Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Washington Hikes: Part I

Snow Lake
It is probably one of the best hikes I have done so far. Snow Lake is in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and is drop-dead gorgeous. Cliffs rise to Chair Peak on one side of the lake. The other side is forested where the terrain drops abruptly to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River valley. It is a photographer’s dream.
Distance: around 4 miles one-way
Beginning Elevation : 3100 feet
Ending Elevation: 4100 feet
Difficulty level: Difficult

Lake Ozzete trail
This is a fascinating, picturesque walk. One of my favorite trails. It's a long trip from Seattle, about 120 miles plus a ferry ride, all of which can take 5 hours or more. Trail starts in a forest and ends at coast 9 mile loop, insignificant elevation change.

Boulder River Trail
This is an awesome trail. At 1.2 miles there are a series of cascades and waterfalls seen across Boulder River on the opposite bank. Just the drive to Darrington, Arlington is superb.
Getting There:
From Darrington, Take Hwy. #530 west for 8.2 miles to mile post #41. Turn left onto #2010. At 0.9 mile the road passes the campground. At the fork, continue on the road to the right for 2.8 miles. Where the road switchbacks sharply up the hill, the trailhead road continues straight ahead. This road is not passable for vehicles, so park at road beginning off Road #2010.
Elevation: 1400 feet, length: 4 miles

Mount Little Si

Elevation: Gain of 1,200 feet
Length: 4.4 miles out and back - about 2.5 hours with limited stops
Be prepared to arrive very early on weekends to avoid the crowds.
Getting There - Take I-90 East to Exit 32 (436th Street) and turn left. Upon reaching North Bend Way, turn left -- then right on Mount Si road. After about a mile, the main trailhead is located on the left.
This site is also famous for rock climbing.

Wallace Falls:
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass – East

Lower Wallace Falls is at 1.8 miles on the hiking trail and has a picnic shelter. Middle Falls is at 2.1 miles, and Upper at 2.75 miles.
Elevation gain: 1,200 feet.

Chirico trail
Described as "moderate," this hike was actually quite difficult for me. But somehow, I found it in me to keep on going to the top. If you go on a clear day then you can get an awesome view of Puget Sound – from the Poo Poo Point. This area is also famous for paragliding.
Getting There:
From Seattle, east on I-90 to exit 17, Front Street. Turn right off the freeway and travel 2.8 miles to the gravel parking area on the left. The trailhead is across the field.

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