- April 17, 2018
- Posted by: Taylor Shimizu
- Category: Blog, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle
I was at 32.5 miles after hike 5 – let’s see where I’m at after hikes 6 & 7 (Mount Si and Wallace Falls State Park)!
Hike 6: Mount Si (Snow and Ice are Never Nice)
Another hike around North Bend, but this time I decided to take my cousin, Drew, with me. We hadn’t seen each other in 4 months so we said, ‘let’s go hiking’. Boy, were we in for a treat!
The Mount Si trail is super easy to get to, but again GET THERE EARLY – THE PARKING LOT FILLS UP. You will also need a DISCOVER PASS, which you can get for $30 annually from just about any grocery store, online, or even day passes at certain hiking spots.
We began our climb around 10am in the morning and the first 2 miles were just fine – talking about what’s been going on over the last couple months: jobs, baseball season, etc. Then Drew and I encountered ice and snow – I forgot we were only into the first week of March. Well, we didn’t have spikes or poles, but we figured ‘why not’. So we trekked the last two miles uphill in the 3-6 inches of snow – it was grueling. We tried to ease the pain by counting down from 10 on the number of switchbacks and kept asking people as they were coming down how much farther. We finally could see just blue skies and sun and finally we were at the top.
It was blindingly bright, adjusting your eyes up there was a bit tricky, but it was beyond gorgeous with all the snow covered trees and hill tops around you and in the distance. After taking a million photos (because Drew couldn’t figure out how to open his eyes) we began the dangerous slide back down Mount Si. We learned very quickly you had to almost run down the mountain because stopping would make you slide more. So we hugged the inside lane and fell a couple times, but just skied our way down.
My advice: if you plan on hiking Mount Si anytime between November and April, buy and bring poles and/or spikes. You never know with snow and ice anymore – better to be safe. We made it through the 8 miles of snow, ice and switchbacks, managing to only fall once. Hike #6: 8 miles.
Hike 7: Wallace Falls State Park (Chasing Waterfalls and Lakes)
This time around we ventured all the way out towards Highway 2, right before Stevens Pass. This park is right before the Mountain Loop Highway – super easy to find. The parking lot does fill up quickly so get there early or just park on the side of the road and display your discover pass.
Once we got to the trail, the first thing we did was take a picture of the map – we wanted to do the 12 mile loop, but the trail was very well marked. You almost didn’t need a map.
The first couple miles is pretty flat, just following the raging river when you get to a fork in the road to follow it towards the falls or head towards the lake. We went for the falls first and made the climb to the 3 landing spots–lower, middle, and upper falls. All three had beautiful views of course; we were lucky we had such nice weather. We also came across many dogs, families, and friends hiking up the mountain – very kid/family friendly trail. Upon conquering the falls you have the choice to go back down the Woody Trail or continue the loop to Wallace Lake.
Most families who had ventured through took their families back down the trail, but anyone who wanted a bit more of a challenge went for the loop. Odd thing about following the loop trail is you find yourself exiting the park and seeing a ton of clear-cutting and logged trees for a couple miles, but then re-entering the forest of beauty in a couple miles.
The temperature drops quite a bit as you begin seeing snow on the ground and the lake a bit further. There are two beautiful lakes–Wallace and Jay and some secret benches you can find down by the water if you just move some branches. After taking in the serene views of the lake we headed back on the loop which again follows the river.
Overall this hike was not too many uphill battles, but more of taking in all the nature around you: waterfalls, bridges, and lakes. Hike #7: 12 miles
This is part 2 of a 5 part series on hikes in the Pacific Northwest. Read the entire series here.
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