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 10/30 Spruce Railroad / Marymere Falls
These were two hikes in Olympic National Park near Lake Crescent, west of Port Angeles. The Spruce Railroad was a WWI era line that brought timber to the mills to be used for airplane building. Now it's a scenic trail right along the shore of the lake, running for about 5 miles end to end. I was surprised to discover that some abandoned rail tunnels had been refurbished starting in 2017 and were now part of the trail. After finishing the Spruce Railroad trail we drove to the other side of the lake and walked the hour-long round trip to the 90-foot-high Marymere Falls.
Hike 10/21 Lummi Island / Baker Preserve
The Baker Preserve is one of at least three nature areas on Lummi Island near Bellingham that were saved from development by the Lummi Island Heritage Trust. A hiking trail leads 1.6 miles up to a lovely overlook of the San Juans and Rosario Strait. We got there by walking on the small island ferry boat, taking the 5-minute crossing, and walking two miles of roads to the trailhead. The trail climbs to over 1000 feet above sea level, and as the morning fog gave way to brilliant clear skies, we had an excellent view to enjoy.
Hike 10/20 Cleman Mountain
This was a long journey to the sagebrush hills near Yakima to check out the fall colors and wildlife on Cleman Mountain. We hiked an area called the Waterworks Canyon, first climbing up a steep ridge for nearly 2,000 feet to a nice hilltop vista, and then dropping into the canyon and following it back to the trailhead. The highlights were numerous: interesting rock formations of volcanic basalt, views overlooking the Naches and Tieton River valleys, glimpses of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier, sightings of several bighorn sheep, and some breath-takingly beautiful groves of aspen in their golden glory. The blue skies and mild temperatures were a treat for so late in the fall. Our driving route took us over Chinook Pass in the morning, where we got some nice close views of Rainier.
Hike 10/18 Perry Creek
There are few hikes in the western Cascades that can rival Perry Creek for fall colors. Because the valley is so steep, rocky, and narrow, the usual evergreen forest is not as prevalent, and instead the maple trees are in abundance. The colors were somewhat past peak but still beautiful here, providing fine scenery much of the way. We hiked about 7 miles round trip, reaching Perry Creek Falls before turning back the way we came.
Walk 10/15 River Road & Big Four Ice Caves
Another fine October morning for our trip out on the Mountain Loop Highway to take a walk on a gated road along the South Fork Stillaguamish River. The former logging road takes off just past the "Red Bridge" on the way towards Silverton. We unexpectedly discovered that a bridge had recently bee taken out, rendering the road inaccessible past the first mile. We headed back, drove up the highway a little farther, and took a second, unplanned walk up the Ice Caves Trail to fill up our time. One way or another, we manage to get our miles in, don't we?
Hike 10/14 Diablo Lake Trail
Taking advantage of some glorious autumn weather, we headed to the North Cascades to enjoy the relatively easy trail taking off from the Diablo Lake reservoir off of Highway 20. Unlike most mountain lake hikes, this one starts at the lake and goes into the forest where you rarely see the lake. But what you do see are spectacular fall colors, beautiful trees, numerous types of mushrooms, and occasional clearings with glimpses of the nearby mountains. In addition to hiking 4 miles at Diablo Lake, we got in an unplanned bonus hike on the Skagit-Sauk Reach Trail near Rockport. A riverside path on an abandoned rail line made for a nice easy stroll while we were temporarily halted because of a mechanical problem with the old van. Could this mean our long-awaited new van will finally show up? Stay tuned.
Hike 10/13 High Divide Trail
Gorgeous blue skies and pleasant fall temperatures made for an idyllic hike across one of the North Cascades' most scenic ridge trails. High Divide runs for over 5 miles in the area just north of Mt. Baker Highway. By starting at Welcome Pass Trailhead and traversing to Excelsior Pass, our full group of 11 was able to make a one-way crossing of the ridge. It's a long, strenuous day, nearly 11 miles and 4000 feet of elevation gain, but our experienced group was more than up to the task. My supervisor Euan Robertson led the group today, as I took care of the van shuttle duties. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for making it one of the year's most successful trips. Photos courtesy of Mr. Anonymous.
Hike 10/10 Swauk Discovery Trail & Ingalls Creek
We made a loop around the Cascades today, driving the three-pass route to Snoqualmie, Blewett, and Stevens Passes. Or, as we dubbed them, the foggy pass, the cloudy pass, and the rainy pass. Actually it wasn't bad at all for our hikes, first at the Swauk Discovery Trail just above Blewett Pass, then later at the Ingalls Creek Trail a few miles down the road. The Swauk Discovery Trail is a 3-mile loop that gives a great introduction to the forests of this portion of the Cascades. We saw some nice yellow larch trees, witnessed a recovering forest after a fire, and enjoyed some nice vista points. After the loop hike and lunch, we had time to sample a bit of the Ingalls Creek Trail, where the fall colors, roaring creek, and touches of sunshine made for a pleasant wrap-up to the day.
Hike 10/8 Gold Creek Trail
Gold Creek Valley is just east of Snoqualmie Pass off of I-90, a nice broad gentle area surrounded by a ring of rugged mountains. It's a great area for a peaceful getaway on nice trail and gated roads. Our weather was quite foggy and misty, limiting the views, but we enjoyed the surrounding colors, mushrooms, trees, and creeks. Our round trip was around 5 miles of hiking.
Bike 10/6 Suncadia Trails
It was a sunny, crisp fall day on the east slopes of the Cascades, perfect for a relaxing bike ride around the gentle looping trails at Suncadia. The public is always welcome to use the trails system here at no cost, and it's a great place for taking in the fall colors and mountain scenery. Most of us racked up around 12-15 miles on the nicely-marked paved trails. Check out the short video below for some footage of riding the trail.
Biking the Ridge Trail at Suncadia Resort
Hike 10/5 Icicle Gorge Trail
Just before entering Leavenworth, turn right on the Icicle Road on drive up the canyon for about 16 miles to find this gem of a hike. A gentle, mostly smooth trail makes a 4-mile loop on both sides of the Icicle River, and the scenery is delightful from start to finish. Featuring several nicely-constructed bridges and frequent viewpoints, the trail is a perfect fall destination when the maples, cottonwoods, and berry bushes add their color to the mix.
Hike 10/2 Iron Goat Trail
Went for a hike on 6 miles of the old Great Northern railroad line near Stevens Pass, on the remarkable Iron Goat Trail. This all-volunteer-built trail is a great testament to the region's rail history, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of the trail's opening. We did a one-way route from the Wellington Trailhead, just below Stevens Pass, to the Martin Creek Trailhead, a few miles away and 700 feet lower. Along the way are old tunnels, the remains of snow sheds that guarded the tracks from avalanches, a smattering of old artifacts from the rail era, and plenty of nice scenery too. We dodged the rain quite nicely today, and even enjoyed a few sun breaks.