You are here: Home Find a Hike Trip Reports

Trip Reports

You — and other hikers from across the Northwest — have posted 51,576 Trip Reports to date. Search Trip Reports to find out where others are hiking and learn about current trail conditions.

You may also write a Trip Report or search the WTA Hiking Guide to learn more details about hikes.

Showing 51576 trip reports
 
North Cascades -- Mount Baker Highway
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This was an ideal weekend to go to Mt. Baker. The snowpack is lower than usual, but not to the degr...
This was an ideal weekend to go to Mt. Baker. The snowpack is lower than usual, but not to the degree that the South Cascades are suffering from- the day before, I attended an avalanche transceiver training at a still-closed Alpental!

I arrived at about 9:30 and found the lots rapidly filling up, probably because of limited skiing at some lower elevation areas.

With the burgeoning popularity of snowshoeing, snowshoes are not always needed, which was the case today: several firm trails were packed down into the firm lower layer, making shoes unneccesary, though most were wearing them. I followed trails that strayed toward Bagley Lakes, away from the ski run, and just crossed back when it was necessary to avoid the dropoff. There are only two steep areas, which were completely manageable with the cooperative snow and cool temperatures (plus I was in the shade on the way up).

I gained ground much more quickly than anticipated, so I wandered across the meadows below Artist Point for pictures in relatively pure snow, and for exercise. Artist Point hosted many happy people skiing, snowshoeing, and taking bazillions of photographs of the beautiful scenery. The area is large enough to find a nice quiet spot to eat lunch and gaze and one mountain or another (I chose Baker, which is showing crevasses long past when I would expect). The ravens patrol looking for scraps- don't feed them, please, as they learn to rip into packs and stuff sacks as people wander around taking photos.

Avalanche conditions were moderate, with a couple slides across ski tracks in the Herman Saddle area. A few people were skiing on the Coleman Pinnacle trail area, which looked a tad dicey- too eerily smooth and undisturbed as the sun warmed the slopes.

Overall, a wonderful hike in the snow and a gorgeous day!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Blowdowns, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Perfect hike today up to Talapus and Olallie Lakes! Snow was present as early as a mile in (dust...
Perfect hike today up to Talapus and Olallie Lakes!

Snow was present as early as a mile in (dusting) but not too much to handle at any time. We wore YakTrax the whole time. They weren't absolutely necessary but as the sun went down and the melty snow froze over, we were glad of their presence.. Hardly anyone else on the trail made for a serene trip.

A couple of big blowdowns blocking the trail after Talapus, but it's easy to tread a shortcut around. Just a lovely winter hike - highly recommend it!
 
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
The weather was PERFECT for a hike today. There no snow on the trail at all. Just cold in places and...
The weather was PERFECT for a hike today. There no snow on the trail at all. Just cold in places and a tiny snow off to the sides. No need for crampons, a lot of people in our group (we had 8) wore tennis shoes. The view at West Tiger #3 is SUPER disappointing. Still worth the workout, but if you are going on this hike for the view...... look for a different one.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
It was the absolute perfect day to do this hike! I arrived at the trailhead at 930 and there were qu...
It was the absolute perfect day to do this hike! I arrived at the trailhead at 930 and there were quite a few cars already, however I only saw one person my whole way to the top. And the lake was gorgeous, as always.

A couple of things to note, however:

As previous reports mention, it gets really icy toward the top. I was wearing Yak Trax, had poles, and STILL was sliding around from time to time. People wearing good hiking boots, but nothing else, were seen to be having some issues. And don't even get me started on the people wearing sneakers. DO NOT DO THIS! Not if you plan to do this hike anytime soon.

Also, if you are bringing a dog, PLEASE keep them on leash once the icy portion comes about. It's really hard to keep your footing during this part of the hike and I saw one dog almost run a girl down. Not safe.

Other than that, it was a super lovely hike and very manageable if you are well prepared!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Blowdowns, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Access road is clear to the parking lot. Trail is clear for about the first half of the hike except...
Access road is clear to the parking lot. Trail is clear for about the first half of the hike except in the open areas where it is hard packed snow or ice. Packed snow throughout the second half. Poles are helpful, traction devices not needed, but helpful. Blow down areas were not a problem. Beautiful day with great views of Humpback and the lake. Windy but sunny at the lake. Loved the picture stapled to a tree by the lake. Perfect.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
With the snow not being suitable for good skiing, I decided to go hiking with my black lab. We had ...
With the snow not being suitable for good skiing, I decided to go hiking with my black lab. We had a great time. The trail is easy to follow. There were a few icy spots but nothing too bad. The one log bridge is really icy, so be careful there. Microspikes would only be useful at few spots but I did not have any and I made it to the lake.

There were not too many people on the trail -- another benefit for a winter hike.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Expand report text Hide report text
SuperMegaBestrons headed to Wallace Falls State Park for the inaugural hike of 2014. The sun was out...
SuperMegaBestrons headed to Wallace Falls State Park for the inaugural hike of 2014. The sun was out, the trail was clear, and we headed to the lake with ease on the Woody and Greg Ball trails. We didn't pass other hikers until we headed back down and only a handful of folks until we neared the trailhead when foot traffic picked up consderably. Almost the entire way up I was in a t-shirt but once we hit the lake the chilly air made me scramble to find my fleece. It's cold up there!

Sidenote: If you haven't yet tried the Sultan Bakery, trust me when I say it's worth stopping, if only to peek in their pastry cases.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
it was very icy on top, quite dangerous if you don't have snow claw or other equipment with you. Too...
it was very icy on top, quite dangerous if you don't have snow claw or other equipment with you. Took my almost 5 hours to complete the trail, however the view of Lake Serene is nice, the lake is covered with ice and all around snow.
 
No image submitted
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Beautiful day to hike. This trail is well defined and maintained. There was some snow on the trail f...
Beautiful day to hike. This trail is well defined and maintained. There was some snow on the trail for the last half mile or so. As others have mentioned some spots were pretty tricky when dealing with ice. Many of the exposed rocks were very slick, but didn't appear so, resulting in some scares and near-falls.

Other than that I would highly recommend this hike. The view of the lake makes it worth dealing with the slippery spots.
 
North Cascades -- North Cascades Highway
Blowdowns
Expand report text Hide report text
It's quite remarkable, but most of the lower elevation trails in the North Cascaded NP are still acc...
It's quite remarkable, but most of the lower elevation trails in the North Cascaded NP are still accessible. I figured I would take full advantage and head out for an overnight while the getting is still good.

Due to Highway 20 being gated at the Ross Dam TH, to reach the East Bank TH you have one of two options; hike the Happy Panther Trail (which is a very pleasant forest walk) or walk the highway (which is rather enjoyable when there are no vehicles to worry about). Personally, I like to hike out on the Happy Panther Trail and return via the highway, just to mix it up...plus, the highway walk has some great views.

The Happy Panther Trail is in good shape, with 5 or 6 small blow-downs to the East Bank TH. The last mile or so has a light dusting of snow and there are some icy spots.

The East Bank Trail is in good shape as well. From the East Bank TH to the Desolation Peak TH there are 12-15 small blow-downs. From the East Bank TH to the north side of Hidden Hand Pass there is a trace of snow (less than an inch), otherwise the route is snow free.

There are no creek crossing issues and all camps along the way are in good shape.

Trails like Thunder Cr, Big Beaver, Happy Panther, East Bank, and Ruby Cr are all still very accessible and make great day or overnight destinations. There is nothing but solitude waiting in these areas!

Cheers!
 
No image submitted
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Road to the trailhead has snow on it with some minor potholes. It is accessible with a 4x4 or AWD, b...
Road to the trailhead has snow on it with some minor potholes. It is accessible with a 4x4 or AWD, but a 2-wheel drive wouldn't be able to make it up some of the steep hairpin turns on the way to the trailhead unless they have snowtires or chains. There were a few trees that had bent down into the road and needed to be removed. Snow at the the trailhead was about 3 inches.

Great trail if looking for isolation for a hike or snowshoe. I was the only person at the trailhead in the morning and the only person in the late afternoon too.

The trail was in great condition and was easy to follow the previous snowshoers/hikers route. There are some small trees that have grown up on the last part logging road which required some ducking and weaving to avoid having eyes being poked. The snow was packed powder for the majority of the hike and became more powdery toward the summit. Traction and flotation equipment wasn't needed, but snowshoes will make the last mile or so easier.

View from the summit was fantastic without a cloud in sight.

Trip duration:
Ascent: 2.5 hours
Descent: 1.5 hours

Lots of traffic going West on SPH.
 
No image submitted
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Expand report text Hide report text
Sunday beckoned for me to be outside but the idea of driving to a trailhead felt like too much work....
Sunday beckoned for me to be outside but the idea of driving to a trailhead felt like too much work. Luckily, I stumbled upon a write up for Narbeck Wetlands - an area I had yet to explore right in town.

The cold sunny morning made the wetlands frosty and beautiful. The short boardwalk inner loop (.3 miles) includes interpretive signage, a bird blind where you can sit and observe the waterfowl and a beaver dam - too cold for much wildlife activity today. The boardwalk was icy but the frosted foliage kept us entertained as we walked slowly to ensure we stayed upright.

The perimeter loop is not as pretty but at a little over a mile it was a nice early morning leg-stretcher close to home. The trail is clear and an easy walk. While you don't escape the sounds of the city the marsh habitat gives you a little tasty of nature close to home.

I will be back when I only have an hour or so and want a mini escape.
 
No image submitted
Olympics -- East
Expand report text Hide report text
To Bark Shanty Shelter. Nice day hike for my family of four and our 12 year old Lab. Sunday was a co...
To Bark Shanty Shelter. Nice day hike for my family of four and our 12 year old Lab. Sunday was a cold day mid 30's, but no snow. This trail is well maintained with 3 new bridges. We hiked in 2.5 miles to Bark Shanty Shelter (the first camp site) before we turned around. There were several hikers out and some trail runners also. We talked with one person who caught a ride to the upper Big Quilcene River trail head and then walked down to the lower Big Quilcene River trail head. We had never been on this trail before and thought it looked like a good adventure.

Our thought as we walked was on how easy of a hike this was. Not sure if it gets tougher after Bark Shanty Shelter, but if you were looking for a nice overnight trip with young children this would be perfect. Camp is along the river between two nice bridges. An already established camp fire pit. Plenty of flat area to pitch a tent. A nice hill for the kids to explore, and 4 more miles of trail to walk and see. No actual Shelter there.

This trail does not follow the river as one might think. It is a stroll through the woods. It crosses two creeks before getting to the river at Bark Shanty Shelter. Again we did not continue past this point.

This trail is also used by mountain bikes and Motor Cycles, so stay alert to them. Allot of dogs on the trail, all seemed very nice and under voice control, did not see to many leashes. I carry a leash for my dog but at 12 years old she is not going far fast. The hike back down it was my lab that we had to keep stopping and waiting for. She made it tail wagging the whole way. Not sure how many more hikes she has with us, but she always likes getting out on the trail.
  
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Salmon La Sac/Teanaway
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Gwen and Janet were planning on a snowshoe trip to Thomas Mountain. I signed on. I've done Thomas on...
Gwen and Janet were planning on a snowshoe trip to Thomas Mountain. I signed on. I've done Thomas once in summer and once in winter. On the winter trip in 2003 we had lots of fresh snow up high and 15 degrees and a strong wind on the summit. This day looked to be cold with sun and blue sky. We did have some fresh snow a few days earlier. The first snow in many weeks. By January the road to the trailhead is often snow covered. We cruised over Snoqualmie Pass and exited at Easton. The Kachess Dam Road was bare and it remained that way all the way to the trailhead. As expected there were no other cars there at 8:30 am. By 8:45 we were on our way.

We dropped down and crossed Silver Creek then began the switchbacks up the slope. It was well below freezing and the uphill served to warm us up. We hit the short road section then headed back onto the trail. The next section has half a dozen or more trees down across the trail. I was able to get over two of them. The rest I had to limbo or crawl under. Being tall was not an advantage. The ground was frozen such that each step I took I sank into crunchy dirt. White ice was left in my footsteps. That was pretty unusual. The switchbacks are moderately steep but easy compared to what lay ahead. Another group of three caught up with us at the Domerie Divide/Easton Ridge junction. They were also heading to Thomas Mountain.

The trail is flat on the ridge top for a short distance. We all stopped at the viewpoint just before the route begins to climb again. It turned out that one of the other hikers was Galigabs who also posts on NWHikers. It's a small world. The trail began to climb steeply and continued to climb steeply. We gained 1100' in the first 1.3 miles. There was another 1300' in 1.7 miles to the top of the ridge. To this point we had seen a little snow on the trail but less than an inch. Above the flat area in the open there was fresh snow. In the trees it was mostly bare. As we climbed the snow became more consistent. Gwen and Janet put on microspikes.

Traction was okay with poles but the thin snow became slick on steeper sections. As we climbed views began to improve. Back on the flat I was surprised to see that Lake Easton did not have any water in it. From a higher elevation the mud in the empty lake bed was very unusual. I don't recall ever seeing that. Views south to Mt. Rainier and west to the crest showed there were no clouds to be found. With no wind it was getting toasty in the sunshine. It was still chilly in the shade but with all the climbing I was warm enough. We reached a point where the other group had stopped to but on snowshoes. That was at about 4600', some 350' below the ridge top. They were sinking up to about 6-8 into the fresh snow.

I had much better traction with snowshoes on. On the last steep slope below the ridge top we stopped to enjoy the views. It was more like spring than winter. Not that much snow and blue sky. The trees were nicely flocked and covered in ice. Very photogenic. Up at the ridge top we followed the track as it turned left heading for Thomas Mountain. The trail drops quickly losing 275'. The ridge to Thomas is wide and heavily forested Few views out but ice and snow plastered trees all the way. Very enjoyable. I had forgotten how far it is to Thomas. Turned out to be over a mile. There were a few spots with views to the east. Mt. Stuart looked good with a fresh coat of snow.

At long last the route began the climb to the top of Thomas. I reached the 5206' summit at about 1:25 pm. The summit is largely forested. No views to the west. Wide open to the east. Cle Elum Lake was laid out below us. I was on the summit for a little over half an hour. With a puffy layer it was not too cold. Nothing like the 15 degrees and high winds on my other winter visit. Heading down was easy in the nicely packed trench. The 275' climb was not much fun but was not too long either. Heading down from the ridge top we had great views laid out in front of us. Really nice. We made much better time coming down. I used microspikes coming down once the snowshoes came off. They were very helpful. It was almost dark when we reached the creek at 4:40 pm. A few minutes later we were back at the car.

This was an outstanding snowshoe trip. Dirt down low then several feet or more snow up higher. Snow plastered everything on the ridge. No clouds meant great views. We only saw the one other group all day. The numbers show 8 miles RT with 3400' of gain. Almost exactly the same as Mt. Si. This trip is much more interesting than Si. It also had about 400 less people on it. Soon the road with be covered in snow (I hope). Until then Thomas Mountain and nearby Mt. Baldy are excellent destinations.

I have posted 46 annotated photos at my website located at: http://www.hikingnorthwest.com. Go to "Trips - 2014" on the left margin.
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Mudholes
Expand report text Hide report text
Trail is in great shape for the most part, but expect a few muddy sections. Trail is quite steep in...
Trail is in great shape for the most part, but expect a few muddy sections. Trail is quite steep in places and hiking boots will work better than running shoes.

The trail fork close to the dome is easy to miss. It is in a small clearing in the trail, and is marked only with the letters 'OD' and an arrow carved into a tree. The wrong way goes to a lake (a mistake we made).

The photos are from my infrared camera. It cuts through haze nicely.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Salmon La Sac/Teanaway
Expand report text Hide report text
There wasn't enough snow to need snowshoes, though we used them for extra traction the last bit to t...
There wasn't enough snow to need snowshoes, though we used them for extra traction the last bit to the top as there was some snow and it was a bit steep.

There has clearly been a bit of development in the roads since the official description was written, and attempting to follow the main road will take you off course. I've attempted to make the correct route in the pictures, though I can't say how long those will stay accurate.

We started at the second road on the right after Newport creek, which has a small yellow gate. From the map, it looks like one could start at the next road down as well, though, as some other trail report noted, some of this area seems to be private property and it isn't clear which is which.
 
No image submitted
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
I've done this hike a few times, but never in Winter. Wow!! Amazing day. Parking lot was nearly full...
I've done this hike a few times, but never in Winter. Wow!! Amazing day. Parking lot was nearly full when I arrived at 9:30am, but the trail itself never felt overwhelmingly crowded. The weather in North Bend today was great--sunny and 46 degrees. However, the light breeze I appreciated during the first half of the trail turned to a gusty, freezing cold wind at the summit. I deeply regretted not bringing more layers--deeply! I used microspikes and poles, both of which were necessary for me. I highly, highly recommend doing this hike in Winter (and Summer and Fall).
 
Mt. Rainier -- SE - Longmire / Paradise
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This was one of those days years from now we will still be telling our friends about. Got to the gat...
This was one of those days years from now we will still be telling our friends about. Got to the gate 15 minutes early so we ran in and grabbed a cup of java before we headed up to Paradise. We were car number 8 in the lot so we got on the hill before to many people arrived. It was clear and sunny making it a warm one while out shoeing. No complaint here. It was absolutely gorgeous out today. Pray for snow.
 
Puget Sound and Islands
Expand report text Hide report text
Got to the trail head at 11:00am and the parking lot was near full. Trail is in great condition as ...
Got to the trail head at 11:00am and the parking lot was near full. Trail is in great condition as is the road to the trail head. I didn't bring my ten essentials, but did bring my two Green Lake essentials. A grande latte and my dog. This is a loop hike, so we did it twice. An easy summit.
 
Issaquah Alps -- Cougar Mountain
Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
We arrived to the parking lot around 1pm. So many cars.... nice easy trail to hike with kids. A litt...
We arrived to the parking lot around 1pm. So many cars.... nice easy trail to hike with kids. A little water on the trail but no problem at all. Many friendly people on the trail.
 
Issaquah Alps -- Cougar Mountain
Expand report text Hide report text
Sky Country (the parking area) was packed and crowded with a party of runners who cleared out as we ...
Sky Country (the parking area) was packed and crowded with a party of runners who cleared out as we started the hike. Once we began, we only ran into a handful of people the whole way through. All of the trails are well maintained - in particular Coal Creek Falls trail which was just renovated by the WTA (thanks!). The waterfall is very pretty and the water was flowing healthily through the creek.

TLDR: Easy and relatively uncrowded hike on well maintained trail to a pretty waterfall.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Blowdowns, Overgrown, Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
We arrived at an empty Barclay Lake Trailhead at 6:30 on Saturday morning. A few inches of snow had ...
We arrived at an empty Barclay Lake Trailhead at 6:30 on Saturday morning. A few inches of snow had been rutted out for the last mile of the road. Microspikes were helpful from the get go on the mostly snowy-covered trail. About 4 inches of ice covered most of Barclay Lake. Maverick was a little spooked by the creaking ice as we watched Mount Baring emerge from the fog.

I was surprised to stumble upon a group of 4 camping at one of the larger sites along the shore. I exchanged pleasantries with the only awake camper before continuing up the trail. A bootpath to Eagle Lake picks up at the end of the official trail however a few inches of snow made it hard to find, so we turned North when the trail disappeared then made our way through trees and talus on the East of the main drainage from Stone Lake.

As we climbed, alpenglow dawned on Baring and Grotto Mountain rose into view, a crescent moon above it. We bushwhacked through snowy brush and over tons of downed trees before finding relief in a few talus fields with just enough snow to allow safe travel for Maverick. Part of Merchant Peak and Mount Townsend poked over the trees before we reached Stone Lake. 2-3 feet of snow covered Paradise Meadow. We crossed dozens of small (rabbit) tracks and several small creeks en route to the North side of Eagle Lake.

Colin suggested heading for the low saddle between Merchant Peak and Townsend but ideal surface snow and a desire to stay in the sun convinced me to head up slope a bit early. My microspikes lost traction about 500' below the ridge when the snow reduced to a depth of only a few inches atop icy rock. I reached into my bag to switch to crampons and remembered that I had left them on the shoe rack at home. Oh well, we descended a couple hundred feet then traversed West to better surface conditions. Once atop the ridge I took in the views for a moment before heading full speed toward the summit being careful to keep maverick away from overhanging cornices.

The wind picked up as we neared the top. Maverick waited in the saddle while I made a short snow scramble to the summit. I didn't bother digging for a register before returning to the nearest false summit for lunch. After tons of pictures we made our way West down the ridge to the first spot with a rock free path below, then made the slowest glissade ever back to Paradise Meadow.

We retraced our steps through the snow and dropped back below Stone Lake as Baring's shadow crept up the South face of Mount Townsend. The campers at Barclay Lake had been replaced by another group when we returned past the site.

10.5 miles round trip
4500' elevation gain
11 hours car-to-car

pics, video and route map @ http://www.jebsjourneys.com/[…]/first-summit-of-2014-mount-townsend.html
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Expand report text Hide report text
Trail is in good shape. Only a few spots of mud and though the wood stairs/bridge are a bit slick i...
Trail is in good shape. Only a few spots of mud and though the wood stairs/bridge are a bit slick it's nothing too treacherous. Lots of people on the trail. The lot was full by 10am.
 
