Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Buckley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This trail was a really easy one, it’s a simple walk down a forest service road. But being along side the river was beautiful. The falls were remarkable, and the waster felt amazing on such a warm day. We hiked up further than the falls, and got a gorgeous view of the river after climbing about 1,300 feet over about 2.4 miles. If you go further up, the trail is very overgrown and there are multiple large trees down over the trail that you have to climb over.

hiking
13 days ago

This is a fabulous easy hike, the last little bit before the peak was a bit burley but still a blast. This is one of my favorite hikes so far.

The bugs everyone complaining about? they are everywhere in Washington so wear bug repellent.

PLEASE keep dogs on leash, it's upsetting to get charged by unruly dogs, it concerns me for the wildlife nearby.

The road up is long and crappy but I've seen worse, go slow and use caution the rocks are sharp and I could see a tire getting popped easily.

hiking
15 days ago

I read the reviews before we went and knew ahead of time about the road up. Having an anxious dog who needs to see everything, the ride up was pretty brutal. But, as soon as we got on the trail itself, it was pretty easy going and the views were awesome. I cannot express enough how important it is to leash your dogs though. Even if they are well behaved, you never know what can happen with other approaching dogs/people. It is definitely better to be safe, rather than sorry.

hiking
16 days ago

The road is very rocky and there's a lot of huge potholes. It is not advisable if your car is not fit for off-road driving. The view of the cascades and the lakes are amazing. And the fields of wildflowers were beautiful. However, the bugs were insanely ANNOYING! The bugs will constantly swirm around you and the horse fly bites stung.

Great stop after Green Lake trail. the pool at the base of the falls was the much needed retreat after a day on the trails.

hiking
25 days ago

If I had a favorite shade of blue, Summit Lake would be it. A nice gentle hike through the woods with lots of shade, leading up to a gorgeous (and freezing!) alpine lake. Take the loop around the lake for an amazing view at the summit overlooking Mt. Rainier and the water below.

We went to the right on the loop, which was a very gradual ascent. We took the other way down, and that was much rockier and steeper, but still doable at a slower pace. The bugs are NO JOKE!

We only saw a handful of other people along the trail and had the lake to ourselves once we made it down to the beach. The trail that leads to the lake will provide an access point to the water, albeit rocky. If you're looking for more of a beach feel, about a quarter of the way to the right on the lake loop, some side trails wind down towards the water. Again, it's a steep climb, so walk carefully!

And for the road: Yikes. It's exceptionally rocky and filled with giant potholes the entire length. We did pop a tire on our Jeep Wrangler, and had a spare, but no jack. Luckily, we were able to drive up onto a rock and balance the weight to change the tire. If you do venture to the trailhead in a vehicle, make sure you had both of those things so you're not stranded! We didn't get cell phone reception until we hit pavement again, so arranging a tow truck is highly unlikely.

Not worth the drive up

beautiful lake and views from peak above lake. Not worth the access road drive for a 1 hour hike.

The road is just as bad as advertised. Most of it is spent deciding whether to go over the large rocks on one side of the road or through the washed out ruts on the other side. I thought that it probably wouldn't be much worse than the road to Mowich Lake but I was wrong.

The hike itself is fairly enjoyable and the view from the peak overlooking the lake and Mt Rainier is fantastic.

Overall, I probably wouldn't do it again as there are other hikes with just as good of a payoff without the awful road to get to them.

hiking
1 month ago

Sunny 51 degrees at 8:45a
Trip start: 8:58a
Reached Lake: 10:00a
Arrived ridge peak via east trail: 10:30a
Duration at peak: 25-30 min
Return via west trail (did loop) to Trailhead by: 12:00p

Drive from Carbon river bridge: Its true, the road is really rough and rocky (all 6.6 miles of it). I don't feel you need a high clearance vehicle (potholes are wide/shallow, and any washout can be driven around.) Though I do recommend a sturdy reliable vehicle. Go slow and maneuver carefully and you'll be fine. Plan about 30-45 min (I took 25 min in my Audi Q5) I even saw the benchmark Prius at the trailhead. lol

Trailhead parking: The main lot area can easily accommodate about 20 cars (if people park respectfully). But many don't and do a double wide park job. Rude. As usual the road to the TH turns then into a single lane for a bit. As was the case at 12:10p.

