Sunday, January 30, 2011

Western Washington hiking list ~ 2010

I decided to compile a list of hikes that I did last year. Not only the hikes that I did with my homeschooling friends, but also some that we did as a family. Here goes....

Little Cranberry Lake - Anacortes, WA ~ From what I can remember parking was limited. This was a great place to hike around and explore. There is an old mining (?) cave that you go into a ways - then it is blocked off. Lots of connecting trails to hike on. Great family hike!
This is the entrance to the cave

Cranberry Lake

Lord's Hill - Snohomish, WA  ~ One of the best hike's in Snohomish county if you don't want to drive forever to get there. Plenty of parking. Lots of different trails to check out. Several view spots. Some of the trails are used by mountain bikes and horses, so exercise caution.

Peek-a-boo view of boardwalk through bough of fallen tree.Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary - Paine Field, WA ~ A nice short nature walk very close to Boeing's Paine field.  Just short of 2 miles of trails with interpretive signs and a chance to see ducks, beavers and other wildlife, and nice spots to sit and enjoy your lunch! The parking lot can be crowded with Boeing employees who come to smoke because they are not allowed to smoke on Boeing property. Parking is available on the street as well, if the parking lot is full.

Ashland Lakes - on a FS road  just past the Verlot Ranger Station ~ This is a beautiful hike with lots of boardwalks. There are campsites by the lakes as well if you like backpacking.

Here is one of the boardwalks...with the kids trying not to fall in... :-)

One of the Ashland Lakes

Wallace Falls - Gold Bar, WA ~ This hike is that starts at Wallace Falls State Park. It has beautiful scenery throughout. There are two routes that you can take to reach the lower falls. A railroad grade trail or a more rugged trail along the river. From the lower falls you can choose whether to hike on to the middle and upper falls.
Lower Falls

Middle Falls

Middle Falls with very tired children

Upper Falls

Boardman Lake - Just past the Verlot Ranger Station on a FS road ~ This is a wonderful short hike that almost anyone could's only 2 miles round trip. A beautiful lake at the end, that can be good for a cooling swim if the weather is warm. Be warned that it can be very buggy though. There are campsites at the lake as well as a pit toilet. Lake Evan is about .1 miles into the hike and is beautiful as well!

Lake Evan

Lake Evan

Some beautiful lichen near Boardman Lake
Boardman Lake
North Fork Sauk - in between the Darrington and Verlot Ranger stations - quite a drive from Everett ~ This is a beautiful area! We didn't hike the whole trail, but went about 2 1/2 - 3 miles in. There is one stream / waterfall crossing that was kind of interesting (I loved it of course, and so did the kids!) There is a rocky ledge a couple of miles in where you are supposed to be able to see mountain goats occasionally, but we didn't see any on our hike.
The skunk cabbage was HUGE!

Here's the big stream crossing. The big decision was - to remove the shoes or not?
A wild violet of some sort...

Cool shelf fungus

Photo of  Feature Show Falls
by Dan Yates
Boulder River - between Arlington and Darrington off SR 530 ~ This is a fun hike with easy access to the river and a nice view of a couple of small waterfalls. We only hiked about 2 - 2 1/2 miles and turned around.

Lake Twenty-Two - Near the Verlot Ranger Station ~ We went on this hike on a VERY warm day! Everyone was hot, and cooled themselves in every little stream or damp area we passed! The lake itself has a really nice boardwalk that partially surrounds it and is nice for wading into and cooling off! We ate lunch on the boardwalk and the kids waded in the water. I made sure to soak my hat and my long sleeved shirt in the water before we left and it was dry by the time we got back to the parking lot!


Lake Twenty - Two

The kids playing in the water...they didn't like the squishy bottom
of the lake though!

Redmond Watershed Preserve - Redmond, WA ~ This is a nice trail system right in the midst of Redmond! It has a couple of short nature loop trails with interpretive signs and some longer trails. You could probably get between 2 and 3 miles of walking out of the trails if you hit them all. I really liked this article for advice on the different trails within the preserve.

Barclay Lake - Baring, WA ~ This is a pretty easy, not too long trail - a little over 4 miles with another gorgeous lake at the end. A great little beach on the lake for sitting and eating your lunch, as well as water for the kids to put their feet in if it's a warm day. Not to mention the gorgeous view across the lake.

Barclay Lake....the kids got more than their feet wet....this is
why I always pack a towel and change of clothes for my kids
when we hike! :-)

Getting wet...they don't look like they are enjoying it at all, do they?