Issaquah Alps
Expand report text Hide report text
Walked the new Puget Sound Energy trail that links the upper and lower areas of Snoqualmie Falls Par...
Walked the new Puget Sound Energy trail that links the upper and lower areas of Snoqualmie Falls Park. This 1/4 mile path is wide, smooth and gently steep. Along the way, interpretive signs describe native vegetation in a Pacific Northwest forest. The re-built boardwalk that leads to the base of Snoqualmie Falls was very icy! The view of the falls, river, and riparian areas are outstanding. Additional signs detail the history of local native people and hydropower at Snoqualme Falls. Restrooms are available. This is a great trail for families and pets!
 
Mt. Rainier -- SE - Longmire / Paradise
Snow on trail, Avalanche danger
Expand report text Hide report text
It was a sunny and clear weekend perfect for snowshoeing. From Mill Creek, it took us about 3 hours ...
It was a sunny and clear weekend perfect for snowshoeing. From Mill Creek, it took us about 3 hours to reach Mt. Rainier National Park. At the gate, you are able to purchase a day pass or annual pass. There was only one ranger stationed this Saturday morning, but the line was quick. Due to icy conditions 2WD vehicles are required to have chains on while 4WD vehicles just needed to have chains available in the car. Road up to Paradise Lodge parking lot was well plowed.

At 10:45 am we reached the parking lot. It was about 1/2 to 3/4 full. On our way out around 2pm the lot was packed with people waiting for parking spots to open up. Plenty of restrooms available just before you begin your climb up or at the really nice visitor's center where they also have a small cafeteria and gift shop.

Originally our plan was to make it up to Panorama Point, but the ranger at the parking lot told us to reconsider due to avalanche danger and ice. We followed the paths made by all the snowshoe-ers before us. It was a very easy trip up to Glacier Vista. There were clear, beautiful views of Rainier, Helens, and Adams. It got pretty gusty up there a few times, but only for a few seconds. After a bit more exploring, we made it back down to the and wandered around the visitor's center before heading home. Gates close at 5 pm.

All in all, an easy snowshoe with stunning views well worth the drive.

For more photos and text of me blabbing please visit my blog: http://analonthetrail.blogs[…]glacier-vista-snowshoe.html
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
I started from the trailhead at 8:55, and maintained a steady pace of 1000 ft/30 min to hit the summ...
I started from the trailhead at 8:55, and maintained a steady pace of 1000 ft/30 min to hit the summit at 11.

At about 2500 ft, there was a skiff of snow, around 3200 ft the trail became a bit tough to follow. The diamonds on the trees were helpful to stay on track! Even though a few groups were ahead of me, there wasn't enough snow for them to actually leave noticeable tracks.

Finally at about 4000 ft the snow became a bit deeper. I was prepared with crampons and an ice axe after reading previous trip reports about an icy path, but the snow provided great traction and I didn't need them.

After popping out above treeline I was super happy to have remembered sunglasses! It was a great final ascent to the summit, and with only 8-10 inches of snow there wasn't avalanche danger. In fact, the avalanche chute you cross about 1000 vertical feet from the summit had less snow now than last time I was there in June!

The mailbox was replaced, and needs help getting filled up!

I took 90 minutes to get down and was happy to have poles for balance...will I be converted??

Great hike and beautiful weather!
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Blowdowns, Mudholes, Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
I decided not to waste a beautiful winter day and to take my son out for our first hike of 2014 at ...
I decided not to waste a beautiful winter day and to take my son out for our first hike of 2014 at Little Mountain Park in Mount Vernon. I have never been to this area and found the directions on the WTA website to be entirely accurate. We parked at the top of the mountain and started our hike from there.

My son and I started our hike along the North Viewpoint Trail to enjoy the dramatic views of Mount Baker and the city of Mount Vernon. From there, we doubled back and caught Ginny's Trail and followed it down the mountain to Bonnie and Clyde's Trail. We followed this relatively flat trail to the West Loop and Taylor's Trail. We followed Taylor's Trail to it's terminus on a city street. These are both fairly steep trails and my son had difficulty with some parts of them. We doubled back and returned to the parking area via the very steep Fred's Trail. I figured this is about a three mile hike given the mileage estimates at the kiosk in the parking area. Overall, there were no issues with any of the trails except for some mud and water in places and a few blowdowns to navigate around or under.

I would recommend taking a map of the area with you. Most of the trails are pretty well marked but it is easy to miss some of the trail signs because the are up in the trees a bit. A good map of the area can be found here:
http://mountvernontrailbuil[…]-new-trail-construction.pdf
 
No image submitted
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Since it was such a beautiful day, especially for January, we decided to hike Heybrook Lookout and t...
Since it was such a beautiful day, especially for January, we decided to hike Heybrook Lookout and take a lunch with us. It seems we weren't the only people who had this idea. Admittedly, I have no idea how many people usually hike this trail since it's the first time we've done it, but there were a steady stream of people also on the trail.

There were lots of kids/dogs on the trail. I think it's popular because it's fairly short. It is pretty steep at the beginning, though. Also, at the beginning, there is a fair bit of water/mud on the trail.

The view from the top of the lookout tower was spectacular, with views of snow covered or snow tipped mountains all around.
 
Eastern Washington -- Inland NW
Expand report text Hide report text
This was a wonderful winter's day hike. The steep section at the start should be a warning for the r...
This was a wonderful winter's day hike. The steep section at the start should be a warning for the return trip, but if a 25 week pregnant lady and 2 mom's with babies in front packs can do it- anyone can.
Worth the 360 view at the top! We saw deer and thoroughly enjoyed the walk around the ridge.
 
No image submitted
North Cascades -- West Slope
Expand report text Hide report text
This was our second time on the trail. Roads from Seattle were clear and dry. My mother who was trau...
This was our second time on the trail. Roads from Seattle were clear and dry. My mother who was traumatized at a young age going for Sunday drives on Oregon logging roads with her father was a bit nervous on the narrow 3 mile dirt road up to the trailhead, but we were in capable hands. The parking lot was full. This is a popular day hike for good reason. There is not much in the way of elevation gain, and the trail, through moss draped old growth trees is beautiful. There are two striking waterfalls at miles one and two, with many ancient giant trees along the way. The trail was clear and easy to walk. The few wooden bridges as well as exposed roots were pretty slick though, so use caution there. This is an easy hike, but I wouldn't recommend for very small kids as there are some pretty sheer drop offs along the way. We turned back after Meditation Falls at mile two, only for lack of time. Can't wait to come back in spring when the days are longer (but you van easily do the whole thing if you get an early start).
 
North Cascades -- West Slope
Mudholes, Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
A great hike! I chose this one because my knees deserved a break and because I'm a wuss for driving ...
A great hike! I chose this one because my knees deserved a break and because I'm a wuss for driving on snow. The road is in good condition and snow free. When I arrived at the parking lot around 10:30 am, the lot was mostly full and cars were starting to park along the road. When I left around 3:00 pm, even more cars were parked along the road. Busy place!

I could not see Boulder Falls and sources online say that you have to go off trail to see it. The unnamed twin falls appears to be Feature Show Falls (http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/nws/falls.php?num=4498), which was quite a sight for me today. The entire trail was very up and down, but no strenuous spots. Bridges and logs for crossings were VERY slick, so use caution! There were some big muddy spots, but nothing to really write home about.

A great walk in the woods (a few great big trees!) with lovely water for someone looking to fit in some miles without having the climb a mountain.
 
Olympics -- SW Washington
Mudholes
Expand report text Hide report text
A gorgeous day to be at Cape Disappointment State Park! Saw both lighthouses and gorgeous views of ...
A gorgeous day to be at Cape Disappointment State Park! Saw both lighthouses and gorgeous views of the Columbia & Pacific. The trail from Waikiki Beach to Cape Disappointment lighthouse is hilly, but manageable with some spots of mud. Definitely a great place to visit when the sun is out!
 
No image submitted
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Hoped for some snowshoeing around Heather Lake today, but it's too soon. Snow only appeared in the u...
Hoped for some snowshoeing around Heather Lake today, but it's too soon. Snow only appeared in the upper-most elevations of this hike.

There's only a dusting of snow around the lake right now, so leave the snowshoes at home.

Regardless, this is always a great hike, especially for those who are new to the area and want a taste of old growth forest and an Alpine Lake hike.

The path around the lake is wide open with no fear of avalanches.

The upper half of the trail can be icy, so you might want some traction devices to ensure a good grip on the way down; they're not necessary, but reassuring.

Wait a few months for an earnest snowshoe hike.
 
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Hoped for some snowshoeing around Heather Lake today, but it's too soon. Snow only appeared in the u...
Hoped for some snowshoeing around Heather Lake today, but it's too soon. Snow only appeared in the upper-most elevations of this hike.

There's only a dusting of snow around the lake right now, so leave the snowshoes at home.

Regardless, this is always a great hike, especially for those who are new to the area and want a taste of old growth forest and an Alpine Lake hike.

The path around the lake is wide open with no fear of avalanches.

The upper half of the trail can be icy, so you might want some traction devices to ensure a good grip on the way down; they're not necessary, but reassuring.

Wait a few months for an earnest snowshoe hike.
 
Olympics -- South
Expand report text Hide report text
Cold but sunny day on the trail. Hiked just over 5 miles in to a nice overlook on a small bluff. Enj...
Cold but sunny day on the trail. Hiked just over 5 miles in to a nice overlook on a small bluff. Enjoyed lunch in the sun watching the river. Saw lots of elk tracks, but no elk. A great riverside hike.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
The hike started out ok but the mileage on the website and the actual mileage on the GPS were over a...
The hike started out ok but the mileage on the website and the actual mileage on the GPS were over a mile off. The webpage states its 3.2mi hike up from the parking area to the Mt Si turnoff when in reality its more like 4.4mi according to my GPS and my fitbit which I was also wearing.

Parking was a zoo as all the spaces were full and basically we just sat waiting in que till a large group of "morning" people came off the trail and left, opening up several parking spots. Be prepared to wait for parking as all areas along the road are NO PARKING, TOW AWAY ZONES.

The trail was a bit misleading at about 0.50mi up, as it forked and unless you knew which way to go, its coin toss. If you go right you head to the trail head for Kamikazee Falls and if you go left you continue up the Teneriffe logging road.

The logging road was how you would expect it to be...root free and somewhat easy to walk on until you hit rocks/snow, but it was still a challenging walk as it is all uphill.

The snow was more like frost in places but as you got to about 3.8mi up it became straight up snow. Easy to walk in and no slipping. It did get thicker as we hit the Mt Si turnoff. Unfortunately, we weren't expecting all the snow and the longer distance required to reach the turnoff so we decided to call it a day and turn around making it a 9.0mi hike. If the mileage to the turnoff to Mt Si was wrong we couldnt trust the mileage to the haystack either and it was already getting late. Maybe another day.

Surprisingly, there were alot of people walking this road up and only 2 groups that had actually gone up on the Mt Si side and were coming down on the Teneriffe road side all the others were just walking up the road.

There were only a few really nice views to be seen but the lighting was all wrong for any nice pictures but it still provided a nice spot for viewing.

Was actually surprised by how steep this logging road was and would say we definitely got our workout in. It is literally all up. Although we didnt reach our goal of getting to Mt Si via the backside of the haystack it was still none the less a nice hike and beautiful day in the NW.
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Expand report text Hide report text
I went to the Cyrus Gates Overlook above Chuckanut Drive to hike the new connector trail to Lost Lak...
I went to the Cyrus Gates Overlook above Chuckanut Drive to hike the new connector trail to Lost Lake. I found the new trail a short way down the trail at the South end of the parking lot.

The new trail is great! There are many new stairs on the steep areas, and they are well made. After the initial descent, the trail passes close to steep cliffs and weaves past large fern-covered boulders. The trail ends just over a mile at the regular trail that approaches Lost Lake from the South. The work crew did a terrific job on this trail.

The trail is scheduled to open in the spring, but all it needs is signs. This is without a doubt the most interesting trail to Lost Lake.

I met two couples planning to hike the connector trail when I returned to the Overlook trail. Contrast that with the 60+ cars (I counted them) at the PCT trailhead at the 10-mile marker on Chuckanut Drive...

It was a beautiful day and a rewarding experience. I even found some Hair Ice.

It is about 4.75 miles out-and-back from the Overlook to the outlet waterfall at Lost Lake with about 1,200' of elevation gain.
 
No image submitted
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
Expand report text Hide report text
Sunny day, lots of other hikers, but not too many to where you're on each others heels. This 6 mile ...
Sunny day, lots of other hikers, but not too many to where you're on each others heels. This 6 mile loop hike has about a 2500 foot elevation gain, which is pretty evenly spread out throughout the entire hike. Pretty strenuous, but doable in about 2 1/2 hours. Most of the hike is out of the sun unfortunately, so layer up! I'd recommend gloves, a hat and a good jacket. My arms went numb at one point with my two layers, so definitely bring extra coats. The last .6 miles up it got a little snowy, but nothing more than a dusting. It was slippery though. Overall at the top, I was underwhelmed. You really can only see a small glimpse of the valley. There were some gorgeous views along the hike up toward the top, but the final summit is no more than a little area to rest surrounded by trees. I would say this is a good hike for exercise, but not one I would recommend for amazing views. We had fun though!
 
No image submitted
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Mudholes, Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Trail was covered with snow and ice. Very slippery in spots, especially on the section of the trail...
Trail was covered with snow and ice. Very slippery in spots, especially on the section of the trail where you are very close to the river. Slope to the waterfall was very slick. Be careful and wear good boots!
 
No image submitted
Puget Sound and Islands
Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
We hiked the I-90 Trail (aka Mountains to Sound Greenway) http://mtsgreenway.org/our-work/outdoor-re...
We hiked the I-90 Trail (aka Mountains to Sound Greenway) http://mtsgreenway.org/[…]/interstate-90-trail-2 from around Beacon Hill to the Bellevue Transit Center with a detour through Luther Burbank Park and a few others. It was a gorgeous 10+ mile 1 direction hike on a clear crisp day. The trail can be loud when you're on the bridge, but if Mt Rainier and Mt Baker are out (they were this day) you don't even notice. There's lots of urban art and interesting history along the way too.
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Blowdowns, Mudholes
Expand report text Hide report text
Having worked on the new connector trail(aka Rock Trail) in Larrabee State Park with the WTA for som...
Having worked on the new connector trail(aka Rock Trail) in Larrabee State Park with the WTA for some time, my gal and I had been plotting a new year- round low land loop hike out of Bellingham. The beautiful sunny weather on Saturday gave us our chance. We started in Arroyo Park in South Bellingham by parking along Old Samish Rd. just east of Chuckanut Drive. We followed the interurban trail toward Larrabee across the bridge up the hill and onto the trail pointing to North Lost Lake on the left. We stayed on the North Lost Lake trail(old steep road) until we reached the Chuckanut Ridge trail in approximately 1.5 miles on the right. The trail follows the ridge with great views of Baker in the east and the lower B.C. mountains to the north all the way to Cyrus Gates overlook in Larrabee state park (approx. 5 miles). We went beyond the parking area and picked up the trail at the far end descending for about 200 yards until reaching the soon to be open "Rock Trail" or whatever the park officially names it to the left. The next 1.2 miles are worth the journey and the true labor of love by countless volunteers can be seen throughout. The descent started by climbing down numerous stairs through mature regrowth past amazing Chuckanut sandstone cliffs that arched over us for the majority of the journey.... amazing. Rumor has it that local geology types at WWU are drooling over these features. We continued descending down the trail until reaching the junction with the south Lost Lake Trail. We followed the trail down to the lake junction (a nice albeit muddy side trip to the lake provides some amazing falls on the east outflow) and continued onto the North Lost Lake Trail back to Bellingham and the intersection of the Chuckanut Ridge trail.

The total length of the trip came out at 12.15 miles... not bad for a loop hike in the lowlands in January! The hike was great for keeping in shape as we dream of those 2014 alpine wanderings to come.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Blowdowns, Mud/Rockslide, Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
If you've done mailbox, you know what to expect. Winter time is a tad different, especially with the...
If you've done mailbox, you know what to expect. Winter time is a tad different, especially with the the reduced daylight hours. I would suggest getting to the TH as early. When the sun starts to hit the trees, you get that nasty melt falling on you. You might as well try and miss one of the two times. As far as gear goes, I would say at the least Yak tracks. I used microspikes and they were a dream. Poles, they are a huge plus on this hike. sometimes you need a full leg extension to step up some of the roots and poles make it so much easier. I brought the ice axe just in case, but it was not needed. Only thing I wish I had was a bigger sandwich. The top was crisp with a slight breeze. I packed a syn down jacket that did the job. The trail got muddy on the way down from melting; I saw a pack of people as I was headed down (sweat shirts, gallon jug of water, street shoes) and one was carrying a baby. They were just over 50% up the hill. I told the mother take the baby and go back. Hope they took my advice. Oh, one last thing. I took the rock scramble on the way up. I don't advise this (unless you want to take an awesome picture). More snow would have been ideal as it made deceiving foot holds.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Blowdowns, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
5/5 stars: Provided you have the right equipment, this trail is a winter wonderland right now. We ha...
5/5 stars: Provided you have the right equipment, this trail is a winter wonderland right now. We had visited in July and found it to be breathtaking but overrun with mosquitoes. Hiking it in the winter showcases a whole other side of this beautiful trail.

I definitely recommend going when it's around or below freezing. Large stretches of the trail were covered in ice. Ten degrees warmer and much of it would have been a mucky bog, but with everything frozen, it was clean and easy to walk with traction devices. We wore IceTrekkers over our waterproof boots and they performed admirably. The only dicey areas in terms of slipping were the spots where bare rocks were covered by frost or ice too thin for the IceTrekkers to get a grip. After a few of these, you can recognize them pretty easily.

This trail definitely requires traction devices of some sort. Besides the IceTrekers, we packed snowshoes, but we ended up not using them. The snow wasn't deep enough to make them necessary until the final half-mile, and it was easier at that point to just walk in the footsteps of the person who had gone before us.

The only other challenge about this trail is the numerous stream crossings. Some are just deep enough to potentially go over the top of your boots if you were to walk through, so you have to skip over stones or balance over logs to cross them. Two healthy adults would have no problem, but kids might get wet. My wife found some of them to be a little challenging, but we worked together and made it through with nary a frozen foot.

It took us 2.5 hours to make it from the parking lot to the lake, and about 2.25 hours to get back. You definitely want to get an early start if you're heading out to this trail from the Seattle area. It took us about 2.5 hours from Seattle to the trailhead, including stopping to put on chains (which you will need to do right now on the way up the Forest Service road leading to the trail). Be sure to pack headlamps too. We hurried on the way back and arrived at our car by about 4:55 pm and it was pitch black by 5:15. Being on the trail by about 10:30 or 11:00 would have made it possible to spend a more leisurely time at the lake and on the way back.

Really fantastic trail. We're going to try it again later in the season.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Expand report text Hide report text
No snowshoes necessary here. The trail is lightly covered with hard or icy snow, and even bare in s...
No snowshoes necessary here. The trail is lightly covered with hard or icy snow, and even bare in some places. Still, it's a very pleasant and pretty walk. You can drive right up to the larger parking lot near the lake, passed the normal snowshoeing trailhead.
 
No image submitted
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Hiked short and sweet up to Talapus Lake and back. Snow on the trail starting about half way up. H...
Hiked short and sweet up to Talapus Lake and back. Snow on the trail starting about half way up. Hardpack. We passed quite a few hikers with nothing more than tennis shoes on, but were happy to have poles, and traction devices for the way down as there was some icy patches around the lake. Other than that, a nice warm sunny day!
 
No image submitted
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Mudholes
Expand report text Hide report text
Driving Directions Update: the name of the street you turn onto from 468th St is SE Middle Fork Rd, ...
Driving Directions Update: the name of the street you turn onto from 468th St is SE Middle Fork Rd, not Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rd. We also found the trailhead to be further out than the reported 11.8 miles from the turnoff, although we stopped tracking the distance exactly. You will come to a fork in the road at SE Lake Dorothy Rd. You can follow that road or Middle Fork as they reconvene further down the way. Also of note, Forest Service Road 56 is actually labeled NF-5600.

The registration/pay box is broken so we could not make our donation or register properly.

