Crystal Lakes Trail

Greenwater, Washington

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3 Reviews
4 out of 5
These beautiful lakes are nestled in a green bowl beneath high, craggy peaks. You might encounter a few elk, maybe a mountain goat or two, and possibly even a black bear. The latter is especially likely in late summer when the plethora of purple fruit— succulent huckleberries!—ripens up. That’s all you’ll find here. If you need more natural beauty, you’re out of luck. You won’t find many trails that offer wilderness like this. The trail climbs steeply away from the highway, piercing dense old forest as it climbs. That’s a good thing, since the tight forest canopy provides welcome shade as you sweat up a long series of switchbacks in the first 1.5 miles. At that point, the trail splits; the right fork leads to Crystal Peak.
Day Hiking: Mount Rainier National Park

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: Mount Rainier National Park

by Dan A. Nelson & Alan L. Bauer (The Mountaineers Books)

These beautiful lakes are nestled in a green bowl beneath high, craggy peaks. You might encounter a few elk, maybe a mountain goat or two, and possibly even a black bear. The latter is especially likely in late summer when the plethora of purple fruit— succulent huckleberries!—ripens up. That’s all you’ll find here. If you need more natural beauty, you’re out of luck. You won’t find many trails that offer wilderness like this.

The trail climbs steeply away from the highway, piercing dense old forest as it climbs. That’s a good thing, since the tight forest canopy provides welcome shade as you sweat up a long series of switchbacks in the first 1.5 miles. At that point, the trail splits; the right fork leads to Crystal Peak.

©  Dan A. Nelson & Alan L. Bauer/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Greenwater
Distance: 6
Elevation Gain: 2,300 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: June–Oct
Trailhead Elevation: 3,600 feet
Top Elevation: 5,828 feet
Local Contacts: Sunrise Ranger Station
Local Maps: Green Trails Mount Rainier East, No. 270
Driving Directions: Directions to Crystal Lakes Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

7/18/2009
0

Crystal lakes was a beautiful hike up to a mountain top lake that was crystal clear. There was lots of amazing plants flowering up here in addition to pretty vast grasslands growing up the side of the mountain slopes and large flat surfaces. Loved this hike!


7/11/2009
0

Easy trail, located just within Mt Rainier National Park and before the pay station so no permit required for day hiking. Good views of Mt Rainier. Lots of bugs!


10/2/2003
0

The hike was a good one, the combination of the beginning elevation (and ending) and the constant climb did make it a strenuous hike for us. However, we really enjoyed the hike and we were quite proud of ourselves when we made it to the 2nd lake...amazing views of Mount Rainier midway, the lakes were beautiful and the scenery in the vicinity was great.



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Apr 2018