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Winter Hikes on WTA-Improved Trails

From the Olympics to Spokane, from Bellingham to the Columbia River Gorge, WTA volunteers worked on 170 trails all over the state in 2012. We've selected nine freshly brushed, newly built or recently repaired trails for you to hike this winter.

Washington Trails Association volunteers worked on 170 trails in 2012. From those 170, we've selected eight freshly brushed, newly built or recently repaired trails for you to hike this winter. As you hike, see if you can tell where our sprightly volunteers have left their mark.

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    Puget Sound

     

    Taylor Mountain

    Taylor Mountain
    Taylor Mountain. Photo by Dick Axon.

    Location: Issaquah Alps
    Round Trip: 4 miles
    Elevation Gain: 1100’

    This forested jungle-gym of former logging roads makes for a great day's exploration. After the snowstorms in early 2012, WTA crews brushed and cleared the network of trails that run through Taylor Mountain. Follow the Holder Ridge Trail along Holder Creek, under groves of moss-laden maple and through fern-clad clearings.

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA’s online Hiking Guide

    Wallace Falls

    Wallace Falls - mtnlou
    Middle Falls. Photo by mtnlou.

    Location: Central Cascades - Stevens Pass
    Round Trip: 5.5 miles
    Elevation Gain:
    1200'

    On this classic rainy-day hike, meander along with the raging Wallace River, which stems from a series of nine spectacular lace-fringed falls. Take note especially of the fine set of stairs that WTA volunteers put in earlier this year - only one of the improvements WTA has made to trails in this popular state park over the years.

    >> Read more and check trip reports in our online Hiking Guide.

    Grand Ridge

    Grand Ridge
    Grand Ridge boardwalk. Photo by Mike Hardy

    Location: Issaquah Alps
    Round Trip: up to 14 miles 
    Elevation Gain: 1100'

    Located in Issaquah's backyard, this newly-completed trail winds through hemlock and cedar, giving it a surprisingly backcountry feel. Cougars, slugs and plenty of other wildlife share these seven miles of trail with hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Much of the trail was built by WTA crews, and the 600-foot boardwalk near Duthie Hill was completed in February of 2012.

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA's online Hiking Guide.

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    Northwest Washington

     

    Larrabee State Park

    Larrabee State Park
    Larrabee State Park. Photo by treeana.

    Location: North Puget Sound
    Round Trip: 5.5 miles
    Elevation Gain: 1000’

    Gaze out to the Samish Bay on your hike through majestic cedar and Douglas fir out to the quaint Fragrance Lake in Larrabee State Park. WTA volunteers brushed trail corridors and repaired tread on both the Lost Lake and Fragrance Lake Trails this year; both are good hikes for any time of year.

    >> Read more about Fragrance Lake in WTA's online Hiking Guide.

    >> Read more about Lost Lake in WTA's online Hiking Guide.

    Guemes Mountain

    Guemes
    Guemes Mountain. Photo by WTA staff.

    Location: Puget Sound and Islands - North Sound
    Round Trip: 2.3 miles
    Elevation Gain: 550’

    For a prairie landscape combined with views of the surrounding San Juan Islands, visit the highest point on Guemes Island. WTA finished building this new trail last year but returned in 2012 to lay gravel on part of it. Enjoy the panorama of Puget Sound and the North Cascades at the rocky top.

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA's online Hiking Guide.

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    Southwest Washington

     

    Coyote Wall

    Coyote Wall
    Coyote Wall. Photo by Ryan Ojerio.

    Location: South Cascades - Columbia Gorge
    Round Trip: 8.25 miles
    Elevation Gain: 2074'

    This loop trail surprises you with new landscapes around each corner. From rock face to forest, meadows to Gorge, this hike has it all. Be sure to check out the rerouted sections of trail that WTA crews built recently to keep this trail ready for your bootprints!

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA's online Hiking Guide.

    Cape Disappointment

    Cape Disappointment
    Cape Disappointment. Photo by Sue Olsen.

    Location: Olympics - SW Washington
    Round Trip: 4.2 miles
    Elevation Gain: 300’

    Breathe in the sea spray on this anything-but-disappointing hike out to the scenic North Head Lighthouse. The thundering waves and hallowed Sitka spruce forest will make you thank your lucky stars that WTA volunteers took the time to repair this trail earlier in 2012, building a section of boardwalk to help you avoid the muck.

    >> Read more and check trip reports in WTA's online Hiking Guide.

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    Eastern Washington

    Mount Spokane

    Mount Spokane snowshoe
    Mount Spokane snowshoe. Photo by Holly Weiler.

    Location: 25 miles NE of Spokane
    Round Trip: several options of 1.5 to 4 miles
    Elevation Gain: from 240' to 1350' gain

    In winter this is a snowshoeing hike, so it might be hard to tell that WTA brushed, rerouted and built turnpikes along this network of trails earlier this year, but don't be deceived. Two of the best trails climb to a CCC Cabin where you can warm up inside, and to the top of Mt. Spokane, which is also the top of the ski hill and sports a cafeteria.

    >> Read more about snowshoeing here and check trip reports in our online Hiking Guide.

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