The hike was lovely and it appears this is a trailhead for multiple hikes. We definitely want to go back and explore further!
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Beautiful day for this hike! Got to the trailhead around 9:45 due to traffic. No snow in the lot and...
Beautiful day for this hike! Got to the trailhead around 9:45 due to traffic. No snow in the lot and there were just four other cars. No snow until about a half mile from the top. However the biggest issue was the ice over the rocks. Brought my mucrospikes but didn't end up using them. However, if you have poles, I would strongly advise bringing them for crossing slippery parts of the creek. The lake was beautiful, but just barely covered in ice. Saw one guy coming up with ice skates but I'm sure e didn't end up using them. Didn't meet many hikers on the way up, but encountered a group about every five minutes or more on the descent. Busy day for this trail and the lot was packed when we got back to the trailhead, around 2.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
We got into the parking lot about 8:30 AM, with only a few only a few other cars in the lot. This wa...
We got into the parking lot about 8:30 AM, with only a few only a few other cars in the lot. This was our first time hiking Granite Mountain and we started our hike with hiking boots and plenty of layers of clothing. Before the fork in the trail heading up the mountain, it was relatively easy, and very beautiful. Once you hit the trail to head up the mountain though, it became very steep very fast. I personally was not having any trouble, but my friend who was in worse shape than I was was having a difficult time. Fresh snow and just fallen on the path, but it wasn't too difficult. the trail weaves in and out of the trees and into the same clearing, with more snow as the altitude rose. Once you came near the top and the trees disappearing however, the easy going changes. the snow is particularly deep at the top, despite having little snow fall. There were no snow shoes required at any point of the trail, however my friend and I made the mistake of not bringing ski poles which made climbing near the top much more difficult. The snow also made the trail very steep, so much so that you had to climb on all fours if you weren't careful. despite this, the views at the top were simply breathtaking. The skies were very clear, and you could see both Rainer and the Olympics clearly, not to mention the mountains surrounding Granite mountain. by the time we had reached the top, a ton of people were coming up the mountain and by the time we reached the parking lot, it was nearly full. Great hike, I would easily do it again.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
After reading Leaf Eater's post on New Year's Eve, hiking buddy Bill and I decided to try Granite Mt...
After reading Leaf Eater's post on New Year's Eve, hiking buddy Bill and I decided to try Granite Mt. today for the first time in winter. We arrived at the TH around 8:00 am, second car in the lot. The only other people we encountered going up were two overnight campers near the summit. Besides solitude on the trail and the summit to ourselves for 20 minutes, the early start was also rewarded with relatively crisp snow heading up for easier hiking. We both used poles and spikes up top, post holing was not a problem. Summit views were awesome today. Coming down the snow was softer and the trail much busier. The only problem I had was losing my spikes from one boot while heading down without noticing it right away. Luckily a couple heading up offered to look for it, found it and gave it to another pair of hikers who passes me and returned the spikes! Much thanks to both pairs of hikers!!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Salmon La Sac/Teanaway
Blowdowns, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Last minute plans...would it be Defiance or Thomas. We decided to head for Thomas (same ridge as Bal...
Last minute plans...would it be Defiance or Thomas. We decided to head for Thomas (same ridge as Baldy & Domerie...out by Kachess Lk and Cle Elum Lk).

We met at the SE8th P&R at 7am, then packed into one car and headed over to Easton.

The road to the trailhead (~2370') is still open...all the way to the trailhead. Not sure how much longer this will last.

We pretty much followed the summer trail all the way to the top. Down low, there was not snow and it was bare dirt. Where is all the snow this year? In the first 1.4mi the trail climbs about 1050'...no snow. The trail then eases back a bit for the next 2.3mi (gains ~ 270')...still very little snow. Then the trail goes uphill again gaining 1350' in the last 1+ mile to Pt 4942. It's on the last couple hundred feet to Pt 4942 did we finally see some decent amount of snow, finally putting on snowshoes just below where the views open up.

We bumped into another group of hikers here (a group of 3) and it was just us 3 headed over to Thomas today.

In the last 1.2mi to Thomas the trail gains 587' (loses about 270'). Finally the ridge had some snow.

Nice views of Mt Rainier and farther off Mt Adams along the route.

If you are planning to head up soon...there is a nice trench all the way to the top to Thomas. Might not survive the next snow dump.

Brought snowshoes (used), microspikes (used on the steeper section of trail below Pt 4942 that had a skim coating of snow), and ice axes (not used).

Some trees down across the trail lower down. All were easy enough to step over, under or around.

More photos at my website here: http://www.putz-in-boots.com/[…]/thomas_mtn_tr.html
 
North Cascades -- Mount Baker Highway
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This was my second snowshoe trip. I took my 17yr old daughter, a couple old school snowshoes, lots o...
This was my second snowshoe trip. I took my 17yr old daughter, a couple old school snowshoes, lots of water, sunglasses, sunscreen, peanut butter, & chocolate. We wore snow gear and were thankful. It was a bluebird day and bitter cold. 11 inches of powder made this trip nice.

From the upper parking lot, we followed a trail that initially ran parallel to the Cat Track. It veered off in multiple directions. We stayed left so as to not end up at the lakes below.

Some steep climbs & about an hour of effort later, we found ourselves over Austin pass and on Artist Point where we enjoyed sweeping views of Table Mountain, Ptarmigan Ridge, & Mt Shuksan. We ate a bite here, played for an hour, then headed down.

Beautiful day! The most breathtaking views I've ever witnessed.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Salmon La Sac/Teanaway
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
I led what was supposed to be my second Saturday Snowshoe of the season for the Cascadians today to ...
I led what was supposed to be my second Saturday Snowshoe of the season for the Cascadians today to Standup Creek & the site of the old Stafford lookout, except that it turned into a dayhike due to lack of snow. We were able to drive to the junction of the Stafford Ck & Standup Ck roads. There was very little snow on the road past 29 Pines Campground, but lots of ice due to snow that had melted & then frozen. We made it without difficulty in a Subaru with winter tires (no studs). We walked the Standup Ck road to the bridge across the creek at the trailhead, then continued to follow the road as it traversed up the west side of the canyon rather than take the trail. This brought us in about 1.5 miles to Pt 3784 right above the confluence of the NF Teanaway River & Stafford Ck and the site of the old lookout. As with the Teanaway & Stafford Ck roads, there was little snow, but lots of ice. 3 of us wore yak-traks and the other wore snowshoes for traction & we had little trouble. This was a fairly easy hike on a beautiful sunny day culminating with panoramic views including Mt Rainier & the Teanaways from Teanaway Butte all the way around to Earl Pk & Pt 5314 above Stafford Ck (but no Mt Stuart).
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Expand report text Hide report text
Started at the Mt Washington trailhead around 2pm and followed the Iron Horse Trail up to the juncti...
Started at the Mt Washington trailhead around 2pm and followed the Iron Horse Trail up to the junction with the Cedar Butte Trail. Side trip down to the Twin Falls on the way back.

Saw few people, though the parking lot was busy. Wish I had a bike for this trail.

Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/[…]/IronHorseTrailJanuary2014
Tracklog: http://runkeeper.com/user/ejain/activity/287426222
 
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Snow on trail, No water source
Expand report text Hide report text
Climbed up Dickerman today with about 4-dozen other people.. so it was a crowded on the trail. But o...
Climbed up Dickerman today with about 4-dozen other people.. so it was a crowded on the trail. But once at the top-damn views that won't soon be forgotten! you could see Baker, Glacier and even Rainier sticking out a bit, plus all the surrounding mountains like Pugh, whitechuck, SLoan and so on.

It appears that it snowed on Dickerman over the week, because there was a lot of fresh snow up there. I was one of the first to summit so I needed my snowshoes. However as the day progressed and numerous other people climbed up and packed down the snow it made snowshoes somewhat unnecessary.

Snow Conditions: trail is essentially snow-free to about 2700ft. 2700ft-4000ft there's only an inch or so on the ground but it's all packed down. 4000ft+ snow is probably anywhere from 6"-24" deep, but is packed down and easy to walk on with minimal post-holing.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
What a gorgeous day. Sun and snow is a perfect combination. The white trees against the blue sky w...
What a gorgeous day. Sun and snow is a perfect combination. The white trees against the blue sky was spectacular. The trail has not received any fresh snow in a while so leave the snow shoes at home. But you better bring the micro-spikes for the decent. Without them it would have been a slippery return trip. The trail was easy to follow from all the previous boot tracks. The only deep snow was at the top, so bring a foam pad to sit on. Enjoy the hike.
 
North Cascades -- West Slope
Blowdowns, Mudholes, Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
My first hike of the new year with some nice sunshine. I was getting some possible pictures for ...
    My first hike of the new year with some nice sunshine. I was getting some possible pictures for the upcoming March and April issue of WTA magazine. I have hiked this park several times but today I hiked all the trails except the trail on the other side of Highway 20 that leads down by the Skagit River. Park Rangers were giving tours today which was nice but I was limiting my time on the trails since my wife was sitting in the truck waiting for me. She has had 6 back operations so she can not hike anymore but I share it with her through my videos and pictures.
   I enjoy this park because there are minimal numbers of people on the trails, no camping allowed anymore due to danger of old growth toppling over. You can get some nice pictures of old growth as well a ferns. There is minimal light coming through due to thick canopy overhead so most pictures need a flash. The trails are in good shape since they were cleared a year or two ago from a devastating wind storm that brought down numerous trees. It looks as though they rerouted the Evergreen Trail a little which is where all the trees fell down. This is a trail you can hike year round. You can get some snow but this year has been nice below 2,000 feet to hike without snow.
   If you come here after June I recommend you take the road just to the west of the park and drive up to the trail head at Sauk Mountain and hike it to the top. It has some of the best views of the Skagit Valley. A kid friendly hike for the whole family.
Checkout the video of this hike on my youtube channel at lmm3181 or click on the direct link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watc[…]st=UUqJaSfrcykoO8iBW2vH7rhw

As always get out and see this beautiful state and enjoy your hiking!

Take Care,
Mike
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Mudholes, Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
We hiked the new si trail as part of adventure explorers meetup group. (www.adventure-explorers.com)...
We hiked the new si trail as part of adventure explorers meetup group. (www.adventure-explorers.com). We hit the new trail as seperate groups since we were more than 12.

I and Vipin started off early around 5. we had our headlamps tuned in and started hiking. I was clearly out of shape carrying about 30 lbs.

Total Time up: 2.30 hrs

No problems at all early morning. snow was firm. about 3000 feet started noticing a lot of snow.

once we reached the top there is a good amount of snow, slippery.

We attempted the hay stack. it was icy and sketchy, we did 2 pitches using ropes, ice tools and came down due to time.

we noticed lot of people were slipping and slidding. i suggest you get atleast a microspikes.

We were wearing crampons till we crossed little snow layers. even though it is a small snow, it is slippery enough to knock you off.

after failing to summit haystack, we came back in about 3 hrs.

2 up
4 hrs trying haystack
3 down

+ snow issues / ice issues at top
+ microspikes

have a nice trip!
 
