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!

Bike  7/30  Cedar River Trail 

This was a fun bike ride along the Cedar River in south King County. We began right at the southern tip of Lake Washington in the city of Renton and rode the 17 miles of trail to its end in the rural area near Landsburg. Also included was a side trip to Lake Wilderness Park in Maple Valley for a lunch break and a walk through the arboretum there. The first 12 miles of the trail is paved and mostly adjacent to streets and highways, but the final 5 miles are unpaved and lead through a quiet forested area with numerous bridge crossings of the river.

Hike  7/29  Ebey's Landing 

This scenic spot near Coupeville is always a great hike-- winter, spring, summer, or fall. Today we took in the gorgeous beach and bluff areas, plus detoured to tour the old cemetery and historic structures nearby. Views over the prairie included  mountains both in the Cascades and Olympics, and the lovely blue water of Admiralty Inlet. We hiked around 4 miles or so, enjoying beautiful sunshine and views all the way.

Hike  7/28  Lake Christine & Mount Beljica 

Another stellar blue-sky day with mild temperatures, perfect for the hike to a pretty woodland lake and a nice little mountaintop near Mt. Rainier with 360 degree views. In addition, this was one of the best wildflower hikes of the summer, with avalanche lillies, beargrass, lupine, paintbrush, columbine, and plenty more. As for the mountain, it's odd name was derived from the initials of the seven children in the families of the first ascent party back in 1897. Burgon, Elizabeth, Lucy, Jessica, Isabel, Clara, and Alex. Hard to imagine how they got there that long ago. Just hiking the 4 miles we did was plenty challenging today. Views were terrific from the top, and included four volcanoes.

Hike  7/25  Yellow Aster Butte 

Sunny skies, great views, wildflowers everywhere-- what's not to like? This 7-mile round trip in the Mount Baker Wilderness went to the upper reaches of this somewhat-misnamed mountain. Starting with a drive up a steep rough road, and a trail that steadily climbed toward the sub-alpine meadows, the main feature is the nearly two-mile romp across the alpine trail with views of Baker Shuksan, Goat Mountain, and more. 

Walk  7/24  Lincoln Park, Seattle 

We headed for West Seattle, to walk the paths in venerable Lincoln Park along Puget Sound. Started out walking in pleasant old forest, following the rim of the bluff  above the waterfront, then dropped 100 feet or so to the water's edge, following the popular path just above the beach. We did around 3.3 miles in total, taking in views of the Olympic Mountains, a few ferries, several large water fowl, and plenty of the local pedestrians.

Overnighter  7/20-22  Backpacking North Cascades National Park 

This was a three-day, 30-mile backpack from near Rainy Pass on Highway 20 to Cascade Pass. We had a group of 10 that made the journey, stopping to camp at North Fork Bridge Creek and Cottonwood Camp along the way. Highlights were many, and the challenges were many as well.  It took some persistence,  but the group overcame the rough terrain, swarming bugs, blisters, soreness, creek crossings, steep snow patches, and occasional stifling heat to complete the crossing of the park.

Hike  7/19  Sauk Mountain Evening Hike 

Had a gorgeous evening on Sauk Mountain near Rockport. A nice high trailhead makes it possible to reach the 5500-foot summit with a moderate 1.5-mile hike. We timed our trip to catch the setting sun while hiking down, and boy the views did not disappoint! We had lovely flowers, evening colors, and scores of mountain peaks to gaze at.

Hike  7/16  Anderson Lake 

The skies were gray and the views were limited, but there was plenty to enjoy on this high-country lakes hike near Mt. Baker. We started with a long drive up from Baker Lake (800 feet elevation) all the way up to the trailhead at 4300 feet. A trail through forest and meadow, sometimes snow-covered, led to Anderson Lake. The (white) marsh marigold were profuse in the soggy meadows around the lake. In addition to seeing Anderson Lake, we made a short detour on the way back to an overlook of Watson Lakes. Quite a few backpackers had been in visiting these lakes over the weekend. Our little day hike totaled about 5 miles, 1200 feet gained.

