A beautiful beast!

Once you get up to Spade Lake, you enter an alpine fairyland that makes you forget the struggles of the past miles. Did this as a three day-two night trip, with the first night at Waptus Lake, second at Spade, including hiking up to Venus the day we arrived at Spade. I would definitely recommend planning enough time to get to Venus - the stretch between the two lakes was the absolute best part of the trip - meadows, hidden waterfalls, swimming holes, scrambling big granite slabs (note: the Green Trails map will tell you to ascend to Venus on the left side of the waterfall, which seems ludicrous to me when looking at it. Much easier to go up the right side. In general, the trail is a faint boot path, but it's pretty clear which direction you're supposed to be going). While the destination is completely worth it, the trail itself is a slog. The leg to Waptus is one of the more monotonous stretches I've encountered in WA, which is the only reason this adventure gets four stars from me. Definitely stop in Roslyn before/after - such a great little town!


Seeing a lot of comments recommending cliff jumping here or along the way. There are signs EVERYWHERE saying that cliff jumping is not allowed. If you actually stop and take some time to talk to the rangers they will tell you why this is such an important thing to them. Please be respectful of the land and the Havasupai people who are sharing it with you!

Unreal landscape

Just completed a 15 mile loop in the Chisos and had a backcountry site on the SE rim. Keep in mind they close this section of the rim from Feb. 1 to May 31 to help the peregrine falcon population that nests here, so work around that if you're planning on including this portion of the trail. There was a lot of bear activity in the mountains but the park has amazing backcountry sites with food storage lockers at each designated camp site so there's no need to pack a bear bin. There were occasional water sources but it's better to pack in all you need so as not to take away the limited water resources from the wildlife who need it. Sunrise and sunset over the south rim was just magical!

Stunning trip!

Just backpacked this as a 3 day-2 night trip, which was the minimum amount of time I'd give yourself if you want to leave time to enjoy yourself and relax/soak up the trail a little! We hiked the opposite direction of most, spending the first night at Heart Lake and the second at Lunch Lake in the Seven Lakes Basin (I booked in March for this trip to be sure I could get the backcountry spots I wanted). All told with the hike up Bogachiel Peak along the way (which you should definitely do!!) and to/from Lunch Lake (it's off the main trail), the loop was ~21 miles. Stunning alpine wildflowers and awesome views of Mt. Olympus - the High Divide trail itself is one of the most spectacular I've hiked in WA. Also, note the NPS entry fee is $25 now. Bear canisters are free to rent from the WIC in Port Angeles but they can disappear on busy weekends so try to get there early.

Hidden gem

While everyone scrambles for that Core permit or for Snow/Colchuck to be adjacent to the Core, the Caroline Zone sits quietly with much less attention being paid to it. The hike up to Lake Caroline is less well-maintained than other zones because it doesn't see the same foot traffic, but that's a fair price to pay for having more solitude out in these mountains. The views are phenomenal and there are great options to keep exploring further up trail once you've set up camp at Lake Caroline. Windy Pass is not to be missed! Note that the permit season for overnight stays in all Enchantments zones was extended in 2016 and a permit is now required May 15 through October 31.

Beautiful spot

Stayed here at the recommendation of an Olympic NP park ranger, who said it was her favorite campground in the area. Great little campground with clean and well-maintained sites next to the river. Was here on cloudy May weekend and had no trouble finding a spot, but unsure about availability during peak of summer.

Beautiful campground with great trail access

Great campground and perfect spot to bookend a backcountry trip into the Superstition Wilderness, as the First Water TH is less than a ten minute drive away. Awesome views of Superstition Mt. and Flatiron from pretty much every campsite here, it seems... Walk-in campsites available, too, if you want to be just a bit farther away from cars/RVs. Good little trail networks for hiking nearby the campground, as well.

When you don't want to work too hard for amazing views :)

This snowshoe is stunning! The views of the Tatoosh range and Mt. Rainier are unreal. Only a 900 ft. gain and then you can amble along the ridge and explore the area to your heart's content. Stop in the visitor's center at Paradise before you head out to check in with a ranger about snow conditions and get a little map that marks the primary avalanche zones you'll encounter around the area.

Incredibly special place

There's really nothing like this spot. Standing face to face with a 7ft pictograph made thousands of years ago in the middle of the desert is a powerful thing. Please respect this area and don't contribute any of your own art to the galleries!

