Explore the most popular walking 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.

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
16 days 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.

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.

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!

Okay hike with a nice lake at pay-dirt and a pretty rushing river along long parts to f the hike. Why only 3 stars? other mountain lakes in the same area are better and with easier access. While we enjoyed the hike, it’s not one we’d do again.

Nice Hike. An adolescent bear wandered up the trail while we were having lunch near the mid-point of the lake. We stood tall and made noise and, fortunately, it backed off and chose another route. Definitely our closest encounter with a bear, tho we were intent on eating and weren't making a lot of noise before it came upon us.

Would hike it again, probably skip lunch at the lake.

backpacking
25 days ago

My wife, 120 lbs German Shepherd, and I did this hike. We took upper Elliot the way there (~6.2miles) and t was generally flat, slight incline until about the last mile or so. If you stay on the trail and don’t get distracted by the first waterfall, it’s switchbacks the rest of the way up. However if you get off trail, you likely follow the trail of ‘travelers-lost’ and likely go straight up adding a ton of incline. We did the upper Elliot in about 3.5 hours with back packs.

The lake is worth every bit of the walk. You’re not allowed to camp as close to the water as you would like, but the designated camping area is nice, well-used making most of the sites flat for sleeping.

On the way out we took lower Elliot and it was about ~4.6 miles and that took less than two hours. Much better views than upper Elliot. Many wonderful waterfalls and sounds of water flowing down the river.

This was my wife’s first backpacking trip and she loved it.

So I started my hike at the trail head sign at 12:03. Started out walking through A dense forest with a very nicely maintained trail, some water crossings and cool small bridges made of tree slabs. Eventually it turns into a old growth forest of Firs and cedars. So many magnificent trees. It just keeps on going and going forever. Being a arborist I found that part amazing... so at 5.9 miles there’s a very nice open wrest spot but still in the forests. My advise is to take a breather and refuel for 30 minutes or so if you are packing heavy. It would also be a nice spot to pitch a tent. The elevation then starts. The trail then becomes very narrow and weedy. The views then start to open up but i had none with the rain and clouds killing the visibility for me. Blue berries everywhere! Very nice treat they where. I got up to the PCT trail sign around 430 and the mileage read 9.3 right there. I hung out for 25 minutes until my fingers started to go numb from the wind and rain coming down on me. I headed back down around 5 and it was only getting colder with not a view 1 at all. I got back to the car around 7 40-7 50 with. My moving time was 7hrs and 15 minutes. Backpacking in would be quite a bit more challenge but my pack only weighed 27 lbs.

backpacking
30 days ago

This hike is actually about 5.8 miles (includes a very easy 4 mike hike through monte cristo). The way up has a steady incline, until you get about a quarter mile out, then you climb ~400ft in a very short period. The lake is gorgeous! Camping spots are limited, but many people end up continuing on to Twin Lakes anyways. Bring bug spray, they can get bad near the lake. No snow and the monte cristo trailhead is easy to get to with any car.

backpacking
30 days ago

It was a fabulous backpacking trip. we only stayed one night but it was just right amount hiking. Took my 70 lbs dog with me and he did just fine. we did see some bear tracks but no bear. the views are awesome! well worth it.

#findsamsayers - Sam went missing on this trail on August 1st. She made the summit around 3pm. Check out the Facebook group for updates and help if you can!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike today. Trail is in great condition. No water sources along the trail so be sure to bring enough.

nature trips
1 month ago

Magical afternoon along the river! Only one there, so peaceful and my dog especially loved being right next to the river, we both got in quite a few times! Easy lil flat trail and parking right off the road, no crazy long dusty potholey roads lol ;) Loved it!

Great little trial took 2.5 hours I'm not sure if the map is wrong or if the actual trail is gone but you still make it from beginning to end in 6.2 miles beautiful woodlands and river!

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Took Lower Elliott on the way up and Upper Elliott on the way down. Lower had beautiful scenery and soothing water sounds. The last mile of the hike is the toughest part and the trail gets a bit confusing but the lake is worth every bit. So beautiful, great for a swim and plenty of trees for your hammock ;) The waterfalls near the lake were equally breathtaking! We went later in the day on a Sunday and ran into very few people, even at the lake. Upper is perfect for the way down because it’s majority downhill. As mentioned in another review, make sure you have the right pass because they’ll get ya. I will 100% be coming back here.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an awesome hike. It is a hard hike with very rewarding views. I don’t suggest this for anyone not conditioned for hard hikes.

Some parts of the trail are difficult to locate. Pay attention to your surroundings as it will make your return much easier. Be safe and bring a lunch.

#findsamsayers

Great trail but easily could be a difficult designation. The hike up to white pass is no joke. Great views on clear days, definitely a must do hike...

hiking
1 month ago

I do both lower and upper trail I like more the lower one batter view but what shack me is the huge water full hiding in the trail you will love it more of the lake

Hiked today (8/5), sunny and in the 70's. No snow.

