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 9/29  Hope & Mig Lakes

These are two small lakes not far from Stevens Pass, not all that well known and normally not on many hikers' radar. On a sunny fall day though, they are spectacular with the colors of the season. Meadows full of berry bushes and other vegetation near Mig Lake in particular are simply ablaze with color. There's a steep trail leading up to Hope Lake, where the Pacific Crest Trail is then taken to continue to Mig Lake. We had a leisurely timeline up there and had the opportunity for plenty of berry-picking, picture-taking, and just plain old R & R. The round trip was about 5 miles, 1500 feet gain. 

Walk 9/25  Clear Creek Trail

You might think Clear Creek Trail is in some wilderness area far from civilization, but in actuality it is a busy multi-use pathway running through the Kitsap County city of Silverdale. It also happens to be a very nice walk, with portions of paved and unpaved paths, plenty of nice scenery along the creek, in wooded areas, and near wetlands and parks. There has been an impressive amount of work done to rehabilitate much of the surroundings, and there's some nice bridges, boardwalks, and other attractive touches. Our group covered about 3 miles or so on the popular trail, finishing up at a city park on Puget Sound at the site of a long-gone timber mill.

Overnighter 9/21-23  Northwest Olympic Coast

I was joined by a hearty group of 8 hikers for this three-day exploration of the upper left corner of Washington State. We spent two nights in Neah Bay at the Cape Resort, and did about 20 miles of hiking in the area. The highlights included a day hike on the Ozettle Triangle, a 9-mile loop that included a stretch on the Pacific beach from Cape Alava south to Sand Point. We also did an 8-mile hike to Shi Shi Beach and Point of the Arches, and threw in a short hike to Cape Flattery (1.5 miles or so). In Neah Bay we checked out the wonderful Makah Museum, one of the best collections of Native American artifacts anywhere in the country. Weather was generally pretty good, with a little rain Friday giving way to dry weather by Saturday afternoon and nice sunshine on Sunday. Thanks to all who attended for help make this a very successful weekend.

Hike 9/19 Grand Ridge, Olympic National Park

Our trip to the high country in the northeastern Olympics was an interesting display of how quickly weather can change in the mountains. We drove up the Blue Mountain Road from just outside Port Angeles, into Olympic National Park and all the way up to the road's end just a short walk from the top of Blue Mountain at nearly 6000 feet. Skies were mostly clear, views were fantastic. After the short walk over Blue Mountain, we went to the nearby Deer Park Trailhead for our main hike on the trail extending toward Obstruction Point. At 3.5 mile out, we reached our high point at Maiden Peak, 6434 feet, and returned from there. By the end of the hike, skies were overcast, clouds were dropping quickly and obscuring the mountains, and rain was imminent. All in all, our timing was good, and we had a nice day in the mountains.

Bike 9/18 Iron Horse Trail, Snoqualmie Pass to North Bend

It was a beautiful crisp September day for a fun bike ride on the wonderful Iron Horse (aka John Wayne) Trail. The trail follows the former Milwaukee Road rail line across the Cascades for many many miles. We started today's ride from the Hyak Trailhead just east of Snoqualmie Pass and went westward. In the first mile, you come to the 2.2-mile Snoqualmie Tunnel, providing a unique experience of riding by headlight in total darkness. From there it's a nice gradual downhill grade toward North Bend with great scenery. People rode either 21 or 27 miles, and I picked them up at their finishing point. 

Hike 9/16 Twin Falls (alternate for Sunday Lake)

We made a last minute decision not to go to our originally scheduled destination of Sunday Lake because of the likelihood of fairly heavy rain in the forecast. The trail there has many low-lying area that would be prone to minor flooding. Instead, we headed for Twin Falls near North Bend. A good, heavily-used trail leads to viewpoints of several pretty falls on the Snoqualmie River's south fork. The trail is a short 3 -mile round trip, but the ups and down still give a good workout. Rather than eat lunch out in the rain, we went to the nearby Riverbend Cafe, and then on the drive home we took a detour to check out the Lower Snoqualmie Falls trail. A short, well-built tourist path leads to a nice view of the falls from near it's base.

