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Showing 2022 trip reports
 
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Central Cascades
Wildflowers blooming
Mud/Rockslide, Mudholes, Water on trail
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Great hike. Can get pretty wet, so bring backup socks, and shoe options. We had to cross a larger cr...
Great hike. Can get pretty wet, so bring backup socks, and shoe options. We had to cross a larger creek that required me carrying my terrier across, I wasn't expecting that... it would have been nice if I had packed flip flops or something like that to wear across. There are a lot of side roads, there are arrows and tape for the most part, but they can be easy to miss. I'm thankful that I took a picture of the directions before leaving, helped us out a lot!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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As previous reports stated, the trail is dry and clear all the way to the summit. No blowdowns, mud...
As previous reports stated, the trail is dry and clear all the way to the summit. No blowdowns, mud, or snow. The ice patch reported by Kalman Brauner melted out today with only a little ice left well coated in dirt for good traction.

The old trail up Mount Si is indeed steep and my legs are not convinced that it is shorter than the regular trail. I took the boulder loop trail up the old road both up to the trailhead and back down. The old Mt. Si trail starts along the high point of the loop at an unmarked set of rock steps. From there it ascends a long rocky climb to a small level patch and then up the devil's staircase. This section is steep, rugged, and nasty. It ends at an old abandoned road well blocked off to guide hikers on the second leg of this trail.

From the abandoned road the trail zig zags through 24 switchbacks (not counting turns) to the place where it almost touches the regular trail. Between switchback #8 and switchback #13, the trail is badly sloughed in many parts. Also there are several places in this section where people have cut switchbacks, threatening trail erosion.

When the old trail finally emerges from the woods and almost joins the regular trail, it turns left and climbs steadily and steeply right up the spine of the ridge perhaps another 200 ft gain before at last joining the regular trail. From there to the Haystack it is bone dry and clear. A few small patches of snow remain in some hollows but they will disappear soon.

Lots of people on both the old and the regular trails today and many dogs - some without leashes. A couple of guys climbed the Haystack but did not see any goats.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Wildflowers blooming
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This hike was gorgeous! I was a little skeptical because of how popular it is that it wouldn't be ve...
This hike was gorgeous! I was a little skeptical because of how popular it is that it wouldn't be very intense--but my friends and I were definitely sweating on the way up! The views were breathtaking--and very impressive(you could see all the way to Seattle) considering the length of the hike! The hike took us about 3.5 hours roundtrip, including us hanging out on the top for a while. I'd say it took about 1.5-2 hours up, and then we probably spent 30-45 minutes at the top and 45 minutes-1 hour on the way down (which we jogged the majority of). The trail is very well maintained so you can definitely get away with wearing any old tennis shoes--overall I was very impressed by this hike, it was a blast!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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Arrived at 10:30 AM. Parking lot and nearby parking all full. Parked .5 miles away on road. I ha...
Arrived at 10:30 AM. Parking lot and nearby parking all full. Parked .5 miles away on road.

I had never brought my kids (15 and 12 years old) on this trail due to its popularity but we decided late in the morning that a hike was in order for such a beautiful day. Mt. Si makes a great last minute hike so off we went.

Crowds as expected on this beautiful warm spring Sunday. Trail in great shape. No mud.

View at the top: Miles of blue sky, Mt. Rainier, the Sound, and great views of the nearby foothills.
 
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Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
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Explored most of the park trails on a rambling day hike with my 8-year old son. Trails were well ma...
Explored most of the park trails on a rambling day hike with my 8-year old son. Trails were well maintained and well signed. Glad we arrived early, since parking is at a premium. Will definitely be back!
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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Had a great day on the trail along with lots of other nice folks. We got a late start and the parkin...
Had a great day on the trail along with lots of other nice folks. We got a late start and the parking lots were full so we parked at the City Park and hike the Snoqualmie Trial to the trail head.

No problems on the trail and the sun was out by the time we reached the summit. It was a little crowded on top but we did get a few pictures and then headed back down. On the way back we took a little time to watch the people climbing the rock face and enjoy the valley at that point of the trail.

Lots of people with dogs and most we well behaved. Not a lot of flowers but we did see one Trillium and got a few pictures of the ferns and moss.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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I reached truck town at 8:40am so let's say I got to the trail head around 9. Passed 2 solo hikers o...
I reached truck town at 8:40am so let's say I got to the trail head around 9. Passed 2 solo hikers on my way in but coming back from the falls there was a new group every 10 feet! I didn't realize this was such a popular hike, though it was a sunny Saturday...

Crossing the little creeks along the way was no problem and there was only a little bit of snow after the bridge. We are clear people! No special equipment needed for this hike, enjoy :)
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Blowdowns, Snow on trail
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Great day for a hike! Trailhead is accessible, packed snow in many areas of the trail, but nothing ...
Great day for a hike! Trailhead is accessible, packed snow in many areas of the trail, but nothing a good pair of hiking boots can't overcome. Quite a few folks on the trail and also camping. One word: Beautiful!
 
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Puget Sound and Islands -- South Sound
Wildflowers blooming
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This is a wonderful park and we come here often; however this is the first time I went further than ...
This is a wonderful park and we come here often; however this is the first time I went further than just around Waughop Lake. Around the lake is one mile, but there are trails that can take you up to about ten miles. Today we hiked up to the old Hill Ward and then back down and around the lake, which was about two miles round trip. There is a lot of history here and there are several things to read that tells you about the hospital and the wildlife.
 
Eastern Washington
Wildflowers blooming
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Spring flowers blooming. Dry trail. Saw a coyote and a meadow lark. 3 falls at the end actually. Se...
Spring flowers blooming. Dry trail. Saw a coyote and a meadow lark. 3 falls at the end actually. Seems than 6 miles roundtrip. Hiked with 2 kiddos. Beautiful.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Water on trail, Snow on trail
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The weather wasn't too bad and we were able drive to the trailhead. Went with my son and daughter an...
The weather wasn't too bad and we were able drive to the trailhead. Went with my son and daughter and had a good trip to the lake. Some snow on the trail, but it was mostly compact. You wouldn't need or want snowshoes, just boots. While we were at the lake we saw and heard the rumble of several avalanches on looming Mt Baring across the lake.
 
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Water on trail, Snow on trail
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Girlfriend and I left about 12 noon from Mt Vernon, We got the gate at 130. Had to park there since ...
Girlfriend and I left about 12 noon from Mt Vernon, We got the gate at 130. Had to park there since the gate is still locked from the snow. The Picnic area was still covered in about a foot or more of snow. The Walkway from the picnic area to the bridge was covered in snow. The Bridge was blocked because of avalanches.. There were about 15 other people up there too. We heard and saw avalanches every 20 to 30 Minutes
 
Olympics -- East
Blowdowns, Mud/Rockslide, Washouts, Bugs
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Road is in good shape for walking. Trailhead sign for Lake Constance has been thrown off the side o...
Road is in good shape for walking. Trailhead sign for Lake Constance has been thrown off the side of the road and needs to be replaced. We saw the creepy dude luckily he left us alone.

Hardly any blow downs on the trail. There is a widomaker tree at the old car campground so rangers have taped off that campsite.

Mosquitos are already biting at Dose Forks campground.

More info and pictures here: http://mosswalks.blogspot.c[…]e-forks-on-dosewallips.html
 
Eastern Washington -- Wenatchee
Wildflowers blooming
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Perfect backpacking trip for a young family and a dog during this time of year. Our youngest is 7 a...
Perfect backpacking trip for a young family and a dog during this time of year. Our youngest is 7 and had no problems. There is little elevation gain and is a short hike to Dusty Lake.
The trails are not marked, so a map is helpful to avoid missing the turn off to the lake.
The weather was perfect--in the 60s during the day, upper 30s at night. No rain! The winds picked up in the evening, which cooled things off fast, and blew the tent around quite a bit.
Be prepared for hiking a dusty trail! We finally made our kids walk behind us to get a break from constantly eating their dust.
The only water available is from the lake, so either be prepared to filter lake water or pack it in.
We took a day hike to the Ancient Lakes. They were well worth the hike! Several waterfalls along the way and several lakes, making for a beautiful hike. Our boys had a great time spotting scorpions along the way. We had a blast!
 
Olympics -- East
Wildflowers blooming
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I took my cousins (ages 5, 7, and 8)on this hike yesterday. The weather was sunny, and despite the r...
I took my cousins (ages 5, 7, and 8)on this hike yesterday. The weather was sunny, and despite the recent rains in the area, the trail wasn't at all muddy. We hiked the whole 2.5 mile loop, which surprised me; I didn't think the kids would make it. They had a blast! This is a great trail for kids.

We only ran into one hiker and her dog on the trail. We had the whole place to ourselves. If you are looking for a quite hike, go before the summer season sets in, as I am sure that the trail will be quite busy with people staying at the campground or beach. (This beach, by the way, claims to have the warmest waters on the Sound and it a popular spot for summer swimming).
 
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Olympics -- East
Snow on trail
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Hit snow and ice on trail about halfway up. Some sections are very slick and steep. Had to search ar...
Hit snow and ice on trail about halfway up. Some sections are very slick and steep. Had to search around for the trail up to the mine. Talus slope was slick, mine was under snow.
 
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Puget Sound and Islands -- South Sound
Wildflowers blooming
Washouts, Water on trail
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This is a short 1.3 mile roundtrip in the city of Lakewood. Seeley Lake is not really a lake, but m...
This is a short 1.3 mile roundtrip in the city of Lakewood. Seeley Lake is not really a lake, but more like a swampy marsh. About 3/4 of the way around the trail was underwater and we had to turn back. We then walked the other direction until we hit the water again. There were flowers blooming, birds, ducks, and squirrels to see. There was a lot of garbage around, which was very disappointing. If going there again I would wait until summer once the water has gone down and the trail has dried out.
 
Eastern Washington -- Yakima
Wildflowers blooming
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Very long drive out there from Seattle. The trails were all dried out (they looked like they were re...
Very long drive out there from Seattle. The trails were all dried out (they looked like they were recently very muddy and wet). Not too many people, there were maybe 8 or 9 cars in the parking lot. It was the perfect hiking temperature - not too warm, slight breeze, partly cloudy. The trails criss cross each other quite a bit. When you get there, you follow a short trail from the parking lot, over a creek, and down to the main area where there is a porta potty and a map board. Lots of pretty little wild flowers, quite a few bird calls, and coyote poo. This was an easy walk for my 4year old but the 2 year old had a hard time with the narrow tracks and rocks so he ended up in the backpack.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Water on trail
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This trail is still closed due to a landslide but the first 0.75 mile before the view point is very ...
This trail is still closed due to a landslide but the first 0.75 mile before the view point is very enjoyable with my 6 / 11 year old kids.

http://www.ramblr.com/web/mymap/trip/harris/20784/

Please visit my Ramblr posts @ http://www.ramblr.com/web/mymap/trip/harris#
 
Mt. Rainier -- NW - Carbon River / Mowich
Mudholes, Water on trail
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Once we found the correct side of the bridge it is very easy to get to the trail, park on the far si...
Once we found the correct side of the bridge it is very easy to get to the trail, park on the far side and walk back. This was a fun but very muddy hike today, fun to see the rock structures! You can walk through the field and down to the river where there is a waterfall.
 
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Puget Sound and Islands -- South Sound
Wildflowers blooming
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Thought we'd start getting ready for longer hikes by doing this one. We were able to find parking r...
Thought we'd start getting ready for longer hikes by doing this one. We were able to find parking right away since there was a threat of rain most of the day. We began our hike walking toward the Chambers Bay Grill. Good weather held out until we reached the foot bridge by the beach. It began to rain did and started to get windy. As we got further away from the beach the wind was lessened. There was still a good turnout of fellow walkers including families with dogs, bikes and skateboards. It was enjoyable and easy with the challenging inclines thrown in. At the end of the hike is a nice fenced playground. The bathrooms are clean and well-maintained. Great hike!
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
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Great hike for a toddler. We got a late start from Seattle, and arrived in time for an early lu...
Great hike for a toddler.

We got a late start from Seattle, and arrived in time for an early lunch. Rather than eating at the trailhead, we drove up Mt. Erie and spent some time at a scenic overlook. There is plenty of space there to spread out, and we easily found a nice lunch spot with a view. There was plenty of space for our toddler to play with sticks and rocks.

After lunch, we drove back down to the upper end of trail #215. The trail is well signed, but it would be pretty easy for someone to park in front of the sign and make it hard to see. There's parking for about 5 cars along the side of the road. This is a shorter route up Sugar Loaf than the Day Hiking in the North Cascades book describes. The trail was steep, but it was really short. We quickly arrived at the top, where we had an even better view than on Mt. Erie. Again, there was plenty of room to spread out. Our toddler enjoyed climbing around on rocks and sitting in a hollowed-out log. My wife and I took turns playing with her and napping in the warm sunshine. By the time we got back to the car she was exhausted and fell asleep before we even left our parking spot.

There is a pretty big network of trails. We brought a map and thought we'd do a simple loop. The trails were generally well labeled, but didn't match our map all that well. We printed a map from the "Anacortes Community Forest lands Comprehensive Plan 2009", page 52.
 
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Issaquah Alps
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Fun hike up the mountain with a friend, two 10 year olds, and a dog. There are some good climbs up t...
Fun hike up the mountain with a friend, two 10 year olds, and a dog. There are some good climbs up this, but nothing your average out of shape 40 something year old can't handle. My friend is one of those masochistic marathon runners so he saw a great opportunity for a trail run. I'll walk it, thank you very much. The trail was in very good condition with occasional muddy patches. You go from wooded area to previously clear cut areas. Views are tremendous once you get up above the 900 foot level. I always suggest getting started around 8:00 am. This is also used as a horse trail and if you wait until too late in the day you'll be sharing a relatively narrow trail with some 1,200 pound friends. They'll be courteous, but it's easier if you get done before they hit the trail.
 
Olympics -- East
Blowdowns, Water on trail
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On this beautiful early spring afternoon the family piled into the rig and took off for a trail we'd...
On this beautiful early spring afternoon the family piled into the rig and took off for a trail we'd yet to visit. There is nothing more magical than hiking in new territory.

The parking lot had quite a few cars, the Lena Lake lived up to her reputation for drawing crowds as we were in good company. I'm happy to report that there was not much litter on the ground - I'd expected to stuff my pack with garbage.

The trail was in great shape, only a few areas had minimal water. No snow, no wash outs and only a few manageable blow downs that were easy to step over.