Trail condition: Really good. No problems.

Looping the Lake: If you plan to loop the lake, take note. Once you reach the perimeter of the lake, you can go left (towards the open field) or go right via the slightly longer scenic route. Going left you will encounter a lot of side trails...just skirt along the lake. Eventually they all converge and form a single rough, rocky, bushy, steep, trail up the west side of the rocky ridge peak. Its definitely quick. Take the Right scenic route and enjoy less of an incline but see a lot more beauty all around. Either way, its a loop.

Toilets: None at Trailhead. Though, before you cross the Carbon river bridge, go a few hundred yards further (there are two toilets there) as it hosts several other trails there. Park Ranger station you would have passed has no public restrooms.

Overall a great morning hike and no bugs. Mt Rainier looked happy.

backpacking
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful!! There is a 5 mile rocky road with pot holes just be ware of that. If you take a car it will take you much longer to get to. It took us about 35 minutes in a truck.

The hike itself is not too hard at all. Yes incline but it's fairly quick to the lake. Also millions of Glacier Lilly's to see. We packed in on Sunday which was perfect because others who packed in that weekend were on their way out. We found the best spot thats on a ridge to the right of the lake with a perfect view of the mountain and lake down bellow. The lake is cold and refreshing. Lots of day hikers enjoying the lake too. We convinced a couple that has never been up there to go to the look out at the top, as they were just going to head home after the lake. It may look steep from the lake but it's not super hard and only about 15 minutes to the top at the most. Little snow ridge that is passable up top and the view is incredible!! You won't regret going all the way up!

Bugs. Horse flies at the lake. I had skin so soft that helped keep them at bay but still got bit. Also if you're staying I recommend going to the top to watch the sunset/sunrise but the mosquitoes come out in full force. At least at our camp site we had repellent that had a 15 ft. Radius witch worked well. We had just picked it up from Cabellas.

We did hear some music base while at the lake for about 10 minutes sounded like it was coming from behind the lake. EDM or something like that idk. I love music (at a bar, club or while w/o) but please be mindful that most of us go up there to enjoy the peace and quiet. Use your headphones or at least turn off the base on your player because sound travels easily up there. We also packed out some trash that we saw including a pair of fairly used woman's sandals. Please pack out everything you bring including food scraps. There was a full water bottle in the lake and banana peels, pistachios. Understandably things get over looked or fall out of bags. Do your best and if you can pick stuff up when you see it to help preserve these beautiful places and give the next visitors their best experience!

We will definitely go back. Maybe next time we plan on hiking up bear-mountain trail before heading to the lake. Enjoy!!

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! Beautiful views of Rainier on a clear day. Plenty of spots to camp along the way up and at the top. The bumpy road to the trailhead is definitely worth it.

Had a great time! Didn't know there were so many things to do... will be heading back!

hiking
1 month ago

Don't believe the reviews, the short forest service road to the trailhead isn't THAT bad. I wouldn't do it in a civic, but if you drive an appropriate vehicle it's definitely not an hour drive. Side note - if you do decide to take it slow, be polite and let other vehicles pass when it's safe to do so

All that being said, what an amazing hike. The snow is just now melting off the Meadows, so in a week or two the wildflowers should be in full bloom.

It was a little busy but not so bad that you didn't get the views to yourself

Some people are hiking with dogs off leash, and while I didn't have a bad experience, it was clear how it could happen. My dogs were on leash and very well behaved, and I'm of the opinion that if your dog isn't, it shouldn't be on the trail. Fortunately all the off leash dogs were well behaved as well. There are two very good reasons to leash your dogs while on the trail 1) you can never trust other people's dogs 2) off leash dogs create unplanned moments in the wilderness that you can't always control. Do yourself and everyone a favor, and unless you're a professional handler, Keep them on leash until you get to the lake and take a break

hiking
1 month ago

I haven’t been here in 30 years and it still amazes me. I took my son and my grandson to share this beautiful place. Be prepared for one of the crappyest roads to get to the trailhead. Ruts, potholes and rude drivers OH MY!! But the trail is clean and the lake is spectacular.

hiking
1 month ago

Easy hike, beginning of trail is very rocky and a couple of large trees have fallen across trail. Once you cross the first creek bridge it’s an easy hike.

