Winter has come and we must hike.
Not fearing the snow that has already fallen, Loki and I decided to try for Mason Lake. The hike called for a strenuous uphill, 2500′ of elevation gain in just over 3 miles, while trudging through a few inches of accumulated snow. The weather channel was calling for only a 20% chance of precipitation so it was reasonably safe bet we’d get a more realistic 60-70% chance of snow during our hike. Washington weather…
Winner winner chicken dinner, as we crossed the mile marker snow began to fall, heavier and heavier and heavier. (more…)
On Saturday we ventured out into the cascades once again. This time we were in search of fall colors.
We missed the main show by about a week but the fall colors were still out in force. The hike starts deep in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and winds for roughly 2 miles up rough rooted, rocky and wet terrain. As elevation gain isn’t hugely significant for this trail (only 1000′) the hike itself is not too strenuous. (more…)
I’ve been so wrapped up with vacations and work that I forgot to post about our hike to Annette Lake with our friend Christy.
The hike starts in North Bend just off I-90 and winds up into the mountains for a little over 3.5 miles. The hike itself isn’t too different from most others but there are some really awesome log crossings and beautiful flowers along the way. By the time we reached the lake we couldn’t wait to take a dip. Loki & I ended up going for a swim while Christine & Christy relaxed in the shallows.
Also thanks to Christy for some photos of Christine & I! Finally some behind the scenes shots 🙂 (more…)
Last year we hiked to Bridal Veil Falls and skipped the extra two mile hike to Lake Serene.
It’s been on our minds ever since and finally we’ve made it back. The hike was a leg killer but the views at the top of the valley and of the lake are amazing. It’s a totally different world up there. The best part for me were the granite spires looming over the crystal clear waters and the pikas. The pika were everywhere up there. Christine relaxed in the sun and I sat in the rocks with the pika. Perfect day 🙂 (more…)
Some of you might have noticed the lack of a certain howling commando in our recent hiking photos.
Loki sustained a leg injury 2 months ago and it rendered him a stay at home pup. We got him x-rayed and tested but no break or tear was found. He just needed a lot time and rest.
We restricted him to super short potty breaks and very little horse play in the apartment (even though he really tried to get us to play).
So now that he’s had his rest, I’ve begun gradually building up his hiking muscles for the past couple weeks. And this past weekend, Christine and I agreed that we should start pushing him a bit farther.
We choose Discovery Park here in Seattle for it’s ease of access. If he needed a break or to be picked up, it wouldn’t be a strenuous ordeal getting him out and back to the car.
You can see he did really well and was happy to get on the trails once again! (more…)
For this past adventure, Christine led me to Mount Rainier National Park.
She had learned from a co-worker that now is the time to visit Berkeley Park for wildflowers. So that’s just what we did. Waking up at 5AM is a bit rough but we wanted to beat the crowds. And thankfully we did. Only a handful of cars were at the Visitor Center by the time we arrived. Even from the parking lot the park was showing its stuff.
The mountain itself is always impressive (even from our West Seattle apartment) but to see Rainier this close is really something special. As we followed the trail on our flower seeking trek the glacier capped peak loomed overhead. Shortly after starting the hike though, our attention was pulled away from the mountain and towards the ground.
As far as the eye can see at some points, flowers filled the ground all the way to the horizon.
We followed the trail down the valley for roughly 3.5 miles until we decided to head back. Dark clouds were starting to form around Rainier and we didn’t want to get stuck in any late afternoon showers.
This is an easy hike for flower seekers and the mountain views are an added bonus. (more…)
Christine and I decided to check out the mysteriously named Lake 22 this weekend.
The hike to the lake combines the best of mountain rainforests, old-growth, wetlands, and mountain views, yet it is readily accessible. Well sort of. The hike itself is generally pretty straightforward but incredibly rocky. Tricky footing and pointy rocks left our feet in need of a serious break by the time we reached our destination.
The views were stunning. Photos make this place look small but the lake is huge and deep with crystal clear waters. You can easily see to the bottom, some 20 feet down (probably more). And the lake itself is surrounded by a gentle path that takes you right up to the base of the surrounding mountains. We stopped a few times to rest our feet and also explore the snowy fields under the cliffs.
Not a bad place to explore for an afternoon if you ask me! (more…)
This place is amazing. We timed our visit out perfectly and got an awesome wildflower show.
On our visit yesterday we hiked out towards Harry’s Ridge, named for an old man who refused to leave his home when the volcano exploded 37 years ago. Christine and I made it just a little over 2 miles in before we turned back to catch the sunset at Loowit Viewpoint. (more…)
My first backpacking trip happened in one of my favorite parks. I had built up the Tetons in my mind for so many years and yet when I arrived, it still managed to surpass all of my dreams.
Our trip consisted of a simple out and back, overnight trip up Cascade Canyon to a campground about a mile down the South Fork of the Teton Crest Trail. The hike was easy going and the views were spectacular. Along the way we encountered quite a few moose and, what came as a big surprise for me, were the pika. I normally expect to see them at much higher elevation but they were everywhere!