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 6/28 Hyas Lake
This trip offered the chance to explore deep into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness without really having to hike that far. Thanks to the Cle Elum River Road, which probes far up the valley out of Roslyn, you can drive to a point almost exactly midway between Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass. The trail from the road's end is fairly gentle, leading to Hyas Lake in just two miles. There are lots of little stream crossings, plenty of flower meadows, and nice forest scenery in addition to the large lake with its mountain views. A nice payoff for not that much hiking.
Walk 6/25 Iron Goat Trail
The old railroad line turned trail near Stevens Pass is a historic and scenic gem. We walked the portion of trail from Scenic (the "caboose trailhead") to Martin Creek Trailhead and back, a walk of about 5 miles or so. The nicely maintained trail is mostly a lush forest corridor with a few glimpses out over the valley and the mountains in the distance. Along the way are many reminders of the bygone era of the railroad-- old snow sheds, abandoned tunnels, and a rusty relic lying here and there. The distant rumble of modern trains lumbering up the valley could also be heard, a living reminder that the railroads' history lives on even today.
Hike 6/22 West Elwha Trail
This was a visit to one of the grandest and wildest river valleys in the Olympics, a few miles outside Port Angeles. The West Elwha Trail is a little known path that leads about 3 miles along the river, with ups and downs and plenty of fine forest and river scenery. We started just outside Olympic National Park and hiked into the park, reaching an abandoned campground at our turnaround point. Plenty of river viewpoints, wildflower sightings, and bird calls to be enjoyed as we relished the solitude on this trail.
Hike 6/20 Trout Lake
This was a short hike to a peaceful, pretty lake in the wilderness area outside Skykomish. The trail to Trout Lake is only about 1.6 miles each way, but it packs in plenty of nice sights along the way. Wildflowers, huge trees, tumbling waterfalls, a sturdy bridge over the river, and a few animal tracks were among the charms to be found on this misty mountain walk.
Hike 6/14 Emmons Moraine Trail
On a day when marine air held clouds over much of western Washington for most of the day, we found the hole in the clouds on the eastern side of Mount Rainier. The Emmons Moraine Trail starts from the White River Campground and heads to an overlook of the largest glacier in the continental US. The 5-square-mile Emmons flows down from 14,000 feet to a terminus not far from the end of the trail. The landscape is inspiring, including a beautiful green melt-water lake. After the hike, we took a side trip to Chinook Pass and walked near Tipsoo Lake, where there's still plenty of snow to be found.
Hike 6/12 Tubal Cain Mine
This trail probes into the Buckhorn Wilderness in the northeast Olympics, exploring a scenic area with a rich history. After driving a long forest road from near Sequim, we arrived at the trailhead in the rhododendron forest. Indeed, the first two miles of trail was some of the nicest rhody walking I've done, with hundreds of the pretty pink blooms brightening the way. A side trail 3 miles in took us to the site of an early 1900's copper and manganese mine. Not much remains, and not many riches were made, but it's a marvel to imagine the determination of those hardy miners who built up the place way back when. We also saw the wreckage from a 1952 military B-17 crash, which amazingly 5 crew members were able to survive.
Walk 6/11 Al Borlin Park / Lake Tye
The city of Monroe isn't really known for having nice peaceful spaces for walking, but there certainly are some nice ones, which we discovered on this fine sunny morning. We started at Al Borlin Park, where nice dirt paths lead along the flats next to the Skykomish River on the south edge of town. The forest there consists of many large cottonwoods and bigleaf maples, and there are some nice views of the river along the way. After walking a bit less than 2 miles there, we drove over to the west side of town, just off Freylands Boulevard, where the Lake Tye walking path provided a nice open walk with some views of the Cascades, and plenty of birds to watch.
Bike 6/9 Icicle River Road
It was a perfect sunny day to bicycle the Icicle. We started from the Fourth of July Creek trailhead about 10 miles outside Leavenworth. From there, it was about a 9 mile ride to the end of the road, partly on paved road, mostly on gravel. The route climbed about 600 feet of elevation, but was mostly fairly gentle with no steep hills. We took a side trip to the Icicle Gorge Trail footbridge, and had a nice lunch stop near the Rock Island Campground. After reaching the end of the road, we returned the way we came, enjoying several nice downhill runs.
Hike 6/7 Big Four & New Monte Cristo Road
This was a doubleheader hike, starting with a walk on the "new" Monte Cristo Road that was built to facilitate the environmental cleanup project that took place about 3 years ago. The road passes through scenic forest with lots of short ups and downs, eventually joining the "old" Monte Cristo Road after about 2.6 miles. After taking a nice break along the South Fork Sauk River, we returned the way we came. After that, we stopped at the Big Four Ice Caves Trail and did the 2.5 mile round trip to the Ice Caves Viewpoint. Weather was chilly with occasional showers, and the snow level was not far above us.
Hike 6/4 Happy Panther Trail
We traveled to the North Cascades on a lovely day for a one-way 6.5 mile hike on the Happy Panther Trail near Ross Lake. There are a few nice mountain and lake views near the beginning, but most of the trail goes through a beautiful moss-carpeted forest with numerous creek crossings. One especially nice setting was at Lillian Creek, which made for a sweet setting for our lunch break next to the cascading creek.
Overnighter 5/31 - 6/2 Hiking Eastern Washington's Lookouts
This was a three-day road trip to eastern Washington, or more accurately, north central Washington, to visit several mountain-top lookout cabins near Omak, Tonasket, and Republic. We hiked up a steep 4WD road to the top of Omak Mountain, did a 6-mile round trip hike to Mt. Bonaparte, a 7257-foot summit neat Tonasket, drove to the top of nearby Tunk Mountain, and hiked a 7-mile round trip to Columbia Mountain, in the Kettle Range near Sherman Pass. For most people, it was brand new country to see, and the hiking was in complete solitude with no other people seen on the trails. We stayed in some rustic old cabins on secluded Bonaparte Lake, and were also able to throw in some visits to Grand Coulee Dam, and a ferry ride across the Columbia River near Keller.