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

Almost all switchbacks. Loose rocks, needed my spikes up above as it was pretty icy on the trail snow. On the way down I stopped at a view point off the trail to tighten boots and strip a layer, I forgot my leather dog leash there when we left, it’s a good one if you care to have it. Got back way after dark, stumbling along the trail. The views when you finally get up there are terrific.

hiking
2 days ago

We really enjoyed hiking this trail in such a beautiful and sunny day in Fall. Fabulous view at the top. The sky completely clear and sunny. Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, and Glacier peak were clearly visible. Lake Elan, Lake Copper and Spada lake were also easily visible. Lake Elan was looking very white (like a lake of milk) due to ice and snow reflection. It was a great view.
The driving was fine, there were a few potholes, but any car can make it. I had a sedan and it was fine. Parking is small, but the trail is not crowded, and we didn’t have problem finding parking.
The trail is starting among the woods and we crossed 3 streams. Then it becomes rocky. Last 1.7 miles were snowy/icy and very steep. Having micro-spikes help a lot. It was really slippery.
My AllTrails recording measured 7.6 miles round-trip and 4170 ft elevation gain.

Perfect hike for an ass kicking!

hiking
8 days ago

Great long hike with rewarding views at the end. There are beautiful waterfalls along the way.

hiking
16 days ago

Absolutely stunning. We did this hike in a day that was supposed to be rainy but for the most part there were no rain. The trail was very beautiful, it was among these trees, mosses, fallen leaves and ferns. It was one of the most beautiful trails I've seen in Washington.
The hike is super moderate and the gain is very gradual. We did the loop, taking the Upper Elliot trail hiking up and Lower Elliot trail hiking down. My AllTrails app says 11.4 miles total. We walked around the lake too.
At this time of year, there were many waterfalls on the way up and also around the lake itself. All were really gorgeous. I should also mention, we took highway 530 and the tree colors were really beautiful.

hiking
24 days ago

Was intimidated by the length but it was totally worth it. Beautiful. Lots of waterfalls along the way. Trail gets a little sloppy at times, meaning it was unmarked and we were a bit unsure but it was still easy to follow. Towards the end it was a bit uphill and tiring but tolerable. Will for sure recommend. We saw a total of three people the entire hike.

hiking
24 days ago

Really a lot of fun- agree that Lower Elliott is a lot more interesting with water views and lots of up and down. The middle flats are pretty through the birch forests and easy...the switchbacks just below the lake will kick you a little after that but the lake views are worth it.

hiking
29 days ago

Had a great time hiking this trail - a lot of fun going up through the pass, and scrambling up to the summit. Some tricky footing with rocks most of the hike. We got a super late start and finished out the last 20 minutes of the hike with headlamps after leaving the summit around 4:30. Amazing views, definitely worth the climb. There is a lot of discrepancy on distance - I think the hike is probably longer than 7, and in the very least is a lot slower than a typical 7 mile hike because of the terrain.

hiking
1 month ago

We came up here with the kids (3 and 8) and our dog today. We chose this trail because of the reviews we read on here. This trail was kind of... meh. We got a late start around 4pm and the sun was already tucked behind the mountain. The river did play peek-a-boo a bit and there was a little sandy beach near the beginning which was exciting and fun. The trail was mostly flat and pretty easy to hike. There were a TON of different mushrooms which my daughters loved finding and describing. We weren’t sure when the trail ended but we stopped when we saw a sign that said Murphy creek this way ⬅️ and accessible loop trail trail that way ⬆️. So far we weren’t really impressed so we had some snacks then turned around. Overall, I felt the trail was kind of uneventful. Probably won’t be hiking this one again.

my dog and I had a wonderful hike. my dog went to swim in the lake and she loved it!

You have to be sure footed and unafraid of heights to get to the summit, but the payoff is immense. Bring at least 3 liters of water.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike!! The fallen leaves, old growth forest, interesting mushroom groves, waterfalls, and ending at the the lake. Loved it!

first time a hike has made me sore before it was even over, didnt stop me though. The scrambling was easy, to me it was more of a series of switch backs along rock which required hands here and there, that was the fun part after a consistant uphill hike that only continued to get steeper as we went, it was upon looking up at the remaining uphill climb after the scrambling that almost made me want to turn around, my body would have loved to call it quits, but to come that far only to turn around, i couldnt allow that. i continues upwards slowly, taking pictures of the mountain tops below along the way, finally sitting down at the top. legs felt better almost immediately, who knew they could suddenly feel better just standing on level ground. so glad I finally tried this one. Worth the work, especially on a clear day. Can't wait to do it again some day!

Beautiful place. The hike was easy but a bit long for my daughter and boyfriend. The lower trail is much better than the upper. The lower trail fallows the creek and is up and down The upper trail is a long gentle grade up and a long gentle grade down. It would be great for jogging but it’s not very scenic. The lake was beautiful and the views of the mountains is glorious. I would do it again for sure.

