Monday, July 10, 2017

10 places you should hike that aren't Mount Si

If you were planning on hiking Mount Si (or Rattlesnake Ledge or Snow Lake) for the second or third or twenty-seventh time this weekend, you really shouldn't; instead, you should head to any of these 10 spots in the Washington State that see fewer hikers and are more interesting or have better views.

Looking for other hikes in the Pacific Northwest?

1. Railroad Grade

This is a hike about ice, up-close: the trail follows a moraine up to the toe of the massive Easton Glacier on Mount Baker. Hikers with route-finding skills and additional time can find even more spectacular glacier views by trekking over to a viewpoint over the tumbling Deming Glacier. Although over two hours from Seattle, the gravel road to this trailhead is pretty manageable, making it an excellent summer hike.

2. Goat Peak Lookout

Goat Peak sees only a moderate amount of traffic but delivers absolutely jaw-dropping views of the eastern North Cascades, including a front-row seat to the dramatic northeast face of Silver Star Mountain. The only drawback? The drive from Seattle is long- about four hours- and the last 12 miles are on an absurdly bad gravel road that will make you glad that your car can't hate you.

3. Mount Townsend

Mount Townsend defines the northeast corner of the Olympics and commands a view of both the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Puget Sound. Here's an awesome spot to look both deep into the rugged Olympics and out into the dreamy waterscape of the Salish Sea. The road to the trailhead is mostly paved with just some potholes and the ferry can shorten the drive, so this hike's not too bad to access.

4. Spray Park

Spray Park puts on perhaps the best wildflower show in the whole Pacific Northwest, so it's absolutely not to be missed when the paintbrush and avalanche lilies are blooming. Close-up views of the Willis Wall of Mount Rainier and the astounding cascade of Spray Falls are nice, too, I guess. The road to the Mowich Lake trailhead has recently been improved so go before the potholes return to the long gravel road approach!

5. Navaho Peak

When it's cloudy in Seattle, it's probably sunny in the Teanaway, making Navaho Peak a good getaway from overcast skies. From the peak, there are 360-degree views that encompass Mount Stuart, the Enchantments, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier.

6. Mount Margaret

Mount Margaret offers a walk through some of the most beautiful terrain in Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, with views of not just the recently-erupted volcano but also Mounts Hood, Jefferson, Adams, and Rainier and the eerie blue Spirit Lake. Hike this trail now to see the landscape as it recovers from the 1980 eruption. The trailhead is a long haul from Seattle but the road is paved all the way to the trailhead.

7. Sauk Mountain

Your reward for putting up with a bumpy, steep gravel road is a view of limitless North Cascades peaks- at the trailhead! Follow this trail through the hanging gardens of Sauk Mountain to the rocky summit for epic views of Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and the Pickets.

8. Silver Peak

If you don't want to drive too far and can't stand going to Si or Mailbox again, head a little further east on I-90 and summit Silver Peak for some of the best views of any hike along the Snoqualmie Pass corridor. The drive isn't too long but ends with a bumpy gravel road.

9. Monte Cristo Ghost Town

Here's a flat hike to a historic mining town with views of massive, snowy North Cascade peaks. A log crossing over the Sauk River makes this trail a little more interesting; otherwise, this is the easiest and most accessible hike on this list.

10. Lake Ann and Curtis Glacier

This hike off of the Mount Baker Highway leads to a glorious alpine lake and offers access to the brilliant blue ice of the Curtis Glacier in North Cascades National Park. Come in August for huckleberry-picking in the mountains. The paved road to the trailhead makes this a more manageable two and a half hour drive from Seattle.

Looking for other hikes in the Pacific Northwest?

No comments:

Post a Comment