hiking
1 month ago

This was an amazing hike! Went on July 4, 2018. Not a lot of people so parking along the road was easy. You start off following a paved then gravel flat road for about 3.5 miles. The scenery is beautiful and the trees that have uprooted are enormous. You finally get to the sign for Chenuis Falls and it takes you to a kinda scary log bridge going over a pretty fast river. Then follow the rock formations and other log bridges that take you to a forest area. The trail takes you to Chenuis Falls. The pool below is clear and blue. We then followed the trail back and to the trailhead for Ranger Falls and Green Lake. This is where the hike gets harder with about 1,600 feet of elevation gain but it’s worth it because about a mile up you run into two different viewing points of upper and lower Ranger Falls. Then we kept following the trail another .8 miles to Green lake which was far from disappointing. Our whole route was 13.7 miles with 1,778 elevation gain but it was well worth it. Definitely recommend

hiking
1 month ago

Always one of my favorite hikes. Today we took the split to Bearhead Trail. Just as nice of hike, but missing the lake.

Light snow patches and heavy sprinkle.

Hiked 6/25. As noted previously the road is in terrible condition, many many potholes and very bumpy required us to drive very slowly; expect that once the road turns to gravel it will take you about an hour to the trailhead. Drove the road in a Subaru crosstrek. Trail itself was in good shape and only reached snow right around the lake. It was raining so we were unable to get very good views but the lake itself is very nice. Overall only think this hike would be worth it on a clear day so the views could balance out the awful drive

hiking
2 months ago

This was a great hike. The only downside was the road to the hike. It was really rocky and if we didn't have a SUV we probably would have scratched the underside. The lake is still frozen with slushy snow that last little bit. My 6 y.o. daughter had a lot of fun but was tired. We would definitely do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

A nice little side hike.

on Suntop Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Long hike and a great workout. However you don’t really see much as you are hiking through the woods the whole time. Next time I would just drive up for the view and do a different hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I hiked the Summit Lake trail today: 5/13. I was the only one on the trail. Below Summit Lake, there is still some snow covering the trail but it is easy to follow the trail up to the lake. Hiking boots are sufficient. Summit Lake is iced over and the last 0.5 mike of the trail is completely covered in snow. After post-holing about a dozen times, I turned back about 800 yards from the top. If you are going beyond the Southeast side of Summit Lake, I recommend taking snow shoes. It was also snowing/sleeting pretty heavy above Summit Lake which didn’t help with following the trail. As for the road, it does suck but the first 100 yards is the worst by far. A stock Grand Cherokee had no problem at all with clearance. If you don’t bottom out right after the bridge; you’ll be fine. The road actually improves as you ascending.

2 months ago

You can drive up towards the peak and have a shorter hike or start at the bottom. The trailhead from the bottom is near some camp sights across from the air strip, off the gravel road.

Its marked 8.3 miles at the trailhead to the top, so around 16.5 total. Lots of elevation gain on a very well kept trail. Only saw a couple of mountain bikers on the way down. Partly cloudy day but good visibility at the top. Will do again someday.

hiking
2 months ago

Once you got to the end of the road, the hike was great. Crossing the (safe) logs and rocks to get to the falls was very fun, but the long service road you take, although beautiful, was not very pleasing the second time around. The falls were amazing to see, and worth the trip.

hiking
2 months ago

The road is snow free to the parking lot. The trail is partially snow covered starting at the first lake, but is passible using just hiking boots. Summit lake is still frozen. The road is rough as many have described, recommend a high clearance vehicle.

hiking
2 months ago

Overall, it's a great hike. I've done it numerous times as a first backpacking lake to get the year started off right. Unfortunately, I misjudged the weather and couldn't make it to the lake via the regular trail simply because I couldn't find it through all the snow about a .5 mile from the lake. The road getting here was horrible (as usual) so just take your time. Huge potholes and ruts nearly the entire way to the 'T' for Coplay and Summit Lake so vehicles with higher clearance only. I'll try this again at the end of June to see if the snow has melted out.

off road driving
2 months ago

Outstanding views.. fun easy off roading.. had a great time

Still to much snow to drive any further than Coplay lake.

hiking
3 months ago

went late April. had to park 3miles from trailhead. after post holing between knee and waste depth for several hours we turned back. bring snowshoes probably for another few months. views on road were still nice

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