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

12 days ago

This is a fun hike. At the top you get some great views.

The view is a 5 star view
The hike is a 1 star hike

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better view within the park. Maybe at the top of St. Helens. Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt Rainier are all very large and visible from the peak. Mt. Hood is in the distance quite a bit, but still clearly visible on a clear day (it was for us).

The reason the hike is a 1 star is because you have to book it up the mountain until you clear the trees so as to not be a stationary target for mosquitoes. They are vicious, and in numbers. I was trailing my wife and could see 30-40 swarming her at all times. Another review commented to wait a few weeks until they clear out. I'm not sure that will happen anytime soon. It's pretty dry there (not sure it's rained in some time) and they're still really bad. Once you clear the tree line it's just the flies, so we took our time at the top.

When you get to the top, you'll get a good view of Rainier and Adams. You'll then want to keep going on the trail until you see a trail that doubles back to the top of Juniper Peak. It's pretty steep, but the view is worth it.

We shared the summit with a few mountain bikers, but didn't see any other hikers. It was 90-95F in most places yesterday, but only 75F through the trails and at the summit. Nice way to beat the heat!

The trail also claimed my favorite pair of sunglasses. Not sure where i lost them, but if you find them, you're welcome. :(

29 days ago

as of june 2018 part of the road broke away but park on the side and the walk is about 2 minutes till you get to a tee in the road go RIGHT for the trail. left takes you to an old logging road. boo. the hike is in view alongside the river. one part leads you strait to the river where you can sit and take a break or just take it all in. continue on and it leads you into the open forest, a continuous trail. then you're alongside an area with huge boulders all around. it leads to the lake but you can't really explore around the lake (a long time ago you could) as theres debree from old logs and brush. you can fish or theres open areas for camp and bon fire.

1 month ago

Review for back in September 2005. Awesome trail, but challenging due to steepness, especially if wearing heavy packs like my friend Dave and I were. We hiked up to high camp and stayed the night there. The glacier started right above the camp, and we did a bit of exploration there (and took AWESOME photos). We decided not to go to the summit because it was completely covered in snow and ice going up. We were equipped for a summer hike and nothing more. I nearly froze overnight and seriously thought I might die. Didn't sleep a wink. I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts and had a seriously crappy sleeping bag. Make sure to check the overnight temperatures and plan accordingly with the proper gear. This was one of my earlier backpacking trips, so I didn't know any better. Part of the resulting situation was due to planning a completely different hike nearby and doing this one only after failing to get to that other trailhead due to crazy rough road conditions.

So here’s the deal folks. If your a novice/ intermediate hiker and have been “cherry picking” day hikes to meet your abilities or maybe even trying a harder trail and not finishing it out, then this trail is for you. It is awesome with amazing views of Mt Adams and the Goat Rocks. So the first 1.5 miles is fairly hard. Just take your time because the next mile is still a good climb, but not near as steep. At MP 2.5 you get your first amazing view of Mt Adams and Goat Rocks. The next two miles are just small rolling hills on the back side of Nannie Ridge that ultimately pass a couple really cool small ponds and eventually end up at Sheep Lake. The views are spectacular just make sure you bring plenty of bug spray and sun block because once you break out of the timber the sun and bugs are a little intense.

1 month ago

This trail is definitely uphill both ways. We went Saturday and camped for the night. Even though this is a short hike I’d say it was difficult especially carrying 30 to 40 pound backpacks. The lake is beautiful and the water was very clear. We were disappointed that you really can’t hike around the lake and there really only seemed to be one spot you can camp which was right on the trail. I’d say this hike is best for in and out hiking and not camping.

1 month ago

Great hike. Beautiful nature, but a lot of mosquitos!

1 month ago

Outstanding view up top but would NOT recommend right now. Mosquitos! Tons of them!! Even with bug spray, they'll lay siege to your ears, nose... one even flew straight down my throat. Seriously. There are very few breezes (which also means it can get hot) until you get to the very tippy-top, and even then a couple still tracked me down. Tenacious buggers! And it is fairly steep, so unless you're built like a mountain goat, you'll be like me - huffing and puffing and a total easy target. The steepness lets you run down the trail on the way back though!

The trail is rutted due to motorbikes, but I've seen much worse in the area (and I didn't run into any on a Saturday afternoon). The drive to get there is fine - there are many weird 'speed bumps' along the last 4 miles of road (some on blind curves - very annoying). If I were driving a sedan I might've worried about scraping, but I saw a car had made it just fine so what do I know. But yes, the view is worth it... maybe just a wait a couple weeks for those bugs to clear out.