The view across Barclay Lake

The perfect picture log...

Isn't this a great log?
Lime Kiln - Granite Falls, WA ~ This is a beautiful hike with a great little historical factor built in! The sign at the trailhead gives info about what the Lime Kiln is, when it was built, etc. You can see historical artifacts along the trail, as well as the old Lime Kiln. Also, there are great berries along the trail if you are there at the right part of the year! Don't forget that the artifacts are there for everyone to see and enjoy. So, please don't touch, move or remove any of them. Because this is a historical preserve it is against the law to do so.

Some delicious Salmon Berries! Best I've ever tasted (and
I am quite the berry sampler)!

Holding up a tree on the trail :)

Some of the artifacts along the trail.

All my boys in front of the kiln.

One of the old bricks that had fallen off the kiln.

Inside the lime kiln.

Southwest County Park - Edmonds, WA ~ This is another one of those in town nature walks that is nice because you don't  have to drive far! There are trails on BOTH sides of the road, so make sure to explore both sides! We found a great rope swing on the trail during our exploration! The kids had a blast! We also found a pair of mating slugs, so we got our science lesson in for the day!

Here are the mating slugs....sorry privacy.... :-)

Here is the great rope swing that we found!
Explorer Falls -  Lake Roesiger, WA ~ This is an interesting little hike that takes you on a walk up a graveled road for most of the hike, you cut off after about a mile and cross a creek to get to the falls. The day we went was drizzly. We ate lunch on the rocks between the creek and the falls. It was really pretty and nice to be able to get so close to the falls! The trail continues from right where you crossed over the creek and goes up farther and there is supposed to be a rough shelter that the boy scouts built somewhere up there. Due to the rain we didn't explore any farther up the trail....but will definitely be back to check it out at a later date!

Explorer Falls - Kids trying to get as close as they can...they were already soaked from the

Explorer Falls
Bridal Veil Falls - near Index, WA ~ These are beautiful falls! The hike is not too difficult and is a great family hike. Definitely keep an eye on your kids as there are some steep spots on the trail and you have very close access to the falls. Popular trail with lots of parking, you can continue farther along the trail to Lake Serene. The hike to Bridal Veil Falls is about 5 miles round trip and was enough of a hike for us the day we went!

Here is a nice viewpoint along the trail

Bridal Veil Falls - as you can see you are RIGHT
next to the falls!

Bridal Veil Falls

Along the trail....

Pyramid Lake - Near Diablo Dam ~ This was probably the most strenuous hike that we went on this year! 4.5 miles round trip and 1500 ft. elevation gain, but I really loved it! The journey itself was part of the reward....the hike is beautiful...the lake (sometimes referred to as Pyramid puddle, due to it's size) is gorgeous despite it's small size! My kids were tired and complained some a long the way, but it was well worth it! There were so many pretty plants to see a long the way!

Here is the trail head

This is how I did part of the first mile of the hike....with
a cranky, crying child on my back.

Pretty sure that this is Lilium Columbianum or Tiger Lily...

I think that this is Corallorhiza Mertensiana or
Western Coralroot which is in the orchid family.

This is was my most prized find, which I am pretty sure is
Monotropa Uniflora or Indian Pipe.

Pyramid Lake

Donovan on a log 

Pyramid Lake

View from the trail - I think this is Pyramid Peak...

The trail was steep and rough in places...

Forest Park - Everett, WA ~ This is great place to go for a nice nature hike/walk right in the city of Everett! Lots of great looping dirt trails to explore and check out the nature in your own backyard! Forest Park can be very busy in the summer months and I prefer to avoid it during these times and only go when the kids are in school and the weather isn't as warm!

Thunderknob Trail - Colonial Creek Campground - Ross Lake National Recreation Area ~ This is a hike with incredible views at the end of the hike! It isn't too long and has a few nice stopping points along the way to rest and have lunch. There is a pretty pond about half way up to the top and beautiful views of Diablo Lake and Dam at the end of the hike!

Beautiful view of Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake view

My husband taking his typical 10 minute nap on a bench
at the end of the hike!

Our favorite sitting tree...

Just like riding a horse....tree.... :-)

Heybrook Lookout - Near Index, WA ~ This is a hike that goes up to the Heybrook  fire lookout. It is fairly steep, but is not too I guess that makes up for the steep part... :-) The view is beautiful! The tower itself is enough to make your palms sweat if you don't like heights. I was a nervous wreck while we were up in the tower and was ready to get back on solid ground! It is the shortest hike to a fire lookout in the area though, so if you are itching to visit one, this is the one to do!

