All in Hiking

Camping at Saltwater State Park

Saltwater State Park is a park that is easy to access. Close to city and highway, it is an oasis in the midst of urbanity. Trails wind through lush patches of forest, creeks, streams, beachfront, views of the Olympic Mountains, interpretive paths, and camping is just a handful of the possibilities here. As an adult, the noise of air and ground traffic can be a significant annoyance, but as a child....... As a child, you are surrounded by wonder and adventure. 

The Golden Hour at the Pacific Northwest's Magnificent Cape Flattery

A short hike through the woods of the Makah Reservation brought us to one of the furthest reaching points in the country. Cape Flattery Trail consists of boardwalks, educational signage, and short spur trails leading to cliff views. At the end of the trail, we were greeted with an observation deck which provided spectacular scenes of the Pacific Ocean, Tatoosh Island and its lighthouse, and the rocky shores directly below. Though the drive is long for most, Cape Flattery is a beautiful Pacific Northwest gem that everyone should visit at least once.

Hiking Bullitt Gorge Trail in Squak Mountain State Park

This 1,545-acre state park provides 13 miles of hiking trails and 6 miles of equestrian trails. All sides of the park contain winding trails which eventually meet up with others and lead to the 2,000' summit. The Bullitt family donated 590-acres of land to the state, with other parcels acquired over the years, and the park was opened in 1972. The old Bullitt fireplace near the top of the mountain is a popular destination and is all that remains of the old homestead.

A Short Hike Through Schafer State Park

Those who settled this land were John and Anna Schafer in 1872. Their sons created the Schafer Bros. Logging Company, which was once the largest in the Pacific Northwest. In 1924 the sons donated this site, which was home to Schafer family picnics, to the state of Washington. They continued to use the park for their company picnics up until the 1940s. In 2010, due to the amount of historic structures inside the park, it was added to the Washington Heritage Register and National Register of Historic Places.

Melmont Ghost Town

Happy Halloween! It's the time of year when our imaginations lean toward the eerie and mysterious. A perfect time for us to share one of our trip reports of a ghost town, Melmont Ghost Town. Uninhabited and reasonably easy to get to, it's worthy of your chill seeking!

Hiking Suntop Lookout Trail

Ten miles north of Mt. Rainier, located in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Suntop Lookout sits at an elevation of 5,270' and overlooks the valleys of the White River and Huckleberry Creek. On a clear day, the views go on for miles, reaching all the way to the Olympic Mountains to the west and Mt. Baker to the north. Originally built in 1933 to watch for forest fires, the lookout is now open to the public. Hiking to the peak can either be challenging if you opt for the 16 mile route or easy if you choose the 0.5 mile option. Still not easy enough? You can also drive all the way to the top.

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to Sheep Lake

This easy hike along the Pacific Crest Trail leads to the beautiful Sheep Lake. It's a pretty short trek, just under an hour for us even though we stopped for lots of photos along the way. It's easy to see why the area is so popular. The water is clear and looks inviting; the peaks, meadows, and tress make for a beautiful backdrop; and the peacefulness throughout the area makes it hard to leave. With this being an easy to reach trailhead, as well as an easy hike, everyone should make it out here at least once. The rewards for the lack of difficulty are hard to find elsewhere.

A Foggy Hike to Glacier View

To the west of Mt. Rainier lies Glacier View, a 5,450' peak which normally provides wonderful views of some of Rainier's magnificent glaciers. During our hike the weather was cloudy with fog, which prevented us from seeing much of anything in the distance. Upon reaching our destination, however, we were more than satisfied. It appeared as though we were on a ship, sailing through a sky of mist.

Hiking to Lake Christine in Glacier View Wilderness

When is summer going to arrive in the Pacific Northwest? That's a question we keep asking ourselves. Earlier this week we were once again met with rain, clouds, and chilly temperatures during our hike. We were hoping for views of Mt. Rainier's glaciers but the majority of our journey through Glacier View Wilderness left us with seeing no more than the tops of nearby trees. This certainly didn't stop us, and shouldn't stop you, from trekking to the beautiful Lake Christine.