Looking forward to visiting again.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Water on trail, Snow on trail
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Arrived at Rattlesnake Lake Park around 8:30 am and there were already several cars in the lot. It t...
Arrived at Rattlesnake Lake Park around 8:30 am and there were already several cars in the lot. It took about an hour to reach the Ledge. The trail is quite nice and the climb is a steady but no too steep ascent. There was very little mud and the snow was off to the sides. We went a little farther up towards Snoqualmie Point which was well worth it. Most people just stop at the ledge but there's another viewpoint not much farther. It was cloudy when we arrived but it started clearing making for enjoyable views. When we headed down we were confronted by many, many people, kids and dogs heading up. Understandably, this is a very popular place so if you're looking to avoid crowds you may want to choose somewhere else.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Mud/Rockslide
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We usually head up early on a weekend as it always gets packed by 11am when we are leaving. This is ...
We usually head up early on a weekend as it always gets packed by 11am when we are leaving. This is my daughter's favorite hike. We were a bit disappointed this time as there was a landslide (at about .75 miles) and we could only go as far as the bench overlook. We made the best of it though and enjoyed what we could. The trails were all well maintained and it was a nice day with a slight cloudiness.
 
Eastern Washington -- Tri-Cities
Mud/Rockslide
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I been wanting to see this falls for awhile but did not feel like driving that far just to see it ...
  I been wanting to see this falls for awhile but did not feel like driving that far just to see it so today was a perfect time since I was driving through the Tri-Cities and that was my overnight stop.
  The falls are definitely out in the middle of nowhere but very much worth seeing. Just off the two lane Highway 261 on a gravel road that comes to an end at the park. In the spring the fall is raging and also it would seem to be a more popular time of the year based on the amount of cars in the parking lot. Parking lot was overflowing
 Tucked down in a canyon along the Palouse River which flows into the Snake River and eventually into the Columbia River, this area is a nice place to learn your geology of Washington. It has one of the largest concentration of Igneous Rock on the west coast and one of the top 20 in the world. Scientist speculate a combination of volcanic flow for Yellowstone carving the canyon and a large glacier lake that broke loose from Montana bringing the water. Who knows but it is worth seeing.
  There is a small gravel or concrete trail or side walk for ADA to hike or push a wheelchair down to see the falls. There is also a trail that heads off north from the parking lot that takes you to the upper falls which is not near as tall but would seem to be wider. Here you can walk down to this fall but be careful as the rock is really loose here and if you or a child gets hurt its a long way to get help.
  There is no designated trail to get you down to the bottom of the larger falls that I could see and you would have to go on private property to do it safely. I did see people at the bottom though. There are some trails to hike to the top of the larger falls but they are not designated or recommended. The best pictures are just below the parking lot.
  Checkout my videos of this hike or over 300 other hikes I have done in Washington State or click on the direct link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj85ZdcZbx8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIKTmDGkeUY

As always get out and see this beautiful state!!

Take Care,
Mike
 
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North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Washouts, Water on trail, Snow on trail
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Road to trailhead is clear. Patches of light snow on the trail throughout - no problem - passable in...
Road to trailhead is clear. Patches of light snow on the trail throughout - no problem - passable in hiking boots or even sneakers. Water on trail in a few spots, slightly muddy in a handful of small areas. In one spot a small stream is crossing the trail - the stream is about 3 feet wide at its most narrow point. Requires a good jump for adults - younger kids may need a jump + an adult on the receiving side with a helping hand. Not too much of an issue.

The hike is actually more like a walk. Very easy, with little elevation gain, few technical challenges. Not much of a workout. Great for younger kids.

Beautiful forest, not much traffic on the access road or the trail. Nearby river is audible throughout, visible about half of the time. Roaring and fast-moving on this afternoon in March.
 
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Olympics -- East
Blowdowns, Clogged drainage, Mudholes, Water on trail, Snow on trail
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Family set out for a wilderness adventure, well mission accomplished. Weather was "meh" in the l...
Family set out for a wilderness adventure, well mission accomplished.

Weather was "meh" in the low lands so we thought to make use of the North East Olympics rainshadow. It paid off, the sun was shining. We had to peel our warm layers off and stuff them in the pack.

Most sections of trail not covered in snow only just recently emerged and many areas draining snow melt. Evidence of powerful windstorms lay in the surrounding forest; a few blowdowns lay across the trail. Easy to step over or around.

I left my phone and gps in the car but figure we walked a mile or more (probably more) in semi-frozen compacted ankle deep snow. A few trail blazers had come before us and we used their foot prints to guide our path.

We did not make it to camp handy. The first log bridge was wet but not slick, the second had a layer of icy slush - crossable but not worth the risk of slipping. We ate our sandwiches standing riverside instead of sitting in the shelter.

There were 6 cars in the lot but we did not encounter anyone on the trail.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Water on trail
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Great views from the top. First hike in the PNW. Really set a great tone!...
Great views from the top. First hike in the PNW. Really set a great tone!
 
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Issaquah Alps
Mudholes, Water on trail
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Just a fun little first hike of the year with my 10 year old boy and a dog. It was a relatively dry ...
Just a fun little first hike of the year with my 10 year old boy and a dog. It was a relatively dry day. There was a good half mile section with water flowing on the trail. Be sure to wear waterproof boots. We did it as an out and back because the trail faded dramatically about half way around and it was our first time in that area. Plenty of birds. We went relatively early, getting there by 8:00am and didn't see anybody else on the trail although it appears to be extensively used by horse riders.

Thinking of doing it next weekend with a friend and his son but will go the other way around, see if the trail stays more stable.
 
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Mt. Rainier -- SE - Longmire / Paradise
Snow on trail, Avalanche danger
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Me and a friend took four 12-14 year old Scouts on a snowshoe overnighter from Paradise parking lot ...
Me and a friend took four 12-14 year old Scouts on a snowshoe overnighter from Paradise parking lot down Paradise Rd across 4th? crossing and up to Mazama Ridge. I marked the approximate coordinates of our camping spot (not trailhead).
Saturday was nice weather, though overcast. Got sunburned off the snow still, which was weird. The trail is very strenuous in parts, 45 deg slopes, and we each fell and slid a few times. We each had sleds to tie our gear onto, which worked pretty well.

Once there, my son and I dug a snow cave to sleep in. It had 6 to 8 feet of snow above us, very sturdy, was very warm and quiet in the cave. The area is absolutely beautiful, with craggy peaks all around you. You could be in the Alps for all you know.

Some of the boys wished they had wool mittens instead of ski gloves, as the wool was warm when wet. Same for socks.

Saturday night it snowed 2 to 3 inches, and gently collapsed the tent that had out gear.

Sunday was windy with sleet, snow and rain to pack up and hike back in. I used my backpack and kept an empty sled on the way out, as I had more control in descending.

Second year I have done this trip - I love it.
 
South Cascades -- Columbia Gorge
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Lola and I went out to see how the trail was holding up after the last week's WTA work party where t...
Lola and I went out to see how the trail was holding up after the last week's WTA work party where they cleared out the culverts and drainage ditches that had failed causing the trail to flood.

We drove to a pubic access point at the northern intersection of El Rey Dr. and Lacamas Dr. There is an unmarked gravel path that leads past a golf course down to the trail. From there we turned left (north) and saw that the volunteer's work was shedding water from the trail and keeping it dry.

The trail is bounded by the lake on one side and the wooded margin of the golf course on the other and I like it better than the more southern half that feels more suburban.

We ended up only going about 1/2 mile because Lola kept stopping to climb on things. It was a great trip for a toddler on a scoot bike!
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Mudholes, Water on trail
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This was a very pleasant hike on a gorgeous day. The trail was in good condition, although there was...
This was a very pleasant hike on a gorgeous day. The trail was in good condition, although there was quite a bit of running water and several mud holes. There were a few little water falls along the way up and some small patches of snow in the shaded areas around the lookout. There were a few mosquitoes but not too many yet and I didn't end up with any bites. This is a great trail for kids because it is nice and short, the mud and waterfalls were a hit, and the lookout was a nice "goal" for them. There is a picnic table at the lookout.
 
Issaquah Alps
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I decided to fight the crowds and visit the Falls after all the rain and seeing Maddy's trip report ...
I decided to fight the crowds and visit the Falls after all the rain and seeing Maddy's trip report from March 6th. I took my wife and kids (9&11) and elbowed our way to the view points.

The mist was so heavy we were soaked in no time. We walked or "hiked" down the trail to the boardwalk along the river where the river was in full "Beast Mode". Pretty fun to see it like this.

Only complaint is the crowds. So go early or late or on a weekday.

For more on our little outing visit:

http://survivingurban.com/snoqualmie-falls-rage/

-Ken
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Mudholes, Water on trail
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I took my family, with the hopes of following Lily Lake and Lizard Lake trail up to Oyster Dome. We...
I took my family, with the hopes of following Lily Lake and Lizard Lake trail up to Oyster Dome. We parked at the Upper Trail Head, the trail was fairly muddy for the first half mile, and improved a bit as we progressed. Most of the snow that had fallen was gone, with a small amount still up near Lily Lake, just after the junction with the Pacific Northwest trail.

The trail is doable with children, we brought our 11 year old daughter adn 6 year old son, but we were pressed for time and took too many breaks to get up to Oyster Dome in time. We spent about 3 hours getting to the lake, and about an hour to get back to the car.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
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Piles of dog poop right on the trail! I know dogs deserve their day in the snow, and I'm happy to sh...
Piles of dog poop right on the trail! I know dogs deserve their day in the snow, and I'm happy to share the trail with them, but having to ski around multiple piles of poop detracted from the enjoyment of the trail. We tried this on Cross-country skis today, but the snow was too mushy and would be better on snow shoes.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Snow on trail
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We arrived around 10 a.m. on a Saturday. The parking lots were pretty full but we were able to get a...
We arrived around 10 a.m. on a Saturday. The parking lots were pretty full but we were able to get a spot in the second parking lot (which is the closest to the trailhead).

Hike started off cold and windy. After a few minutes we were in the trees, so it wasn't windy (but still cold!). Love the changing scenery throughout the hike.. also there is a 1.5 mile loop you can take that takes you back to the trail. We didn't do this, but if you're wanting extra miles give it a try!

Towards the top it was very windy and a little snow was coming down. Still, great views though!

Hike is a little steep but I still recommend for all types of hikers. There were families, kids, and dogs on the trail.
 
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Olympics -- North
Fall foliage
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The 4 hr drive to get there was beautiful but when we got to the gate there was a note posted saying...
The 4 hr drive to get there was beautiful but when we got to the gate there was a note posted saying the road was closed until March 28th. Nowhere did it say it was closed on the internet or anywhere else I researched!!! None of the phone numbers I called (message only) did it state this road was closed. What a disappointment. We ended up driving the whole 101 hwy loop starting in Olympia stopping at several locations for mini hikes, then dinner in Aberdeen and back to Olympia. It was a 13 hr day..good mom and daughter time ;)
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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Great little hike with fantastic views on a beautiful day. Trail head is super easy to get to just o...
Great little hike with fantastic views on a beautiful day. Trail head is super easy to get to just off of I-90. We left Seattle around 10:00AM and were back by 2:00PM with plenty of time for my friend to make it to work.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Water on trail
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The view from the top was gorgeous, and I really couldn't have asked for a better day. The sky was b...
The view from the top was gorgeous, and I really couldn't have asked for a better day. The sky was blue and cloud-free, there was a light breeze and the temperature was warm without being hot. The trail is very well maintained.

I am a little surprised that this is recommended for kids so much (and there were a lot of groups with kids on the trail, myself included). I was carrying a fairly hefty toddler in a backpack (and I am very short), which was awkward on the particularly steep parts near the top with the large stone steps - I had to use my hands a few times to kind of crawl and still keep well-balanced. There were a ton of people on the trail, most very nice, but there was a couple at the top that kept standing in front of me as I was taking a picture (and it wasn't like I was hogging up the whole view - seriously, I had a hard time getting a single photo without them in it, and had to crop them out of most). Lots of cute dogs. There were several areas where the trail went over smooth rock, and I had to pay attention to where the trail started again on the other side.

Not sure if this will help anyone, but at the trailhead there are actually two paved parking areas. One is an overflow lot. If you are there early, park in the second lot on the left after you come over the bridge. That is the one the trailhead is actually at. Otherwise you will have to walk the little trail between the two parking areas (which seems longer on the way back, lol). There is a vault toilet at the trailhead.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Mudholes, Water on trail
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Another trip up to Wallace Falls. We went up to the middle falls view point via the Woody Trail. It ...
Another trip up to Wallace Falls. We went up to the middle falls view point via the Woody Trail. It was very, very windy at the trailhead and up until we left the railroad grade onto the Woody Trail. After that, the wind was minimal and the sun was shining. There was more water on the trail than last time, but still not bad at all. The middle falls view point was worth the extra little effort.
 
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Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
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Our first time at WFSP, we only did about two miles, but will definitely be back! Woody Trail to the...
Our first time at WFSP, we only did about two miles, but will definitely be back! Woody Trail to the cutoff (hooray for Boy Scouts!) and then back downhill on the ORG. Hiking with my two kids (9 & 12), and two (very healthy) 66yo parents. Trails in great shape. Parking lot about 1/4 full, but only saw a few folks on the trails. We were there from about 10am to 1pm. All dogs on leashes, which was great to see (even though we love dogs).
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Snow on trail
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Snow made this a special hike today. There is a dusting of snow at 2 miles, slush and increasing sno...
Snow made this a special hike today. There is a dusting of snow at 2 miles, slush and increasing snow at about 2 1/2 miles, and after mile 3, deep powdery snow. Beautiful at the top. While I was able to hike in sturdy boots, gaiters and YakTraks (or similar traction device) would be useful, especially in the upper part of the hike.
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
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Fun family time at the Sanctuary. These little in city gems are great. This one has well groomed tra...
Fun family time at the Sanctuary. These little in city gems are great. This one has well groomed trails and plenty of fun things to see. Nothing but good times to report.

This is near the Boeing Everett Plant, but you will almost forget that you are in the city while exploring these trails.

For more on my family outing visit:

http://survivingurban.com/visit-your-local-wetlands/
 
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Olympics -- Kitsap Peninsula
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Great little hike for a grey Sunday. We hadn't been on this trail for some time and found it to be w...
Great little hike for a grey Sunday. We hadn't been on this trail for some time and found it to be well maintained and easy to navigate thanks to the trail markers and map we uploaded from Kitsap Parks website.
No issues at all.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
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Our group planned a child-friendly outing, and Wallace Falls worked out well. It also turned out to ...
Our group planned a child-friendly outing, and Wallace Falls worked out well. It also turned out to be a good choice for a rainy day hike, as well. Rain had been predicted, but inclement weather stayed away for most of the hike. Above the middle falls overlook, snow was falling, but otherwise we stayed pretty dry.