As my second attempt to summit Juniper Peak (first was 5/12 - snowfield blockage 0.5 mil in to trail), I am so excited to share this trip report from today 6/24.

Start temp: 59 degree @ 9:30a. Clean skies. First on the trail. Alt 3600 ft

End temp: 74 degrees @ 12:45p. Clear skies. Five cars at trailhead (some for Tongue Mountain trail)

I won't bore you with the details on the forestry road to the trailhead. It was good. No issues.

I'll do my review a little differently this time. I've broken it up to segments for new folks wanting to check this hike out and would know what to expect.

Trailhead 0.0 - 0.75mi : Consistent incline (~15% grade - felt like a 500 ft/mi pace). Trail is wide most of the way, but remember as this is an OHV approved trail (and the motorcycle track is basically a trench that you'll need to trek through or you can do it along the edge.

0.75-1.5 mi: The switch back begins. The first two segments are longer (200yds each), then the next three are shorter (50 yds), and the final one is the straight shot to the peak. After a bit, you'll see peakaboos of Adams and Juniper ridge. Note the grade increases a little. I'd say around 20-25% on average. Not too bad though. Just pace yourself. Segments are in good condition and foot friendly. Lol.

1.5-2.25 mi: The grade here gets sort of steeper, but not by much. It felt like it fluctuated 10%-25%. Overall not bad. But also be advised that the massive amount of bugs live in this zone. It's like an air raid…if it had wings…you'll know it. Great news though, you'll start to see more of Mt Adams.

2.25-2.75 mi: I honestly feel this is where the gain occurred the quickest. Nearly 45%-50% typical grade in most places. My altimeter showed a ~600 ft gain in this 0.5 mile segment through old growth. Nothing to see here…it was just shaded and steep. Take your time and breath. Not many bugs whizzing by. So you're ok. As you make the final accent to the open views, you'll come to a makeshift Y junction created by bikers. Take either…they will both converge a little ways up just before you exit the tree line. Yeah. You made it.

2.75-3.0 mi: You're already at the top ridgeline at ~5400 ft. You'll skirt the ridge to Juniper Peak (its more of a big mound/hill..200+ ft in height). Trek as far as you like forward.

Once as the base of the Juniper Peak…head to the south side staring at My Adams (so very cool). You have two options. Continue to trek another 0.5 mile to the small rock peaks (clearly visible).

Hint, not really worth it, I went. It's very buggy and visibility to St Helens is hindered a bit from nearby mountains. But you can see Rainier, Adams, and Hood. Anyways, I recommend to save that energy and climb up Juniper Peak on the back side instead. It's about 240 ft up (40-45% grade the lower half, and 50%+ at you approach the top). The first half has a little dirt trail (see in pic), but after that you make your own trail through rocks, grass, and dirt. Others have made many so you can mix and match. Here you will see FOUR volcanoes (Rainier, Adams, St Helens, and Hood in the distance. This was a real treat on such a beautiful cloudless day (but some haze did exist at distance).

Overall a great hike. I am so happy to have driven 3 hrs to get here and witness this amazing beauty.

This trail is more of a Moderate plus, due to some steep segments up top that may catch some offguard.

1 month ago

A fun hike for families with older children/teenagers. A narrow, ever-changing trail through varied scenery. The trail seems to be constantly climbing or descending and by the end, you will feel like you went a lot longer than 4.4 miles. Glacier Lake is a gem! We went on a Friday afternoon and only ran into one other group of hikers. Beware, the last portion of the forest service road (2110) is closed due to a major wash-out - be ready to hike a little over half a mile from FD 21 to the trail head (mostly uphill, look for a small pink flag marking the turn-off to the right).

Trail has been maintained and the views were great.

Hard to write a review when I wasn’t able to get past 2.2 miles due to too much snow. I did all the hard work only to have to turn around. Still, it was worth feeling alive. It was worth the hard breathing and heart pumping. I’ll be back next month to complete the loop.

Not a hike for beginners, but a good workout for us 50 something’s in good condition. The trail is mostly well maintained, and easily discernible, but there are some trees blocking the path. No horses could make it very far, and I would not recommend this for young children. It was a great day hike for us, the old growth forest is beautiful, the river about a third of the way in was fascinating, and Glacier Lake is clear, cold, and remote. All in all, it was a great hike.

