top of page

I need all trip participants to update and submit a Hold Harmless Form for 2024.  Click here to go to the form page.

Photos from recent trips


Hike 4/11 Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Trail


We were treated to a nice spring day for our hike along the Middle Fork Trail outside North Bend. Pleasant temperatures, bits of sunshine and blue skies, soothing sounds of the nearby river, vivid green mossy forest, and bursts of spring wildflowers all made for a very enjoyable day on the trail. We ventured upstream for about 2.7 miles from the "Rainbow Bridge" before returning. The trail was in great condition, with only one or two minor obstacles to contend with. A bakery stop in North Bend finished off the day in tasty fashion.


Snowshoe/Ski 4/6 High Hut


The Mount Tahoma Trails Association owns and operates 4 remote huts in the Cascade foothills above Ashford, on the way to Mt. Rainier. The huts are reservable for overnight stays, and are popular in the winter season for skiers and snowshoers. High Hut, located on a ridgetop at 4760 feet, is the highest and most scenic of the bunch, and also makes a great day trip destination, being about a 3-mile trek from the Sno-Park where the road is gated below it. We had a mixed group with a skier and several snowshoers that did the climb up to the hut on a very snowy day. We enjoyed a relaxing 90-minute stay in the hut, which has kitchen facilities and is gas heated. A handful of overnight visitors were making their way to and from the hut, but we had it all to ourselves while we were there. Unfortunately, the knockout views from the top were non-existant, but the fresh powder snow was beautiful on the road and trees.


Walk 4/5 Paradise Valley Conservation Area


The PVCA is an 800-acre property near Maltby that features about 13 miles of trails that are enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders. Snohomish County Parks has developed and maintained these trails, which provide an excellent escape into some nice peaceful forest land. We walked a 4-mile route around the area on a drippy, overcast morning, getting in some nice exercise without having to journey far from Everett.   


Hike 4/2 Washington Park & Sharpe Park


This was a double feature hike near Anacortes, starting out with a 2.5-mile loop walk around Washington Park. The 220-acre park sits on a peninsula forming the westernmost point on Fidalgo Island, and the combination of peaceful forests, flower-dotted meadows, and stellar marine views is hard to beat. The sunny weather gave us great conditions at the park. After a lunch break near the beach at Washington Park, we traveled a few minutes south to Sharpe Park. This waterfront land on Rosario Strait was saved by the San Juan Lasnd Trust, and is managed by Skagit County Parks. A fine system of trail offers miles of hiking options through forests of evergreen and madrona trees, and the climax view from the Sares Head overlook are outstanding. We capped off the day with a goodie stop at the Schuh Farm in the Skagit Valley.


Hike 3/28 Cedar Butte


Cedar Butte is a little mini-mountain located in the area by Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend. It's only 1880 feet in elevation, and completely covered by trees, but there's a nice trail to the top that meanders through a very mossy forest, and the view at the top, though relatively small, is quite nice. I was accompanied by 10 good strong hikers who all made the top with little difficulty. The clouds and rain showers stayed with us much of the time, but didn't get us too wet. Afterwards, we stopped in at the excellent Cedar River Watershed Visitors Center to check that out before heading home.


Walk 3/23 Seattle's Cherry Blossoms


This was another "van-less" trip as we boarded the 512 double-decker bus and the light rail to travel to the UW campus and take in the sights at the Quad and the Arboretum. The weather was a bit wet and gray, but the colors of the cherry blossoms at near-peak bloom put on their show for us, and huundreds of other folks as well. Our walk continued over the Montlake Bridge, out to Foster Island (including views of Boys in a Boat), and on to the Arboretum for another fine show of colors.


Hike 3/20 Little Mashel Falls


This is actually not one but three falls on the Little Mashel River near Eatonville. We traveled down there on a overcast Wednesday to see them, and persisted through some muddy and slippery conditons to marvel at the beautiful falls and the mossy canyon surrounding them. Even though the water volume is less than average for this time of year, the falls did not disappoint.


Walk 3/18 Seattle's Cherry Blossoms


We took advantage of this rare "summer in mid-March" weather to make a 5.5-mile walk around the U District, taking in the spectacular cherry blossom displays at The Quad on the UW campus, and the beautiful Washington Park Arboretum. The trip had a twist in that we took the bus and light rail to get down there, with our walk beginning conveniently at the station next to Husky Stadium. The cherry blossoms were at their peak, and many other colorful plants adorned both the campus and the arboretum. We also had a scenic walk along the Ship Canal and Union Bay, oncluding some bridge sections that go out over the bay itself. Add in a stop at the Oxbow Bakery, and you have a fine little day outing. The trip will be repeated on Saturday, March 23, and several spots are available.


Snowshoe 3/16 Heather Meadows - Artist Point


There's no need to go on and on about how wonderful this trip was. It was sunny and warm, and we were at one of the most beautiful place in the Northwest. Enough said.


Snowshoe 3/13 Big Four Picnic Area


We headed up the Mountain Loop Highway beyond Granite Falls to have a walk in the snow to the Big Four area. The highway is gated about 24 miles east of Granite Falls, leaving a 2 mile walk to the Big Four Picnic Area. In February, I was able to ride my bicycle on this portion, as it was snow-free at the time. An early March storm then dumped 1-2 feet of snow on the highway, so for now at least, it's a walk in the snow. We had intermittent fog and clouds, and a few nice sun breaks, with fairly comfortable temperatures in the mid-30s. It took the group barely an hour to make it to Big Four Picnic Area, so we had time to continue on up the Ice Caves Trail. The weather cleared somewhat, giving us some great views of this spectacular area. We made our way back to the van, logging about 5-6 miles for the round trip. On the way home, we discovered a nice little cafe/coffee shop in Granite Falls called Lyla's Cafe. The carmel caribou ice cream was excellent!


Hike 3/10 Chuckanut Ridge


This was a one-way hike across the crest of Chuckanut Mountain south of Bellingham. We drove up a side road off of Chuckanut Drive that climbed 1800 feet to the Cyrus Gates Overlook, and began the hike here. The trail follows the rugged rocky ridge crest for about 3 miles, then drops down, eventually leading to a trailhead on the outskirts of Bellingham. We had blustery weather, with gusts of 30mph and more, and a few showers mixed in too. The trail was challenging, but everyone in the handled the tricky terrain and completed the 5.5 mile hike. Thanks to my van shuttle driver, and congrats to all who made this a successful day. 


Snowshoe 3/9 Mt. Townsend Road (alternate for Hurricane Ridge)


Stormy weather forced the Hurricane Ridge Road to be closed on Saturday, so we went with some alternate plans. Unfortunately, the park service usually doesn't make their decision until 8am or so, by which time we were already on the ferry toward the Olympic Peninsula. Given that there are no other roads on the peninsula that are plowed to the higher elevations, and the weather was quite wet with rain below 3000 feet and snow above, my strategy was to drive up the forest road toward Mt. Townsend near Quilcene. We were able to drive to 3200 feet, where it was snowing, not raining. From there, people simply hiked or snowshoed on the road to get in a little exercise. The falling snow was beautiful, and much nicer than hiking in a downpour. For a little added extra, we stopped to look at Fallsview Falls down near Highway 101.

bottom of page