We started at 10:45 am, with a half-empty parking lot. Unusual for this state park. I guess the weather forecast kept folks away. The trail was in great condition. A lot of loving trailwork, most notably steps and turnpikes, has been accomplished, which resulted in a trail that stayed dry and in great condition despite recent rains.

The falls were running robustly due to the precipitation. Views included the Skykomish River valley, as well as occasional peek-a-boo glimpses of Mt. Stickney. We went all the way to the "top," i.e., the upper falls overlook, where we decided to turn back because the youngest members of our group (4 and 12) were acting a touch whiny. I was agitating to go up to the old logging road and enjoy the river above the falls, but I was out-voted. Perhaps next time.

We got back to the parking lot at 2:15 pm. We never had the trail to ourselves, but folks were genial, and we had an unqualified wonderful time.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Water on trail
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Woke up to another sunny day, so I headed out to Wallace Falls with the kids. We brought extra cold ...
Woke up to another sunny day, so I headed out to Wallace Falls with the kids. We brought extra cold weather clothing because I could see driving up that it was snowing higher up the mountain. It was actually pretty warm most of the way, until we got to the lower falls picnic shelter, where the temperature was much cooler and it snowed, rained, hailed, and the wind blew during our short lunch stop. That was our turnaround point (with two little kids, we are VERY slow). It warmed up again as we headed back down and it was sunny by the time we made it back down to the car.

The trail was in great condition. There was a park ranger working on a few areas on the way up, but he was finished up and gone by the time we returned. I would love to return sometime without the babies so I can go all the way up to the upper falls and maybe on a few of the other trails. I took a 2 year old in a backpack and a 4 year old walking, and we move at a maximum of 1 mile per hour.
 
Eastern Washington -- Yakima
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Been enjoying the sunny weather when we can. We hike a few miles around the Gingko Interpretive Trai...
Been enjoying the sunny weather when we can. We hike a few miles around the Gingko Interpretive Trails and then ventured over off Recreation Road in the Gingko State Park lands and hiked around a few more miles to catch the views of Vantage. Would recommend any time of year.
 
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Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Mudholes
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Overcast and in the 40s. Trail was clear and dry to the bluff, stairs down to beach were in good rep...
Overcast and in the 40s. Trail was clear and dry to the bluff, stairs down to beach were in good repair. The part of the trail descending to the stairs had a couple of navigable muddy parts several feet long and as wide as the trail. The longer muddy section had a driftwood board laid athwart it that was easily traversed. I did the easy descent with a 4-year-old on my shoulders - though he climbed the stairs on the way back up. Great family hike, feels secluded though it's easy to get to. Easy parking. To the south when you hit the beach, the oil-loading dock is visible in the distance.
 
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Olympics -- East
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Spent a crisp, clear, cold February afternoon hiking out to Gibbs Lake. Stumbled upon the trail desc...
Spent a crisp, clear, cold February afternoon hiking out to Gibbs Lake. Stumbled upon the trail description after searching for a place close to home to hike with the family and our dog - thank you WTA for sending me to another great local trail.

Trail was in good shape and because of the freezing temperatures we didn't get muddy. Once this cold snap breaks there will be several soft spots on the trail. The forest was lush and green; thick with ferns and cedar trees.

I was surprised that we didn't run into any other hikers. It was such a treat to have the whole place to ourselves. The lake was beautiful and as we got closer we found that it was frozen. We don't see frozen lakes too often and were absolutely mesmerized by the stillness - then our daughter threw a stick out on it and the high pitched reverberation that sang out as us when the wood struck and slid on the ice was like nothing we'd heard before. The whole family took turns tossing sticks - careful not to allow our dog to chase after them. The ice was thick but common sense deemed it not safe to stand on and we didn't try our luck.

Looking forward to visiting this spot again, next time in the spring.
 
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Puget Sound and Islands -- Whidbey Island
Mudholes
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The views were lovely. The meadow area at the summit of Goose Island is beautiful, and the trail dow...
The views were lovely. The meadow area at the summit of Goose Island is beautiful, and the trail down was fun - lots of switchbacks and pretty views of the little cove. It was a good hike to do with the kids because of the short length and the views. We also saw several P3s from the Navy Base, which the kids loved. There was some mud on the trail, but not too bad. All of the dogs we came across were leashed, which was greatly appreciated. There was a seal swimming around under the bridge.
 
North Cascades -- West Slope
Blowdowns, Mud/Rockslide, Mudholes, Water on trail
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The forest road that leads up to the trail has a few pot holes in the beginning but gets better as y...
The forest road that leads up to the trail has a few pot holes in the beginning but gets better as you drive in. Trail had some water and mud in spots but very minor. One tree down that you will need to go under. Very nice trail, good workout on the legs. Got a late start so my wife and I only did 5 miles of the trail. The waterfalls were a wonderful sight along with the huge old growth trees. On the trip back out the clouds had lifted and we saw some awesome views of the snow caped mountains. Will be going back in the near future and getting an earlier start so we can finish the whole trail.
 
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South Cascades
Mudholes, Water on trail
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We did the lower lake trail. None of the trails were signed well and there wasn't a clear map to te...
We did the lower lake trail. None of the trails were signed well and there wasn't a clear map to tell us where the other 7 mile trail was. There were a few mud puddles and some rocks on the trail, but overall it was a nice walk on a rainy day. We took my five year old and my dog and both had a great time as we were the only ones on the trail.
I want to mention that the Day Use pass is $10 or you need the Discovery Pass. (My books were not up-to-date on this fact.)
 
Puget Sound and Islands
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In the past getting my kids to hike has been pretty easy. The last year or two it has been more of a...
In the past getting my kids to hike has been pretty easy. The last year or two it has been more of a challenge which has involved trickery and bribery. Choosing when and where to fight for a hike must be strategic so this time I opted for a city hike where they could roll. They rollerbladed and I walked, ran and pulled them along this 6 mile route around Lake Union.

The trail is pretty easy to follow using the signs and trails. Because it is a mix of several trails, sidewalks and roads you just need to use common sense and you will make it.

This is a urban hike, but still can be fun if you decide to make it fun.

For more on our little trip around the lake visit:
http://survivingurban.com/rollerblading_the_chesiahud_loop/

-Ken
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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Hiked from the Homestead trail head. The trail was dry, in good condition, and well marked. The di...
Hiked from the Homestead trail head. The trail was dry, in good condition, and well marked. The distance is relatively the same (3 miles) from the Homestead trailhead as it is from the Twin Falls trailhead.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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It was a sunny clear day, just perfect for a hike! The parking lot was pretty full (as usual, I expe...
It was a sunny clear day, just perfect for a hike! The parking lot was pretty full (as usual, I expect) so we parked out on the road. The trail is in really good condition - completely dry and no overgrowth whatsoever. There was one tree fall near the beginning but it was really easy to bypass. This is a fairly easy hike where the elevation is gained pretty gradually and even the switchbacks can be done quite comfortably. The only downside is the crowd - we were passing and being passed by fellow hikers almost continuously. However, the reason for the crowd became clear when we saw the absolutely beautiful view at the top!
 
