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Trip Report Roundup: Last and First Hikes of the Year

Posted by tiffanyc at Jan 09, 2023 02:00 AM |

There are many ways to celebrate the end and beginning of a year — and going for a hike is a fabulous option. Here are some of our favorite trip reports from hikers who shared their last hikes of 2022 and first hikes of 2023.

There are many ways to celebrate the end and beginning of a year — and going for a hike is a fabulous option. Some hikers ended the year on a high note by heading outside. Some started off the new year by hitting the trails. We’re still deep into winter, so be sure to file a trip report after your hike so other hikers know what to expect if they plan to head there, too. 

Here are some of our favorite trip reports from hikers who shared their last hikes of 2022 and first hikes of 2023. 

Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve — near spokane

A view of a snowy landscape at Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve. Photo by California Girl.
Check out the new trails at the nature preserve when you get the chance. Photo by California Girl. 

California Girl got some miles in at Waikiki Spring Nature Preserve near Spokane on New Year’s Eve, where the trail system recently got a huge rehaul. They hiked through plenty of snow and caught a glimpse of an eagle on their trip. 

Sand Lake Snowshoe — near packwood

A snowy landscape at Deer Lake on a Sand Lake snowshoe. Photo by slowdisco.
White Pass is an apt name for the area right now. Photo by slowdisco.

slowdisco took a snowshoe hike to Deer Lake at White Pass on the last day of 2022, where they got great views of snowfields and snow-covered evergreens. 

Gold Creek Pond Snowshoe — snoqualmie pass

Charcuterie spread, cookies, hot chocolate and more on a snowshoe trip at Gold Creek Pond. Photo by Hiker Mama.
Nothing raises spirits quite like treats and hot chocolate. Photo by Hiker Mama.

Hiker Mama and friends went to Gold Creek Pond in the late afternoon of New Year's Eve for a twilight snowshoe around the pond. Although the weather was rough, one friend boosted morale when they brought out a full charcuterie spread and hot chocolate during a break. 

Damon Point — ocean shores

Pacific ocean waves at Damon Point. Photo by Erin McQuin.
The Pacific Ocean "wave"-ing goodbye to 2022. Photo by Erin McQuin. 

Erin McQuin, WTA's Outdoor Leadership Training senior coordinator, went to the Damon Point beach to celebrate the last day of the year, spotting an eagle and some big waves.

Mazama Ridge Snowshoe — paradise at MOunt Rainier

Snowy landscape at midnight at Mazama Ridge. Photo by Sarah Yue.
Imagine this being the first thing you see in 2023. Photo by Sarah Yue. 

Sarah Yue took an epic overnight backpacking trip to Mazama Ridge on New Year's Eve. They crossed over into the new year at their snow camp on the ridge. They got clear skies that night and began 2023 stargazing from camp. 

Barnum Point — Camano island

Man with a bag of garbage he picked up on the beach. Barnum Point. Photo by TrailMomma.
Bonus points when you pack out trash you find on trail. Photo by TrailMomma.

TrailMomma took their family and friends — including two children and a puppy — on a fun New Year's Day of hiking and hanging out at the beach at Barnum Point. Their friend Erik went one step further and brought a bag to carry out garbage that the group found on the beach. Thanks for being great trail stewards, Erik and TrailMomma!

Capitol State Forest - Capitol Peak — near olympia

Viewpoint from Capitol Peak trail in the Capitol State Forest. Photo by Onward&Upward.
Cloudy views on New Year's Day. Photo by Onward&Upward.

Onward&Upward kicked off the new year with a cloudy hike through the extensive trail network at Capitol State Forest. They took the most direct route to the summit, using a map to avoid losing their way in the extensive trail network.

Discovery Park — seattle

A seal in the water in Discovery Park. Photo by wafflesnfalafel.
Is this a grumpy seal? Hiker wafflesnfalafel thought so.

On New Year’s Day, wafflesnfalafel rambled around Discovery Park, with a stop at the beach. They saw some very high tides, as well as some birds and a seal in the water.

Sharpe Park - Sares Head — near anacortes

A view of the water at Sares Head in Sharpe Park. Photo by Palü and Tuoi.
Gray clouds over the water. Photo by Palü and Tuoi.

For their first hike of 2023, Palü and Tuoi took a trip to Sharpe Park, where they were able to spend some time in the forest and also get great views of the water. 

Larrabee State Park - Chuckanut Ridge Trail — bellingham

A bench at a viewpoint on the Chuckanut Ridge Trail at Larrabee State Park. Photo by bentley-edelman.
A recently-made bench by WTA at a viewpoint on the trail. Photo by bentley-edelman.

bentley-edelman linked together several trails in the Bellingham area to start off the year. They even had lunch at a viewpoint where WTA worked (and built a bench!) last September along the Chuckanut Ridge Trail

Japanese Gulch — mukilteo

View of the Puget Sound at Japanese Gulch. Photo by kmeyer02.
Views of the Puget Sound through the trees. Photo by kmeyer02.

For their first hike of the year, kmeyer02 stayed close to home with their family on a muddy hike at Japanese Gulch. The winter took its toll on the trail, and they came across some washouts, but they still managed to get a good hike in. 

Thanks to everyone who wrote up a trip report on their end-of-year and start-of-year hikes.

As winter continues, check out our winter hiking resources to stay safe and have fun. And if you're looking for a lowland hike to try and avoid the snow, check out the “high point” filter in the left sidebar in our Hiking Guide to find some.