No image submitted
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
Mudholes, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
From the Highway 18 parking lot, we hiked Tiger Mountain Road to first major fork which veers right ...
From the Highway 18 parking lot, we hiked Tiger Mountain Road to first major fork which veers right as a turnoff for the hike to the summit of East Tiger Mtn. We veered left to continue on Tiger Mtn. Rd. in search of the southern turn-off for Middle Tiger Trail. Not long after passing the trail head for Preston RR Grade, we came upon a marked logging road that was a clear left turn off of Tiger Mtn. Rd. However, this road was a bit overgrown so it clearly hadn't seen vehicular traffic recently, but it's clearly a road and not a nature path. However, there is no sign that states it is a trail head nor leading to one. We traveled down this road hoping we had made the correct turn onto the Middle Tiger Trail. However, after about a .5 mile walk we decided to turn around and finish our hike by doubling-back the way we came. The day was getting late and we did not prepare for a night hike in case of a wrong turn. Later, we found out that this was, in fact, the correct turn for Middle Tiger Trail despite its lack of markings. If we had traveled a little further we would have found that this old logging road turned into a nature path once the road dead-ended. All-in-all, it was a good hike with some limited scenic views. A little bit of snow on the roads at higher elevations but a beautiful sunny day made the 32 degree temps very manageable. Not much hiking 'traffic' on these roads, so a great hike with our dog on a sunny winter day! Total hike time was about 3 hours and estimated about 7-8 miles distance.
 
Mt. Rainier -- SE - Longmire / Paradise
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
We started out around 1100AM from the Narada Falls parking lot. There were a lot of day-trippers pa...
We started out around 1100AM from the Narada Falls parking lot. There were a lot of day-trippers parked in the overnight parking, so please realize that the parking near the road is for overnighters. Snow conditions were a bit crunchy, but not iced over except in the really shady areas. Bluebird skies all day and night, couldn't ask for better weather!

There were only 2 other groups out that night, only caught a glimpse of 1 of them. We camped on the South side of reflection lakes, which afforded an excellent view of the mountain, but does not get the morning sun. Chilly night (8*F), but clear! Trail is an easy out and back, and makes a perfect first winter overnight trip.
 
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Snow on trail, Road to trailhead inaccessible
Expand report text Hide report text
The road up to Mount Pilchuck is currently closed. Parked at the Heather Lake trail head and walked...
The road up to Mount Pilchuck is currently closed. Parked at the Heather Lake trail head and walked approximately 6 miles up to the Pilchuck parking lot. There was snow on the ground after about 2 miles, very easy hike with numerous waterfalls visible from the road. A lot of snow on the actual Mount Pilchuck trail, hiking up to the first mile marker was fairly easy but there was deeper snow between the first and second mile marker (a foot or two). We had to stop not that long after the second mile marker as we couldn't physically climb up one of the snow banks. There were footprints of someone who had done the hike before us that successfully made it up.
 
No image submitted
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Blowdowns, Overgrown, Mudholes, Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
A quick update on Road 57 for those who wish to Snowshoe up Bare Mountain or just to the meadow belo...
A quick update on Road 57 for those who wish to Snowshoe up Bare Mountain or just to the meadow below the mountain before the next snow dump.

Snow and ice started to appear at approximately half a mile after turning onto the road. I was able to get to the end of the road (one mile past Bare Mountain trailhead) in a high-clearance 4WD vehicle.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
No clouds and full sun. Perfect day for hiking. Snow level had moved down to about 40% up due to ...
No clouds and full sun. Perfect day for hiking.

Snow level had moved down to about 40% up due to a storm hitting on Jan 4th.

Luckily it added a few inches of powder to the ice which made traction much easier. I saw people wearing trainers all the way through mountaineering boots with crampons. I still suggest some traction addition for the way down as most of those without were sliding down on their butts.

As a reminder, though this is a day hike, I saw way too many people unprepared if adversity comes knocking. Don't forget your essentials.
 
No image submitted
South Cascades -- White Pass / Cowlitz River Valley
Snow on trail, Road to trailhead inaccessible
Expand report text Hide report text
Beautiful (but longer than expected) day on this trail. Drove to within 1.75 miles of trailhead (in...
Beautiful (but longer than expected) day on this trail. Drove to within 1.75 miles of trailhead (in a Subaru Forester/not enough ground clearance/dragging bottom due to deep ruts). Hiked up the road in the dark. Tried to catch sunrise photos (we were 30 min. 'late' due to road hike). Fine hiking on road and trail. Some harder/slick spots on the way up due to VERY LOW snowpack. Made the top in about 2 hours from car. Attempted to move up rock slab to cabin but turned back. Dangerous hard conditions/no crampons = potential for long hard falls. Found a place to the left on ridgeline for good pix. Sun came out and warmed us nicely but it remained very cold and hard/slick in the shade. Another solo hiker followed us up. He eventually took a long, disabling fall midway down the trail (which resulted in a full-blown rescue/carryout for us and Ashford Fire/me and my partner are volunteer Mountain Rescue). Completed our carry-out/patient in litter as sun was setting. Stunning sunset! Back to trailhead after dark. Another cold, but beautiful night.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Blowdowns, Mud/Rockslide, Water on trail, Snow on trail, Avalanche danger
Expand report text Hide report text
We left from the trailhead at 10:02 am--the parking lot packed with Subarus and Hondas. The trail is...
We left from the trailhead at 10:02 am--the parking lot packed with Subarus and Hondas. The trail is steep and bare to Kamikaze falls. But beyond the falls, to the summit, the trail is a quad-killer, a dream-wrecker, and a panoramic-wonderland.

Beyond the falls the trail becomes a boot path, and you lose the crowds. In places it is a chute of slush that hindquarters have slid down gracefully out of control. Two miles from the summit the trail is nothing more than footprints up a snowfield.

Having spikes and trekking poles was a boon. (We talked to one poor couple who summited with neither and then slowly slid down--laughing out of frustration.)

The summit is beautiful--a panorama that shows you everything from Baker to Rainier, the Puget Sound to the Olympics, and the Enchantments to Seattle. But the best feeling is that you are looking down on Big Si and its throngs of beautiful people.

Be careful of the cornice, but take your time to enjoy the views. When you build up the courage and sense to leave the summit try to control your slide back to the falls through mud and snow.

Back at the parking lot you will have clocked eight miles and 8,000 feet of elevation roundtrip. This is the best hike I have done in the North Bend area, and am excited to see what it's like in all seasons.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This was my first time up Granite and just wanted to leave some thoughts on the conditions... Par...
This was my first time up Granite and just wanted to leave some thoughts on the conditions...

Parking lot was icy, but it was a fairly sunny day which was melting the recent snow stuck in the trees. So we had "rain" and chunks of ice dropping on our heads while in the trees.

Snow started off slushy about 500 feet from the trailhead, then got fairly compact snow around 2000 feet from the trailhead. We brought ice axes, but no traction (yak tracks or crampons). Snow shoes were not needed. Some for of traction would have been nice in the compact stuff, but crampons were not needed until we were at the ridge about 500 ft from the summit.

I believe there was fresh snow within the past 48 hours. Not a whole lot up there, though. Definitely advise for crampons for the last 500 feet. We opted to not summit due to the slick nature of the ridge and the steep drop offs, but with crampons it would have totally been ok. Another time, then.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail, Avalanche danger
Expand report text Hide report text
I brought my snowshoe but didn't put it on. Easy snowshoeing trail for family outing but you shoul...
I brought my snowshoe but didn't put it on.
Easy snowshoeing trail for family outing but you should check avalanche condition before you hit this trail.
An avalanche happened today near chair peak and I saw a rescue helicopter flied over the area to search victims.

More stories and pics on this trip @ http://rblr.co/A7TG

 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Expand report text Hide report text
J. Gazelle, Ike and I hiked to Wallace Lake via the Woody Trail with a loop including the Greg Ball ...
J. Gazelle, Ike and I hiked to Wallace Lake via the Woody Trail with a loop including the Greg Ball Trail. It was very beautiful with almost no company. I don't know where everyone was, but considering the traffic on hwy 2 there was a party somewhere that we weren't invited to........maybe in Leavenworth. In either case, we had a great time. The trail is clear with no snow, but very cold in the upper parts.
 
No image submitted
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Road conditions: a very small amount of snow and ice on the road. No problems, but exercise caution...
Road conditions: a very small amount of snow and ice on the road. No problems, but exercise caution.

Route: We followed the well-beaten track the entire way to the summit. The current track more or less follows the route of the summer trail.

Snow level: there is snow at the parking lot (~2000 ft), but it then dissipates and begins again at (perhaps) 3000 ft.

Weather: Fantastic. No clouds. Very good visibility to the west, north, and east. It is a little hazy to the south.

Avalanche hazards: Conditions are good. There was no noticeable instability.

Floatation and traction devices: We carried both snowshoes and Microspikes to the summit and then back to the car. Neither was needed nor used. Had we not followed the well-beaten track snowshoes would have been very desirable as there was 12 to 16 inches of unconsolidated snow close to the summit (probably the last 600 vertical feet or so).

Time: 3 hrs 40 mins car to summit (including lunch); 6 hrs 30 mins - car to car.

Companion: Amy.
 
No image submitted
Puget Sound and Islands -- South Sound
Expand report text Hide report text
It was a beautiful morning to walk this paved trail. There was a little bit of clouds/fog that clea...
It was a beautiful morning to walk this paved trail. There was a little bit of clouds/fog that cleared in the bay halfway thru the walk. It is a great place to take photos, have a picnic, exercise and more.

The trail was clean except for a little moss on the switchbacks on the NW side. Even though it was frosty, it was still easy to maneuver.

This was my first time on the trail and I would definitely go back. It's a good hike for any level with a hill that will challenge anyone. FYI- since this trail is paved and very popular, it gets a lot of use from walkers, runners, strollers, dogs etc.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Expand report text Hide report text
Yeah, it's Wallace Falls, but it was a beautiful day for a hike, and this is a pretty one. The trail...
Yeah, it's Wallace Falls, but it was a beautiful day for a hike, and this is a pretty one. The trail is in good condition. Be aware, however, that the boardwalks and bridges are icy and slick on sunny cold mornings. The worst problem you will probably encounter is the #2 traffic. We crawled east on the hwy with all the ski traffic. When we got to the park, the parking lot was still mostly empty,(around 9:30) but by the time we came down (around 2) it was full and cars were parked along the access road. For a nice little side trip, take the Small Falls interpretative loop, it's not very long. Look for the carved salmon along the trail, and read the story of grandmother cedar. Lots of fun stuff to take pictures of today. Can anybody tell me what the plant is? (picture below) It is very tiny and at first the seedheads looked like the fruiting bodies of moss. Looking carefully tho, the leaves were definitely not moss, but very small roundish leaves, in a kind of spreading clump a little like mtn heather.
 
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
The road has some ice in paces, but it isn't too bad. Felt my car slip a little at times, but it was...
The road has some ice in paces, but it isn't too bad. Felt my car slip a little at times, but it was almost not worth mentioning. The trailhead has the most snow, but only has about 1".

We did about half to two thirds of the trail with just regular boots, and used our snowshoes for the rest. It had snowed a bit up there since the last people made it to the summit- so the first 10 or so people had a decent time kicking in a new trail. Some people made the summit without snowshoes, so I wouldn't say it is mandatory... but the ones who didn't bring them said they wish they had.

