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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Bike 6/30 Guemes Island

The weather was on the wet side, but we still made a nice loop ride of about 12 miles around Guemes Island. We caught the small ferry that runs across the channel from Anacortes, and barely five minutes later we were on our way. The lightly-traveled roads make for relaxing riding, and several small hills ensured that we got a good workout along the way. After a couple hours out in the rain, we finished the ride with a stop back at the general store /restaurant near the ferry terminal to warm up and dry out.

Walk 6/28 Big Four Ice Caves & BBQ Lunch

The weather felt more like fall than summer, but we still enjoyed the popular trail to the Ice Caves viewpoint with a group of 15 happy walkers. The views of the wall of Big Four Mountain were impressive as always, and lots of blooming wildflowers were seen along the way also. Upon returning to the picnic area, we broke out the BBQ supplies and grilled some burgers and hot dogs for lunch. Some folks were visiting this spot for the first time, others for the um-teenth time, but for everyone, it was a pleasant day in our beautiful nearby mountains.

Hike 6/24 Beverly / Bean Creek and Earl Peak

Headed over to the beautiful Teanaway region near Cle Elum on a cloudless day to do a strenuous hike to the high country views. We followed the trail along Beverly and Bean Creeks and on up to a ridge at over 6000 feet. Several people then continued on up to the top of Earl Peak at 7036 feet. Views, views, views, from Mt. Adams and Rainier to Stuart and dozens more peaks. Wildflowers were great too, and the cool breezes up high made for very comfortable hiking. We did a total of 7 miles, 3400 feet gain.

Hike 6/23 CCC Trail

There are many nice trails along the newly paved Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road near North Bend. Some are oppressively crowded (Mailbox) while others, like this one, are completely overlooked. We hiked a 3-mile segment of this beautiful forest trail, reaching the Middle Fork Campground as our turnaround point. Clouds kept the views limited, but the forest scenery more than made up for it. This was a great, no-frills walk on an easy trail with no crowds and a relaxing setting.

Hike 6/20 Duckabush River

The Olympic Mountains feature so many wonderful river valley trails, and today we explored one of them near Brinnon. The Duckabush Trail goes for many miles from low elevation forests not far from Hood Canal all the way to alpine meadows in the heart of the Olympics. Our hike went about 4 miles into the valley, going past a pair of landmarks called Little Hump and Big Hump. It was a warm day, so the 1600 feet of elevation gain was a good challenge. Fortunately, some nice panoramic views of the valley and surrounding peaks provided a reward.

Walk 6/19 Clark's Creek Park

We made the drive down to Puyallup to check out the walking trails in that city's largest park, located along a tributary of the Puyallup River called Clark's Creek. Most of the trails feature easy, relaxing paths through forests or alongside wetlands. We wound up walking close to three miles, getting in some good exercise on a pleasant summer morning.

Hike 6/17 Lily and Lizard Lake Loop

This was a wonderfully peaceful day hike in the Chuckanut Mountains near Bellingham. It was a sunny and warm Sunday, and being so close to the city, we expected lots of company on the trails. As it turned out, there were lots of hikers on the one mile stretch that our route coincided with the Oyster Dome trail, but aside from that, relatively few people at all. We ate lunch, just our group and no one else, at a vista point on nearby North Butte that is every bit as nice as the Oyster Dome vista point, without the 50-100 people. The trails were all in great condition, most of the time we hiked in forest which kept us cool, and the two small lakes we passed were pleasant as well. It added up to about a 7.5-mile hike and about 1100 feet of elevation gain-- a good workout on an 80 degree day.

Hike 6/16 Stanley Park / La Casa Gelato

Off we went to Canada, with two van loads on a gloriously beautiful day, to walk in the premier city park in their country.  Splitting our 25 people into two smaller groups, we all did roughly 6 miles or so of walking, with some taking the Seawall Loop Trail all the way around the peninsula, and others doing a combination of trails that including some through the forests on the interior of the peninsula. The views of the city and surrounding mountains, the old growth forests, and many other park attractions made for a very special experience. Top that off with a treat at La Casa Gelato and it's 238 flavors, and you have a day to remember. In case you're wondering, I had Chocolate with English Toffee...and Vanilla Twix... AND Butterscotch Ripple.

Hike 6/12 White Chuck Bench

It's not often that you get to hike on a trail that was just built. Actually, much of the White Chuck Bench Trail south of Darrington has been there quite a while, but there is trail construction currently in progress to replace several miles of damaged trail that was abandoned after floods back in the early 2000's. A 6.6-mile trail once joined two different trailheads, and hopefully will soon do so again. We encountered the trail crew and their trail-building machinery about 3 miles up the trail, and found out that in two months' time, they hope to complete the new section. Sounds like a great hike to offer next year! 

Hike 6/9  Tronsen Ridge

As so often happens, rain on the west side of the mountains gave way to sunshine on the east side, and it turned out being a lovely day to hike a high ridge near Blewett Pass. Tronsen Ridge trail is reached by a nasty, narrow, curvy, rough gravel road, but those who persist in reaching the end of the road will find a wildflower haven surpassed by few other areas. Such a variety of flowers, and oh the views as well, made for a sweet 5-mile trek.

Walk 6/7  New Monte Cristo Road

The former Monte Cristo mining district east of Granite Falls underwent an environmental clean-up a few years ago, and a new 2.6-mile road had to be built to get equipment to the old town site and mining area. The clean-up finished, the equipment left, but the road is still there, and it turns out to be a very nice walk through the forest valley near the South Fork Sauk River. Beginning about 3/4 mile north of Barlow Pass on the Mountain Loop Highway, we parked near a gate and walked for a little over 2 miles on the undulating gravel road, complete with several nice bridges, plenty of big trees, and a few glimpses of the mountainous surroundings. 

Hike 6/3  Davis Peak 

We got the ambitious hikers out for a nice 3500-foot climb up a rocky peak in the Salmon La Sac area near Cle Elum. Davis used to have a fire lookout cabin on one of its tops; the cabin is good but a good trail remains. As we ascended to nearly the 6000-foot elevation, deep snow still covered portions of the trail, so rather than hiking to the old lookout site, we found a subsidiary rock peak to scramble up for some nice views. Cloudy weather was rolling in, but we still got our views and stayed dry the whole time.

Bike 6/2  Matsqui Regional Park Trail, BC

Near Abbotsford, BC is the Matsqui First Nations land, and a regional park and trail along the Fraser River also honor their people. The trail is a nice 9-mile route frequently traveled by local walkers and bicyclists, and today we got to check it out too. Much of the route follows a dike that mainly goes through farmland near the river, and has a great mountain view for a backdrop. At one end, a more challenging section offered some narrow, curvy, hilly trail that was fun to go down, but tough to go back up. High water levels on the river meant that some trail sections were water-logged and muddy, so we had some adventures with that as well. Most people biked about 15 miles or so on the day. It was nice to discover a place few Washington residents know about.

Hike 6/1  East Fork Foss River Trail

This was a foray into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on a well-maintained valley trail, part of the way into the famed Necklace Valley. The string of lakes with gem-themed names (Jade, Opal, Emerald) that comprise Necklace Valley were 8 or 9 miles up the trail, so we didn't reach those, but we did make a good few miles in the lower valley. Great forest hiking with wildflowers, big trees, and lots of peacefulness was found here, and a nice payoff with an inviting riverside campsite/lunch spot made for a good turnaround point.

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