Purcell Mountain Trail #284

There are two trails to Purcell Mountain Lookout. Trail #285 (via FR63) and Trail #284 with access from Hwy 12. An access trail from Hwy 12 to trail #284 made it much easier to get to. This access trail was made within the last month or so. Yesterday I was finally able to hike it. Trail #284 is the longer of the two trails at 7.7 miles one-way. The shorter trail is 4.2 one-way and as TR’s indicate, the one accessed more, overgrown and hard to get to.

There is parking in a pullout across Hwy 12 or on the same side next to the access trail. The access trail is sandy and inconspicuously meets trail #284, so much so that I missed it on the way back. It is steep right from the get go. Trail #284 is just as steep and overgrown in the first miles. Actually the whole trail is overgrown but lower parts are worse.

There has been some recent maintenance as blowdowns are cut and one blowdown was routed around. This trail is all elevation gain, right from the start. Only one flat-ish spot around the 3100ft level makes a good resting point. From here it continues elevation gain but not as steep and starts resembling a regular trail. Pleasant actually.

First signs of snow were at 3700ft but only one spot. It was clear for the next .7 miles til after a trail junction marked by an old non-used barbed-wire gate. Right is the Purcell Mountain Trail, left goes toward a location unknown to me. After I got back, I found out it goes toward Grassy Mountain and not marked on any maps I could find. This is also the first signs of water on the trail.

Take the left junction a hundred feet for a nicely flowing stream, 4.3 miles in at 4011ft. Go right to stay on the Purcell Mountain trail. I got blocked by snow 200-300 feet after the junction. It was constant and I lost sight of the trail. I took the left junction to see where it went and turned around after it appeared to be going more down than up and away from where I wanted to go, Elevation, 4100ft. Elevation gain to this point, 3228ft in 4.9mi.

Going down was a much needed reward and fast! 1.75hrs total going down. 5hrs going up. It seemed there were more tripping…. hazards going down than up. From rocks to round twigs to small branches crossing the trail and rain and wet. It rained going down which made an overgrown trail soaking.

All and All this is an exciting and strenuous trail. It’s easy to get to. Leave early and plan on 15 miles RT. There are no views however… they come later (I hope). Only 1 flowing water source on the trail 4.3 miles in and this could be seasonal, but I suspect one of the many that feeds Hopkins Creek. Plan accordingly. I will certainly be doing this later I the year.

9 months ago

Difficult trail to find and very strenuous. We could see 4 peaks at the top so it was worth it!

11 months ago

This trail is actually more like 9 miles to get out to Sheep Lake and the PCT, and should be rated as hard due to the extreme upward first two miles. After that, however, it levels out and is a gorgeous hike along the ridge to Sheep's Lake that serves as a great campsite for PCT hikers and more. We found a great wildflower meadow toward the end and our dog thoroughly enjoyed the water.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Glacier lake hike was a tough hike for me. The trail is narrow and drops off in 2 or 3 spots, and the trail is either straight up or straight down for almost the entire hike. I think this trail is a one and done for me. I would not recommend it for little kids or horses.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Getting There: The signs along FR21 aren't all there so make sure you are keeping track of your mileage for the FR2110 turnoff. The sign for the turnoff still exist but for the return road (I know right?!?).

Hike: This short hike is definitely a tough one. As someone who gets out frequently and doesn't mind an ascent this was still a bit difficult. Mid-Summer heat on the sun exposed parts of the trail led to silt-like hills where you'll slowly avoid sliding. Once we got to the lake we dipped our feet in and enjoyed the scenery. It is not the best view, but overall this is a very involved hike. The town map says this hike is great for families and horses, but I don't see either make the entire trip up to the lake. UPHILL BOTH WAYS so don't think this is a simple walk.

Monday, July 10, 2017

This hike was a bit of a chore getting up because of the rutted out nature of the trail, the mosquitos, and the fact there were motor cycles on the trail. Be careful for that! They are allowed on the trail and probably the cause some of the rutting of the trail.

But after dealing with all of that the payoff was amazing! Truly spectacular wildflowers and awesome views of Mt Rainer and Mt Adams. The is also a view of the top part of Mt St Helens that is not as amazing but still cool. We ate lunch at the summit... with a few bugs :)

For us the payoff was worth the rest for sure.

We enjoyed this hike overall thanks to the top and would consider it again in the future!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Definitely a moderate hike with lot of a very steep up and downs. The lake is not particularly scenic and the trail seems quite narrow with drop offs that might be difficult or dangerous for horses. There were no obstacles on the trail. Parking was a little difficult and crowded, but it was Memorial Day weekend. Will probably not be back.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Hiked in early May. Beautiful view of Glacier Lake, well worth the hills to get there.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Absolutely beautiful hike!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Great hike first 2 miles is easy and kid friendly
Second half up to the PC climbs with switch backs but all in all is a great hike.