Wow. I have done “hard” hikes and I didn’t expect anything like this. Most challenging hike I have ever done. Straight up the whole way and scaling rocks for a mile. But wow the views are amazing and totally worth it!!

hiking
1 month ago

The last mile is very hard but the views are amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

Wifey and I took the four kiddos on this trek. We had to carry two of them on our backs. The first 2-3 miles were just up hill. The lake at the end was well worth it though!

Really enjoyed hiking this trail on Monday with my brother and friend - was a pretty wet day for the hike but we made the best of it and it stopped raining at the summit long enough to grab a bite. As others mentioned you have to look carefully for the cairns and flags - especially near the summit. Used this app’s gps feature to get back on trail at one point near the summit.

We hiked this trail Sunday, 10/7. Temperature was in the 50's with a little sprinkle that we really couldn't feel until we reached the lake. Fall is my favorite time to hike to alpine lakes because no bugs, no crowds, and gorgeous foliage. Round trip, this hike took 5 hours with taking about 30 minutes to admire and explore the lake area. We took the lower elliot up and the upper elliot down. To be honest, I wouldn't waste my time with the upper elliot again... it is longer and gravel road-like. The lower elliot runs along the creek and offers diversity and more challenge. Fresh snow appeared to be accumulating on the peaks above the lake! All in all, we enjoyed it; serene and leisurely.
Also, no bears in site.

1.5 hours from Seattle
2.5 hours of hiking for 6+ miles

Really easy and flat, picked it because of the fall foliage. Lots of browns, greens and yellows. Not a ton of red. Plenty of overlooks along the river, not super crowded (maybe saw six other groups).

Very kid friendly. Very dog friendly.

We stopped by the Fosters pumpkin patch on our way back to Seattle, made for a great all day excursion.

GPS for the trailhead is spot on, well labeled. Great traditional, along the river hike, but probably won’t repeat again for awhile.

Amazing

The trail disappears about a mile or so in, the over growth is rough to overcome, but it can be done. I recommend carrying a stick and using it to clear spider webs out of your way, there are a lot of spiders out there. I found the hot spring just about where it is marked on the map, it's just across the river. Crossing the river is fairly sketchy, I had to cross over some fallen trees and then jump across some of the water. The spring is really warm, I wouldn't say hot. I left the orange bucket in a more obvious place than where it was so you should be able to see it from across the river. Good luck and stay safe!

hiking
1 month 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.

trail running
1 month ago

A beautiful but difficult hike. Planned on 10 miles as some of the reports indicated, but it turned out that AllTrails is accurate. I got 6.8 miles on my Garmin watch. I trail run several of these Mountain Loop hikes, and am very confident this one is about 7 miles long from the trail head. This does not diminish the fact that this is a difficult hike though. Give plenty of time to complete it. The benefit of this hike are the views most of the way up. You could really cut it short at any point after mile 2 and you would still get your fill of the beautiful terrain. Headlee Pass is an experience worth the pain of getting there. 20 or so switch backs in a small gap.
Many portions of the trail are over rock fields, we got off trail a few times, but as long as you understand the big picture of the hike, it’s not hard to get back. Overall the trail is in really good shape, and well worn.

First off, the bear is still there, located in the area where the berries are most abundant, about 1 Mile from the top. He was so busy eating he wasn’t bothered by us at all, we saw him about 25’ off the trail, and one hiker was within 10’ of the bear because he wasn’t able to deter the bear so he went around it, he said the bear was more interested in eating berries and wasn’t at all aggressive and kept eating.

I gave it 4 stars because switchbacks suck, otherwise it made a great Fall hike once you got out from under the canopy of the trees, and away from those switchbacks. At the top it was socked in with clouds, it was windy and absolutely bone chilling. As we were headed back down it cleared up and the sun came out.

This is a challenging but wonderful hike. Our GPS Garmin watch listed it as about 10 mi round trip, so be prepared for more than 8.3 miles. There were tons of wild blueberries all along the top portion.

backpacking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months ago

We had a few friends visiting out of town and brought them out camping for the weekend. We wanted to hike somewhere near our campsite which was right off mountain loop highway.

We knew we were doing a hard hike but it sure did kick out butt. The view is 100% worth it though. There are endless switchbacks so makes sure those leg muscles are ready to work.

There are huckleberries along the way and a few view points of the near mountains. Bring a lot of water and plenty of snacks to enjoy the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

I’m not sure where these people drove to to make it only 2-5 miles. That would have made the hike a lot quicker for us as ours was 16 mile RT! We had to go through Monte and that adds a total of 8 miles RT headed up to the town. Maybe we missed something somewhere, where you can drive in closer but it’s such an easy 8 extra miles and beautiful at that. Silver lake is stunning, the adjacent peaks are gorgeous and minimal bug last Monday!

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