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Alpine Andy’s Trips through August


Note that May and June trips are available NOW. I’ve listed only those May and June trips that have lots of openings. All trips in July and August open for sign-up on May 9. For full details on trips, go to my trip listings under the "View & Book Trips" button above.

For a calendar display of all these trips, click here.


Walks and easier hikes


Hike 5/7 (Sat.) Thunder Creek

3-5 miles, 400 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPEN NOW

Let your worries slip away as you immerse yourself in one of the finest old growth forests in the North Cascades. This easy hike along a wild river near Highway 20 makes a great family outing for kids, parents and grandparents, or anyone seeking a peaceful walk in a grand forest. Hey, how about a (one day early) Mother's Day treat for mom?


Hike 5/19 (Thu.)  North Fork Sauk Tripleheader

4 miles, 700 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPEN NOW

Explore three overlooked gems of nature in a wild valley off the Mountain Loop Highway near Darrington. Red Mountain Lookout Point, site of a one-time fire lookout, sits on the hillside 700 feet above the valley with surprisingly sweet views of Sloan Peak and the Monte Cristo area. Harold Engels Memorial Cedars features a short trail to a jaw-dropping grove of huge ancient trees, and the North Fork Sauk Falls is an impressive large waterfall also reached by a short trail. A few short sections of some of the trails can be rough, particularly the falls trail.


Walk 6/15 (Wed.)  Washington Park Arboretum

4 miles, 200 feet elevation gain  SIGN-UP OPEN NOW

Discover (or rediscover) one of Seattle's beloved urban green spaces in it's summer glory during this relaxing and scenic morning of walking. The arboretum is an ever-evolving treat. Note that there are a few modest hills along the walking route.


Hike 6/26 (Sun.) Elliot Creek

5 miles, 500 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPEN NOW

Seek the soothing sounds of a cascading creek along the Mountain Loop Highway and marvel at mighty old-growth trees along the way. Elliot Creek is the lower portion of the longer trail to Goat Lake, but on this relaxing day, we'll take it easy and leave the lake to the more ambitious groups.


Hike 7/3 (Sun.) Pilchuck Tree Farm Sunset Hike

4.5 miles, 700 feet gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Enjoy the special magic of watching the sunset from a perch 1200 feet above the waters of Puget Sound. This evening hike to the foothills north of Arlington will follow gently-rising roads and trails to a climax viewpoint perfectly situated to catch the sunlight shimmering off the saltwater. Don't forget your headlamp for this one.


Walk 7/8 (Fri.) Kukutali, Padilla & LaConner

4 miles, 200 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Here's a triple treat for a nice summer day out in Skagit County. We'll start by walking the scenic Padilla Bay Shore Trail west of Burlington, and then explore another fine seashore walk at the Kukutali Preserve near LaConner. And then, since it's right on the way, how about a stop in LaConner for lunch and a stroll before heading home.


Hike 7/10 (Sun.) Coal Creek Trail

5 miles, 500 feet gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Slip into a slice of wilderness right in the middle of the eastside suburbs. This charming woodsy trail off the Coal Creek Parkway near Factoria stretches several miles along a babbling brook. The hike climaxes at a charming little waterfall and includes artifacts from a long-ago coal mine. Ahh...nice hike, short drive, don't have to get up super early. :-)


Hike 7/12 (Tue.)  Barclay Lake

4 miles, 300 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Experience a truly spectacular setting reached by a surprisingly short, gentle trail off Highway 2 near Index. Lying at the base of the 3,000-foot vertical north wall of Mount Baring, Barclay Lake is a perfect spot for relaxing and pondering the majesty of nature.


Walk 7/14 (Thu.)  Evans Creek Preserve

3 miles, 100 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Explore one of the Eastside's finest and best-maintained walking parks. Opened in the fall of 2011 by the City of Sammamish, this 179-acre area of wetlands and meadows has 2.6 miles of excellent, natural-surface trails. There are numerous bridges, boardwalks and viewing platforms, and chances to see birds and other wildlife.


