Photos from recent trips I've led for Everett Parks and Recreation. Photo captions are under each picture. Navigate through the photos by clicking the arrows on the sides of the photo. Clicking on photo will expand the size. Enjoy!
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Looking ahead to Fall hiking? All trips through the end of the year
are now open for sign-up on the Parks Registration site.
Hike 8/30 Mount Dickerman
A strong group of eight hikers joined me for a trip up one of the classic trails along the Mountain Loop Highway east of Granite Falls. The Dickerman Trail climbs from the highway to the summit, ascending nearly 3900 feet to one of the finest viewpoints around. Although we made good progress to the top, our timing was a little off as thick clouds enveloped the mountain for most of the day. A few small clearings allowed some peeks at the nearby peaks, and of course the clouds had no effect on the delicious berries we consumed along the way.
Hike 8/28 Table Mountain / Artist Point
Another full group joined me on a perfect sunny day for the journey to the end of the Mount Baker Highway and a hike up an unlikely trail to the top of Table Mountain. The hike was short but the payoff in views was almost limitless. We climbed the steep rocky switchbacks very carefully to the 5600-foot top of Table, then wandered the gentle plateau with it's glorious vistas to Baker, Shuksan, and much of the North Cascades. Our second planned hike to Artist Point could not be done because of a closure due to summer trail construction going on, so we headed for nearby Picture Lake instead. Picture Lake is known for the iconic reflection view of Mt. Shuksan, a treat no matter how many times one sees it. For the day, we hiked close to 4 miles.
Walk 8/27 Othello Tunnels Extended Day Walk
It was a full van for this special walk all the way up near Hope, BC. The Othello Tunnels are a series of old railroad structures through the Coquihala River Gorge just outside Hope. The rail line known as the Kettle Valley Railway operated from about 1915 until the 1980's, then was abandoned and turned into a lengthy multi-use trail. We started our walk at the edge of the Hope, walking about 2 miles or so to the tunnels. The sunny weather made for beautiful scenery all around, and the spectacular scenery made the long drive well worth it.
Bike 8/25 Snoqualmie Valley Trail
Our group of 8 bicyclists pedaled a total of 28 miles on this excellent trail running from Rattlesnake Lake to Duvall. The firm gravel surface runs gently downhill most of the way, making it a relatively easy ride through the pleasant countryside. We first rode from a trailhead near Snoqualmie Falls heading north through the valley to Carnation and Duvall. Then we loaded the bikes in the trailer and drove back to Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend to complete the section from there to Snoqualmie. The nice weather was a bonus, and we even found time to stop at a bakery in Duvall, and at Remlinger Farms outside Carnation.
Hike 8/24 Nooksack Cirque
This is a somewhat unconventional hike off the Mount Baker Highway that follows the Nooksack River toward it's source on Mt. Shuksan. It's starts with a shin-deep wade through chilly Ruth Creek, then follows a gentle trail through forest for 3.5 miles or so. The trail fades, and then the best method of travel is to walk the rocky gravel bars of the wide river bed. Views were curtailed a bit by clouds, but we could look up-valley toward the rugged cirque, and the glaciers on Icy Peak could be seen.
Hike 8/20 High Lakes Trail - Mt. Rainier
It's hard to to top a hike in the flower meadows below Mount Rainier on a sunny August day. This trail starts out at Reflection Lake, not far from Paradise on the south side of the Mountain. It climbs steadily but gradually, passing large and small lakes, eventually ascending to about 6000 feet at the tree line. Meadows were sprinkled with all kinds of gorgeous flowers, and the views of Rainier, the Tatoosh Range, and other surrounding mountains were grand. A bonus was the sighting of a striking cloud-cap that formed over Rainier in the afternoon. Known as a lenticular cloud, it's a harbinger of an approaching weather system. Fortunately for us, the approaching weather didn't arrive until the following day.
Hike 8/14 Mount Pilchuck Sunset/ FullMoon Hike
Pilchuck's position on the western edge of the Cascades makes it a wonderful spot from which to view a sunset. Our group of 12 made our way up the rocky 3-mile trail to the lookout cabin with time to spare and got to watch the evening show as daylight turned to dusk and dusk to darkness. The full moon rose as the sun set, and although a few clouds blocked most of the moon views, the reds and oranges of the western sky more than made up for it. We made our way back down carefully by headlamp, finishing not long before midnight.