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Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Blowdowns
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Driving directions: US-2 east from Goldbar, take the Money Creek exit. Go over the railroad tracks, ...
Driving directions: US-2 east from Goldbar, take the Money Creek exit. Go over the railroad tracks, after a while take a right on the Miller Creek road. Go past the Tyvek house and continue approx 3.3 miles to a conspicuous culvert and rocky gully. Park there and see the flagging on the uphill side near the culvert that marks the start of the route.

The trail to the Mohawk Mine and falls is taking a beating near the start with some blowdown. Pick your way around it and soon the trail is pretty easy to follow. It is never far from the creek, and sporadic flagging helps.

The trail is about 1/4 long. After a steep climb you come to the mine "camp" with the tarp over some firewood. To the main mine, continue uphill and around a giant blowdown. The mine is open and dry.

For the falls, from the camp take the trail that sidehills left. The falls are running fine right now. It's possible to cross the creek below the falls and explore the 2nd adit next to the falls.

The road is in fine shape; no snow on road or trail. This is a good beginner mine trip, and a great one for kids. It was a beautiful day spent with X Jr.

Pray for snow.
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- Whidbey Island
Mudholes, Water on trail
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One of my favorite places on the west side of Whidbey Island to get winter sunset pictures. The t...
   One of my favorite places on the west side of Whidbey Island to get winter sunset pictures. The trails in Joseph Whidbey State Park are short. The Moyer Trail is the longest and it goes from one side to the other for about .5 miles but you can hook up with the trails that go down to the beach for a nice beach walk especially when at low tide. No camping at this park but it has some nice areas for a picnic and bird watching since a lot of Blue Heron hang out along the waters edge and Bald Eagles in the trees along the beach.
  A reminder that the entrance to the park is closed from November to April but you can park at either end along Crosby Avenue or West Beach Road and hike into the park. Be aware that a lot of locals walk their dogs along these trails and they are not usually found on a leash even though it says they are required. All and all a nice little park with some nice beach walking.
  Check out the sunset video I did of this hike or checkout other videos I have done of hikes in Washington State 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 -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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It was an incredible day with incredible views from the top. This was my first time doing this hi...
It was an incredible day with incredible views from the top.

This was my first time doing this hike and I brought my 5 year-old along with me. This hike is a little more challenging than Si, particularly when you get above the trees, but overall, a pretty nice grade throughout. There were plenty of people on the trail, one of whom carried skis up and skied down, despite my daughters warning to him that he would bonk his head.

The summit was gorgeous. You could see Mt Rainier, Mt Adams, Glacier Peak, and I thought Mt Baker as well, though I couldn't get confirmation. If so, those are the four tallest peaks in Washington from one location!

Here's a video of my daughter doing a little glissading on the way down.

http://youtu.be/WArJFGg5llY

Equipment:
I would not do this without some kind of traction shoes. I wore crampons, but I saw a lot of microspikes and traction shoes. The ridge to the summit would be particularly challenging without any traction.
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Mudholes, Water on trail
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Lovely day for a hike. The sun was shining and the sound was covered in fog. We were there fairly ea...
Lovely day for a hike. The sun was shining and the sound was covered in fog. We were there fairly early, so not too many people on the trail at first. By the time we headed back down, there were a lot of people heading up.

There were a few muddy spots. Quite a few trail runners. Most people had dogs. A good portion of the dogs were off-leash, which was annoying. One bit our dog, and she is already on the shy side, so that was not great.

The lake was beautiful, and there were some neat rock walls on one side. Some of the planks were rotted or broken on a few of the small bridges.

I loved the hike, but my kids said it was too far (the oldest cried on the way down). It was kind of steep on the way up, but very manageable.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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It was a beautiful day for a hike and we arrived at 9 a.m. We were able to find easy parking in the ...
It was a beautiful day for a hike and we arrived at 9 a.m. We were able to find easy parking in the lot and waited for friends near the trail sign. At that time, there were already a lot of hikers heading up. We were with a small child and took our time getting to the top. It was a fairly easy hike and we enjoyed a snack on the rocks at the top. As we came back down, there were a lot of people heading up. The trail was very busy with hikers and dogs by 11:30. It appeared a constant stream was heading up. I can't imagine what this is like in the summer. The views at the top are amazing so I hope you go on a clear day. Beautiful.
 
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Blowdowns, Snow on trail
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It seems as if this is a hot trail these days. My wife suggested we head out there on MLK day so we ...
It seems as if this is a hot trail these days. My wife suggested we head out there on MLK day so we did. As mentioned in other trip reports the parking lot is closed, but there was parking available near the gate for us. The snow although not deep is frozen and there are some pretty slick sections of trail. There was one tree down across the trail that was easy to step over. Super short 2 miler that has very minimal elevation gain makes this a great hike for everyone.

I have been seeing a lot of pictures lately on Instagram of people taking pictures from inside the caves. Even pictures of people on the fallen ice inside the caves. That should be clue enough that it is unstable and could drop a appliance sized ice cube on you any second.

Beautiful day and fun time with my family. For more on our time visit:
http://survivingurban.com/big-four-ice-caves/

-Ken
 
Eastern Washington -- Wenatchee
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Great day to hike at the Northrup Canyon. The weather was cooler and the trail was clear with the e...
Great day to hike at the Northrup Canyon. The weather was cooler and the trail was clear with the exception of a few icy patches. The ice fog made everything so beautiful and worth the trip.

 
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Snow on trail
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Snow free hike to around 3700 ft. Continuous snow at 4000 ft but only 6-12 inches deep. Packed tra...
Snow free hike to around 3700 ft. Continuous snow at 4000 ft but only 6-12 inches deep. Packed trail through boulder field with minimal icy spots. Trail down to Mason Lake is all ice. Advise to not take the summer route up Bandera. Continue 200 yards on trail to lake and then turn right and head up hill.
 
Mt. Rainier -- SE - Longmire / Paradise
Snow on trail
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The mountain was out.. I guess I grew up with this term, because I said this to a friend and they lo...
The mountain was out.. I guess I grew up with this term, because I said this to a friend and they looked at me funny and asked me to explain. So if you are not from Washington, the term "The mountain is out", means you can see it.
 
My family took the opportunity on Martin Luther King Day to go up snowshoeing. Free admission on Martin Luther King day to the park was a plus. We first went up to Paradise visitor center, where we were able to talk to the rangers about the different hikes and conditions. No real fresh snow, about a week old. Temperatures had stayed cold thru the week and so none had melted. This is always a plus, refrozen snow is not fun to hike on.

My family and a couple friends totaling seven of us hiked this. My daughter is eleven and this was her first snowshoe trip. So we picked this hike because it does have some up and downs but the total elevation gain was about 500 feet and about 4 miles round trip. This is one of the easiest hikes they offer.

The lack of snow in the low lands pushed us up to go here, but we do not regret this choice. The sun was out and yes the trail goes in and out of the trees, and clearly marked with black and orange poles. Once you get to the completely frozen over lake we ate lunch with the sun on our backs and the gorgeous Mount Rainer view ahead.

We stayed about an hour up at the lake and decided to walk the summer road back. This makes a great loop option as long as the avalanche danger is low, It was on this day, (moderate above the tree line).