Walk 7/21 (Thu.) Seward Park & Kubota Gardens

3.5 miles, 50 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Walk in Seattle's largest tract of old growth forest on a peninsula that juts into Lake Washington. After the easy paved loop stroll at Seward Park, we'll drive a few blocks, stop and take a self-guided tour of the beautiful Kubota Gardens.


Hike 7/30 (Sat.)  Noble Knob

6 miles, 800 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Behold oceans of wildflowers in bloom and dazzling mountain views on this pleasant ridge-top hike just this side of Mount Rainier National Park.


Hike 7/31 (Sun.)  Lime Kiln Trail

7 miles, 600 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Immerse yourself in scenery and history on this trail near Granite Falls. We'll follow the route of the old Monte Cristo railway along the Stillaguamish River. The forested trail is mostly easy, pleasant and a short drive.


Walk 8/2 (Tue.)  Stimpson Family Nature Preserve

3 miles, 300 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Unwind by walking through an outstanding old-growth forest preserve near Bellingham and hear the success story that turned a once private property into a first-rate public recreation area. The well-built, well-maintained trail offers a relaxing walk with some uphill but no significant obstacles .


Hike 8/6 (Sat.) Ebey's Landing

4 miles, 300 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Celebrate the summer sunshine with an invigorating seashore walk on the west coast of Whidbey Island. Ebey's Landing offers awesome views of the water and mountains, opportunities to see eagles and shore birds, and great beaches. It's perfect for the young and young-at-heart alike.


Hike 8/9 (Tue.)  Naches Peak Loop

4 miles, 800 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Enjoy one of Mount Rainier's best flower hikes on this pleasant loop trail near Chinook Pass. This excellent family hike offers great views of the mountain and acres of meadows adorned with a rainbow of wildflower color.


Hike 8/14 (Sun.)  Federation Forest State Park

4 miles, 100 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Join me on a beautiful old-growth forest hike in one of my favorite state parks. The appeal here is the peacefulness, the ancient trees, and what it DOESN'T have-- crowds of people rushing by to get that must-have social media picture. This overlooked gem of a park on the White River outside Enumclaw honors the legacy of the Federation of Washington Womens' Clubs, who worked to save this land from timber interests back in the 1920's. A system of gentle trails leads through the forest and along the banks of the White River. There's also an excellent interpretive center and picnic area. It's a relaxing spot to be on a summer weekend when so many nearby trails are crowded and hectic.


Walk 8/17 (Wed.)  Lake Sammamish State Park

3-5 miles, minimal elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Head to the eastside suburbs for a pleasant morning walk combining one of King County's best developed rail-trails and one of the state's nicest lakeshore parks. We'll start in the city of Sammamish and walk the southern portion of the East Lake Sammamish trail, following the lakeshore all the way to Lake Sammamish State Park a few miles later. We'll then take in the trails, views, and wildlife sightings there at the park. It's all easy walking on a mixture of paved paths and unpaved trails.


Hike 8/21 (Sun.)  Sourdough Ridge- Mount Rainier

4 miles, 800 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Traverse along a scenic high-ridge trail in Mount Rainier National Park going one-way from Sunrise Point to Sunrise Visitor Center. The well-maintained path tops out at over 7,000 feet high, and has knockout views of the mountain and wildflowers in bloom nearly every step of the way.


Walk 8/26 (Fri.) Tommy Thompson Trail & Lunch

3.5 miles, minimal elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Walk among the seals and seagulls on this cool rail-trail near Anacortes that includes a long pedestrian bridge across Fidalgo Bay. Catch the views of Mt. Baker and even faraway peaks in Canada along the route. The paved path continues into the heart of Anacortes, and ends conveniently close to the Gere-a-Deli, a popular lunch spot which is a sure bet to satisfy your appetite after all the walking.



