- May 7, 2019
- Posted by: Taylor Shimizu
- Category: Blog, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle
Last year I set a very lofty goal of 25 hikes and 100 miles in 365 days. Somehow I pushed myself through 26 hikes and over 175 miles. It’s that time again for another journey in our beautiful backyard we call the Pacific Northwest.
This year the goal is 20 hikes and 100 miles! And… they have to be different than my hikes from last year (or I, at least, have to try for different trails).
Hike #1: (First hike of the year!) Barclay Lake
Even though January was a bit cold, I started the year off with a great starter hike near Steven’s Pass. The trailhead gets pretty busy and many cars end up parking further along down the road. If you start off at the trailhead, it’s a pretty easy 5 mile hike. There’s not too much of an elevation gain – lots of trees, scenery to look at, and a really pretty bridge. Since it was still pretty cold (only 30 degrees) the bridge was a bit slippery but other than that, it was a nice easy trail to navigate.
We made it to the lake pretty quickly and it was gorgeous. Great views of Baring Mountain! Northwest Forest Pass Required.
Hike #2: Mount Washington
This 11.5 mile hike is pretty strenuous, especially because of all the snow! You’ll definitely need hiking poles AND microspikes if you do this hike during the winter months. The hike is super easy to find: right off I-90, exit 38, Ollalie State Park. To get to the Mt Washington trail, follow up the path from the trailhead and stay on the logged road for a bit and then there’s a small trail that leads to the left–it’s a bit hard to see but once you get there, the real journey begins.
The trail climbs at quite the upward angle for a while; hiking poles are advised regardless of season. As you switch back through old forest growth, caves, and creeks, you’ll get glimpses of sweeping views. You’ll soon be above the clouds as your elevation climbs.
The snow was heavy so microspikes were perfect; made trekking through the snow so much easier. Bring lots of water on this hike. It’s strenuous, but worth the views of Mt Rainier! Discover Pass Required.
Hike #3: Iron Goat Trail
I couldn’t hike for all of February – mostly due to Snowpocalypse – so some friends and I made it a point to get outside on first sunny weekend in March! The problem was, there was still a lot of snow on the ground so the Iron Goat trailhead and parking lot were closed off. We still made it up the trails, but needed microspikes.
My friends and I parked across the street in a nearby turnaround and trekked over to the trailhead. The trail was packed with a good 6 – 12 inches of snow with lots of giant icicles. We ventured through the snow along the old railroad tracks, instead of going up to the very top of the mountain; decided to stop at the entrance to the train tunnel and turned back around. We were able to get a good three miles in through the snow! Discover Pass Required.
Hike #4: Heybrook Bridge
A nice, quick and easy hike right off the of HWY 2 in Index! Take the exit to Index and follow the road until you see the trailhead parking lot, after going under the bridge. For this trail you DO NOT need a Discover Pass or Northwest Forest Pass! The trail is easy to follow as you go up the switchbacks – with mile markers to show how you’re pacing. At the halfway point you’ll come across a small waterfall and a sitting bench. As you continue climbing you’ll see a clearing and then you’re at the top!
It was a bit cloudy up there, but it made for perfect hiking weather. We brought along a couple dogs on the trail. If you plan on doing the same, make sure you mind dog etiquette: pick up your dog’s poop, keep them on leash, and ask if your dog can say “hi” to another dog.
Overall, a great four mile starter hike to get back in the groove of things.
Until next time! More hikes on my bucket list: Gothic Basin, Mt Pilchuck, and Tolmie Peak!
Any more I should add?