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

Got on the trail around 10:30 am. It was very snowy. Once we got towards the top you can branch off to the Upper Ashland Lakes (.2 mi) or Lower Ashland Lakes (1 mi). We headed towards the Upper Lakes but with all the snow it was hard to see the trail. We weren't able to find the trail with all the snow so we turned back and didn't do the extra mile to the Lower Lakes. We ended up stopping at Beaver Lake on the way down and it was absolutely beautiful. Loved the hike, but be warned the road has multiple potholes going up and then deep snow, so make sure you have the right car for it.

Such a nice hike! I packed extra layers & I’m so glad I did. They were needed at the top, once you stop moving it gets really cold, but the view is worth it!

hiking
4 days ago

We went on 1/11/19. Definitely need waterproof shoes on this one. You have to cross through quite a bit of water, not deep water. We didn’t have Microspikes and we were fine. I used trekking poles once we got to the icey part of the trail. When you get to the lake it is vey beautiful. The lake was almost completely frozen over. We had lunch at the top and it was very cold just sitting there. Hiking warmed you up, but when you stood still for too long it got cold fast. We did the loop around the lake and the snow was deeper there. Worth it to see all the angles of the lake. At the end my Fitbit said 5.50 miles. And yes, just like everyone else said the pot holes are bad on the way to the trail head. Just take your time driving and you’ll be fine. We saw all kinds of little cars that made it too.

Climbed this one in the winter. Definitely need a 4x4 and snow chains to make it to the TH. Recommended to have knowledge of avalanche safety for the winter route, as there are 3-4 hazardous areas of crossing. Overall, a fair bank for your buck.

Beautiful trail to hike in the winter! We went today on 1-6-19, it took about 3 hours for us to hike the trail (which included some breaks for pictures). There was some snow on the trail leading up to the lake, we brought microspikes in case but didn’t need them, it was mostly just wet (bring waterproof shoes!!). Once you reach the lake you feel like you are in a winter wonderland, it truly was stunning! Potholes galore on the road just before the trail head, please drive slowly and bring a high clearance vehicle if you can!

Trail is in good condition for winter, there are muddy and wet places but overall solid. The snow only starts about an 1/8th of mile from the lake but there are some slick, icy spots. Poles and micro spikes can't hurt but most people were fine without.

As mentioned in the previous reviews, the road leading to the trailhead parking has some big potholes. The trailhead was fairly packed by the time we reached there around 11 AM. The trail is rocky, muddy and icy. Microspikes definitely help in the last 1 mile of this hike as some areas had ice on rocks which was tricky to pass through. Took us 2 hours for whole hike including staying there up there for a couple of minutes and doing the loop around the lake. Overall, a really good hike. The lake looks beautiful!

A perfect day to start off the New Year 2019, gorgeous views, perfect day to hike...conditions were awesome.

This is one of my absolute favorite hikes I’ve ever been on in my life. It’s challenging but absurdly beautiful, and when you reach the top you’ll just be blown away. It’s one of the best trails Washington has to offer. Go early so you can continue further to the next water feature, I didn’t get to go that far but it’s supposedly amazing.

I thought this was a great hike. the elevation wasnt brutal and the views were beautiful. we walked all the way around the lake and finally realized we were walking over an avalanche. I fell through the snow and got a good bruise on my shin from a boulder. Was snowing at the top and very wet.

hiking
24 days ago

We did this hike on 12/22 and started at around 10:30 AM. The lower gate was open but the second gate was closed. We were the only car parked at the second gate and could tell from the foot prints that there were only two other people in front of us going up the road. The snow starts on the road about mid way between the first and second gate and covers the ground all the way up to the top.

The hike itself is great. Fresh deep powder all the way up. Beautiful scenes the entire way. It is cold though you will need good winter/snow gear.

When we arrived at the top we found the tower was boarded up and closed. There was a small opening at the bottom of the door so we crawled in and found the other two people that had went up that day. They told us that earlier in the morning the lower gate had been closed as well so they had to make the climb from the Heather Lake parking area.

The top was beautiful but very windy and quite cold so be prepared.

We did this hike on Sunday 12/2 between 10am-2pm, the actual road to the hike was uphill and lots of potholes in the beginning but it does get better and turn into an actual road closer to the top of the trail. Snow on the entire trail, gets a bit deeper closer to the top about 1 inch of snow. Not very crowded, saw more people as we were coming down than going up. The last section of the hike is like a mini rock climb to get to the tower you have to climb up some rocks and then climb the ladder to the tower, bring good snow gear if you plan on going to the very top at this time very cold and icy! Great hike overall, one of our favorites. Bring northwest forest pass!!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail to some nice lakes. Easy to get to, nothing strenuous, lots of board walks that could be very slippery in wet weather/light snow. We hit a dusting of snow at Beaver Lake. Past Beaver Lake is where the majority of the board walks are, so we put on our "yak-trax" and had no issue. Very lightly trafficked - we saw only 1 other couple the entire time, while at Lake Twenty-Two, that parking lot was overflowing with cars - I can't imagine how crowded that trail was.

