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hiking
17 hours ago

One of the best hikes I’ve been on. The view at the very top was definitely worth the climb. The hike was mostly uphill the whole way with ropes to help you climb the steep edges of the mountain near the top. Coming down from the hike was tough in running shoes due to the steepness and loose ground. We were the only group at the top so got to enjoy the scenic view to ourselves. Would definitely recommend!

Beautiful hike. Well maintained "manicured" pathway that's friendly to visitors of all abilities including kids on strollers. Trail ends near the caves and many will go off the trail to get close at their own risk.

hiking
1 day ago

A fantastic experience heading back to Spray Park today. Make sure you keep going past the meadows for some amazing alpine and glacial exploration. Not too difficult and quite otherworldly!!

backpacking
2 days ago

The lower half of this hike is quite enjoyable, but the upper portion was a bit dry/exposed for my taste. If doing an out-and-back, I would stop at the top of the ridgeline where views are best. The descent to Boulder Camp is good as a place to stay if you are overnighting.

P. S. If you intend on visiting Buckhorn Lake, be prepared to face the wrath of biting insects of all kinds. My dogs and I were essentially forced to camp here for a night after we stopped here originally intending to get in a small snack, rest, and shade before pressing on. Despite generous amounts of picaridin lotion and personal netting, we were so quickly overwhelmed by the insects that I had to set up my tent and wait for dusk to even filter water. I'm talking biting flies 1/2" long, mosquitoes that use those as a distraction to get you anywhere you aren't 110% covered in deterrent, and a host of other biters that hardly mind the taste of bug deterrents. Once we were in the tent, the large ones literally began ramming/bouncing off the tent like miniature homing missiles relentlessly until dusk. All we heard for hours was continual buzzing punctuated by regular taps akin to the sound of pebbles being flicked at my tent. They were back by first light as well...

The view at the top is stunning! I would say this hike is more moderate than hard. I’m in decent shape. The last bit is steep but just when you think it’s too steep it will even out to give you a little break. It’s definitely longer than 7.7 miles especially if you want to walk around the lake and see it from all the points which I highly recommend. Definitely go to the rocky part where aasgard pass starts. Totally worth it! Get there early because it was super crowded coming up when we were coming back down around 12 and it is a lot cooler going up in the morning. We didn’t have a problem with bugs at all.

hiking
2 days ago

This is one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever been on. I would say it is more moderate than hard, the length isn’t too bad and it’s pretty gradual with a few steep points. The top is stunning views all around, the water is unbelievable. The water wasn’t as cold as I expected, so jump in! Make sure not to separate from your group at the top though because there are a ton of small side trails along the lake and they are very disorienting and our group and lots of others lost each other briefly. Also it is recommended to not pee on the trail due to the goats so there is a little toilet perched on the trail at the top for going to the bathroom- amazing view from it too! Recommend stopping in Leavenworth for a sausage after :)

hiking
2 days ago

I went here for a day hike on 8/11/18. My friend and I drove from Seattle starting at 5:30 AM and made it up to the parking lot by 8:30 AM. We didn’t even get to park in the parking lot because it was so crowded. A lot of people started to create their own parking spots later in the day, and boxed other cars in. So, I am totally happy that I didn’t park in the lot!! I just parked on the side of the road-I would recommend this. My friend and I are in fairly good shape as we both play soccer and run 3-4 times a week, so we made it up in 2 hours and 15 minutes. This included breaks and picture taking. The last 30-40 min of the hike are a bunch of rocky switch backs, and that part of the trail I would consider “hard”. Every other part of the trail is moderate. We sat by the lake for 45-60 min and ate lunch sitting next to the super turquoise lake. It was a beauuuuutiful day. It reached a high of about 75ish, but the trail is well shaded and we both hiked in shorts and a T-shirt. The only super exposed part of the hike is when you get to rest at Colchuck, but even then you can find a spot to rest in the shade! As for footwear, we are lucky enough to have nice hiking shoes and our feet were totally fine on the rocky terrain. The trail is doable with tennis shoes...I just wouldn’t recommend it since it’s a long hike (4 hours for us total). There were 0 bugs out, and I think we were really lucky about this as I heard this trail could get buggy. I will definitely do it again.

Great hike. Went 8/11 got to the trail at about 6:30am made it to the lake in 2.5 hours. Had no issues with bugs. Trail was well kept up. Moments of steepish climbs then flat then climbs then flats which made the hike rather enjoyable. I personally would not rate this hard more like a high moderate. If you have done MAILBOX before this hike this will be a breeze. Lake is beautiful. GET THERE EARLY. Crowds show up in the afternoons.

The falls are beautiful.

But this used to be a place you could sit by the water at the end of the trail and have a picnic. now they have it all caged off.

It was extremely foggy, making it impossible to see anything at the view point. But still so worth the hike. We were able to climb up to the base of the waterfall from the spray park view point! Definitely my favorite waterfall yet!

hiking
3 days ago

Wow! That was up there with one of the scariest things I have ever done, this hike is not for the faint hearted but the views were spectacular! I only gave it four stars purely because of how scary some of the rope climbs were.

This was lovely. The views were amazing. Fun to do with the kids. Would do it again!!

Awesome hike! It was challenging in my opinion and I would reccomend bug spray for sure. The flies were relentless. Took our group around 3 hours up and 1 hour 45 minutes down. The view at the top was AMAZING and very worth it. We took a rewarding swim as well, water was around 40-50 degrees. BEAUTIFUL water and mountainous terrain!