This was a great looking rock along the trail that had fern and
moss hair. Someone had drawn a face on it with a piece of bark
or soft rock.

Climbing the perfect sliding rock!

On your marks, get set, GO!

At the top of Heybrook Lookout

The view from the Heybrook Lookout fire tower.

Here is the view of the lookout as you approach on the trail.

At the base of the lookout with my boys and our
 sweet, tired, hot, old dog! Check out the red faces,
It was in the 90's that day and we were WARM!

Deception Falls - 10 mi. East of Skyomish ~ This is a short little nature's a great stop for stretching your legs and getting some fresh air if nothing else! 

The sign from the's easy to miss!

Nap time again! This time it's a log.... :-)

This was a really cool tree that Donovan found
that was hollow in side.

Here is how tall the tree was.

Here is the hollow part inside.

The kids had fun crossing the stream and
playing in the was really cold though!

The dog...getting a drink again.

The steps up to the kids can never utilize the proper
method for climbing stairs....

Deception Falls...

Jetty Island - Everett, WA ~ Jetty Island is one of Everett's gems! A great place to play and explore a sand beach, tide flats and much more! Several miles of walking paths....many with interpretive signs. Jetty Island is free to visit, but they do appreciate donations to help keep things operating! You take a short 5 minute ferry ride over. If you live within the city of Everett, or you want to bring a large group, you can call ahead to make ferry reservations. There are many days that the ferry's are booked plan accordingly! 

Enjoying the sand!

Getting off the ferry...

Iron Goat Trail - Highway 2 near the Summit ~ This is a great history lesson as well as a great hiking area! There are several access points/trailheads. So much to explore and highly recommended! Check the link out before you go to figure out which trailhead you want to start from. We started at the Wellington Trailhead when we went.

One of the old train tunnels...due to it's instability
and tendency to flood you can't enter it.

Our old dog getting a drink in the stream.

Having lunch...I must have brought something exciting by the
look on their faces.... :-)

One of the interpretive signs at the sight of the Wellington
avalanche disaster that tells the story.

Inside the snow shed that was built to protect the trains
from avalanches after the Wellington disaster. The trail goes
for a mile inside the snow was nice and cool on a
hot day!

Carkeek Park - North Seattle ~ This is another close to home park with great trails! 6 miles of looping trails and lots to see. Make sure to check out the great, old apple orchard too!

Map of all of the trails! You can find this map on the link above.

This is the orchard....

Image-DSCF0271.JPGSt. Edwards State Park - Kenmmore, WA ~ 7 miles of trails, some steep, some easy, with access to the lake. Very nice trails, lots to see and not too far to drive! You can play at the awesome park after you are done hiking if you have time!

Whitehorse Trail - Arlington, WA at Swede Heaven Rd. ~ You can 
access the trailhead for the 6 miles of trails that are currently open by turning North off of SR530 onto Swede Heaven Rd. The signed trailhead is about 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile down Swede Heaven Rd on the right hand side. Not a lot of parking at the trailhead, but you can park on the corner of SR 530 and Swede Heaven Rd. and walk on the road to the trailhead. This was a beautiful fall hike, lots of leaves! This is a rails to trail - trail so it is nice and flat. 

River Meadows - Arlington, WA ~ There are about 6 miles of hiking trails in this nice Snohomish county park. Nice dirt trails through the woods and along the river. After you enter the park, take your first left and continue down the road until you get to another parking area and park here. There is a signpost that has a map of the trails here and you can start hiking from the edge of the parking lot.

There was a big dirt mound near the parking lot that the kids
played on while they were waiting for us to finish getting
ready .

We at lunch on the river you can see it was a
beautiful day!

Well, this concludes our hikes for 2010! I was shocked that there was so many! 26 in all! Hope you enjoy looking them over and doing some of them yourselves! Can't wait to get more hiking done in 2011! 


  1. This is so awesome. I love all the pics. I've always wanted to go on the Iron Goat Trail. I love mixing the history in there. :)

  2. Fantastic resource. I'll be back for ideas!

  3. Thanks Kate and Lisa! I really like being able to share so that others can enjoy the hikes too...

  4. Hi there,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Index to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

  5. We have started Friday hikes with our kids. Thanks for compiling this list. I'm going to put a link to it on our blog.

  6. Thanks Elizabeth! I hope you enjoy the hiking. :-)