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Beautiful hike. Hiked it with a 35lb bag to prepare for backpacking in the Cascades which never happened due to all the smoke :(. Parts of the Josephine were blocked due to Bear activity so we took other trails and got a little lost, ending up at Grinnell Lake. We back tracked, in pretty bad moods about have no real view from the valley floor besides the lakes. Sat down at the Grinnell Lake / Grinnell Glacier intersection to eat a snack and next thing you know two adorable little grizzly cubs pop up 5 feet from us! Shaking in our boots we slowly walked away while watching the enormous mama bear disappear into the woods. Afterwards, rejuvenated with energy, we briskly hiked to the glacier and into the most beautiful scenery I may have ever seen. After we reached the glacier view, we did some flips into the glacier water, shivered a lot and hung out with some other guys on top. The way down was another shower of heavenly images forever stored in my pea brain. At the last lake before the parking lot we did a couple more flips off a dock into some beautiful blue lakewater. Probably my favorite hike to date. 15 miles with all the detours, totally worth it IMO
8/16/18

Fantastic view. Lots of people though even in the late evening and little parking.

Awesome for kids! My toddler had a blast looking at birds, bugs, pinecones, and throwing rocks into the river. Easy gravel/dirt trail. Lots of shade. Minimal foot traffic on a weekend morning. The river is beautiful!

on Sapphire Lake

hiking
1 day ago

Many trails are available from the Holland Lake trailhead, which is easily accessible 4 miles down a good dirt road right off of route 83. Do not try to find the trailhead by entering Sapphire Lake directly into GoogleMaps, as that brought me to the wrong place. The AllTrails directions brought me to the right trailhead, which has restrooms, but no water. It was fairly busy there by mid-day, mostly with folks taking the trail to the falls.

I only went to Upper Holland Lake, which was 11 miles RT and 2753 ft of elevation gain. So, I am guessing that to get up to Sapphire Lake is much more than another 0.4 miles. That is a good thing, because that would be a short distance over which to gain another 842 ft of elevation.

Very nice hike. The views of Holland Lake are pretty, and the hike brings you through varied terrain, sometimes along a creek with nice waterfalls. It is a steady, but not brutal uphill trip on a well maintained trail with only a little bit of overgrowth in a few places. Upper Holland Lake seems like a popular spot to overnight. I did not see any bears, but I feel like maybe I did see paw prints on the trial.

There are many other trails in this area not shown on this map, and you could easily get confused if you don't have a more complete map. I relied on the AllTrails app and still ended up taking a wrong turn on the way down and had to backtrack when I realized that I had missed the bridge over the creek right by the camping area about halfway up.

backpacking
2 days ago

This is a stunning hike. Our Garmin recorded 5mi each way. Trail is as described by others. We were able to get there in our Prius, road is rocky and potholed but with care it's doable. There is a camp just before the trailhead on the left that has space and horse hitches. Plenty of room for cars and trailers, no drop toilet at trailhead. There's a few wooded group camps along the way and a spot right by the falls. Camping at the lake is tricky if there are others there. Like others said, cross the creek and there's a rugged trail you can follow, it's pretty overgrown but there are a few other spots. Bring a hammock too for more options, there isn't much flat ground. Lake is great to swim in. The group next to us caught 4 fish. Hang your food. Great hike, only downside is lack of flat ground at the lake.

Loved this hike, beautiful wild flowers. Hike to twin lakes was beautiful as well.

Breath taking views. Saw cougar scat on the trail, but my dog did not seem startled. So climbwd to the top. Worth it.

One of my favorite hikes. So beautiful.

This was a nice slow hike through the woods. I got to the parking lot at around 830 am on a Friday thinking it would be crowded, but I was one of a couple of vehicles there. The trail is rocky but very doable. I had no problems with the trail or the hike. I seemed to be the only person on the trail at that time of day. it wasn't until I was getting close to the lake that younger hikers started passing me. It is a beautiful lake with wonderful views. On the return hike to the parking lot, the crowds were just heading up.

on Mount Edith

backpacking
3 days ago

Big payday at the summit in form of hundred mile views in all directions. Watch the summer weather, electrical storms come up fast. Edith Lake (I think that's right) a mile or so further north and quite a drop is a good overnight. that trail has had lots of new work and is very pleasant. The FS roads to get there were in good shape, although the last mile could present a challenge for 2wd lower clearance. Lots of blue grouse at timberline.

been there many times. I always enjoy the varying terrain and scenery.

This hike is beautiful! The last little bit up to the glacier is a little steep. There were also a few places with some drop offs, but the trail is plenty wide. The only drawback is how crowded this trail is.

Well maintained trail. Raspberries, and Huckleberries just off the trail. Hiked to Elk Lake, bring big spray.

Awesome hike. Very gentle switch backs made for a pleasant climb. If you detour to the right just before the overlook, the views are spectacular. Beginner carrying 20lb pack, took about 3hrs total including a short lunch break.

Rocky trail with some interesting creek crossing structures that work well until the it goes down a bit. Lots of friendly people and dogs out and about. Great destination for a quick break before you head back down.
And if you enjoy wild strawberries those should be ripe in the next few weeks!