Neat, short trail. Decent little hike. Very public-friendly. Prone to crowds. Amazing views. Was very rainy before the holiday this year, but still well-worth the hike. LOTS of dogs

Gorgeous hike! This hike is full of beautiful falls, bridges, wild flowers and views of mount Rainier! Loved everything about it....except the bugs:))) Bugs we’re annoying. As soon as you stop moving, they attack you:(

Everyone else’s review is spot on. Lower Lena... no problem (very popular with a lot of chatty Cathy’s, small dogs, and families on the weekend) but Upper Lena is a bit challenging. Steep, trails overgrown with vegetation, often difficult to decipher or find, and random spots with heavy horse flies. I counted 15 downed trees that I either had to climb over, under, or around and I missed a switch back shortly after the lower Lena split and wandered off the trail. There was also another questionable creek crossing that was not clearly depicted. Needless to say I found Upper Lena and it was definitely worth it! Heard a mountain goat bleat in the distance around sunset but never saw one. A lot of deer activity at night near my tent (5 feet away/campsite #9) and mosquitoes were thick! Mosquito/insect repellent is a must!

This is a fun hike and if you want a nice view of Lake Crescent and, further in the distance, Canada then definitely do it. I hiked it in a group of 7 people with a few that don’t hike too often and we stayed together just fine. Trail is extremely well maintained but is easy to get to so be prepared to be sharing your spot at the top with a couple other people (not a lot, but probably atleast 2 or 3). Took us about 1.5 hours to get up, stopped for half and hour at the top for lunch and to take in the view, and got down in a little over 45 minutes. Again, the trail is really well maintained so if you like going down hill jogging/running this is a good trail for it as visibility is completely clear and there was nothing blocking the trail at any point.
As many others suggested here, if you want a nice cool down after getting to the bottom, if you turn left instead of right to head back towards the lake you can meander over to the waterfall which is a completely flat “trail” with a couple nice bridges.
Overall would recommend. Not an astounding view but it was beautiful and made for a good morning. Kids could probably do it if they are used to hiking but it is a lot of switchbacks so they might tire out easy, especially in the heat.

Great hike, but really technical! I carried up 50 lbs on this hike out and back in a day! From a backpacker perspective, this trail sucks in a lot of ways! The trail up to Lower Lena Lake is pretty cut and dry, but upper Lena Lake is a lot more demanding. There were several downed trees which I either had to take my pack off and crawl under or crawl with the pack on. This was irritating and also low-lying vegetation which obstructs the view of the trail. The bugs were relentless at the top so bring plenty of spray. That being said, it was a beautiful lake and a scenic hike. I hike 2 days a week and just think there are nicer trails to pack weight on! Also, I would not solo this one again!

beautiful hike, dont think it's a hard hike but definitely challenging. beautiful views, saw mountain goats!

Absolutely stunning views! The hike is challenging but not overly difficult, and well worth the effort. The black flies were a bit of a nuisance, but we forgot our bug spray. Bring your swimsuit for a rewarding swim in the lake!

hiking
7 days ago

Trail is fine but can be steep.

8 days ago

This is awesome trail with excellent view. I agree with all the post that last portion with rope helps on step slippery slop but it's not that difficult. while coming down it was easier i position as if I am going up it helped.
View of lake and mountains was gorgeous, I did first thing in the morning as sun was coming up it lighten up the view.
I would definitely recommend this trail and would do it aging.

hiking
8 days ago

Beautiful hike! It was definitely a workout for me and my group, and we’re in pretty good shape. The view at the end of the hike made it sooo worth it. It’s unreal. Took us about 5 hours there and back. I absolutely recommend this hike!!

Great easy hike! My 6 year old had no trouble going there and back and even we spent time "exploring" the edges of the ice caves for a few hours before heading back. No T-mobile cell service shortly after getting onto mountain loop highway. Our only complaint today were the aggressive flies near the end of trail near the ice caves.

hiking
9 days ago

It was a very nice but there were no signs or warnings of the difficulty of hike. The way down was fine but the incline coming back up was horrible. If you’re not in shape or don’t have water with you I wouldn’t hike down. You can see the waterfall without doing the hike down.

Easy to navigate trail, extremely crowded on the weekends so if you’re not up to that then I suggest going on a weekday. The trail down to the water isn’t bad, but going back up may elevate your heart rate a bit! The water is beautiful and my boyfriend went swimming in there. Lots of people brought rafts or tubes.

Great trail all around.

Lovely evening walk 30 mins. in and 30 mins. out, the trail is so easy you could push your grandma in a wheel chair, well almost. Saw 3 people do it in flip flops. Berries available for snacking. Cave made it's own fog and it was visible at 8pm, very cool to see. Waterfalls are full and many. Lot's of downed trees in avalanche zone from a windstorm years back. LOVE this walk and nice picnic tables with a mountain view near first parking lot. Go late and avoid the crowds and enjoy the bird calls.

This was a BEAUTIFUL hike up to the caves with an even more beautiful finish. It was fairly easy if you’re well and able to hike at a small incline.

backpacking
12 days ago

Had an awesome two day trip at Colchuck Lake. It was real hot so definitely bring lots of water. Personally, I would rate the hike as moderate to hard. The worst part of the trip was the bugs, the biting flies were relentless! Applied bug spray non stop and it barely stopped them, but it was so worth it. You need to go swimming, as the water is so beautiful and refreshing. We did see a small black bear in the distance on the way out, around a mile from the trail head. Enjoy!!

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