Hike 9/15 Hidden Lake Lookout

This strenuous trail is one of the best hikes in the North Cascades, with great views near and far, and a classic lookout cabin at the top of the 6900-foot peak. We didn't get the clear weather we would have liked, but there were some fairly nice views during the hike up to the lookout before rain moved in after about 1:00pm. It was cold enough to snow at the top, so we were glad to have the comfortable shelter of the lookout cabin where we could rest and have lunch. The hike totaled about 8 miles round trip with 3300 feet elevation gain.

Walk 9/13 Lake Hills Greenbelt

The City of Bellevue has a surprising number of nice trails and walking paths, and today we took in one of the nicer ones. The Lake Hills Greenbelt connects parks located at Phantom Lake and Larsen Lake in the eastern portion of the city. We did about a 3-mile walk from one to the other and back again. Along the way are some nice views of the lakes, a beautiful stretch of mature forest, a large blueberry farm (yes, in Bellevue), a produce stand, a replica of an old homestead, and a small ranger station. The most-loved feature is a beautiful master gardeners' demonstration garden, where we enjoyed a multitude of colorful flowers and other plants.

Hike 9/12 Chain Lakes Loop

This loop hike at the Heather Meadows area near Mount Baker is almost always a lovely trip, even on a cloudy, showery day. If you're lucky like we were, a few sunbreaks will light up the lakes and surrounding meadows and will bring out the beauty even more. Starting from the Artist Point parking area, we basically did a 6-mile loop around Table Mountain, passing several good-sized lakes along the way, and hiking in open scenic meadows nearly the whole time. The forecast showers stayed away for the most part, and we had relative solitude on our mid-week journey.

Hike 9/9 Ross Dam to Big Beaver Hike/Boat Ride

Clouds and showers began making their way back into the area over the weekend, be we managed to find good timing to enjoy the grand views of the North Cascades on this hike. Beginning from Highway 20 at the Ross Dam Trailhead, we descended to walk across the 540-foot-high dam which opened in 1949. Continuing on trail along the west side of the Ross Lake Reservoir, we hiked around 7 miles to the Big Beaver Camp Area on the lakeshore. A water taxi service from Ross Lake Resort then sped us back to the dam, where a short trek back up to the trailhead finished the hike. A few showers briefly came in mid-afternoon, but most of the rain fell on the drive home. 

Hike 9/8 Nooksack Cirque

This was a never-before-offered hike to a seldom-visited corner of the North Cascades in a deep valley at the foot of some large glaciers on Mount Shuksan and Icy Peak. Most hikers stay away due to the river crossing over Ruth Creek that must be made at the beginning of the hike. Fortunately, in late summer the crossing is usually just an easy wade through 12" of water, so we had no problem. A gentle trail leads 3.5 miles through forest, then emerges on the wide banks of the Nooksack River. Rugged rock walls, glaciers, and peaks rise thousands of feet above, but alas, they were out of sight on this gray, showery day. Still, it was a good exploration, and the promise of all that was kept from our view this time means we'll be back again in the future.

Walk 9/4 Sehome Hill Arboretum

Off to Bellingham to explore a mini-mountain in the middle of the city. Sehome Hill rises right above the campus of Western Washington University, and has a network of trails on its wooded slopes. We started at the bottom and climbed on nicely-graded paths to the 630-foot high top of the hill. An observation platform and unique tunnel are found near the top, and the nice forest and rock formations provide pleasant scenery.

Hike 9/1 Klahhane Ridge

We traveled over to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics to tackle one of the more ambitious trails in that area. The Switchback Trail starts along the ridge road at 4400 feet and wastes no time climbing to over 6000 feet. Our weather was a mixed bag of partly sunny and whiteout fog. Views at the start weren't bad, but we seemed to be ascending into the cloud deck, so ourviews from the ridge top itself were limited. Still had a great time with an energetic group, and got in nearly 2000 feet of elevation gain by hike's end.

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