The way down was fairly easy and we used traction devices most of the way as the trees had dropped their ice during the day. Some of the snow chutes were a bit slick- so I would also recommend an ice axe for stability and any falls that may happen. Wind started kicking up at the top, so we headed down before it got too chilly.
 
Mt. Rainier -- SE - Longmire / Paradise
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This is a very easy hike doable almost year round. It is about 4.7 miles and gains about 1000 ft in...
This is a very easy hike doable almost year round. It is about 4.7 miles and gains about 1000 ft in the first 1.8 miles up to the ridgeline. It is a popular trail so where snow has accumulated it is compacted and icy so we wore trax almost the entire way. There is snow the whole loop but it only gets to about 3 inches deep up along the ridge.

Best route is clockwise to get the gain over with quickly. The trail is broad and relatively smooth. After achieving the high point the trail drops a bit to a wide open view of Mt. Rainier and the whole Kautz valley. It was stunning on a bright blue day like today.

The road to Longmire is icy and slick and the rangers are requiring 4 wheel drive or chains to get to Paradise.
 
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Finding this hike was easy and we parked outside the gate since we didn't have a Discovery Pass. It'...
Finding this hike was easy and we parked outside the gate since we didn't have a Discovery Pass. It's about a half mile up to start the trail. This was my first time here with no idea what to expect. The beginning started off nicely with a flat trail. Then it went straight up the entire time. It was difficult but it was great.

About 2.2 miles in you start to see snow and it was such a treat to see! The bottom was freezing but once you got going the mid section warmed up quickly. You could see mountain views but more trees. When you finally get to lookout point it was a slight disappointment only because there was only a small view, the rest was covered by trees. The small view overlooked seattle I believe so that was nice. A lot of snow up there to!

Once you pass the sign for buried cables, it is all snow with great views, better than at lookout! Going back down is easy if you can jog it all the way down. If not, it did pit some stress on my toes and my hiking boots rubbed against my ankle.

Overall, clear trails with nothing disturbing it. Great views on the way up and weather was great today! Clear skies!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Expand report text Hide report text
Beautiful sunny skies, and we were not alone in thinking it would be ideal day for our first hike of...
Beautiful sunny skies, and we were not alone in thinking it would be ideal day for our first hike of 2014. There were about 400 cars in the lots and along the road near Rattlesnake Lake. About 90% of hikers were heading up to Rattlesnake Ledges, and the remaining 10% fanning out on the various hikes off the Iron Horse Trail.

We opted for the latter, and it was a great choice! We had four kids along between ages 5 and 8, and each made it to the summit with no problem. It was cold at the trailhead - and icy on the pavement at 10:30 - but the trail was both snow and ice-free. We wore many layers and kept most on throughout the hike. I'd recommend mittens over gloves; fingers were the coldest for everyone, and those who were wearing mittens fared the best.

The spur leading up to Cedar Butte is not clearly marked from the Iron Horse Trail. Look to the right for it after passing over the creek. Then follow it up. There's a fork in the trail after about 1/2 mile. Both trails take you to the same place, but the one to the right is the preferred one.

The view at the summit is quite nice. You are looking directly up the Middle Fork Valley, with Mount Si, Teneriffe and Mailbox (among others) visible. Of course, you can also see I-90. At about 3 miles roundtrip, it is right on for kids 5 and up.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Expand report text Hide report text
Trail is completely clear of snow all the way to the peak. A little mud/slush, but overall in very ...
Trail is completely clear of snow all the way to the peak. A little mud/slush, but overall in very good condition. Watch out for slick rocks/logs early in the day.

Lightly traveled, but narrow at points - sometimes tough to yield to opposite direction hikers. Restrooms at the base are in good condition. Parking lot is relatively obscure - most hikers for Rattlesnake Lake park on the road, leaving this lot easily accessible.
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Mudholes, Road to trailhead inaccessible
Expand report text Hide report text
Kayak Point: The actual trail itself included stairs, and steep inclines/declines that appeared to b...
Kayak Point: The actual trail itself included stairs, and steep inclines/declines that appeared to be in disrepair. We could not access the trail, itself, so we opted to walk through the park, beach and pier areas. Very nice walk, easy terrain, I recommend that you dress warmly if you plan to be there long, or to spend much time on the pier,as the wind is bitingly cold. We did see quite a few types of duck, geese and seagull, as well as one seal from, or around the pier. The only two adverse conditions that I listed in this report, were specifically for Kayak Point's inaccessible trail, itself.

Camano Island State Park: Scenic drive to a very nice beginners/easy hike. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening there, finishing our trip by watching a beautiful sunset over Whidbey Island. The terrain is wet, rocky, uneven shoreline, once you reach the bottom of the semi-well kept staircase, but not difficult to cross. We walked the entire length of the visible beach in a relatively quick time frame. The photo opportunities here, and at Kayak Point were very good, I would recommend both locations, and look forward to Kayak Point re-opening their actual trail. We did not have any children or pets with us, but saw many people escorting both. We started at Kayak Point & finished at Camano Island, I have attempted to locate both trail heads on the map below.

 
Eastern Washington -- Inland NW
Expand report text Hide report text
I really should be skiing by now, but there's just no snow! Even so, the trailhead to my intended h...
I really should be skiing by now, but there's just no snow! Even so, the trailhead to my intended hike was gated (closed to cars in favor of snowmobiles, even though there was only about 5-6" of the white stuff on the ground--as was the road to my backup hike). Fir Mountain was my backup backup plan for the day, but still a very nice route. It's only 1/2 mile off highway 20, so it's easy to get to. There is very little parking available, but one could easily park at the Sweat Creek TH and picnic area across the highway and just hike across to access the trail.

The hike is only 5.2 miles RT, but the climb is steep and relentless! It was definitely a good workout. The snow was a little deeper towards the summit, but even in places where it had gathered in drifts along the rocks it was no more than knee-deep. I left both snowshoes and yak tracks in the car. There were plenty of signs of wildlife, but no signs that other hikers had ventured up recently. I spotted both whitetail and mule deer along the route.

The summit was quite windy, so I didn't linger for very long. The views from the top were fantastic, however; I definitely recommend this hike. The nails scattered over the summit rock were an eerie reminder of the former fire lookout (the wind scoured the snow from the summit, but not the nails). It was also pretty amusing to find the sideways privy--how could it end up like that?
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Blowdowns, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Arrived at the trailhead just before 10am to find a tree blocking the road about 0.5 miles from the ...
Arrived at the trailhead just before 10am to find a tree blocking the road about 0.5 miles from the trailhead. Just as we had decided to park on the side of the road, a car appeared on the other side -- 3 guys who had spent the night up at the lake! Uh oh! Fortunately the 5 of us were able to clear the road and they headed on their way. They said there was about 6-8 inches of new snow at the lake last night, which was exactly what we were hoping for!

No snow at the trailhead, but snow started to appear as we headed up the trail. Trail was consistently snowy starting about half-way up to the lake. Beautiful hike up at the lake, and a very quiet day on the trail (we only saw one other hiker). A few blowdowns on the trail, but nothing major. The 6-8 inch estimate for the lake seemed pretty accurate.

My friend and I did the hike with just yak trax and treking poles (but really didn't even need those). Really enjoy "snow hikes" and this fit the bill perfectly. I imagine it'll be too snowy to do without snowshoes in the near future.
 
North Cascades -- West Slope
Expand report text Hide report text
This hike lived up to what everyone has been writing about it. It has a wonderfully peaceful feeling...
This hike lived up to what everyone has been writing about it. It has a wonderfully peaceful feeling to it, and I didn't see a single soul the entire time. Something to be aware of though, there was a sign saying the park was closed on either Tuesdays and Thursdays, or Wednesdays and Thursdays. (sorry, I can't remember) For a full trip report with more pics:
http://kellbell-whywouldany[…]/01/first-hike-of-2014.html
 
No image submitted
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Did a loop from the trailhead near Hwy 18. Up the dirt road, then left at the "surveillance" sign, ...
Did a loop from the trailhead near Hwy 18. Up the dirt road, then left at the "surveillance" sign, and then back on the Holder Creek Trail. But not quite a loop. About half-way on the Holder Creek Trail, and about 90% through the loop, Holder Creek was really Holder Raging River, and the ford was impassable.

So the backtrack made for a nice, long hike. But the day was sunny and mild, the dirt roads were mostly dry, and there was nary a soul in the forest. Taylor mountain is the forgotten Issaquah Alp.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Expand report text Hide report text
First time doing this very popular hike. We didn't realize how built up the trail actually was and ...
First time doing this very popular hike. We didn't realize how built up the trail actually was and were surprised by the number of steps and walkways. Obviously it gets a lot of traffic. We went on a Friday expecting it to be pretty quiet. There was one car in the lot when we got there at 9:30 but about 10 cars when we got back.

The trail is pretty much completely clear until you get up close to Lake Serene. We encountered some icy rocks but nothing too bad. We had Microspikes but didn't use them.

If you're like me and never done this hike, this seems like a good time of year to try it out. Just be ready to have kind of a "state park" feel and climb a lot of steps.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
nice easy weather... just a dusting of snow on the last quarter mile and 2-3 inches at the top. ple...
nice easy weather... just a dusting of snow on the last quarter mile and 2-3 inches at the top. pleasant enough at the top to enjoy the atmosphere...
 
Olympics -- Coast
Mudholes, Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
The rugged beauty of Cape Flattery is not to be missed. We visited on a sunny and clear day, sharing...
The rugged beauty of Cape Flattery is not to be missed. We visited on a sunny and clear day, sharing the trail with several other hikers and their dogs. Other than a few puddles of water/mud, the trail is in good shape. Don't forget to pick up your Makah Recreation Pass ($10, valid through end of calendar year). We purchased our pass at the Makah Museum, another destination I would highly recommend to those visiting the Neah Bay area. During our four day stay in Sekiu, we saw numerous gray whales in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, eagles and a herd of elk at the Cowan Ranch Heritage Site.
 
No image submitted
South Cascades -- Chinook Pass - Enumclaw or Hwy 410 area
Expand report text Hide report text
Arrived at the trailhead at 11 am to an empty parking lot. It was 35 degrees when we started the...

