Monday, April 24, 2017

Big Creek Falls and Otter Falls Spring Hike

Went out to the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River area to hike to two waterfalls along the Taylor River: Big Creek Falls and Otter Falls. Due to a couple of washouts in the road before the trailhead, we parked about 0.5 mile away. Today's hike was 12.5 miles with about 600 ft of elevation gain.

This is a nice walk in the forest with several streams rushing down the hillside to Taylor River.

Some of the creeks had stones or logs to walk over while a couple had bridges.

 None of the fords seemed treacherous

About 5 miles along the trail we ran in to some snow on the trail. The snow was soft and traction was not needed.
 There are some lovely huge boulders along this trail.

 Big Creek Falls (238 ft) can be seen from the bridge on the trail.

 After viewing Big Creek Falls we returned about a 1/4 mile back along the trail for the stone arrow pointing to the boot track that leads up to Lipsy Lake and Otter Falls.
Otter Falls (1200ft)

 The view opposite Otter Falls.
 This little drop off one of the creeks caught my eye on the hike back.

We saw some skunk cabbage and trillium in bloom along the trail along with these fun fungi:

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mt Si Spring Hike

 Our second hike of the day in the North Bend area was Mt Si. An 8 mile round trip hike with 3,150 ft of elevation gain.
Most of the hike is in the forest, with a few wildflowers in bloom.

There are areas where the sun breaks through the tree cover. I like how this huckleberry bush was lit up.

Today was my third time up Mt Si, and the first time to see the views! Looking to the east and south.

 Concrete has been poured over some of the rocks to create steps continuing up Mt Si.

I love how these large boulders on Mt Si frame Mt Rainier to the south!

 Continuing up to the base of the Haystack.

View of North Bend below Mt Si to the west. In the far distance: Seattle, Bellevue and the Olympic Mountains

Some of the wildflowers and fungi on the trail today:

Rattlesnake Ledge Spring Hike

We went for two hikes today in North Bend. The first hike was to Rattlesnake Ledge, 4 miles round trip with 1,160 ft of elevation gain. We could look up to Rattlesnake Ledge from the parking area.

Most of the hike is in the woods. I love the large moss and fern covered boulders.

View from the ledge looking to the east and down at Rattlesnake Lake, Mt Washington across the lake.

To the north and east, looking across North Bend towards Mt Si, Mt Teneriffe and Mailbox Peak.

We saw a few wildflowers along the trail today:


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Frenchman Coulee Spring Hike

For our afternoon hike, we drove over to Frenchman Coulee across the Columbia River from Vantage. We hiked about 5 miles with 200+ ft of elevation gain.

 Most of the trail is a dirt road heading east up the coulee. The walls are ballast columns.

 The dirt road leads to a seasonal waterfall.

 The trail leads up to the base of the waterfall.

 We followed a path further up the coulee.
View looking back down the coulee.

There were far fewer wild flowers in bloom here than what we saw at Ginko Petrified Forest this morning. Here are some of the wildflowers we saw today:


Ginko Petrified Forest Boundary Trail

 Drove to the area around Vantage to get some sun and find wildflowers. In the morning we started at Ginko Petrified Forest to hike the Boundary Trail. We hiked 4.3 miles with 400 ft of elevation gain.

This is a great spring hike. It was fun walking up the hills and see the wildflowers in bloom.

View of the Columbia River to the south. Lots of balsamroot in bloom.

There were fields of these little pink flowers.

We saw some petrified wood.

View of the Columbia River to the northeast.

Some of the wildflowers we saw in bloom today: