“This mellow loop visits the most scenic highlights around the Reflection Lakes area.
— Megan W
Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This clockwise loop around Reflection Lakes
also swings by the Faraway Rock lookout for an altogether enjoyable jaunt. If you don't get your fill of satisfying views on this excursion, you're spoiled!
Gather your camera, sunscreen and bug spray - you're in for a delightful trip. Begin from the Reflection Lakes
parking area on the north side of Stevens Canyon Road. First, head west on the Wonderland Trail
for this clockwise loop. Follow the picturesque shoreline of the largest Reflection Lake, stopping to take the obligatory mirrored pictures. At the western edge of the lake, take the right-hand trail, turning to the north on the Lower Lakes
Trail. Hike through wildflower choked meadows and pleasant forest then climb more steeply up to a saddle.
Take the High Lakes
Trail to the east, traversing through dense forest. Ascend briefly up the hillside and cross an intermittent stream that eventually empties into Lake Louise. From here the terrain levels a bit but is often snowier. A short descent brings you to the junction with the Mazama Ridge
. Cruise downhill (south) on the Mazama Ridge
Trail to the Faraway Rock overlook, remembering to look behind you to the north for Rainier views.
Arrive at the truly spectacular viewpoint of Faraway Rock. Here you can revel in incredible views of Tatoosh Range, the length of Stevens Valley and pretty Louise Lake basin directly below. This pretty cliff and nearby tarn are popular places to snack and rest. To complete the loop, continue west from Faraway Rock, re-crossing the feeder stream for Louise Lake. The descent steepens here until the T-intersection with the Wonderland Trail
. Hike west on this last flat section of the Wonderland Trail
back to the Reflection Lakes
Flora & Fauna