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    1 month, 1 week ago
    The White river valley trail is un-maintained. In glacier peak wilderness that means an abundance of brush overgrowth and loss of the trail. Although the trail can be followed fairly easily up to thunder basin, only remnants of the trail can be found beyond that. In most places the brush is so high it’s over your head. You will be pushing through all sorts of vegetation including thistles. Early on in the trail not much beyond the junction with the buck creek trail you can get a taste of minor brushy-ness where the trail is still very visible. However, remember this is only minor compared to what’s past thunder basin. Also, after the last stream crossing as you start to climb, the trail becomes slightly more visible, but it is still hard to follow. We were able to follow it up until a sharp switch back that occurs near a gorge. We couldn’t find that switch so we ended up climbing up the gorge which I’m sure would be a waterfall earlier in the year. It did require minor rock climbing. We ended up exiting the gorge when things became too vertical and continued our climb pulling ourselves up the rest of the way using the densely packed brush. This was the only time I was thankful for the brush. We eventually intersected the trail once again. From that point on until the intersection with the pct it was fairly easy to follow with only a couple narrow and slick washouts on slopes. I and my husband were able to make our way through, but it was one of the most miserable hikes we’re ever had, and one of the most exhausting even compared to our days of 15+ miles with two 2,500+ passes.

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    2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Great scramble with Kelly Chris Michael and Amy
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    5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Hiked this trail on Monday 10/15/18. This was literally one of the most difficult hikes I did this year! The roots, rocks and obstacles on the actual trail are relentless. This trail starts off easy on the road gradually going up hill on forrest road 63. There are 3 major washouts on forest road 63. Once on the trail it is all up hill and steep switchbacks until you reach virgin lake where it flattens a bit. There is a white rock wall that you must climb up to continue on the trail to virgin and blanca lake. After virgin lake you will be going down even more difficult terrain than the initial climb to virgin lake and you won't even see blanca lake until you're right on top of it. The day use trail is tiny and has more than a few scary parts. I would not suggest this trail for small children. Blanca lake this time of year had icy grounds, so take care in your steps. Lots of places are roped off for regrowth. My legs were freaking exhausted before I hit blanca lake. The climb up and then back down past virgin lake took everything in me not from buckling legs and tumbling down the mountain. It took me 10+ hours to complete this hike including all the breaks. My moving time was 9 hours and 35 minutes. I was hiking for a total of 10.6 miles. The bathroom at the true trailhead is closed due to the road washouts. This trail also feels really long when you're hiking it. I saw 2 trail runners, 8 hikers and a dog and a backpacker w/dog. I started on this trail at 6:30am and didn't finish till 5pm. The road in starts out paved and then turns to hard packed dirt with a lot of potholes, top speed I was driving was 20mph. It would be wise to have a map of the area as there are some trails that branch out from the main trail as well as for navigating the road.
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    user_profile stars
    12 months ago
    This is one of the best hikes around. You can stop at Cascade Pass but you are missing the best part of the entire hike. The higher you go the better the views get. There is a trail all the way to Sahale Glacier Camp. RT here is about 12 miles. For those with some mountaineering skills you can summit Sahale Peak. You should have and know how to use crampons and an ice axe to get to the base of the rock. It is class 3-5 depending on the route up you choose.
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    3 weeks ago
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    2 months, 2 weeks ago
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