We arrived at the trail head at 2pm and had no trouble finding a parking spot. We only saw a dozen people and had the trail to ourselves on the descent.

SO.. first off, the trail is actually 8.2 miles round trip (add it to the list of inaccurate distances in AT). I have to be honest, I hated this hike for the majority of it. The first 70% of it is switchback after rocky, rooty switchback until it opens up towards the final ascent. After that, it was more enjoyable and the views are, indeed, beautiful; 360° of surrounding peaks and enough room to enjoy a secluded snack at the top. We saw a few mountain goats in distance too! Then back to the unrelenting switchbacks...
All in all, I probably won't don't do this one again with so many other options in the National Forest with similiar, more attainable results.

This was a great hike but it’s an ass kicker.
WARNING: As others have written, The trail distance info listed here as well as on the trailhead markers ARE INCORRECT!!!!
It’s exactly 4.2 HARD miles over Headley pass to the lake. Then another .7 miles to the summit.
Plan on 5 miles EACH WAY and spending the night at the lake is a good call.

Route finding experience is suggested but the trail is failed well marked with cairns on the boulder fields where it’s easy to get lost. While on the boulder fields keep your eyes peeled for these cairns and other hikers. We ran into several people who lost their way.

The trip was amazing but very crowded with helicopters & mountain rescue teams looking for the lost hiker.

hiking
1 month ago

It was an awesome hike! We took our young 5 year old and almost 7 year old and they agreed! The waterfalls on the way and the lake at the top was a perfect place for lunch! Can’t wait until they are a little bit older and we can backpack and tent it up there!!

backpacking
1 month ago

It was quite a hike the way up there, but the view was definitely worth it! Took a dip in the cold water - felt amazing after the long hike :)

Day one from trailhead to White Pass is a hard push up, up, up through endless switchbacks. I was rewarded with the most awesome spring trickling down the mountain as I reached the Pacific Crest Trail. The campsite was buggy, so my $1.50 mosquito head net was totally worth it, Wearing long sleeves and long pants were also necessary due to biting flies. However, the temperature was about 70 degrees despite being 91 degrees down in Darrington.
Day 2 was my favorite due to plentiful wild flowers still in bloom and tons of marmots scrambling along directly on the trail. We never had to filter water at the stagnant ponds; there were trickling springs at multiple spots. There is a good one immediately after leaving the PCT and heading towards Pilot Ridge. We took the high route to Blue Lake. It is a strenuous, fully exposed hike, but doable. We only lost the trail at the very top for a bit. We easily re-found the trail. (I would NOT do this route in snow.) The camp sites are good. The lake is beautiful. It was refreshing to soak my feet.
On Day 3, we totally missed the trail leaving Blue Lake, because there are many crisscrossing trails through camp.. We had heard of this based on reviews on other websites and we STILL missed the trail. This is where Alltrails SAVED me. I was recording the route on my phone. I could see where I was and where I was supposed to be. We just headed in the direction we needed to go across a random wild flower laden mountainside. We could not see the trail until we were five feet from it. So again, the Alltrails app saved me. The rest of the day was not very spectacular. It is mostly just a lot of downward hiking. When you reach the river at the bottom, there is not bridge -- jsut fallen logs. When you cross the logs, there is no trail up to the trail that takes you home. You have to bushwack your your way to the trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

We went yesterday and had a lot of fun! We did both Upper and Lower Elliott. Lower is the more scenic one, but also a little more difficult, but I'd recommend doing both. It took us about 5 hours total, but we also hung out at the top for an hour or so. We did hear someone say they had seen Elliott the bear on the Lower trail, but sadly, or thankfully, we did not see him. The view is worth the hike and the trail itself is also pretty fun. I will say the road getting there could use a lot of work. We were in a Jeep, but I think any car could make it, just drive slow.

hiking
1 month ago

July 28, 2018: Great solitary hike!

Road in decent condition, passable by car.
No snow, but there were quite a few downed trees to hobble over. Other than the downed trees this trail is easily navigable, straight forward, but it is steep and ruthless and wooded right up to the end. The shady nature of this trail is welcomed on a hot sunny day!

We were on the trail for over 6 hours and passed not one soul, which I found odd since it was a gorgeous day.

Loved the lake, the waterfalls and the forest. Did not love the bugs.

hiking
1 month ago

A nice scenic easy hike with a great lake view and well-maintained trail. Take Upper Elliot if you want to skip the crowds, but Lower Elliot has better scenery. If you continue to follow the trail after you get to the lake for about a half mile it will get very dense and you'll need to do some easy scrambling, but you'll eventually pop out on a really nice flat rock overlooking the lake that is perfect to dive off of. Worth it? Debatable. Saw several trout come up to the surface to take flies, so if you're into fishing you might want to bring a rod! The black flies were pretty bad on the trail and around the lake when we were there a few days ago. Beware of the bear and everyone trying to get selfies for Instagram.

We didn’t hike it unfortunately. Bear was angerly breaking into the restroom yesterday. Boo.

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