Hike 8/12 Noble Knob
We hiked to the top of a 6011-foot summit east of Highway 410 out past Enumclaw and Greenwater. Several forest roads climb the hillsides near Noble Knob, offering multiple possible trail routes. We chose the one following Dalles Ridge, which allowed us to start quite high and minimize the elevation gain. Along the way, we passed through forest burned in the Norse Peak Fire of 2017. Glad to say, the trail has been largely refurbished, and the new growth is coming back nicely. Flowers on the slopes of Noble Knob were nice, and we even got to pick a few huckleberries to nibble on. The clouds didn't quite part enough to reveal Mount Rainier, but we were content with the nearby views. We hiked about 6.5 miles on the day.
Hike 8/10 Shannon Ridge
It looked for a while as though this hike would be a bit of a bust, as we drove to the trailhead in steady rain and hiked up the first 3 miles of the trail in more rain and white-out visibility. Then in a matter of minutes, just as we reached the open ridge top, the clouds broke a little and we got some views of our surroundings. Shannon Ridge lies above Baker Lake, and is the trail that many climbers use on their way to Mount Shuksan. We wound up going about 8 miles total, gaining close to 3000 feet of elevation, and were happy to be able to dry out and see the nice alpine scenery of the North Cascades.
Hike 8/8 Naches Peak Loop
If you hike this trail on a sunny day in the peak of wildflower season, you might conclude it's just about the most beautiful hike you'll ever do. That was the case for our trip, as we marveled at the views of Rainier, the incredible fields of lupine and other flowers, the pretty meadow lakes, and all the other charms of this 4-mile loop near Chinook Pass.
Walk 8/6 Larry Scott Trail
Larry Scott was an avid cyclist and trail advocate who worked to develop the trail near Port Townsend that now bears his name. It's part of the Olympic Discovery Trail which provides a great multi-use path across the northern Olympic Peninsula. For our trip, we walked a one-way route from the outskirts of Port Townsend to the waterfront in town. The wide gentle gravel trail was an easy cruise for about 5 1/2 miles. Morning fog gave way to hazy sunshine by afternoon and made for a pleasant stroll. We capped off the walk with lunch in Port Townsend, some people opting for a sack lunch on the beach, while others checked out The Cup Restaurant near the end of the trail.
Hike 8/4 Mount Margaret
This is one of the lesser-known hiking destinations off I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass, where a system of several sometimes rough and steep trails connects to several lakes and a 5500-foot mountaintop. Since our group was fairly small and very experienced, we decided to make it a one-way trip between two trailheads that would allow us to visit not only the summit of Margaret, but also to pass by Lake Laura, Lillian Lake, the Twin Lakes, and several nice wildflower meadows. It was a warm day, and some of the fairly primitive trails were quite strenuous, bout everyone persisted and covered about 6 miles with 2300 feet of elevation gained.
Bike 8/3 Chehalis-Western Trail
We had a full group of 13 cyclists as we traveled to the town of Yelm in Thurston County to try out one of the nicest bike trails in our state. The route began on the Yelm-Tenino Trail for 7 miles, then connected to the Chehalis-Western Trail heading northward. Both are former logging railroads (1928-1980) that are now nicely paved and provide miles of easy riding through mostly rural countryside. Along the way, we took time out for a bakery stop in the town of Rainier, checked out a fun little place called the Monarch Sculpture Park, and finished off with a gentle stroll on a foot trail out to the saltwater at Woodard Bay, Woodard Bay is where the old railroad ended, and logs were dumped into the water to be hauled to the mills in Everett. By trip's end, people had covered 28 miles on the bikes and nearly 2 walking.
Hike 8/1 Skyline Divide
August 1st in the Mount Baker Wilderness at Skyline Divide was just exactly what you would expect from August 1st-- nice sunny skies over the Cascades, views of wave upon wave of jagged mountains, a carpet of colorful wildflowers coating the meadows, and all in all a fine day to be out on the trail. We hiked the steadily climbing path for 2 miles up to the 5800-foot-high divide and were greeted with a classic Mt. Baker view and flowers at their peak of bloom. Some took advantage of the opportunities to roam along the ridge, taking in the views that stretched from Puget Sound to Canada.