This option did not add any distance. However added some stunning views looking down the drainages below. at one view point we had an incredible view of Narada Falls, partially frozen over and our car parked on the far side. We watched some skiers bail over and take this hill side, back to their car. If I had brought my ice axe instead of my whole family (and friends) I may have taken the opportunity to glissade. It appeared that others had done this. We opted to take the more conservative route back down. The last 1/2 mile is all that we doubled hiked.

We had a wonderful time and everyone agreed that this was a great hike. It would have only been better with a fresh layer of snow on it, but that seems to be tough to find this year.
    

 
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Puget Sound and Islands
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Great hike for family. Can't wait for spring/summer to come to see all of the wildlife. We did see a...
Great hike for family. Can't wait for spring/summer to come to see all of the wildlife. We did see an eagle. The floating bridges were great too. Nicely done.
 
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Puget Sound and Islands
Mudholes, Water on trail
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We started near mid day because we were hoping that the fog would burn off, which it didn't really e...
We started near mid day because we were hoping that the fog would burn off, which it didn't really ever do. Although the fog made for some picturesque views in the woods. The trail was in good shape except for a place or two where there were significant boggy bits and some water running down the trail. Although considering the time of year and the area, it wasn't more than was expected.
We encountered only two other parties - one group of bikers (with their dogs) and some other walkers (with their dogs). Seems to have been a pattern there. A very dog friendly trail. We don't have dogs, but do have kids (10 and 11) who had no problem at all with the walk.
The only problem we found was the signs - or lack thereof. This "trail" was - and in parts still is - part of a logging trail and/or work trail. So, there isn't one trail - it is a network of interconnected trails. Some lead around the area and back in a loop and others lead you off to logging roads. We, unfortunately, took the wrong rote and ended up in an actively worked logging area and hand to meander our way back. Some signs for the park would have helped. But other than our unplanned detour - it went more or less as planned. We'll probably try to learn the network of side trails better before we try it again though.
 
Eastern Washington -- Wenatchee
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Even on a foggy winter's day this was a great walk with great views. There are many trails to choos...
Even on a foggy winter's day this was a great walk with great views. There are many trails to choose from, we started at the trail head and took a left at each y, ended up overlooking the Columbia River. Was an easy walk with dogs and kids on the trail. Will be exploring more of this area.
 
Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
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What fantastic weather for a January. Hikers were out in full force today at Tiger Mountain taking a...
What fantastic weather for a January. Hikers were out in full force today at Tiger Mountain taking advantage of the warmth. I had to park on the street it was so crowded.

Other than carrying my 3 year-old most of the way up and down, this was a great day to be outside. Plenty of hikers, dogs and hang gliders to watch at the top.

The sky was a little hazy on the south size, but Rainier still stood out prominently. The north side with the launch pads was fogged over.

All in all, a great day. Enjoy the pics.

 
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Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Fall foliage
Mudholes
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This is a great trail with inter connecting trails all around the area. My two school age sons made ...
This is a great trail with inter connecting trails all around the area. My two school age sons made the trip with us. Lost lake is a treasure hidden away in the quiet of the woods for being January there really wasn't much mud on the trails until we got very close to the lake which was expected. Took about 4 1/2 hours out and back. Well worth it!
 
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Mt. Rainier -- NW - Carbon River / Mowich
Water on trail
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Fun day hike. We went about 5.25mi round-trip. Did not make it all the way to the ruins, however the...
Fun day hike. We went about 5.25mi round-trip. Did not make it all the way to the ruins, however there are some nifty ones along the way and great mountain views. Watch out for dirtbikers and 4-wheelers.
 
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Olympics -- Coast
Fall foliage
No water source
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Drive to the end of Oil City Rd. Good dirt road after pavement ends. Continue driving past farm hous...
Drive to the end of Oil City Rd. Good dirt road after pavement ends. Continue driving past farm house area. Drive slowly and watch for cows on the road. Adequate parking even though there seemed to be quite a few fishermen on the HOH River parking in the lot. Nice, well maintained trail. Near the beginning of the trail you need to cross a stream and climb a small cliff area that was a bit muddy. This spot may be difficult for elderly or small children to cross. After this area the tail was mostly level and a nice easy hike to the ocean. Very beautiful, easy and enjoyable afternoon hike.
 
North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Water on trail, Snow on trail, Avalanche danger
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Today our family joined up with our new friends. We enjoyed our very soggy cold trek up to the ice c...
Today our family joined up with our new friends. We enjoyed our very soggy cold trek up to the ice caves. Road to past gate on mountain loop highway was thick with slush and ice. We drove the AWD Denali through it fine. There was a lot of other cars stuck. At the trailhead we saw about 15-20 others. Left the parking lot at 2:40 pm. Trail and bridges all covered in 5-10 inches of snow. Some very wet spots on trail. All bridges looked great. Up at the ice caves we viewed a recent large avalanche of the mountain. While on site we heard and watched numerous small avalanches. Did not cross over to the caves. Area around caves very unstable and risky. Took some pics and headed back down. All safe and sound, back in the truck headed home.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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Road has tons of holes but otherwise staight forward. Foot bridge crossing the river with slick/slig...
Road has tons of holes but otherwise staight forward. Foot bridge crossing the river with slick/slightly icy but trail was great. Snowfree although with the latest storm coming through it probably will be snow covered. Tons of green moss/lichens.
 
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Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Fall foliage
Mudholes
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We enjoyed this hike up to the dome from chuckanut with my two school age sons. It was beautiful wea...
We enjoyed this hike up to the dome from chuckanut with my two school age sons. It was beautiful weather for the hike however towards the upper end of the trail there was quite a few mud holes. We made it deciding it was worth getting a little dirty for the amazing view had lunch and were back to the bottom in just under 4 hours without children the trip could be made in three :)
 
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Olympics -- East
Blowdowns
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This is a great beginner hike for kids! We started out at the Maple Valley Trail Head behind the ran...
This is a great beginner hike for kids! We started out at the Maple Valley Trail Head behind the ranger station. The Maple Valley leg had one area of blow down, but other than that, was in great shape. There were a couple of areas of slippery ground due to fallen leaves and through the shadey areas the ground was frozen, but not slippery. The Maple Valley leg gains elevation but once you intersect with the Steam Donkey trail, it's a nice leisurely walk with plenty of nice bridges and the clearest forest pond I have ever seen.
 
Olympics -- East
Snow on trail
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I'm new to the area, so trip reports are extremely helpful in finding hikes and learning current con...
I'm new to the area, so trip reports are extremely helpful in finding hikes and learning current conditions. So here's a big thank you to fellow hikers from January 1st who opened my eyes to Mt. Ellinor.

The weather was perfect and skies were clear. It was a strenuous climb to the top and there were a few patches of snow and ice (particularly at the summit) that made things a bit tricky. I made use of my micro-spikes and poles. Several people made it all the way without any traction, but I was certainly glad I had mine.

There were several cars in the lower lot when I arrived at 10:45am, but the trail certainly wasn't crowded - I even had the summit alone to myself for 15 minutes or so.

There were spectacular panoramic views in every direction - East across Puget Sound to Seattle and Mt. Rainier, SW to the ocean, and NW to the interior Olympic Mtns.

2 hrs 20 mins up.
1 hr at the summit.
1 hr 40 mins down.

On the way down I somehow managed to emerge at the upper trailhead parking lot. As I started walking down the road a lovely young couple offered me a lift to my car! All in all a terrific day.

