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 ahead to Fall hiking?  All trips through the end of the year
are now open for sign-up on the Parks Registration site
Bike 9/29  Cascade Trail (rescheduled from 9/22)

This trail is an unpaved multi-use path in Skagit County that runs from Sedro-Woolley to Concrete, closely paralleling Highway 20 much of the way. It is not heavily used compared to most similar trails in western Washington, and the scenery, especially with fall colors all around, is very nice. Everyone started in Sedro-Woolley, riding eastbound toward Lyman and Hamilton. After about 14 miles or so, we exited the trail and went to nearby Rasar State Park for a lunch break. In the afternoon, we continued to the trails end in Concrete making roughly a 22-25 mile ride for most people. It was a nice day after a fairly chilly start, and I was glad people could reschedule after the trip was rained out the previous weekend.

Hike 9/27  Hope and Mig Lakes

I guess maybe it was a payback? Almost one year ago to the day, I took a group to these small lakes near Stevens Pass, relishing in glorious sunny weather amidst the spectacular fall colors and acres of blueberry bushes. It was a s fine a hike as we did in 2018. Today wasn't quite as nice, unless of course 40 degrees with rain (and occasional snow flurries) is your thing. Much praise to my strong and experienced group of six who made the best of it, dutifully hiking to the lakes and back safely. We didn't linger much in the hypothermia-inducing conditions, but we did get some satisfaction seeing the colorful meadows and the preview of winter, not to mention the opportunity to "field test" some of our foul weather gear. The hike was about 5 miles round trip, 1500 feet gain.

Walk 9/25  Foothills Trail & Lunch in Orting

Braved the Wednesday morning southbound commute to head for the little town of South Prairie, along Highway 162 in Pierce County. The Foothills Trail is a paved path that runs for many miles, stretching from Puyallup to Buckley. We walked a relatively newly-opened section going east from South Prairie, which was quite secluded and scenic, and featured several bridges, nice fall colors, and some glimpses of salmon swimming up SOuth Prairie Creek. After a 4-5 mile stroll, we headed to Tim's Kitchen in nearby Orting for a fun group lunch. It was a fine outing in the sunshine for a full group of 14 spirited walkers.

Hike 9/18  Tonga Ridge and Mount Sawyer

It was an overcast day as we traveled out past Skykomish to hike into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on the high ridge south of Highway 2. The forecast was for rain, but we timed it nicely and stayed dry for the most part. After a gentle two miles cruising along the side of the ridge, a steep path continues up to Mount Sawyer. Everyone was game for the hike up to Sawyer, and a few small breaks in the fog and clouds made it a nicer-than-expected trip. Fall colors are beginning to turn in the meadows, and plenty of yummy berries were ripe for the picking. Total hike was about 6 miles, 1300 feet gain.

Hike 9/14  Palisade Lakes

This is a somewhat overlooked trail in Mount Rainier National Park's high country. It takes off from Sunrise Point, the big bend in the road just a few miles before Sunrise on the mountain's northeast side. The 6100-foot trailhead is actually the trail's highest point, as you immediately begin a descent that drops to the meadowed basin where several lakes are found. We did an out-and-back round trip of about 7 miles, got to see half a dozen lakes, a herd of mountain goats, some busy pikas, and plenty of weird mushrooms. Not much sunshine on this late summer day, but no rain either, and fairly comfortable conditions for hiking this nice trail.

Walk or Bike 9/12  Cedar River Trail 

 

This is a nice rail-to-trail path running from Renton out past Maple Valley. We opted for the quieter portion which veers away from Highway 169 and goes through a mostly forested corridor ending at a trailhead near the town of Landsburg. It weaves back and forth across the Cedar River, with several scenic bridges along the way. Seven people walked the trail, doing anywhere from 3 to 5 miles or so, and three others took bikes, covering around 10-12 miles or so.

Hike 9/10  Chain Lakes Loop

No, you won't find any magazine-cover-worthy, blue-sky-and-sunshine shots in the collection for this trip up in the high country at the end of the Mt. Baker Highway. The overcast skies and rain showers saw to it that Baker, Shuksan, and all the other eye-catching peaks would stay hidden today. Instead, we had to "settle" for, oh I don't know... five gorgeous lakes, some interesting interplay between the clouds and the landscape, some surprising wildflowers and mushrooms, lots of busy marmots and pikas, unusual rock formations, and tons of yummy blueberries and huckleberries. In addition, the weather kept the usual crowds away, giving us plenty of peace and solitude throughout the day. The group was spirited and enjoyed the day,  completing the loop of about 6 miles and 800 feet of elevation gain. 

Hike 9/7  Pacific Crest Trail and Silver Peak

Silver Peak is very noticeable to the south of Snoqualmie Pass when driving down the westbound lanes of the freeway from the pass. It's rocky summit sits at 5605 feet and provides a commanding view of the area. We started from a forest service road that intersects the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) a few miles from the pass. A sometimes-easy, sometimes-challenging trail leads to the mountaintop, and for those who don't mind a little scrambling over small boulders, it's a fun ascent.  We did about 7 miles and 2000 feet of gain for the day.

Hike 9/2  Lord Hill Regional Park

Labor Day was a good time for a nice close-to-town hiking excursion, the Lord Hill Park between Monroe and Snohomish fit the bill nicely. This 1,400-acre expanse has miles of trails that are enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, horse riders, runners, dog-walkers, you name it. We hooked up a series of trails to make a loop of about 6 miles or so through the peaceful second-growth forests. A highlight was the open hilltop known as View Peak, only about 650 feet high but giving a nice panoramic view of the Snohomish Valley.

Hike 9/1  Railroad Grade

The Mount Baker National Recreation Area is a slice of land found on the south side of the volcano, and a classic trail leads from lush forests to expansive meadows and climbs a perfectly-formed glacial moraine ridge which is like a ramp to the high country around the Easton Glacier. Our group reached the foot of the moraine ridge, known as the Railroad Grade, and followed it upwards for nearly 1000 feet of elevation, reaching a point right alongside the edge of the Easton. Clouds toyed with us all day, providing occasional glimpses of Baker and the surrounding landscapes, never quite opening up completely though. We hiked about 8 mile round trip, gaining about 2500 feet in elevation total.

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