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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Hike 2/27  John Tursi Trail (alternate for Boulder River)  

The Boulder River Trail near Darrington is still inaccessible due to all the snow up there, so we changed courses and went to this nice trail near Anacortes instead. Named for a local trail hero who worked to build and preserve trails since the CCC era, the rolling up-and-down trail connects Campbell Lake to Pass Lake, with part of it lying in Deception Pass State Park. There are wonderful forests with old growth fir and cedar, nice rocky balds that open up views of the local area, and an interesting history with several remains of cabins, homesteads, and a small copper mine. Our hike wound up being about 6 miles, 900 feet elevation gain.

Snowshoe 2/24  Hurricane Ridge  

Certainly no shortage of snow at the mile-high Hurricane Ridge area in the heart of Olympic National Park. The clouds were stacked in pretty thick, so none of the famous views, but the beauty of the surroundings was still very much in evidence. Snow-coated trees, animal tracks, big snow drifts, and endless options for roaming through the powder were the highlights on this day. Our group of 10 meandered the road and off-road routes to the Hurricane Hill Trailhead area before looping back to the visitor cente for a tour of about 2.5 miles. 

Ski 2/23  Plain Valley Ski Trails  

Nicely groomed trails, fresh clean snow, and a peaceful rural setting in a quiet, out-of-the-way valley-- Plain offers cross-country skiing at it's best on days like this. Our group of 8 cast off at different paces and ambition levels, but everyone made the best of this delightful trail system not far from Lake Wenatchee. Most of the skiing is on relaxing, near-level trails through forests and meadows, passing by ranches and farms along the way. We got in about 3-1/2 hours or so of skiing for the day.

Walk 2/22  Preston-Snoqualmie Trail  

This was one of those suspenseful trips where you're not quite sure what you'll wind up doing until you get there. This trail follows an old logging railroad line east of Issaquah, and the recent snows were just melted enough to allow for reasonably safe walking for our group of 14. We were careful on the icy patches, but fortunately this paved path is mostly quite level and ha no major difficulties. We walked about 2 miles to the trail's end, where there's a tiny view of Snoqualmie Falls through the trees.  We returned the way we came to make a nice 4-mile round trip.

Snowshoe 2/20  Salmon La Sac  

The combination of bright sunshine, fresh clean snow, and the quiet of a midweek outing with no one else around made this one of the more enjoyable snowshoe trips of the season. About 3 or 4 feet of snow blankets this scenic area of forests and rivers north of Roslyn, and we got to make plenty of fresh tracks in the pristine wilderness. Highlights included a great lunch spot on a sunny hill-top ridge, and views into the snowy wonderland of the Cooper River Canyon. We snowshoed about 3 miles, gaining close to 500 feet on the day. 

Snowshoe 2/16-18  Overnighter to Methow Valley  

We had a nice weekend with plenty of sunshine in the Methow Valley as we did three snowshoe tours in three days near Winthrop and Mazama. We started out on Saturday at Sun Mountain, doing a (much harder than expected) loop on the trail system near the lodge. Then on Sunday, we scaled down some and did some (mostly) mellow touring around Freestone Inn near Mazama. Monday, after a good night's rest, everyone took advantage of the beautiful clear weather to climb up Patterson Mountain and savor the views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. In all, we did close to 12 miles of snowshoeing. We stayed in comfort with the nice folks at Abby Creek Inn in Winthrop, and had some nice meals out, most notably at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery.

Hike 2/10  Chanterelle Trail  

After a disappointing week that saw three trips get either canceled or postponed, it was nice to be able to get back out on the trails. Many thanks to my group of ten who endured the snowy driveways and side streets to get themselves to Forest Park so this trip could take place. This trail is adjacent to Lake Whatcom, just outside Bellingham, and is a delightful new addition to the many fine trails in the Whatcom County Parks system. A nice smooth path climbs steadily for 2.4 miles to a fine vista about 1000 feet above the lake. Throw in about 2"-3" of snow, well-compacted by the dozens of hikers, runners. and dog walkers out enjoying the day, and it was a very pleasant outing. Our timing was good, as we were just a couple hours ahead of the incoming weather, and views of the entire breadth of Lake Whatcom were quite impressive. Definitely a hike to repeat.

Snowshoe 2/3  Mount Rainier - Paradise  

We're officially back to leading tours to Mount Rainier after a nearly 2-year hiatus. Today's trip was a meandering snowshoe route around the Paradise area on a cold cloudy day. Over 8 feet of snow is on the ground here, and the nice firm surface made for good snowshoeing without sinking in much. Views were fairly limited most of the day, but a little bit of clearing around 2pm revealed a good portion of Rainier and many of the surrounding peaks. We were fortunate to make it home in good time in spite of the lowland snow that was beginning to pile up.

Smowshoe 2/2  Kendall Peak Lakes 

Time for a good strenuous snowshoe tour in the Snoqualmie Pass region. We got an early start to beat the crowds and were on the snow by 8:30am. Steadily ascending with a combination of road walking and off-trail shortcuts, we quickly got up to some nice views as the sunshine warmed us. Views included Silver Peak, Granite Mountain, the ski areas, and Gold Creek Valley. We eventually reached two small lakes set under the rugged ridgeline of Kendall Peak, topping out nearly 2000 feet above our starting point. People enjoyed the challenge, the variety of terrain, the views, and of course the sunshine and blue skies.  

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