Arrived at the trailhead at 11 am to an empty parking lot. It was 35 degrees when we started the hike and the most treacherous part of the trip was crossing the black ice covered parking lot. This short, easy hike to the falls gains 400 feet in elevation via gentle switch-backs. It's 1.4 miles to the falls on a well groomed trail. As we neared the falls, a very light snow shower started. At the falls, the creek was mostly ice and snow covered, but the falls was in full force. We chose not to cross the creek due to some risk of falling involved. We have hiked this route before and know that you need to step on and rock hop to cross the creek. Not a huge deal, but we knew we wouldn't complete the loop today. Good hike for kids and length can be managed as 2.8 miles out and back or nearly 4 miles round trip.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Beautiful hike! First on trail with fresh snow... ~4-6 inches at treeline. Without crampons or sno...
Beautiful hike! First on trail with fresh snow... ~4-6 inches at treeline. Without crampons or snowshoes, made it just above treeline where trail splits between Bandera route or Mason Lake route. Above treeline at ~4000 ft, the trail to Bandera is not apparent and is pretty steep. Bring compass or GPS if you want to summit and expect to put crampons on above treeline.
 
No image submitted
North Cascades -- North Cascades Highway
Mud/Rockslide, Water on trail, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
I only went as far as McAllister Camp. The trail is pretty clear up until the last 1.5 miles before...
I only went as far as McAllister Camp. The trail is pretty clear up until the last 1.5 miles before you get to McAllister. After that, trekking poles are a big help. “Sir-Hikes-A-Lot” left fresh boot prints in the snow. Otherwise the trail was deserted. The bathrooms at the trail head are all locked for the winter.

The bank is eroding just north of McAllister on the east side of the creek. Rocks are continually falling down the face of the slide into the creek. Use caution when approaching the edge when you get to the McAllister stock camp and just beyond. A big chunk of the edge collapsed into the creek while I was standing at the stock camp.
 
Eastern Washington -- Yakima
Expand report text Hide report text
Yakima gets 300 days of sunshine a year. I'm embarrassed to admit, that on the 2nd day of the New Ye...
Yakima gets 300 days of sunshine a year. I'm embarrassed to admit, that on the 2nd day of the New Year (which was the 1st dark and gloomy day of the New Year), the weather snob in me took over like a monster and drove me to the nearest destination promising the sunshine that was lost on this morning.

We entered dense fog in the cold & frosty Yakima River Canyon. From the south end of the canyon we set out to climb the steep Selah Butte. With heads down and poles stabbing the frozen ground each step of the way, we found ourselves above the fog at about the only flat stretch of the trail. We stopped and watched the settled fog in the river canyon and watched it roll over the Skyline ridge across the way, like a giant waterfall. It was really cool to see!

The fog began to move quickly, rising towards the top of Selah Butte - we would be enveloped in it again. But soon the sunshine broke through the clouds, the skies were blue above us and streaked with neat clouds, and the surrounding ridgelines and hills poked out from the white fog. The grasses were glowing yellow in the morning light and our spirits were lifted; we began counting hedgehog cactus as we reached the top, headed north to the edge of the butte.

We found our sun! Mt. Baldy was lit up, and we could see snowy peaks in the distance. All it took to achieve this was 1.5 miles up and 1700 ft in elevation. Not too shabby on Selah Butte.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Mud/Rockslide, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
I have done this hike a few times but this time was by far my favorite! The lake was so gorgeous cov...
I have done this hike a few times but this time was by far my favorite! The lake was so gorgeous covered in snow and ice. Quite a breathtaking experience. The trail was harder than I remembered it being with lots of stairs but well worth it. There was only some ice and snow like the last quarter of a mile to the lake. I was in tennis shoes with my dog pulling me up and didn't have any major injuries. But poles or spikes would have been nice. I highly recommend this hike any time of the year but there is no time like the present!
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Fall foliage
Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
What a great soggy hike. The family and I started out at the TH dry and motivated for a exciting jou...
What a great soggy hike. The family and I started out at the TH dry and motivated for a exciting journey into the moss covered forest up the the lower falls. We hit the trail late, around 1400 hrs. I knew we would have a push to make it up to the lower falls and back before dark. The trail was looking good. No snow, and very few puddles. We took the river trail on the way up, and returned on the railroad grade. There was about 20 other hikers on the way up, all headed back. We all returned wet, and tired, but oh so refreshed. The boys played and entertained us all with stories of the hobbit and being assailed by Orc attacks along the way:)
 
Eastern Washington -- Yakima
Expand report text Hide report text
An escape to great views of sun, clouds, fog, and the wonderful sage lands around Yakima. The Yakima...
An escape to great views of sun, clouds, fog, and the wonderful sage lands around Yakima. The Yakima River Canyon offers many such opportunities.
Selah Butte is a "hikers trail", steep, with open views of the Yakima River Canyon and plenty of room to roam once on top. Today was special with moving clouds, fog, and the desert landscape playing off the sun when it broke through.
 
South Cascades -- White Pass / Cowlitz River Valley
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
My sister and I were anticipating a snowshoe trip but once we got there we realized that we'd have t...
My sister and I were anticipating a snowshoe trip but once we got there we realized that we'd have to ditch that idea and just "snow hike". It was a nice day, a little chilly but still fairly clear. We could see the goat rocks and mt. rainier. It was a nice, easy hike to bring us into the new year.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Blowdowns, Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Hiked as far as the foot bridge above Snowshoe Falls. Trail was a difficult mix of ice/snow and roc...
Hiked as far as the foot bridge above Snowshoe Falls. Trail was a difficult mix of ice/snow and rocky patches the whole way, though there was more ice/snow the higher we went. One blown down tree before Denny Creek which is fairly easy to pass. Another shortly after crossing Denny Creek that is much more difficult to bypass as it is a giant tree fallen down the length of the trail. In fact, I snagged and ripped my rain pants... bummer! Additionally, due to all the rocky patches, one of my YakTrak broke. All in all, a tough hike. Would recommend waiting for more snow to cover the trail.
 
Olympics -- East
Expand report text Hide report text
Today was such a beautiful day. The weather called for rain but never let that deter, go prepared. N...
Today was such a beautiful day. The weather called for rain but never let that deter, go prepared. No rain and the trail was perfect. I can't account for much of the trail though. We made it an hour in and then turned around. There were 2 tiny creeks that we got to walk through. The boys loved it. It took a while to get them moving again. This trail was very well taken care of.
 
Olympics -- South
Blowdowns, Bridge out
Expand report text Hide report text
Now is the time to go, the river is low, very low and the crowds of summer are gone. I cut 3 miles ...
Now is the time to go, the river is low, very low and the crowds of summer are gone. I cut 3 miles off the 13 mile looop by crossing low in the lakebed. Some trees that fell last winter are still down and the trail could use a bit of TLC, the signs an bridges are aging.

All the pictures are at:
http://mosswalks.blogspot.com/ scroll down to third post
 
No image submitted
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Expand report text Hide report text
Beautiful day, beautiful trail, beautiful view! We avoided the masses at Rattlesnake Ledge and enjo...
Beautiful day, beautiful trail, beautiful view! We avoided the masses at Rattlesnake Ledge and enjoyed some quiet time with nature. Trail gets narrow in a few spots early on, otherwise it's very nice. We did the more aggressive direct route which feels similar to parts of Little Si, if you can do that trail you'll be fine here. To park, go past the main Rattlesnake Ledge entrance and turn into the next left, it should be much less crowded since you need the Discover Pass here.
 
No image submitted
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
Expand report text Hide report text
My wife and I hiked with our 20 month old daughter. The trail is nicely maintained and my daughter w...
My wife and I hiked with our 20 month old daughter. The trail is nicely maintained and my daughter was able to navigate it without any mishaps. The self-guided story boards on this trail provided my daughter the opportunity to make animal noises as she saw their cartoons on the story boards.

After the swamp trail ended we placed out LO in her backpack and moved on to the adventure trail. Both Swamp/Adventure were empty despite the parking lot and even 79th St. being packed with cars. All the these trails are in great shape and nice for any level or aged hiker. Maps of the area are placed throughout.
 
Mt. Rainier -- SE - Longmire / Paradise
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Great day for hiking - bright with some clouds and plenty warm, around 40 F. We started at Paradise...
Great day for hiking - bright with some clouds and plenty warm, around 40 F. We started at Paradise around 11 am with a very full parking lot. It hadn't snowed recently, so the snow was hard and icy with only an inch or two of powder anywhere on the trail. The climb to the look-out point itself was perhaps a little more challenging than usual due to the lack of soft snow - snowshoes with crampons or crampons themselves recommended. Proceeding up from here for the next 100 ft of elevation got even dicier - you may be able to get up these steep section without slipping, but descending safely without something to grip the icy snow (crampons or ice ax) could get tricky. The trail to Muir looked steady and long, but we stopped for lunch here. Returning back to the visitor center was a delight, the only slight disappointment is that we had to leave before the gate closed at 5 pm.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - East
Expand report text Hide report text
This is the first hike of the year. We had gone to Leavenworth for some hiking and snowshoeing but t...
This is the first hike of the year. We had gone to Leavenworth for some hiking and snowshoeing but there was practically no snow and the fog hung in for a couple days so there were to be no distant vistas to be seen. So we went into the Peshastin Pinnacles to look around. I had passed them driving on Hwy 2 several times and they looked intriguing. It turned out to be a nice place to wander around in the fog since you can get close enough to the pinnacles to see them despite the pea soup conditions.

The trails were all in good condition except for one that we avoided that was covered with ice.
 
No image submitted
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Expand report text Hide report text
Enjoyed my first hike up the Little Si trail to the top. Quite a few people on the trail and all in...
Enjoyed my first hike up the Little Si trail to the top. Quite a few people on the trail and all in good spirits wishing folks "Happy New Year" as they went up and came down. View from the top was sunny and clear. Sure was enjoyable.
 
North Cascades -- North Cascades Highway
Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
Looking for some New Year's Day solitude I decided to head up Thunder Creek. From the trailhead t...
Looking for some New Year's Day solitude I decided to head up Thunder Creek.

From the trailhead to ~ 3.75 miles in, aside from a few stretches of icy trail, it's snow free. From that point to Tricouni Camp the trail is a combination of snow and ice (think skating rink), with an average depth of only an inch or so. The switchbacks up to Junction Camp from Tricouni are mostly snow and ice free, with snow/ice returning for the last mile+ to Junction Camp.

Snow free camps are available at Junction.

No creek crossing issues, as there are rocks provided and only one small blow-down to Junction Camp.

This easy access up the Thunder Cr Trail won't last much longer.

Happy New Year!
 
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
More hikes » Hike of the Week
Diablo Lake Trail (Apr 17)

Diablo Lake

North Cascades

Follow the Diablo Lake Trail up and across talus slopes on the flanks of Sourdough Mountain to impressive cascading waterfalls and stunning views. This hike in the North Cascades Institute's backyard makes a great option for an early season hike in stunning North Cascades National Park, much of which is inaccessible during the winter and spring.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
GiveBIG 2014 May 06, 2014 Donate to WTA during The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG event and grow your impact on trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »