Hikes of the Week 2010 Archive
These are hikes that were featured on the WTA website in 2010. Be sure to follow the links to our Hiking Guide with more 900 full hike descriptions and driving directions, most courtesy of Mountaineers Books and its guidebook authors. You can also access our Hike of the Week archives for 2008 and 2009.
Hex Mountain Snowshoe
December 22, 2010
Hex Mountain is a steep snowshoe with a huge reward: 360 degree views of Mt. Rainier, the Stuart Range and the Teanaways. Start off on logging roads before heading onto a sheltered ridge trail. The junctions can be confusing - be sure to take a map and read up on recent trip reports to help with route-finding.
December 6, 2010
Desert hiking is not just for spring. Our favorite Eastern Washington hikes are transformed this time of year into a delicate winter wonderland. You can't drive all the way to the Black Canyon trailhead right now, but you can hike in from the elk fence and experience the cool, crisp air, the panoramic views and possibly even some wildlife in this fantastic area.
November 29, 2010
Looking for a good winter hike with decent elevation gain, little snow and awesome views of Seattle, Puget Sound and the Olympics? Look no further than Green Mountain, the Kitsap Peninsula's second highest peak. This hike is a loop trip. Motors are allowed on the trail but are largely absent in winter, leaving you to enjoy the peaceful views.
November 17, 2010
With a huge winter storm approaching, it's tricky to find a good hike. How to stay out of the rain, but not get snowed in? This week, give Squak Mountain State Park outside of Issaquah a try. How pleasant would it be to take a walk in the snow! Plus, this may be one of your last chances to enjoy the park before it is mothballed for budget reasons.
Lake Serene - Bridal Veil Falls
November 8, 2010
This hike off of Highway 2 is one of the best shoulder season hikes in the state. It's low elevation keeps it snow-free for much of the year, yet the rewards are definitely high elevation caliber. The highlights? Cascading Bridal Veil Falls, towering Mt. Index and picturesque Lake Serene.
Upper Dungeness River
October 26, 2010
Mushrooms thrive in our wet, temperate climate - and this is the best time to see a variety on trail. One of the best places to see 'shrooms is along the Dungeness River - a great rainy day hike with huge old growth trees, easy terrain and a restored shelter at 3.4 miles to escape the elements and have lunch.
October 18, 2010
Of the innumerable reasons to visit The Enchantments, there are three
that reign supreme in mid-October: 1) Fall color is still going strong
here as it fades elsewhere; 2) Permit season ended October 15th, so go
when you like; and 3) This hike is unbelievably beautiful. Be safe out there, however, as icy conditions can make hiking
October 7, 2010
On a clear day you can see forever from Mt. Defiance. Views to Mts. Rainier, Adams, Baker and Glacier Peak. The Seattle and Bellevue skylines. And so much more. You'll have to work to get there, however - nearly 3400 feet of elevation gain. But this is a great time to go. Low crowds, fall foliage and even the chance to see some wildlife all await you.
September 30, 2010
Are the larches out yet? You tell us! Tronsen Ridge is one of the easiest places to catch a glimpse of our deciduous conifer - they start appearing about a mile in. This is a trail we normally recommend for its wildflowers in late spring and summer, but it offers special pleasures in the fall as well.
September 23, 2010
Gone are the crowds that flock to this picturesque basin above the Dungeness River in summer. Gone too are the wildflowers, but in their place is a tranquil carpet of fall color and rewarding long day hike or overnight. Expect towering trees, crashing creeks, alpine meadows and Royal Lake ringed by two huge mountains. Read more.
Walt Bailey Trail
September 15, 2010
In keeping with our week's theme of hiking in DNR lands, we highly recommend the Walt Bailey trail.
It looks to be rainy this weekend, so you may not want to go all of the way to Bald Mountain, where there are great views of Puget Sound and Rainier. Instead, don your raingear and forage for the last of this trail's bountiful berries.
September 9, 2010
Fall is one of the best times to visit Colchuck Lake - a sparkling jewel in the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness with stunning peaks all around. The way is steep, rooty and rocky at times, but the reward is big. If you're lucky, you can snag one of the few walk-up backcountry camping permits and stay overnight.
