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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Feeling those mid-winter doldrums? Lots of fun activities going on in February-- snowshoeing, cross country skiing, hikes, and walks. Most trips have openings, so ward off that cabin fever and join us for a nice day out in the great outdoors. See the Parks Registration site.
It's not too early to start thinking of summer hiking. A preview of my summer (May through August) schedule can be found by clicking HERE. Start marking your calendars now!
(Note that Overnighter to Cathedral Provincial Park has been changed to July 31- Aug. 3)
Snowshoe 2/15 Wenatchee Crest (alternate for Mt. Rainier - Reflection Lake)
Our planned trip to Mount Rainier fell victim to the landslide-related closure of the main park access highway, so we headed instead for Blewett Pass on the east slopes of the Cascades. Recent rains and warm weather have reduced the snow pack in that area, but we were still able to find some reasonably good snow on which to snowshoe. We followed a forest road for a couple miles, then did an off-trail route to at point sometimes known as Cairn Hill, at a high point along the ridge crest. The overcast and sometimes breezy conditions made it difficult to linger at the highest point, but most areas were fairly comfortable, and we got in some good exercise with a few decent views along our 5.5 mile tour.
Snowshoe 2/14 White Salmon Knob
We did a slight twist on a tour near Mount Baker Ski Area that I've led numerous times. By following White Salmon Road for about 2 miles from the parking area on Mount Baker Highway, you do a slightly descending road route that eventually climbs a final 1/2 mile to an open vista point that I've dubbed "White Salmon Knob." Some maps have it labeled as Salmon Ridge Vista. Well, the snowy and foggy weather meant there was no vista on this particular day, but the snowy surroundings and beautiful trees were a nice consolation. We wound up going nearly 4 miles round trip, walking atop a snow base roughly 4-5 feet deep.
Walk 2/12 North Creek Trail
You don't have to venture far from home to find some stellar nature trails in our area. For this walk, we simply drove to Mill Creek, where we were able to fashion a 4-mile trek one way from North Creek County Park on 183rd in Mill Creek to McCollum Park on 128th in south Everett. North Creek County Park protects a fairly large wetland that sits seemingly as an oasis in the heavily-developed suburban sprawl around it. The trail corridor is a haven for plants and animals and especially for a large variety of birds found here. We connected the county park trail with the North Creek Trail, which is a paved path skirting the edge of the Mill Creek Town Center and running northward to the McCollum Park trailhead.
Snowshoe 2/9 V.E.S.T. - Very Easy Snowshoe Tour to Salmon Ridge / Lunch at Chair 9 Restaurant
This trip headed to the Mount Baker Highway, stopping at a Sno-Park along the Nooksack River in search of some easy snowshoe terrain at around the 2000-foot elevation level. Our attempt at following the River Run Snowshoe Trail right out of the sno-park was thwarted by large melt-out and standing water sections, all thanks to recent heavy rains at that elevation. A quick decision was made to re-route to a nearby forest road across the highway, and that provided the nice and easy ramble through the scenery that we were searching for. After about 90 minutes or so on the snow, we drove down the highway to the Chair 9 Restaurant outside Glacier to cap off the day with a nice lunch.
Ski 2/8 Lake Wenatchee State Park & Kahler Glen
It was a marvelous day for some cross country skiing, with some very welcome blue skies and sunshine at the Lake Wenatchee area east of Stevens Pass. We had a full van of enthusiastic skiers, and had a great selection of trails at four different areas to choose from. Rather than a typical "stay together" trip, people were encouraged to select their preferred trails and enjoy the skiing at the level of their comfort. Some stayed at the easy trails in the north part of Lake Wenatchee State Park, others skied the south part of the part, while some focused on the Kahler Glen Golf Course trails, and still others headed for Nason Ridge and some challenging hills. Fun was had by all.
Snowshoe 2/4 Clickety Clack Trail
The Clickety Clack Trail is one of the marked snowshoe trails at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center. All of them have railroad-themed names in honor of the rail history of the area. We went on a quiet mid-week day with few people around up there. Conditions were gorgeous, with snow hanging on the trees, occasional views of the hillsides above the valley, and the ice formations on Mill Creek. We covered about 3.5 miles on our tour, sometimes on the snowshoer trails, sometimes on the skier trails, and sometimes blazing our own trails. A rare sighting of a snowshoe hare was a highlight of the day.
Hike 2/2 Port Gamble Area Trails & Lunch
The Port Gamble Forest Heritage Trail system is up and running... or walking, biking, or horse riding if you prefer. There are over 3400 acres of forest lands near the town with some 60 miles of trails and roads for recreation. Recent stormy weather meant that some of the trails were in rough shape, with numerous blown down trees and limbs littering the trail, but we were able to find a decent route of around 3.5 miles for our morning hike. We then stopped at the Port Gamble General Store Cafe for lunch, followed by a narrated history walk through the town, viewing the cemetery, restored homes and businesses, and reading the story of this mill town that was established in 1853.
Snowshoe 2/1 Hurricane Ridge - Obstruction Point Road
We made our way over to Olympic National Park, heading for the mile-high snow playground at Hurricane Ridge. There's plenty of snow, and more of it was falling sideways on this blustery, stormy day. We were able to follow the road out toward Steeple Rock for about a mile and a half before heading back. The foggy conditions never allowed much for views, although there was a little lifting of the clouds when we finished up in mid-afternoon