Moderate and challenging hikes


Hike 5/14 (Sat.) Fourth of July Creek

5-11 miles, 2000-4600 feet elevation gain -- you choose how far you go  SIGN-UP OPEN NOW

THE Best spring hike for strong legs!!! Admire the fabulous wildflower displays and snow-capped mountain views from this sunny, southern exposure trail above Icicle Creek near Leavenworth. This steadily-climbing path offers a chance to test your endurance and see how much elevation you can climb-- or take your time to stop and smell the flowers.


Hike 6/3 (Fri.) Dirty Harry's Balcony

4 miles, 1,500 feet elevation gain SIGN UP OPEN NOW

'I know what you're thinking punk,...'-- no, not that Dirty Harry. Instead, the legacy of a long-gone small-time logger named Harry Gault is preserved by some nicely-built DNR trails that access some great viewpoints above the I-90 corridor beyond North Bend. It's a nice easy-to-get-to spot that's great for an afternoon/evening adventure. The vistas span the breadth of the South Fork Snoqualmie valley, with particularly striking views of McClellan Butte and the Snoqualmie Pass area.


Hike 7/2 (Sat.)  Pinnacle Pk. Lookout (Enumclaw)

4 miles, 1200 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Huh? There's a brand new lookout tower sitting atop a mini-mountain outside Enumclaw? With views from the Olympics to Rainier? Let's go check it out! Pinnacle Peak is an odd, isolated hill sitting in the White River valley, the centerpiece of another fine King County Park trail system. The summit tower sits at about 1800 feet elevation, and has a few tall trees around it, but still offers some excellent views. The hike up is fairly short but steep, gaining 1000 feet in just a mile and a half. To fill out the day, we'll also do a short hike nearby in the scenic Green River Gorge Natural Area.


Hike 7/6 (Wed.) Comet Falls

4-7 miles, 1,300 feet gain, up to 2200 gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Without a doubt one of the best, if not THE BEST waterfall in Mount Rainier National Park is this 300-foot-tall beauty. Reached in just 2 miles via a well-maintained (but often steep) trail from the Paradise Road, it captures the essence of the park's attractions. There's regal forests, flowery meadows, streams and cascades everywhere, and the grand payoff at the falls itself. If conditions allow, continue above and beyond the falls to open views of Rainier itself at the tree-line meadows of Van Trump Park.

Hike 7/9 (Sat.)  Greider Lakes

9 miles, 2100 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

This pair of pretty and pristine lakes sits in an out-of-the-way corner of the Cascades near Spada Lake Reservoir north of Sultan. While many backcountry lakes of this caliber are swarmed with hikers on a summer weekend, the Greiders are less crowded. The way to the lakes is not often easy, owing to the steep, rough trail, and the 40 switchbacks you'll do on the way there, but the reward for your efforts is grand.


Hike 7/16 (Sat.)  Sourdough Mountain

10 miles, up to 5,000 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY  9

This is a view that you have to EARN. It's one of only a handful of summit trails in Washington that climbs over 5000 feet from bottom to top. But what a top! Situated in the heart of the North Cascades, Sourdough has views of lakes, glaciers, mountain meadows, and incredibly rugged peaks. If you like a challenge, this one is not to be missed. You don't have to go all the way to the lookout cabin at the summit, but should be capable of doing 3500 feet elevation gain to enjoy the trip.

Hike 7/19 (Tue.)  Klahhane Ridge

6 miles, 1,600 feet gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

It's the highest, and many would say the best, trail near Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. Views span the horizon from Mt. Olympus to Mt. Baker, and just about everything in between. If that weren't enough, the wildflowers will be at the peak of their colorful display in the meadows. Note that the trail is rocky and steep at times, and good traction footwear are essential. Trip price includes ferry fees.


