Hikers Say Thanks on Six Great Summer Hikes
Year-round, our hardy WTA volunteers saw out logs, cut back brush and drain water off of trails so that hikers can enjoy their natural surroundings rather than worrying about spraining an ankle. And these volunteer efforts aren't going unnoticed. Recent trip reporters who have stumbled upon new tread and fresh brushing on trails around the state are thanking WTA volunteers for their work.
If you're looking for a smooth hike with few obstacles, check out one of these recently renovated trails where trip reporters have witnessed WTA's impact. Or if you want to lend a hand fixing trails for other hikers, sign up for an upcoming work party.
Location: Central Cascades - Stevens Pass
Round Trip: 11.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 3800’
Trip reporter madvillain: "Trail is in holy cow shape - thanks, I think mostly, to WTA. This trail has a lot of freshly installed stairs."
In just under two miles you’ll reach the shores of this large alpine lake. Stop to go fishing or take a dip or continue on along the lake. It’s no wonder that its ancient forests and rocky ledges attract so many hikers; Lake Dorothy is both beautiful and easy to reach.
Nooksack River to Excelsior Pass
Location: North Cascades
Round Trip: 9 miles
Trip reporter janet: "There had just been a LOT of work done on this trail, thank you, whoever you are, trailworkers!"
WTA volunteers have been hard at work repairing drainage and tread along the lower part of this trail so that hikers can access the spectacular wildflower shows in the alpine meadows above. The snow might not melt out till August, but when it does, you'll find stunning views of Mount Baker and surrounding peaks at the pass.
Location: near Enumclaw
Round Trip: up to 16.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 540'
Trip reporter twopaddles: "The trail is in in great shape, no obstacles, hardly any water on the tread. Thank you, WTA!"
It's easy to tromp for miles through old-growth forest on this gently graded trail. This hike treats you to a beautiful river and views of two waterfalls tumbling down palisade cliffs. As you go, take note of the many rock walls that WTA volunteers have built along the beginning of this trail.
Duckabush River Trail
Location: Olympic Peninsula - Hood Canal
Round Trip: 10.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2300’
Trip reporter helihu: "The trail was fine, and WTA work parties were making it even better (especially for stock)."
Through old-growth groves that muffle the thundering waters of the Duckabush River, this trail is a highway into the heart of the Olympics. So after fires ravaged the trail in 2011, it became especially critical that our volunteers repair and reopen this trail so that hikers could access those far-flung backcountry peaks and forests that define the Olympic Peninsula.
Colonel Bob Trail
Location: Olympic Peninsula
Round Trip: 12 miles
Elevation Gain: 4290’
Trip reporter and volunteer Scott: " Once on the endangered list, Colonel Bob has made a dramatic comeback thanks to the hard work of WTA volunteers."
Switchback through stunning old-growth forest as you climb to a lofty, scenic peak overlooking the Olympic mountains. In 2007, a huge storm felled a great many giants across the trail; in recent years WTA volunteers have been working to saw these out.
Location: Olympic Peninsula coast
Round Trip: 4 miles
Elevation Gain: 350'
Trip reporter raring2hike: "Having only hiked at Shi Shi Beach on the coast previously, we were absolutely astounded at the trail work to Second Beach; fresh gravel, raised steps, just a lovely trail the entire way. Checking the recent trip reports, I learned why the trail was so perfect: it was the location of WTA’s first Volunteer Vacation of 2013. Many thanks to this crew for the hard work and beautiful trail."
Don’t let its name fool you; Second Beach is second to none. Originating on the Quinault Indian Reservation and entering the Olympic National Park, this coastal trail boasts sandy beaches, imposing sea stacks and grand chains of Sitka spruce.