A Star-Spangled Hike to Summit Lake

In the Clearwater Wilderness, at 5,400 feet high, lies a pristine, calm, and dark blue alpine lake. Reaching this magical area in the early summer months will have you hiking your way through forest, switchbacks, and trail junctions, as well as passing other lakes, fields of avalanche and glacier lilies, and if you're lucky, wildlife. During our visit we were accompanied by clouds hanging right around the treeline. However, we've seen photos of a nearly-cloudless day there and the views are amazing. Nevertheless, our trip was a great one and the clouds that day simply give us another excuse to revisit soon.

Exploring Ape Cave

A 13,042' long lava tube lies beneath the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, south of Mt. Saint Helens. It was created by a rare eruption that sent fluid basaltic lava flowing down the southern flank of the volcano for months, if not a year. The top of this lava flow hardened, forming the ground today that rests atop the cave, while the lava was free to remain flowing under it. This is the third longest lava tube in North America, and the longest in the country, which was created during an eruption roughly 2,000 years ago.

Hiking High Rock Lookout in the Pacific Northwest

High Rock is a 5,685' prominent peak located on Sawtooth Ridge which provides beautiful, unobstructed, 360 degree views as far as the eye can see. Located on the rock is an old fire lookout, one of only three remaining in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which was built in 1929. The north face of the rock has a 600' sheer drop, without any protection from falling. Explore this area, but do so carefully.

Hiking in Cama Beach Historical State Park

Native Americans fished and hunted for centuries in the Cama Beach area before logging took over in the mid-1800s. After that, cottages and fishing resorts were built and Muriel and Lee Risk operated one such resort between 1934 and 1989. Around 1990 Washington State Parks began to acquire land through family donations and purchased other parts of it. Today the park offers visitors a restful and relaxing getaway. It also includes learning the history and culture of native people from the area. There's a Center for Wooden Boats where you may learn about boat building. The park includes numerous cabins for overnight stays along the waterfront with a park store nearby that offers groceries, snacks, supplies, and much more.

Hiking Rock Candy Mountain

The third-highest peak in Capitol State Forest is known as Rock Candy Mountain. One could easily assume that the mountain is very rocky from the name, but that was not the case for most of our hike. Hiking to the 2,356' summit had us stepping over streams, wandering under a thick forest, and crossing a few logging roads. The views on a clear day are spectacular and allowed us to see as far away as Mt. Saint Helens.

Exploring Bay View & Deception Pass State Parks

This past week we headed north again. We've seen many people share photos of Deception Pass and we also noticed the signs for it on the drive to Oyster Dome from the previous week. We decided it was time to check it out. We wanted to stay the night but we felt that it was still a bit cold for a tent so we started looking for cabins. The only available cabin at Deception Pass State Park was out on Ben Ure Island and required a kayak or canoe to reach it, which we don't have. So we looked around nearby and found one available at Bay View State Park.

Hiking Oyster Dome

Overlooking the San Juan Islands, with views all the way to the Olympics, Oyster Dome provides an opportunity for some gorgeous scenery. The location is in the second-growth Blanchard Forest, on Chuckanut Mountain. This area was extensively logged in the mid-1800s until the land was deeded to the state in 1925. Today, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources provides diverse recreation opportunities here and in the surrounding areas.

Lake Lenore Caves

Created by the Missoula Floods during the last Ice Age some 15,000 and 13,000 years ago, this area is a geologists best friend. Ridges, plateaus, rivers, lakes, coulees, and caves are some of the sites to be seen and explored here. 5,000 years ago Native Americans used this area to collect plants, fish, and hunt. The caves were used as a temporary shelter by them. Today it’s used for explorers and hikers like us.