Regarding the road: yes, monster DEEP pot-holes, they'll swallow your car, certain destruction, stay-away!!! ;^) Seriously, it appears some people expect these roads to be like a city street all the way to the trailhead. It's a FOREST ROAD for crying out loud! This is a typical FOREST ROAD with pot holes and water - the majority have that. If you have issues with potholes and water, then please stay home. Anyone with the slightest amount of common sense could easily get a Honda Civic to the trailhead with no issues.

hiking
1 month ago

12|1|18
The road to the trail head is littered with potholes, use caution. The trail register is closed for the season so be sure to let someone know where you are. The trail is very wet. Lots of running water on the tail. Snow made an appearance about 1/4 mile from the lake. There is about 3 inches of snow at the lake and it is starting to ice over. Not many people on the way up we started at 8 am by the time we got back to the car at noon there were no more parking spots. Great hike always one of my favorites

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike! The moderate rating is justified due to the elevation gain, flooded areas, and trees/roots on the trail. Had snow at the lake which made for beautiful photos, would definitely recommend to others and doing it again.

This is my FAVORITE hike in this area. Not too long. Steady elevation. And breathtaking lake! I’ve done this hike probably 20 times, and attempted it during every season and it never disappoints! My 4 year old even did the hike and only needed to be helped at the very top. And bonus theirs a “toilet” at the top ;)

hiking
1 month ago

This is a GREAT hike. We went in November and it was one of the last nice days of the season, which made for a beautiful frost cover near the Lake. It’s colder up there so layers are a must. Water proof shoes, the pot holes and the frosted walk way (not unsafe) in other reviews are accurate. It’s only an hour and half from Seattle and easily done in a half day. Light traffic during this time of year. We loved how you could hike all the way around the lake too. Highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice, quiet hike. Worth the committment once you get to the top. 4/5 stars because there isn't much to see along the way. I took my time for photos and still finished in less than 3 hours. HUGE cedar trunks close to trailhead. Lake is just about frozen all the way across the top. No snow yet. Planks a little slippery.
Started as first car, ended with 5 other cars.

Definitely a lot of potholes on Pilchuk Road, but the hike and the lake were beautiful. There were maybe 15 cars in the lot when we got there around 11 on a Saturday, but the trail wasn’t crowded by any means. You warm up hiking in the forest but it definitely gets cold when you’re at the lake and don’t have the tree cover. Like others are saying, the boardwalks along the lake were frosty but it was manageable. There was some snow at the lake (not on the trail itself) and the lake was iced over a bit. We saw a lot of younger children in rain boots that definitely were not enjoying themselves because there are a lot of rocks and tree roots that can be difficult to navigate at times.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing old growth trail. I agree with the moderate rating because of the elevation gain and the difficulty of navigating the trail. Roots and rocks can be a big problem if you don’t pay attention. The reward at the lake is well worth the effort. Beautiful even on a cloudy day! I had the trail and lake to myself today. I ran into 4 people on the way down. I will return to this trail in the summer I am sure it’s even more stunning!

Ice last on north side out of sun
Still quite doable

Super nice day, clear blue sky and 30 degrees. 4 inches of fresh snow, lakes are frozen over. Great little hike, if you go slow and easy takes about 5 hours including a little site seeing along the way. The tree people talk will only be a problem if you are driving something really tall like a truck with a camper on it.

hiking
2 months ago

Wet, slippery but beautiful! Waterproof shoes a must! Beautiful and frosted ground at the lake.

on Monte Cristo Trail

2 months ago

Great stroll even in the pouring rain. We turned into the trail at the first large caution sign that crossed a wooden bridge into the woods. We should have stayed straight right toward the rivers edge instead of going up. The next woops was we missed the pile of rocks to indicate where to turn to actually go to Monte Cristo from that side of the trail. We went about a mile past the turn before we realized and had to backtrack. We were gaining elevation and the route to Montecristo is lowland around 700 feet. So if you take that route look for a pile of rocks about mile and a half in on your left hand side and take a left at that pile of rocks. You will eventually get down to the river again to find that long log that most people talk about that you need to cross over and from there you just keep Truckin ahead on the gravel road about 2 more miles and you'll find Monte Cristo.

hiking
2 months ago

Went today in the rain, pretty good rainy day hike with a lot of tree coverage. However, there are lots of rocks/roots that get slippery. Several different streams to cross and a good bit of time walking through water, having waterproof boots is *highly* recommended. 2-3 cars when we arrived around 9:30, but was full as we left around 11:45. The gravel road had a lot more potholes than we expected, doable in a basic car, but going slow + dodging was definitely key.

An easy trail since it’s low elevation gain and goes along a road most of the way. There is a log crossing, so I wouldn’t advise small children or anyone with balance issues or fears. However, there are other options if you decide to turn around at the log. The ghost town is very cool with pretty forest and river views along the way!The trail is worth it as long as you know what you’re getting into! I give it a three because it’s not really a hike, but more of a forest road walk.

Some of the trail is redirected do to wash outs and to cross the river you go over a fallen tree. all around a very beautiful hike.

Great walk with historical destination and beautiful fall colors. As noted on prior post, there was a crew of volunteers at the historic town, working to preserve this great gateway to our past... THANKS.

Only negative would be that the river crossing point was poorly marked.

hiking
2 months ago

this was probably one of the hardest hikes i’ve done. it starts out flat for about a mile and then it’s just straight up the entire way. when you think you’re almost there you have about another mile to go. the basin was beautiful and gorgeous and while we were up there a person fell off the ledges of the hike and had to be airlifted out of there so i really suggest being careful when you’re up there! the hike kicked my butt but it was beautiful!

camping
2 months ago

Great hike with 14 boy scouts for a fun overnighter. This was a great way for the younger scouts to work on their outdoor skills. The camping area was very nice and provided plenty of room. Although not stated here (unless I missed it) the US forest service still recommends packing in water. Although there was a cleanup in 2016, the Ranger station in Verlot stated that there is the possibility of arsenic in the water still so it is good to pack in your water.

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