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 listed on the Parks Registration site. Registration for Fall trips begins Monday, August 5
Hike 7/30  Burroughs Mountain

A quick glance around the parking lot at the Sunrise area in Mount Rainier National Park revealed license plates from 18 different states-- such is the popularity in mid-summer of our beloved 14,410-foot Mountain. Sunshine and clear skies made it a great day for all those visitors to get out and enjoy the trails in the area. Our group headed for 7400-foot high Burroughs Mountain, about a 3-mile trek from Sunrise. Along the way, we reveled in the terrific views, the glorious flowers, the pleasant temperatures, the lack of bugs, and last but not least, a close range sighting of a black bear on the final half-mile of trail. Couldn't have asked for a finer day of hiking in the northwest.

Hike 7/28  Church Mountain

Church Mountain sits almost due north of Mount Baker, on the other side of the deep valley of the Nooksack River. A fire lookout cabin was perched at the 6000-foot ridge top from 1928 until 1967, and the trail up there has been a Baker-area classic for decades. Our group of 7 began from the end of a road at 2300 feet and climbed the nicely-maintained trail steadily up through forest and meadows for just over 4 miles to the old lookout site. Wildflowers were at their peak of bloom in the meadows, and mostly sunny skies allowed great views of the North Cascades in all directions.

Hike 7/26  Spider Meadows

I attempted to schedule this hike in 2016 and 2018, but both times it was thwarted by fire-related closures. This time however, conditions were perfect, and we had a full group that enjoyed a day doing one of the classic hikes of the entire northwest. It's a long and sometimes torturous drive to get to the trailhead, which is up the Chiwawa River Valley east of Glacier Peak. The trail climbs gently but steadily through forest for 5 miles or so, then emerges in the large colorful meadows set in an amphitheater of alpine splendor. We allowed extra time for exploring the meadows (or just resting for the hike back), and made the round trip of about 10-13 miles total. It was a sweet return to a special place.

Walk 7/25  Meadowbrook Farm

This is a 460-acre property in the Snoqualmie River Valley between the towns of North Bend and Snoqualmie. Once a thriving hop ranch, it has been preserved as a public open space and is a great spot for an east walk on level ground with nice views of the surrounding foothills. We started from Centennial Fields Park in Snoqualmie and walked a loop route covering about 3 miles. It's a mixture of forest, open fields, and wetlands. We had a little extra time afterwards and threw in a short walk at the Snoqualmie Falls Lower Park area, visiting a lesser-known viewpoint of the famous waterfall. 

Hike 7/23  Josephine Lake

This lake is south of Stevens Pass, just off the Pacific Crest Trail, and most people reach it from Stevens Pass via a 10-mile round trip hike. But our trip was only 4 miles total. We managed this by driving to a little-known, un-mapped trail that is in the Mill Creek Valley (where the Stevens Nordic Center is). It's a tough, rough road up the valley, but I coaxed our van up to the trailhead and we got to the lake via the "back door." Along the way were other nice small lakes, views of the back side of Stevens Pass Ski Area, and plenty of great flowers and scenery.

Overnighter 7/19-21 Backpacking Manning Provincial Park, BC

Our three-day hike started with showers

But it dried out in just a few hours

We racked up the miles

and our faces had smiles

as we strolled through the endless wildflowers

We camped out two nights in cool weather

on a trail the Canucks named for the Heather

It was filled with great views

which produced many ahhs and oohs

And made our packs feel light as a feather.

Hike 7/17  Spray Park

We had a touch of fall in the middle of summer at Mount Rainier. It was a misty, showery day and only about 45 degrees, but as usual, we made the best of it and enjoyed the nice forests, waterfalls, and flowers meadows that are featured on this hike. Lots of beargrass, avalanche lillies, Indian paintbrush and other wildflowers in bloom along the way. At times we could see a couple miles of visibility, but for the most part we focused on the beauty of the immediate surroundings, which was rewarding enough. The round trip was about 7 miles with 1400 feet of elevation gain.

Hike 7/14  Sauk Mountain Evening Hike

It was a small group for, what I have to say, probably was the most beautiful hike of the summer thus far. The wildflowers-- spectacular. The mountain views-- spectacular. The evening light and sunset show-- spectacular. The rising moon, the absence of crowds, the recently improved trail conditions, and the cool, comfortable evening all combined to make this a near-perfect outing.

Hike 7/13  Hozomeen Lake

This is a somewhat unique trip in that it's an awfully long drive, and not a terribly long or difficult hike traveling through a typical mountain forest, but the view at the lake of dramatic Hozomeen Mountain sort of makes it all more than worthwhile. Although Hozomeen is in the North Cascades just east of Ross Lake, you drive well into Canada, turning off near the town of Hope and taking a long gravel road into the Skagit River Valley (in BC). You cross back a short distance into the US-- at an unstaffed border crossing, by the way, and get to the seldom-visited trail near the end of the road. The 7-mile round trip in the forest gives few clues as to what lies at the end, but the impact of Hozomeen's foreboding walls soaring above the lake leaves an indelible impression.

Walk 7/12  North Cascades Extended Day Walk

We extended the boundaries of our usual walking trips territory and went for a longer tour on the North Cascades Highway. We combined a couple of short easy trails with other stops at scenic overlooks, which offered glimpses of beautiful forests, lakes, and high country. The nice weather and relative lack of biying bugs made it a most pleasant outing. All told, we walked close to 3 miles on the day.

Hike 7/10  Green Mountain

Expectations were low for this hike because of the 90% chance of rain in the forecast, but we carried on and climbed to the 6500-foot top of this very green mountain in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. Surprisingly, the rain held off most of the day, and the clouds were scattered enough to provide some excellent views over the nearby valleys and peaks. Add to that the terrific flower show on the slopes of the mountain as we hiked through the extensive meadows, and it turned out to be a very satisfying day on the trail. We totaled about 8 miles round trip, gained close to 3200 feet, and saw almost no other hikers the whole day. 

Hike 7/2  Goat Lake

Although it was a heavily overcast, misty day in the Cascades, the trail to Goat Lake along Eliot Creek was a pleasant walk through beautiful lush forest and along the rushing waters of the creek. The lake was blanketed in fog for the most part, but still cast a nice peaceful spell over everyone who visited. We even packed in the inflatable boat, allowing a few folks to take a nice little paddle over the lakes placid waters. Total for the day was about 9 miles, 1300 feet gain.

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