• Activities:

    Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1600 Feet

Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall

This hike has many great features: old-growth forest, rivers, waterfalls, and mountain views. The trail culminates at your end goal, a beautiful alpine lake, tucked below a mountain ridge

This hike is 8 miles roundtrip, with 1600 feet of elevation gain. Once you're on the trail, it starts heading uphill to help get your heart rate up on the hike. As you enter the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the trail starts to level out. You'll cross a few streams and hike through a fair amount of vegetation, so if there's been recent rain or dew, prepare to get a little wet.

At a little shy of 3 miles, the trail starts to become more of an uphill climb again. In this part of the trail, there will be large step-ups, leading to an elevation gain of roughly 1200 feet in your last mile.

When you reach the lake, you'll see that there are several campsites if you're looking to make it an overnight adventure. Once at the lake, continue up Rampart Ridge for amazing views of Rachel Lake and the surrounding valley.

Pack List

  • Hiking gear
  • Backpacking gear if you're setting up camp
  • Camera
  • Northwest Forest pass (for parking at trailhead)
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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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I'll say this, if you are looking for a challenging hike with a pretty good payoff then come to this one. It isn't heavily trafficked if you arrive early, parking is also easy. The last 4 miles to the trailhead is a gravel road stricken with deep pit holes...you're gonna need a bigger boat. The trail itself is quite nice, though sometimes easy to stroll off of by accident. The biggest drawback is the man eating flies...the bug spray, it does nothing! The lake is pretty though, so that's great!

7 months ago
7 months ago

The hike is fantastic! The last mile is easily the most difficult part of the hike. Come prepared and start the hike early to maximize your time at the lake. The best places to camp are to the left once you get to the lake. The farther you go the better and more secluded the campsites are. It's a blast! Swimsuits are a must

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Fantastic views. A good challenging hike with the lake as a reward for your efforts. In early August we experienced an onslaught of mosquitos and occasional biting flies. Take Picardin or Deet. Also experienced high winds at the lake, but the sites were worth the bites and windy conditions.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Have hiked all around this area and can't recommend it enough. Beautiful terrain for both day and overnighters. Great write up Scott!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Scott Kranz Explorer

Full-time commercial and editorial photographer specializing in outdoor sports, lifestyle, landscapes, and travel photography.

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