Beautiful little hike

I've been coming here since I was a child and it's still a favorite spot. The views from the mesa are lovely and sitting in a cavate looking up at the soot-covered ceilings from fires made hundreds and hundreds of years ago is a really awesome experience.

Good little hike close to the city

Was recently in Portland for work and this was the perfect option for what I was looking for: close to the city, not too long but not too short, and with some elevation gain and some views. For fellow Seattleites, this popular trail seemed to be the equivalent of Rattlesnake Ledge for Portlanders, which makes sense given its proximity to the city and its great views of the gorge. Bring an extra layer for the crazy wind gusts up top!

Great place for bird watching

This is an easily accessible area with a great payoff. There are huge amounts of snow geese and trumpeter and tundra swans in the winter migration and it's an awesome sound when they all fly overhead at once. Great spot for getting kids into wildlife and the outdoors or when you need a low key adventure. Pro-tip: Early morning and late afternoon/early evening will get you the best light and wildlife sightings. Park closes its gates during the dark.

Awesome desert adventure!

This is a great spot for when you're feeling those winter blues in Seattle and need some sunshine and sagebrush country. There are 12 miles of trail throughout the Ancient Lakes network, so you can expand your adventure if you want to. Definitely be wary of rattlesnakes, especially in the early morning or getting closer to sunset (when I came across one right in the middle of the path soaking up some warmth). This area also has Western poison ivy, so generally a good idea to stay on trail here. There are fantastic wildflowers here in the spring and a wildlife reserve where you can see lots of different bird species as you hike. Make sure you bring all the water you need for a day hike or overnight because all water in this area is irrigation runoff and not safe for drinking even after filtration. Discover Pass required here.

Awesome views, but not for the faint of heart!

Its name and its views seem like something out of Tolkien novel, but we're lucky enough to have it right here in WA. Follow the trail directions for Colchuck Lake to start this adventure. Where most day hikers turn around at Colchuck is where you'll continue to rock hop your way around the lake to meet the base of Asgard. You will need familiarity with route finding for this section as there is no marked trail. Ascending Aasgard should not be attempted by novice hikers - you gain just shy of 2000ft in 3/4 of mile over rocky, loose, and often poorly marked terrain. As you get closer to the top there are sections that require some scrambling and, depending on how much weight you're carrying, you may need to take your pack off and launch it up ahead of you to maintain your balance as you climb. And as if all that wasn't enough, keep in mind that the pass you see from Colchuck is a false summit, so there will be even more to go once you get to what you've been thinking is the top. When you do come out on top, thighs burning, you'll be at 7,800 ft and the expansive views will simply knock you on your ass (probably even literally so that you can catch a breath!). It's stunning!

Beautiful hiking and educational adventure

A great spot to introduce yourself to the history of this region and the people who used to call it home. Great for when you're looking for something shorter (although there are lots of options for longer hikes in Bandelier, as well!). ***Due to recent flood damage the kiva in Alcove House is closed to visitors. Alcove House has reopened but you cannot enter inside the kiva until the roof can be stabilized.***

Top 3!

One of my top three favorite hikes in my life - there's really nothing else like it. Keep in mind that June through September is generally regarded as the best time of year to go due to warmer waters and longer days, but that monsoon season is mid-July to mid-September, meaning these are the most dangerous months for flash floods due to thunderstorms. Whenever you choose to go, be sure to pay close attention to weather in the region before you head out on this amazing adventure!

Scariest hike I've ever done in my life, but hey, falling is one of my greatest fears. Very much worth the trembling in my bones to get to the top and see that stellar view, though!

The cream of the crop. If you can get this permit, you're in heaven. Sure, it's possible to thru hike this in a day, but I'm all in favor of taking your time and really savoring this other-wordly landscape.

A little bit of a scramble to get up there but definitely worth it.

My favorite spot on the Washington coast!

One of the best winter overnights I've ever done. Crater Lake is a truly special place no matter the time of year, but in winter you have a lot more solitude to enjoy it! Be sure to check the Crater Cam before you go if you can - winter is hit or miss with the weather here!

Love this spot. Awesome sunsets. Overnight if you can!

Beautiful trail but can be a bit crowded. If you continue past the main falls it thins out and is a nice quiet walk through the forest!

Lovely lake basin and a great option for shorter/easier routes on the Mountain Loop Highway.