 
Eastern Washington -- Inland NW
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What a great day to hike Steamboat Rock Trail. The first section of the trail is a little strenuou...
What a great day to hike Steamboat Rock Trail. The first section of the trail is a little strenuous but my kids had little difficulty making their way to the top. The views are breathtaking, especially the Cascades in the horizon and the occasional eagle that few by. The weather was sunny and about 27 degrees, perfect for hiking. After reading several reviews regarding children, I would say that on the way down the trail took a little extra time to maneuver but both of my kids beat me down to the trail head. Overall it was a great hike for something close by and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a different kind of beauty.
 
Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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It was a beautiful sunny day for a hike. Unfortunately, everyone else thought so, too. It was quite ...
It was a beautiful sunny day for a hike. Unfortunately, everyone else thought so, too. It was quite a party at the top, complete with cigarette smoke to greet us along with the view. I knew this was a popular hike; just a little surprised that on the 5th of January with freezing cold temperatures there would be so many people. There were lots of dogs but they were all well-behaved.

As to conditions, they were great. Very little run-off in just a few places on the trail, and no snow. I suggest layering your clothing as it was very cold and breezy to start, and when you're not in the sun it's quite chilly. But once you get moving you'll heat up quickly.
 
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Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
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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.
 
Issaquah Alps -- Cougar Mountain
Water on trail
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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
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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.
 
Issaquah Alps
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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!
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
Blowdowns, Mudholes, Water on trail
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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
 
Eastern Washington -- Inland NW
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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.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Mudholes
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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!
 
North Cascades -- West Slope
Blowdowns, Mudholes, Water on trail
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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
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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
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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.
 
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Fall foliage
Water on trail
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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:)
 
Olympics -- East
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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.
 
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Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
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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.
 
Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
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First hike of the year 2014. The Oyster Dome located in the Chuckanut Mountain range is a great day...
First hike of the year 2014. The Oyster Dome located in the Chuckanut Mountain range is a great day hike. My hiking partner and I thought it would be a great and fairly empty hike but we were wrong. It was busy!!! Never the less we started off at a steady pace. The first mile is almost an 800ft elevation gain. The trail was wet but what do you expect in the PNW. The fog that encompassed the bay was prevalent in the lower elevation but as we kept climbing and reached the "rest area" we noticed we were above the clouds and could not wait to get to the top. Spots on the trail were a little bit slippery. Just needed to be careful and watch your footing. They did work on the trail and made part of a section safer by adding switchbacks and improved the trails quite a bit. Then we reached the infamous scramble a section of about .1 miles and a steep ascent about 500-700ft. Once at the top the view was breathtaking. This was a great hike to ring in the new year.
 
Issaquah Alps
Mud/Rockslide, Mudholes, Water on trail
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Short Highlights Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jPAhFlDDu8&feature=youtu.be GPS Map and ...
Short Highlights Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watc[…]FlDDu8&feature=youtu.be

GPS Map and Trail Stats: http://www.movescount.com/moves/move23420608

John MacDonald Tolt River County Park

Overcast but serenely beautiful day on the Tolt River Trails.

Features a walking suspension bridge over the Snoqualmie River, short flat loop riverside trails, and forested winding trails that climb to a scenic overlook of the Central Cascades and Mount Si.

From the parking area pass the river-side campground areas and cross the suspension bridge over the Snoqualmie river. Ascend straight up the road trail past the rustic cabin to climb the bluffs trail. A hard left turn on to east road bisects looping trails ideal for Mountain Biking or Trail Running. Continue past slash piles as the views open up at the end of the ridge to a bench over looking the Central Cascades with Mount Si. Descend back down to the flats where you can take a left onto the cotton wood loop trail. Experience lush vegetation and rolling trails that loop back down to the right through grassy fields and summertime campsites. Continue past the bridge along the Snoqualmie River for a dramatic view of the boat ramp at the second bridge. This area is popular with fishermen and water enthusiasts.

An additional loop can be added on the parking side of the river connecting the river rock riverside trail with perfectly manicured asphalt biking paths around ball fields, marsh and farm lands that connect back to the campground area and parking.
 
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Puget Sound and Islands
Mudholes, Water on trail
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Great hike to start the new year. We encountered mud and water over parts of the trail, but nothing ...
Great hike to start the new year. We encountered mud and water over parts of the trail, but nothing that prevented us from trekking onward. We hiked the Beaver Lake and the Temple Loop trails and loved every minute of it.
 
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North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Blowdowns, Snow on trail, Avalanche danger, Road to trailhead inaccessible
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Happy New Year....and what a way to kick off 2014! Now that I have claimed the brilliant idea of spe...
Happy New Year....and what a way to kick off 2014! Now that I have claimed the brilliant idea of spending this day here I must admit that several other hundred people had the same idea.

Our trip began outside the trailhead restrooms where a group of women were mortified at the report coming out of the restrooms that the ....gasp...toilet paper was gone. After sparing several squares from my personal roll we departed for the caves just in front of the large very happy restroom group who were surely now friends for life.

We heard some reports from returning hikers that snowshoes or other traction devices were helpful so we strapped on the shoes ( left the poles behind)and found they were indeed helpful navigating the icy trail.... For about 1/4 mile. From there they were off and on for the rest of the hike - great charging up the icy inclines, worthless on the bridges and steep icy downhills.

Since it was a holiday the trail was VERY crowded with large family groups and dogs both on and off leash. Normally this would have been expected but it was challenging today with everyone....dogs...kids...grandmas etc doing the icy trail slip and slide landing on their behinds, struggling to get up on ice (no easy feet:)etc. After slogging along through the trail chaos we arrived exhausted at the ice fields but the amazing scenery suddenly made it all worthwhile- spectacular! We heard and saw one small avalanche and had a very clear view of the main large cave and smaller side cave.

A short hike up and around the knoll on the right revealed two collapsed caves and a standing arch- also dazzling. We enjoyed a picnic lunch with hot soup and headed down late in the afternoon to miss the hoards of returning families. That plan worked well but the trails had really iced up by 5:00 and it even with the cumbersome snowshoes with good traction it was a wild slide back to the car.

Next time we will all definitely have StabilICERS traction devices and poles- that was clearly the right gear to have had for this hike in the winter.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
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We enjoyed this short hike very much with our 18 month old daughter in the child carrier backpack. C...
We enjoyed this short hike very much with our 18 month old daughter in the child carrier backpack. Conditions were great- chilly with a little sun peaking through the clouds. While our daughter was mostly in the backpack, the wide horse trail towards the bottom of the hill was a great place to let her out of the backpack to run around.
 
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Issaquah Alps -- Tiger Mountain
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Folks, be careful. My car was broken into. We parked outside the gate--that is, below the bus parkin...
Folks, be careful. My car was broken into. We parked outside the gate--that is, below the bus parking lot, with about 30-40 other cars. Came back from our hike and somebody had either picked the lock or slim jimmed in, no damage but they stole a lotta stuff.
 
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Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
Mudholes, Water on trail
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A quick trip to the first ledge. It was fairly quiet, not too many people today. Weather was pleasan...
A quick trip to the first ledge. It was fairly quiet, not too many people today. Weather was pleasant. Overcast, low 40's and foggy. The ledge wasn't too windy but it got cold quickly. Made our hot cocoa with my new backpacking stove and headed back down. No snow or ice but muddy in places.
 
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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.

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