and with easier access. While we enjoyed the hike, it’s not one we’d do again.

backpacking
25 days ago

Definitely a challenging trail. but not so hard that it wasn't enjoyable. The views and waterfalls were great going up the trail. The basin has panoramic views no matter where you set up camp.

I will give this hike a 5-star rating because it was well worth the struggle to the top. I didn't make it to the lookout, though. I fell short just after the last snow field. I became ill with heat exhaustion and I had to turn back. My legs were cramping up so bad I could barely stand. I apparently did not bring enough water. I was soaked in sweat. The trail is easily defined but you'll need to pay attention through the middle part because you can easily lose sight of it. The views are incredible. I am returning to summit this one next week.

Nice Hike. An adolescent bear wandered up the trail while we were having lunch near the mid-point of the lake. We stood tall and made noise and, fortunately, it backed off and chose another route. Definitely our closest encounter with a bear, tho we were intent on eating and weren't making a lot of noise before it came upon us.

Would hike it again, probably skip lunch at the lake.

Good trail. Definitely and up and back route. Up, up, and up. The trail was reasonably dry except for the water on the brush that is encroaching on the trail in spots. We got quite wet brushing by them but it dried quickly in the sun and there was plenty of that as we reached the summit. A lot of rock and scree. Great views at the top.

One of the more challenging hikes I have done. My only gripe is someone had their boom box on at the first lake and it was rap echoing across the hills. Ugh. A hike behind us asked them to use ear buds. Thank you!!

Beautiful day no clouds or smoke! A good strenuous hike the last big creek was a challenge to cross but the views are spectacular.

Been to many national parks. Glacier, yosemite, grand Teton.... This is up there with the best

backpacking
30 days ago

My wife, 120 lbs German Shepherd, and I did this hike. We took upper Elliot the way there (~6.2miles) and t was generally flat, slight incline until about the last mile or so. If you stay on the trail and don’t get distracted by the first waterfall, it’s switchbacks the rest of the way up. However if you get off trail, you likely follow the trail of ‘travelers-lost’ and likely go straight up adding a ton of incline. We did the upper Elliot in about 3.5 hours with back packs.

The lake is worth every bit of the walk. You’re not allowed to camp as close to the water as you would like, but the designated camping area is nice, well-used making most of the sites flat for sleeping.

On the way out we took lower Elliot and it was about ~4.6 miles and that took less than two hours. Much better views than upper Elliot. Many wonderful waterfalls and sounds of water flowing down the river.

This was my wife’s first backpacking trip and she loved it.

hiking
30 days ago

I did this hike last Saturday. Very strenuous and very very smoky. I don’t think this hike is worth doing until the smoke from the fires in Canada has cleared. Once they have I’m sure it would be a worth it to hike. Be prepared tho!! This hike was recorded for 14.5 miles.

backpacking
30 days ago

Perfect quick overnight trip. if your taking someone who is relatively fit on a first backpacking trip, this would be a great option.

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