Monday, August 08, 2016

As others have stated, 3 miles in and 3 miles out. You almost start to question if you took the right path as you figure you should have been there by now. The lake is the payoff but it's not a lake you can sit with your feet in the water by the beach. It's very muddy, lots of stickers and bugs by the water. Nice camp spot hidden in the trees for those who wana stay the night. Bring OFF. Parking could be an issue.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hiked from just west of Jackpot Lake on FR 20 to the top of Cispus Butte. 5 year olds did a great job on a steep, overgrown trail. Can't say enough about how beautiful the top is. Lots of bugs at the bottom and throughout the hike. It is a little over 1 mile to the top.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

This was rated as an easy hike. I felt it was for sure moderate. I also must have read the description wrong as I thought it was 3.2 miles total. But as I re read it did say 3.2 in and back. We did have to go over and under couple trees over the trail but no big deal. Lost the trail at the boulders so we went over and through them, however there was a path to the left, we just missed it. Will do it again.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Yesterday, I hiked the Purcell Lookout Trail #285. The hike starts on unmarked, overgrown and not drivable FR6310 where it meets Purcell Lookout Trail #285 after ¾ mile. It’s on the west side of the road and easily missed. I drove past it about a mile where snow stopped me. Sparse parking only allows one, maybe two vehicles.

The hike starts on FR6310 with a somewhat discernable trail through the grass. This soon becomes more overgrown but direction of travel and orange tape indicate the way. Someone marked the trail with orange tape. MANY THANKS to this person. The tape makes route finding easy which comes in handy at higher elevations.

Soon you’ll ford Davis Creek which was quite raging this time of year. It’s somewhat wide and the other end is a doable 10-15ft climb up the bank. Look for orange tape to mark the way. Hike this overgrown FR6310 for about ¾ following orange tape if need be til the signed junction of Purcell Lookout Trail #285. This is where the switchbacks start. The switchbacks are lightly traveled but discernable and orange tape marks the way. There are a couple long switchbacks in the beginning but soon they get closer together. Some views of Mt. Adams, Pompey Peak, Tower Rock and others can be seen through the trees.

Snow started at the 3900ft level and became almost constant at the 4000ft level. There were some breaks in the snow that were much welcomed but they become shorter as you gain elevation. Follow orange tape. Now the trail is covered by snow but direction of travel and thankfully orange tape mark the way. Old blowdowns block the trail and at times become heavy. This especially obscures direction of travel and coupled with heavier snow makes it easy to lose the trail. Yet there is still orange tape to follow. Sometimes tape takes you off trail around the obstruction. However, do not rely on the orange tape. There were some times where the tree the tape was on was crushed by blowdowns or snow. Be confident in your route finding during these times.

At 4300ft I stopped for lunch and turned around, 600ft from the top. Too much snow and too many blowdowns. Funny how when traveling in the opposite direction on the same trail route finding is different even easier.

While overgrown in the beginning, and snow and blowdowns near the top, this was still a great hike and was only moderately difficult. It will become even easier in late June or mid-July.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This trail is true to the ol' saying, "Up hill both ways..."

Great work out and the trip in ended with 3 Brook trout worth keeping. Used an all orange Wedding Ring on a Spinning Reel.

Monday, June 08, 2015

My husband and I took the Juniper Ridge Trail in early June. A strange year with little snowpack allowed our early trip. We were dissappointed with the trail, it is rutted and hard to hike in places, but the views and wildflowers made up for the poor trail.
Most high country trails in this area are packed and we were happy to have this trail to ourselves, aside from two groups on motorbikes that we passed.
This area gets rather dry towards the end of the season. We felt lucky to see lush green views with Beargrass, Paintbrush, Penstemon, Mariposa Lily, Lupine, Asters and Wild Carrot popping up everywhere we looked. there are not many places that offer such stunning views for the distance of this hike. We made it to Jumbo Peak and were rewarded with views of Mt. Rainier, St. Helens, Mt. Adams and even Mt. Hood!

We looked for goats but only saw their tracks. Next time, we plan to leave early to catch cooler weather, better light for photography and hopefully spot a few goats.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Short. Elevation gain is moderate. The last couple hundred feet, the trail become scarce. Parking is limited at the trailhead.

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