Hike  7/15  Lost Creek Ridge 

This was a trek for the ambitious hikers; a round trip of over 10 miles and roughly 4000 feet elevation gain on a lightly-traveled trail off the Mountain Loop Highway. After starting out near the North Fork Sauk River and climbing for over three hours up through a nice forest, the terrain opened up and the views were terrific. Sloan Peak, Mt. Pugh, Glacier Peak and countless more mountains filled the horizons. We topped out at a high, still-mostly-frozen alpine tarn called Sunup Lake. A glorious day out in the high Cascades.

Hike  7/14  Bridal Veil Falls 

We hiked this popular trail just off Highway 2 and reached a couple of viewpoints of spectacular Bridal Veil Falls. Here are a few fun facts about Bridal Veil Falls: there are actually 7 distinct drops totaling almost 1300 feet in height. The tallest drop is 322 feet. The main falls that most hikers get up close to is actually just the third tallest drop, and there's really nowhere that you can view the entire falls, with the possible exception of west bound Highway 2 for about 15 seconds as you're speeding along keeping up with traffic. In short, this falls is so huge that there's just no way to really take it all in, but even taken in "bite sizes", it's pretty amazing.

Walk  7/11  Rasar & Rockport State Parks 

It was a perfect sunny summer day for some walks on the trails of a couple of parks in the Skagit Valley. First stop, Rasar State Park along the river near Concrete, where a nice easy loop of a mile or so can be made on forest, riverfront, and open field trails. Then, a short drive up valley toward Rockport, where we had lunch under the tall trees and then walked another couple of miles in the lush old growth forest. Plenty of well-maintained, nearly level paths made for relaxing walking, and the beautiful surroundings and pleasant weather gave everyone a wonderful little getaway.

Hike  7/10  Tonga Ridge & Mount Sawyer 

The trail on Tonga Ridge near Skykomish starts out in nice open forest and gradually leads to meadows with glimpses of the views of surrounding valleys and ridges. Then you take the steep path up Mount Sawyer and the views and flower fields explode. Lupine, paintbrush, arnica, lousewort, phlox and more. Clouds limited the views somewhat, but plenty of nice scenery was in abundance. On the day, we did about 6 miles and 1300 feet gain. Everyone made the haul up to Mount Sawyer. 

Hike  7/8  Jefferson Ridge 

This was something of an exploratory hike to a trail I'd never visited before in the Olympic Mountains. Located not far from Lena Lake, overlooking the Hamma Hamma River Valley, Jefferson Ridge is a nice alternative with no crowds, even on a nice July Saturday. A steep, rough road leads to a non-descript trailhead and primitive path ascending to an old lookout site. The views are mostly out towards Hood Canal and the south sound, with Mount Rainier seeming to hover on the haze in the distance. Various peaks of the Olympics such as The Brothers, Mount Washington, and Mount Stone can be spotted, and a nice variety of wildflowers line the trail. We did about 4-5 miles, 1600 feet gain.

Hike  7/7  Ruby Arm / Ross Lake

Another glorious summer day for hiking in the North Cascades. We traveled to Ross Lake, starting from the East Bank Trailhead, following a very nicely maintained trail along Ruby Creek and Ruby Arm to a spectacular overlook on a rocky bluff above Ross Lake.  We enjoyed great views, a nice cooling breeze, an occasional interesting flower or two, and very little traffic on the trail. It was a relatively easy 6.6 miles of hiking. A wonderful post-hike stop at Cascadian Farms near Rockport capped off the day perfectly.

Hike  7/2  Goat Mountain

We headed to the Mount Baker Wilderness for one of the many many fine hikes in the area. Goat Mountain is a 6700-foot peak, and although the trail doesn't take you to the top, it does get you up into some magnificent alpine terrain and great views of the North Cascades. We started at 2500 feet on a nice forest trail and steadily climbed to meadows where lingering snow patches had to be crossed. It was relatively easy to climb all the way to our turn-back point of 5700 feet. Views included Mts. Baker, Shuksan, Challenger, Yellow Aster Butte, and plenty more. The meadow flowers were just beginning, with the glacier lillies providing the best show.

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