WOW WOW WOW! This is hands down the best hike I've done in my life! It can be strenuous at times but the views are so amazing the entire time that you hardly even notice!! We got to see a moose and her calf(twice at different times on the trail), a mountain goat and her baby, 6 bighorn sheep, and 2 adolescent grizzly bears wrestling off the trail!! It was like a zoo the entire time! The Grizzlies were too close to the trail though so a ranger made us turn around and we had to walk all around lake Josephine which added at least an hour to our hike. You will never be alone on this hike, but it was an amazing trail that is a must see!!!

Hiked (7/4/2018)
Note: Trail roped off at 3.1 miles due to unstable snow bridges. You can make it about a quarter mile past the markings without an issue but beyond that take extreme caution as the ice bridges were hollow and visibly collapsing today in the rising heat.

One of my favorite hikes of all time. The views were absolutely stunning the entire way up. Its one of those hikes where you will want to stop every 5min to take in another view. We arrived at 730am and were the 3rd car in the lot. When we left the area around 11am, cars lined the sides of the road for a half mile each direction so the early bird definitely gets the uninterrupted view. 10/10 would hike all the time if I didn't live in Michigan.

Stood on an iceberg!

Absolutely beautiful trail, perfect for a leisurely hike.

Avalanche lake is a beautiful hike! The trail is built for lots of people so it is fairly wide. The river runs along the trail majority of the way! Once you get to the lake, keep going to the other side! Only one other person was there. We had a deer that came so close we could almost pet it! Very cool and quiet! Started around 7am and there were only a few others on the trail! The parking lot fills up by 8am! Passed lots of people on the way down! Lots of families! Go early if you want some peace and quiet! Definitely recommend!

Grinnel glacier is an awesome hike! Completed on 8/3/18. Definitely my husband and I's favorite hike! It is so worth it to go all the way to grinnel glacier. The views are absolutely breathtaking and it's so cool to see the other lakes along the way! Saw a moose on lower grinnel lake! We started at about 7am and had good parking and very minimal people on the trail. Passed about 300 people on our way down, no joke! Get there early! The parking lot will be full! Definitely a must do!

This would be a good hike for a family that couldn't do the harder and longer hikes. But that's only if you're prepared -- it's still almost a 6 mile hike. As people are saying, it is very crowded so I'd start no later than 7-7:30 am. if you don't want to see people. (Although I don't think many people will be allowed on this trail for quite some time due to the fires in the west right now.) Still a beautiful lake and worth doing if you're in the area.

Simple hike with stunning views the entire journey out to Elk Lake. Plenty of waterfalls on your way out to the Lake, and a breathtaking view of the valley once you're there. And if your hot, or bold, hop in the lake and enjoy the fresh mountain water! You won't need a coffee after 10 seconds in there!

Easy hike! Breathtaking views!!

This is one of my favorite trails anywhere - a ton of variety in terrain, scenery, weather, wildlife, and flora. We were dealing with smoke/haze from the Howe Ridge fires on the other side of the park, so I can only imagine how breathtaking the views could be on a bluebird day. The glacier area up top is like nowhere I've been in the states... sort of a Patagonia vibe. Amazing place. We were also lucky enough to see a large female moose wading in Lower Grinnell Lake on our way down (probably around 5:30pm).

Highly recommended, even with the smoke.

Great scenery throughout this hike. We did the ptarmigan tunnel trail in the morning and did this one in the afternoon from the split off. Nice way to do it as it was busy going up to the lake with everybody leaving, but very quiet at the lake itself as everybody had mostly left already. Great lake to jump in if you can take it (still not as cold as grinnell glacier lake!) with Crystal clear water and amazing icebergs to stand on and jump off! Great experience all round for the whole family.

Beautiful. Lots of traffic. For a short hike this has exceptional views. I love the entire journey through the forest not just the view at the end :).

hiking
5 days ago

My group thought this hike was great. On the drive to trailhead, we saw a momma black bear and two young cubs foraging in a field along the way. Perfect way to start the day!

Gang of Coloradans here, so elevation didn’t impact us. Started at 10am thinking we would run into hoards of people, but saw probably 8 groups total, maybe 20 people throughout the entire hike (not including 2 horse trail groups). First bit is wooded and covered, people are right about the horse waste; not the best but also not the worst (like, get over it, share the trail). We were excited to see some different scat at about mile 2, looked like black bear had a great lunch. Steady incline, but manageable. Some steep areas, we brought hiking poles for the day hike but found they weren’t necessary. Saw a snake along the switchbacks, small and harmless. Pretty stream in the middle of the hike, another group mentioned seeing a moose in that area. Up and up included some open areas where coverage was sparse. When you’re about a mile from lake, coverage is gone — bring a hat! Sun was brutal. As it opened up, it was really beautiful and still ascending gradually. Lake itself is surreal, so turquoise and opaque. There’s a healthy shoreline along lake, for many groups to chill and enjoy.

We’ve been a lot of places and done many hikes, and this was one of our top purely for the lake experience. Don’t listen to the party poopers saying majority of it’s boring #takeahike — Bring bear spray and enjoy! Happy trails!

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