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!

Hike  5/28  Chiwaukum Creek Trail

This was a hike alongside a raging creek through a dramatic forest fire landscape. Burned over by fire in 2014, the area is showing great signs of recovery as the underbrush and wildflowers are coming back strong. We hike roughly 3-4 miles up the trail and back. Of special interest today were the beautiful blooms of Tweedy's Lewisia which were seen frequently along the way.

Bike  5/27  Iron Horse Trail -- Snoqualmie Pass to Cle Elum

This was a fun adventure as we had 16 bicyclists along to ride on the Iron Horse aka John Wayne Trail, following the route of the old railroad east of Snoqualmie Pass. Starting from the Hyak Trailhead near the pass, the ride went through some great scenery along Lake Keechelus and Lake Easton on it's gentle downhill route to Cle Elum. Many people rode the full 30 miles, while others enjoyed somewhat shorter versions.

Walk  5/26  Carkeek Park & Kruckeberg Gardens

We did a doubleheader of short nature walks in the North Seattle and Shoreline areas, stopping first to follow the Pipers Creek Trail through Carkeek Park. The trail leads downhill from a neighborhood trailhead down to Puget Sound. A highlight along the way was finding a great blue heron perched in trailside bushes just a few feet away. After spending a little time enjoying the beach at Carkeek, we continued on to Kruckeberg Gardens, a small but fascinating public gardens that were the home of Dr. Art Kruckeberg, noted botanist and UW professor. Lots of interesting native and non-native plants to see, and great to be there on a lovely spring day.

Hike  5/24  Trout Lake

This was a short but very scenic and relaxing hike near Skykomish. The well-maintained trail leads about 2 miles to the small wooded lake, travelling through a nice old growth forest along the way. Impressive waterfalls were seen above the valley, a sturdy bridge carried us over the cascading waters of the Foss River, and a gargantuan old growth fir stopped us in our tracks. Although a light shower fell at times, the grayness felt very soothing and peaceful on this nice quiet trail.

Hike  5/20  Ingalls Creek

Once again we headed over the pass and hiked on the east slopes of the Cascades, this time at one of the nicest river valleys in the Leavenworth area. We had sunshine, pleasant temps, a great variety of wildflowers, and some fascinating wildlife. Most people hiked around 6-7 miles round trip.

Hike  5/18  Little Mashel Falls

We drove to Eatonville, on the way to Mount Rainier, to explore a series of waterfalls that are just off the beaten path. A new trail and trailhead, the Bud Blancher Trail, was opened in 2014 and provides easy access to the Little Mashel River. We spent most of our hike exploring the lower (36-foot) and upper (94-foot) Little Mashel Falls. The spring runoff and recent wet periods ensured that the falls were running strong, and indeed they were impressive sights to see. We hiked about 5 miles total.

Walk  5/15  Hazel Wolf Wetlands Preserve

Hazel Wolf was a long-time environmental activist from Seattle who made a huge impact on the outdoor community during her 101 years. Her legacy includes a wonderful wetland and forest habitat near Sammamish that is a wonderfully peaceful place for a walk in nature.  Our group walked a 3-mile route through Hazel's Preserve and the adjacent Beaver Lake Preserve. Plenty of birds could be seen and heard, and the forests paths were very pleasant. 

Hike  5/13  Big Creek Loop

This is one of the nicest low-elevation hikes that most people around here have never heard of.  This is a wonderfully-built forest path starting from a large forest service campground near Lake Cushman in the southeastern Olympic Mountains, not far from Shelton and Hoodsport in Mason County. Whereas many of the trails we've been hiking this spring have been quite rough and sloppy, this trail is smooth, with virtually no mud or standing water, no fallen trees across it, no tricky stream crossings, and is a joy to hike. Recently built by volunteers from the local trail crew association, the four-mile loop features numerous lovely bridges that span several branches of Big Creek and its tributaries. You might say this hike shows you The Bridges of Mason County. 

Hike  5/9  Manastash Ridge (alternate for Shell Rock)

We headed to the east slopes of the Cascades near Ellensburg for another nice spring wildflower hike in the sunshine. Our scheduled destination, Shell Rock, had some private property issues with its access road, but we were directed to another fine hike starting from nearly the same place. We started alongside Manastash Creek and followed old roads and cross-country terrain up to the crest of Manastash Ridge. Ponderosa Pine forests and broad flower meadows provided the scenery, along with some vistas to the Stuart Range peaks, Mount Rainier, the Kittitas Valley, and more. We did about 7 miles round trip, gaining about 1200 feet of elevation.

Overnighter  5/5-7 Spring Hiking on the Dry Side

Had a wonderful time with a very strong, experienced group on this three day trip. We overnighted in Moses Lake, and did hikes each day. Destinations included Palouse Falls, Dry Falls, Steamboat Rock, Beezley Hills, and Ancient Lakes. We hiked about 14 miles over the three-day period, and saw some great scenery, wildflowers, and geologic wonders.

Walk or Bike  5/3  Apple Capital Loop Trail - Wenatchee

Spent a few hours on a gorgeous sunny weekday over in Wenatchee on this gem of a trail. About half the group walked, and half biked. The Apple Capital Loop extends for five miles on each side of the Columbia, with bridge crossing that connect the ends. It crosses through several city parks, as well as some nice undeveloped land outside the city.

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