Hike 7/23 (Sat.)  Skyscraper Pass

7 miles, 1,300 feet gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Hike the high country near the Sunrise area in Mount Rainier National Park. This trail keeps you above 6,000 feet in elevation the whole time, and views are non-stop. Also, it's a great chance to see wildlife: marmots, mountain goats, and black bear are commonly seen here.


Hike 8/3 (Wed.)  Skyline Divide

4-6 miles, 1,500 - 1,900 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Experience Heaven on Earth when we reach this ridge-top meadow. Lovely flowers and beautiful views of nearby Mount Baker make this a very hard spot to leave.


Hike 8/7 (Sun.)  Esmerelda Basin

7 miles, 1,800 feet gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Wildflower lovers will find a slice of heaven on this popular trail, another gem in the beautiful Teanaway area north of Cle Elum. The climax views at Fortune Creek Pass encompass a broad area of the Central Cascades, including Mount Daniel and Hawkins Mountain. Oh yeah, there's a chance to see mountain goats too.


Hike 8/11 (Thu.) Spray Park

6 miles, 1,500 feet elevation gain SIGN UP OPENS MAY 9

Experience one of the best-loved hikes at Mount Rainier. Travel to a large, open meadow with zillions of wildflowers and knockout views of the big volcano above you. And take a side trip to Spray Falls, a 300-foot-tall wonder that's a splendid destination in its own right.


Hike 8/13 (Sat.) Heather Lake (Wenatchee NF)

7 miles, 1,300 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Recipe for a great mid-summer hike: nicely maintained trail, steep enough to give you a good workout - check; beautiful forests, creeks, and mountain views - check; a nice cool lake at the end, perfect for a refreshing dip - check; not too busy, even in the busy season - check. This trail in the Wenatchee National Forest, near the Lake Wenatchee area, has all the ingredients for a fine day out.


Hike 8/19 (Fri.)  Evergreen Mountain Sunset Hike

3 miles, 1,200 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Head for the Wild Sky Wilderness near Skykomish, and hike on an off-the-beaten-path trail to a lonely mountaintop lookout cabin perched at over 5,500 feet. We'll time it so we can watch the sunset from the peak, and come down by headlamp. It promises to be an unforgettable sight.


Hike 8/29 (Mon.)  Watson Lakes

4 miles, 1,100 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

These picturesque alpine lakes highlight the Baker Lake region of the North Cascades, set under the slopes of Bacon Peak. You'll be surrounded by stunning views of Baker and Shuksan, and that's just on the drive to the trailhead. It only gets better from there. Note: this should be a good berry-picking hike.


Bike Trips


Bike 7/24 (Sun.) Snoqualmie Valley Trail

10-20 miles, minimal elevation gain SIGN UP OPENS MAY 9

Ride a wonderful relaxing path through miles of peaceful countryside in eastern King County. The Snoqualmie Valley Trail follows an old railroad grade and allows many options for riding through one of the most beautiful agricultural valleys in the state. This will be a one-way ride, south to north, roughly 10-20 miles, mostly a gentle downhill, on the stretch from Snoqualmie to Duvall. My van will be the support vehicle, so ride the full distance or stop when you've done enough. Your mountain or hybrid-type bike is recommended for the gravel surface (no skinny tires). Bring a helmet, spare inner tube, and small repair kit.


Bike 8/27 (Sat.)  Willapa Hills Trail

12-27 miles, up to 300 feet elevation gain SIGN-UP OPENS MAY 9

Let's discover the fun of riding another of Washington's fine rail-trails, this one found in southwest Washington near Chehalis. The route of the former Burlington Northern rail line will eventually be a 56-mile trail, and so far, about 27 miles is ready to ride, from Chehalis to just west of Pe Ell. The first 5 miles are paved, then it's compacted gravel after that, so the ride is best enjoyed on a hybrid or mountain bike. The van is your support vehicle, so go for the whole 27 miles, or get picked up earlier when you've ridden enough. Bring your helmet, spare inner tube, and a few tools.

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