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Owyhigh Lakes Trail

MODERATE 61 reviews
#57 of 134 trails in

Owyhigh Lakes Trail is a 7.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Carbonado, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October.

Distance: 7.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,610 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

lake

views

From the White River entrance on Highway 410, 2.1 miles to the parking lot on the right, the trailhead is across the road

hiking
closed
15 days ago

Tried to do this hike today and the Sunrise Rd is closed. Must have closed for the season on November 1.

hiking
snow
22 days ago

Beautiful and quiet day on the trail 10/26, quite a bit of snow the last mile or so but made for spectacular views at the lake. We had many layers and they sure came in handy when we sat lakeside for lunch. We had micro spikes for the snowy part but you can get by without them. The trailhead says 3.5 to the lake but we clocked just shy of 9 miles RT, which was even better since we were looking for a longer one.

hiking
1 month ago

First hike as a WA resident! Below comments sum up the experience well, I'll just add for date stamping sake that snow was minimal and no problem. Hiking that extra half mile took almost as long as getting to the lakes (getting to the lakes took me 88 minutes at normal walk/hike pace, as info).

hiking
1 month ago

So peaceful at the lakes and with spectacular scenery. Trail was a pretty constant uphill to the lakes but not treacherous.

hiking
1 month ago

Extremely quiet passed on couple all day. Trail was fairly clean a little muddy and some frost higher up. Snow at the top great view of Mount Rainier. Very peaceful hike.

hiking
2 months ago

We started our hike at 10:00 a.m. The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow. We only met three other groups of hikers on the trail. Most of the hike takes place in the shade of beautiful trees. Note the hike is mostly uphill, although not too steep, until you reach Owyhigh Lakes. We did not take the unmarked .5 mile spur on the right at the end of the trail because according to the topo map and previous trip reports, it was going to be a very steep .5 mile trek. We had lunch at this point though, and then headed back down. Parking is limited across the street from the trail head but there is additional parking on the right side of the road right before you reach the Owyhigh Trail parking lot. Great hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely dreamy!! I loved every minute.

hiking
2 months ago

Unfortunately, we intended to go to Owyhigh Lake from the trailhead in Rainier National Park near the White River entrance but the line of cars to get into the park was ridiculous. The park wasn’t letting cars through the entrance until vehicles left the Sunrise parking lot. After a 30 minute wait, we opted instead to go to the other Owyhigh Lake trailhead that is shared with the Ohanapecosh Trail outside the park. Our intention was to get to the lake from this trailhead but it was very late in the day so we only ended up going half way due to how tired and frustrated our young children were. We were, however, able to get 6.3 miles and 1909 feet of elevation gain which made for a nice day and salvaged a bit of our disappointment. We did see some amazing waterfalls and some majestic views so we still had an incredible day. The takeaway from this trail report is to arrive at the park early if you want to access the Owyhigh Lake trailhead from within Rainier National Park. It is worthwhile since the lakes are beautiful this time of year. It is normally one of our favorite hikes.

hiking
2 months ago

We came late to Rainier and wanted to spend the night. The only place available was Tamanos Creek, so we headed out. It is a long uphill to camp, so be prepared, but the camp was only 1/2 mile from a great alpine meadow. Overall a really nice trip.

hiking
3 months ago

Please take caution on bears

hiking
3 months ago

Me and my wife hiked to Owyhigh Lakes in July. Let me explain my 3 stars. The trail is nice with a good ascent. The lakes were a little disappointing. I was hoping for more I guess. What made the trip special, was the bear that wondered around the lakes and even went for swim. But there is more. The trail continues past the lakes and then splits. There is an unmarked trail to the right. We decided to take it. It was straight up and very challenging. Being that we were not sure where it went, we finally stopped after .4 miles, enjoyed the view and turned back. We found out later, we were .1 miles from one of the best view of Mt Rainier. Who knew, we didn't. Next time we will go to the top. Do this on a clear day.

hiking
blowdown
off trail
over grown
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail for light hikers and beginners.

hiking
4 months ago

Steady, gentle incline. Nice shades trail and a couple small lakeside a bowl of peaks. The picas along the way were a great bonus.

hiking
5 months ago

A fair amount of snow above 5k’. Boots recommended. Really pretty forest. Lakes were underwhelming but should fill up with snowmelt soon.

