Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Oyster Dome

 We drove up to Chuckanut Drive just south of Bellingham to hike up to Oyster Dome. We choose the Chuckanut Drive Trailhead for a slightly longer and steeper hike, than starting at Samish Overlook. This option is 6.5 miles round trip with 1,900 ft elevation gain. On the way back I hiked the 1/2 mile out with 130 ft of gain up to the Samish Overlook and back.
There is only a small area off of Chuckanut Drive to park across from the trailhead.
 This portion of the trail is part of the Pacific Northwest Trail which goes from Glacier National Park to the Pacific Ocean.
 The first 1.5 miles starts with some steep switchbacks before going along a nice flat traverse. Along the way is a bench with a partial overlook of Samish Bay.
About 1.5 miles, the trail from the Samish Overlook Trailhead joins this trail.
 The temperatures were in the lower 30'sF so we saw lots of ice. Covering plants,
 along the many streams,
 and icicles hanging off of boulders.

Most of the trail was dry.
 As the trail continued to climb, we saw lots of icicles on the boulders.


 About 3/4 mile before the end of the trail, we ran into snow and very icy trail. We were glad we had brought both microspikes and poles.
 View as we neared the top of Oyster Dome.
The fog was rolling in as we reached the top of Oyster Dome. Looking over Samish Bay.

 The icy trail seemed even more slippery as we made our way back down the trail.
 I stopped to enjoy the icicles along the many stream crossings we encountered.

More fog when I reached the side trip to Samish Overlook on the way down.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mazama Ridge, Sluiskin Falls and Mrytle Falls

 Beautiful bluebird day, so we headed up to Paradise at Mt Rainier to go snowshoeing. The snow was so well consolidated, we never donned our snowshoes, but hiked with microspikes the entire trip. Our overall hike today was about 4.75 miles with 1,400 ft overall gain.
From Paradise we followed the closed road over to 4th Crossing to go up to Mazama Ridge. Enjoyed the interesting textures in the snow today.
 Near the top of Mazama Ridge, the trees were covered in frost.

Clear views of the Tatoosh Range as we reached the top of Mazama Ridge.
View of Stevens Canyon to the east. Loved the patterns in the snow.

 Someone built an igloo and only partially dismantled it.

From Mazama Ridge, we headed part ways up the Paradise Glacier Trail. Pano view of Mt Rainier here.

 To the south, we could see the Goat Rocks, Mt Adams, Mt Hood and Mt St Helens behind the Tatoosh Range.

Heading back down to Mazama Ridge, view of the Paradise River coming down from the Paradise Glacier on Mt Rainier.

 The snow level is about 10 ft, it was low enough that I could see the Paradise River heading down toward Sluiskin Falls.

On our way down Mazama Ridge, we found a sturdy snow bridge crossing the Paradise River. From the other side of the Paradise River we headed back uphill about 0.2 miles and 300 ft to view Sluiskin Falls.
 Sluiskin Falls
 Our tracks up to Sluiskin Falls, we now headed back down and over to Paradise across the valley.
 0.25 miles from the Paradise Inn, is a spur trail overlooking Myrtle Falls and Mt Rainier.
 We decided to cross the snow covered bridge over Edith Creek.
 The snow covered bridge in front of Mt Rainier

View of Mt Rainier from the other side of Edith Creek.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Gold Creek Pond Winter Hike

 We headed out to Gold Creek Pond at Snoqualmie Pass for a short winter hike this afternoon. The road up to the parking lot is closed for the winter. The SnoPark area was very busy, so we had to park down the road a ways.
The snow was consolidated and very well packed down, so we did the hike with our boots, snowshoes were not needed.
The lake is mostly snow covered.
 There was some melted ice along the far shore of the lake.

 My granddaughter enjoyed being pulled in her little red sled for the entire trail. We were happy doing the walk from the parking area and around the lake today, about 2 miles.
 I enjoyed the views all around the lake.

Gold Creek

Friday, February 9, 2018

Reflection and Louise Lakes Winter Hike/Snowshoe

Headed up to Mt Rainier National Park to snowshoe from the Narada Falls parking area to Reflection and Louise Lakes.  The snow was so well consolidated, we did not use our snowshoes, but wore our microspikes for the icy snow. This was about 5 - 6 miles round trip with 850 ft overall elevation gain.

The trail starts along the Paradise River going up to the closed Stevens Canyon Road.

 Since the avalanche risk was low today, we opted to walk to Reflection Lakes via Inspiration Point along the Stevens Canyon Road.
 Looking down at Narada Falls and the parking area from near Inspiration Point
 We only saw a small portion of Mt Rainier peeking out on our hike today.
 Nice views of the Tatoosh Range in the morning.

Reflection Lakes

 We then continued down the Stevens Canyon Road towards Louise Lake

View looking down at Louise Lake, the road curves around to the right. We would drop down to the lakeshore on the far side.

 Waterfall below the bridge crossing

Foss Peak and the waterfall above the bridge crossing

Another waterfall along the way

 It was a bit of a drop down to the lakeshore, although there were no other tracks down to the lake, the snow here was also well consolidated.

Wide angle view of Louise Lake and some of the Tatoosh Peaks from our lunch spot.

It was snowing as we made our way back to the trailhead.