Toleak Point Traverse
August 31, 2010
Still looking for a backpacking trip to take this long holiday weekend? We suggest a trip to the Pacific Coast - a traverse from Third Beach to Oil City via Toleak Point. It's wild. It's stunning. It's romantic. It's challenging too, with headlands, tides and creeks to contend with. Most of all, it's an unforgettable hike.
August 26, 2010
A lake, Mount Baker, wildflowers, huckleberries AND a lookout. What could be better? Not much, as it turns out. This is a 5-star hike by any measure. It's a great time to visit this wonderland, but it also puts on a fall color show. And it makes an excellent overnight too. Read more.
August 18, 2010
A WTA backcountry crew just spent four days improving the decent to this milky green lake off of Stevens Pass. It's not an easy hike, but the destination is worth it. Snowfields hang on the slopes around the lake year-round, and the glacial melt turns the lake this dreamy color. In the sun or in the clouds, Blanca Lake is stunning!
August 12, 2010
The wildflowers are peaking at Spray Park right now! This is the time to go to Mount Rainier National Park and hike this favorite trail. Because of its endless wildflower meadows, front-row views of Mount Rainier and easy hiking, it is popular. Go early to avoid the crowds and bring your bug juice!
August 5, 2010
Alpine elixir in the North Cascades! A mere two miles deposits hikers on one of the most divine ridges in the Cascades. Enjoy the flowers and front-row views of Mount Baker from there or wander up to 2.5 miles along Baker's arm with the mountain looming in front of you. Pack water, bug spray and a camera! Read more.
July 29, 2010
Hike through a glacially carved landscape and take an up-close look at the devastation caused by the 2006 floods. Now you'll be able to hike a new, one-mile section of the Glacier Basin trail thanks to the hard work of WTA volunteers (who contributed 7,376 hours last year alone!) and our partners. More rebuilding is to come.
July 22, 2010
Hooray! A perennial favorite, Spider Meadow, is open for hiking! Day hike, or better yet, backpack to the meadow and beyond to Phelps Basin or up to Spider Glacier. Wildflowers galore, cascading creeks, a perfect u-shaped valley and more await hikers here. A bit of snow remains just before the meadow, but it is nothing to worry about.
July 15, 2010
It's a good time to visit Mount St. Helens. This hike, from Windy Ridge, offers a tour through natural history, sublime views of the crater and a nice wildflower show - all on a short and easy hike with many possibilities for a longer trek. Make sure you bring a hat, sunscreen and bug spray. There are no trees to shade you here! Read more.
July 8, 2010
Consider taking in the wildflower scene on Polallie Ridge. Accessible from Cle Elum, this hike provides great views, an excellent flower show and a good workout. Snow was reported as early as July 3 at the 5000' level, but should be melting fast. Bring plenty of water though, as most of the way is dry.
July 1, 2010
Imagine this view at night on the 4th of July - the sky bright with fireworks shooting up from north to south. But fireworks are certainly not the only - or the best - reason to visit Marmot Pass. Huge old growth trees, a swiftly moving river, wildflowers and fabulous views from the pass are what makes this a favorite hike of so many.
Red Top Lookout
June 24, 2010
Short and sweet! A mountain peak and lookout easily accessible from the trailhead. This is a great hike for families with kids and for folks wanting a short hike with nice views in the Teanaway. Read more.
South Coldwater Trail
June 17, 2010
Elk is a common sight along the South Coldwater Trail at Mount St. Helens National Monument. And wildlfowers are blooming too! The trail is nearly snow-free, and it is a great place to get an up-close look at the devastation from 1980 and the recovery since then. Big views and a good work-out are added pluses. Read more.
June 10, 2010
Goat Lake is a beauty - a snow-free trail off the Mountain Loop Highway that leads to a large and serene lake in an alpine cirque. It's an excellent day hike, but is often a favorite of overnight backpackers. Read more.
Silver Falls Loop
June 3, 2010
This short and sweet trail is definitely worth the drive to Mount Rainier National Park. The highlight: a sparkling waterfall on the Ohanapecosh River that is running at its spring peak. And if you go now, you'll avoid the summer crowds and campers. Read more.
May 26, 2010
For a day hike or a backpack, Ingalls Creek is one of Washington's finest Memorial Day destinations. Located off Blewett Pass, this trail takes you deep into a beautiful roadless valley, marked by towering peaks and glorious wildflowers like trillium, glacier lily, paintbrush, balsamroot, lupine and more.
