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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Looking to get out this fall?  All trips through the end of the year
are now open for sign-up on the Parks Registration site
Hike 10/26  Little Wenatchee Gorge & Hidden Lake

This was an exploration near Lake Wenatchee on a couple of short trails that I had not led before. The Little Wenatchee Gorge is about 10 miles upstream from the lake where the river cuts through some impressive rocky terrain. The trail was just 1.5 miles or so in length, but it offer some challenges in the form of several dozen blown down trees. What a shame this beautiful trail doesn't receive any maintainence! Still, it was some wonderful scenery to see. Since the hike was short, we added a second mini-hike to Hidden Lake, just a short 30 minute walk up from the south shore of Lake Wenatchee. Between the two trails, we covered about 5 miles on the day.

Hike 10/25  Waterworks Canyon

This was much more than just a little 3-mile hike into a canyon not far out of Yakima. It felt like we toured half of Washington. In the morning, we drove across Snoqualmie Pass, out from under the cloudy skies, and into bright sunny skies near Ellensburg. We made a stop along Canyon Road south of Ellensburg to have a look at the Yakima River and the fall colors at Umtanum Canyon. Continuing on from there, we arrived at out "featured" hike at Waterworks Canyon, on the side of Cleman Mountain, near the junction of Highway 12 & 410 near Naches. We hiked a rough 1.5 miles into the canyon, seeing lots of mountain sheep and arriving for our lunch break at a brilliant grove of golden aspen trees. While finishing the hike, we learned that the week-long closure of Chinook Pass had ended, so we were able to make the beautiful drive home via Chinook. Interestingly, the temperature ranged from 73 degrees when we ended our hike, to 37 degrees at the top of Chinook Pass, only 50 miles up the highway.

Walk 10/22  Extended Day Walk- Palouse to Cascades Trail

The Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail is now the official name for the 300-mile stretch of former  railroad line running across much of the state of Washington. Previously, the trail was sometimes called either the Iron Horse Trail or John Wayne Trail, but this change aims to unify its identity and eliminate the confusion. Our walk took place on a beautiful, peaceful section of trail east of Cle Elum, along the Yakima River. We did about5.6 miles of walking amidst lovely fall colors, river views, and glimpses of surrounding mountains. The west side clouds and rain gave way to sunshine and blue skies for our walk, making it a most enjoyable outing.

Hike 10/20  Cooper River & Lake

It was a cold and drippy day for this hike along a pretty river valley in the eastern Cascades near Cle Elum. We started near the Salmon La Sac area, beginning with an especially nice section along the river where we even caught a glimpse of a river otter. Following the river upstream, we eventually came to Cooper Lake after about 3 miles or so. Not much for views today, but it was nice to sit under a big tree for a lunch break and listen to the soft sounds of the raindrops falling on the lake surface. We were hiking at a low enough elevation that there wasn't really any snow yet, although a few little patches were seen in places. The hike totaled about 7 miles, 600 feet gain.

Hike 10/19  Skookum Flats (alternate for Eastside Trail Mount Rainier)

Our plans took a sudden turn when we reached the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park on Highway 410, only to learn of a recent mudslide a few miles ahead which was blocking the road. So no hiking on the Eastside Trail today. Fortunately, there's a similar trail alongside the White River which was a logical alternate plan. We didn't expect it to be snowing at this low elevation (around 2000 feet), but the snow added a touch of beauty to the forest and the river scenery. We made a trip of about 6 miles, going one way from point-to-point. We had planned a one-way trip on the Eastside Trail, so it was nice to do the Skookum Flats as a one-way also.

Hike 10/16  White Chuck Bench Trail End-to-End

For the first time since 2003, there is a fully connected trail route along the White Chuck Bench near Darrington. The original route connected two trailheads about 6-7 miles apart and was a nice year-round lowland forest hike. Floods destroyed much of the trail in '03, making only the western end of the trail accessible. Thanks to newly built trail sections, the end-to-end hike is now possible once again. We started at the east end on nicely-built new trail. Some of the old trail is still intact, although we discovered that quite a few blow downs need to be cut out of the way, and some parts have nearly grown over with vegetation because of a lack of use for 15+ years.

Overnighter 10/12-14  Stehekin Log Cabins Fall Colors Getaway

Our three-day trip to view the fall colors in the Stehekin Valley in the North Cascades was a big success. The weather was mostly nice, the colors were sensational, our cabins were great, we shared some delicious meals prepared by all of the participants, the bakery right next to our cabins was a treat, and the whole experience of escaping to the secluded world of Stehekin was a real joy. We cruised along beautiful Lake Chelan on the historic Lady of the Lake ferry, we picked and ate apples at the Buckner Orchard, we craned our necks to view 312-foot Rainbow Falls, we visited with an organic farmer who's lived in Stehekin for 44 years, we scored some nice souvenirs at the gift shop at year-end discount prices, and even managed to hike about a dozen miles or so. Thanks to the friendly crew that signed up-- you made it a very special trip! 

Hike 10/6  Sultan River Canyon

This was a nice exploration of a relatively new trail that doesn't get much use, yet has some great scenery. It didn't hurt that we had a nice blue sky day. We drove north from Sultan toward the Spada Lake Reservoir, which is the water source for much of Snohomish County. From the trailhead, a short walk leads to the Culmback Dam, an earthen structure that holds back the Sultan River to form Spada Lake. Views from the dam of the surrounding peaks and valleys were sweet. Then we hiked the 2 miles or so to the Sultam River Canyon, dropping several hundred feet on switchbacks through a pretty green forest. Had lunch at the river viewpoint and then return back up the trail out of the canyon. Did about 5 miles total on the day, and about 800 feet of elevation.

Hike 10/5  Carne Mountain

Turned out to be a fine October day for this ambitious hike in the wilderness east of Glacier Peak. We had a strong group hike up over 3500 feet to reach the top of Carne Mountain and enjoy views of the snow-dusted peaks all around. The golden larches are beginning to turn, and some were looking quite nice, especially against the backdrop of blue sky. Temperatures were only a bit above freezing, but fortunately the winds stayed light and conditions were quite comfortable. We encountered an inch or so of snow at times, but trail conditions were generally great.

Hike 10/2  Surprise Creek

It was a sunny and crisp fall day, perfect for this lovely valley hike west of Stevens Pass off Highway 2. We hiked about 2.5 miles up the forested trail, following Surprise Creek much of the way. Fall color show was provided by the vine maple growing on the hillsides above the trail, a nice contrast to the vivid green of the valley forest. The trail featured quite an array of interesting mushrooms, and glimpses of the cascading waters of Surprise Creek were frequently seen.

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