Fri Oct 05 2018

From Hwy 123. Hike downhill for less than half a mile passing decent little waterfall. Then straight up hill to the lakes. Ended up doing between 10.5 and 11 miles round trip with a 2400 foot elevation gain. Well maintained trail.

hiking
Sat Sep 01 2018

This is an incredible hike with an amazingly well maintained trail. It provides a pleasant ascent through a beautiful forest and eventually opens into a meadow filled with wild flowers which leads to a basin where you will find a couple small lakes. We hiked this on September 1st and there were tons of huckleberries. There was also evidence of elk and recent bear visits in the form of tracks, scat, and a tree that had been heavily scratched apart most likely in an attempt to find insects or sap. Incredibly, we had very little company on this trail which makes for a more enjoyable experience. The downside is that the trailhead parking lot only holds 9 vehicles. Be aware that there is no trailhead toilet.

Thu Aug 23 2018

Your elevation gain is front-loaded and comes mostly at the beginning of this trail which also coincides with forest - perfect for a hot day! Loved when it opened up at the end for the meadows and lakes. Our group overnighted at Tamanos camp and took light packs up to Tamanos peak for a beautiful view of Mt Rainier. If you do that, make sure you are up for the challenge! By my calculations it was about 900 feet elevation gain in 0.7 mi. We were stopping every 10 feet to catch out breath as it was straight up. Gorgeous wildflowers over this whole narrow path upward! Bugs at camp were worse during the day - mostly flies but not biting much. Just annoying. Thankfully they cleared up and were completely gone in the evening.

Sun Aug 19 2018

Fairly easy trail with a few steep switchbacks. The bugs were out full force today but a beautiful hike.

hiking
Tue Aug 14 2018

There are two trailheads for the lakes...one near White River campground and the other off highway 123. We took the White River trailhead. A steady, but not steep, climb through beautiful shady forests up for 3.5 miles until the trail opens to an alpine meadow. Another 1/3 mile or so takes you to the lakes. Wildflowers still abundant, and best of all, no bugs. Gorgeous view of local peaks at the top, very light traffic (we saw 5 other hikers during the entire, nearly 8 mile trek, on a Sunday in mid-August) This hike is a hidden treasure. Despite its 1610 foot elevation gain, the gradual ascent over several miles makes it accessible.

Sun Aug 05 2018

Hiked it today and it was beautiful. The wildflowers were out and not many people.

Mon Jul 09 2018

It was an amazing experience, little tough getting to the lakes, but the ridge and the lakes were worth the climb.

hiking
Sun Jun 24 2018

Did this hike on June 24th. It was switchbacks all the way up and the bugs were just getting started. There was snow up top, but not too bad and a large downed tree across the trail up toward the lake. The meadows were beautiful and just starting to bloom. The lakes were gorgeous! But there is not really any good place to sit an view the lake. I would take this hike from the White River Entrance and not he Hwy 123 entrance(as the folks stated earlier below, it is all downhill to the lakes and a climb back to your car.

Tue Oct 17 2017

Pretty simple. Clear marked paths. Loved the snow. It wasn’t deep and was slushy on the way back. Great wide open area once you get to the top with of course.. amazing views!

Sat Jul 29 2017

I'm a bit confused by recent comments. These lakes are small, shallow Alpine meadow lakes that are about 3.75 miles UP hill (switchbacks) from the clearly marked trailhead just a few minutes drive from the park entrance. The lakes are framed by a rugged mountain backdrop and the view is breathtaking and beautiful. Well worth the effort.

hiking
Sat Jun 03 2017

Beautiful waterfalls

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