South Fork Skokomish
May 13, 2010
One trailhead and two choices - do you go downstream or upstream on this lovely river on the east side of the Olympics? Miles of towering old growth and a roaring river are the defining features of these trails. Some of these Doug Firs are 500 years old!
Start in the cool forest where spring wildflowers are blooming in abundance. End in the stark and stunning basin at the base of Mount Pilchuck's granite face. Note that hikers will encounter some snow on the way to the lake. Read more.
You won't find any rattlesnakes on the ledges, but you will find great views of Mount Si, the Snoqualmie River Valley and the Cascades. The two-mile trail to the top is a testament to the handiwork of WTA volunteers and others who carved it out several years go. Admire their work and enjoy the hike! Read more.
April 21, 2010
It's short. It's steep. It's super accessible. And the views of Mt.
Index and the Skykomish River Valley are excellent. Heybrook Lookout is a
favorite trail of people looking for springtime views and a quick
work-out. What's more, you get to enjoy your reward by climbing the old
lookout and getting a view from the inside.
April 14, 2010
The Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge has many delightful
spring hikes highlighted by beautiful river views and amazing
wildflowers. Catherine Creek is one of the easiest - it's even
wheelchair accessible. Even better are the views and dozens of
wildflower species that can be seen from this trail.
The calendar may say spring, but the mountains are finally getting a dose of winter. Why not embrace it and go snowshoeing? You can even park in the Sno- Parks for free this time of year! Just watch for avalanche conditions! Here's a few to consider: Kendall Peak Lakes, Lake Valhalla, Wenatchee Crest, Artist Point.
Lower Gray Wolf River
The east side of the Olympics offers great spring hiking and backpacking. Flowers are starting to bloom along the Lower Gray Wolf River, which is accessed by two trails - Lower Gray Wolf River and Slab Camp Creek - and runs for many lonely miles upstream.
Mount St. Helen's Caves
March 14, 2010
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the month of March with a hike on a trail that emphasizes the color green. There are many to choose from, especially along rivers. Try one of these: Old Sauk Trail, Upper Dungeness River, Duckabush River, Lewis River, Rockport State Park, or Little Si.
This month's magazine featured great places to see Washington's varied geology in action. Here are some of the places you can hike to right now that were mentioned in the articles: Third Beach, Hurricane Hill, Beacon Rock, Ape Cave, Mima Mounds, Steamboat Rock, and Frenchman Coulee.
Whales from Trail
Where can you (if you're lucky) spot whales from the trail? This month's magazine featured such an adventure in the San Juans. Try one of these trails for a chance to see orca and gray whales: Iceberg Point, Mt. Finlayson, Ebey's Landing, Dosewallips State Park, and Cape Flattery.
Mountain Loop Highway
February 17, 2010
One of the most glorious series of waterfalls in the state and a trail that WTA volunteers have spent an enormous amount of time working on. Lower Wallace Falls is arguably the most photographic, Middle Falls the most spectacular, and the Upper Falls the most lonely. Read more.
Volunteer Vacation Locations
WTA has just opened sign-ups for this year's Volunteer Vacations. Why not try a trail before and after a crew has been there. Three of the early trips can be hiked right now: Cape Disappointment, Chelan Lakeshore, and the Hoh Rainforest.
Snoqualmie Pass Snowshoeing
There is snow to be found - you just have to drive to the passes this winter. And now you can use a great new resource on WTA's website: our Hiking Guide now contains 100 snowshoe routes right from Dan Nelson's Snowshoe Route Washington book, courtesy of Mountaineers Books. Head to Snoqualmie Pass to try one of these.
Mountain Loop Trails
Our warm winter weather has the Mountain Loop Highway open and snow-free this January. Try Lake 22, Heather Lake, Big Four Ice Caves, Boardman Lake, and Mt. Pilchuck for a snow-free hike you won't be able to take most winters.
Millersvania State Park
Need a great place to stretch your legs as you drive between Seattle and Portland? This is the park for you. Eight miles of hiking trails zigzag around Millersylvania State Park - you can make your own loop through the peaceful forest, across wetlands and along Deep Lake.