Hiking & Biking in the PNW
Okey, fine, I’ll admit it. I’ve been a smidge MIA on the blog lately. But it’s for a good reason, I swear. We moved across the country, I got a new job, a new apartment, I’m adapting to a different routine … heck, life is flipped all upside down. It’s a big ole ball of new-unfamiliar-fresh-scary-challenging-weird-exciting all wrapped into one. It’s pretty dang awesome.
I thought it would be fun to share a few of our recent outdoor adventures. If you’re not aware, there are about a gazillion-and-one trails to hike [and bike!] all around Seattle. No joke. It’s a much different scene than our lovely lil Chicago concrete jungle. We’ve been taking advantage of the nice weekend weather to pack up the new ’baru [toot toot, beep beep] and venture out for a lil nature time. So far, we’ve hiked Rattlesnake Ledge and Wallace Falls State Park, and we’ve biked parts of the Sammamish Trail. We have many, many more trails on our list, so consider this just the beginning! Stay tuned.
Location: Snoqualmie Region -- North Bend Area
Length: 4 miles (roundtrip) / Elevation: 1160 ft.
Pros: This was a fairly mild-moderate hike which led to some amazing views. Holy smokes. Breathtaking. The ledge is pretty exposed at the top. It gave me the heebie-geebies just being up there. Lol. We took a picture anyways. daredevils. Gotta do it for the ‘gram, right ;)
Cons: Can you say crowded? Oh-mm-gee. The crowds at both the bottom and top of the mountain were slightly claustrophobic, but it thinned out throughout the middle of the trail as we found our hiking groove. We were also there on a gorgeous Saturday so maybe we were asking for punishment. Nonetheless, this was a fab hike and I’d 100% do it again, even with the crowd.
Wallace Falls State Park (Upper Falls Trail)
Location: Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
Length: 5.6 miles (roundtrip) / Elevation: 1300 ft.
Pros: Lush greens and waterfalls! I really enjoyed the scenery on this hike. It was far less crowded than Rattlesnake Ledge so it didn’t feel like we were bumping’ elbows and battling for room on the trail. It actually felt soothing to hike alongside the rushing sounds of the waterfall. It was a fairly easy trek to the lower falls and then got more difficult as we finished at the tippy-top near the upper falls. A lil huffin’, puffin’ … but nothing we couldn’t handle.
Cons: Parking was a B. Granted we arrived at about 11AM on a Saturday morning, so we expected it to be crowded. However, there was not ONE spot left in the tiny parking lot. With no overflow parking easily available nearby, we had to circle the parking lot for a bit before nabbing a spot from a hiker who was packing up. Not the end of the world, but still a slight inconvenience when you’re eager to get on the trail.
Location: Redmond to Kenmore in the east suburbs of Seattle
Length: 19 miles
Pros: Everything. I love biking, puhlease. I told K. the one thing I miss about Chicago is beep boppin’ along the Lakeshore Trail in the summer. It was truly my weekend jam. If the sun was shining, I was biking up and down that trail - tunes blasting - with my gal, White Lightning. Ah, the mems. Haha, and with all of that said, it felt so fun and fancy-free to be back on my bike, enjoying the nice weather and just cruisin!
Cons: I popped my bike tire! But, don’t worry, it’s already fixed. Lolz, nothing was wrong with the trail at all. Honestly we’ll probably go back in the near future to bike this again. It’s connected to a slew of trails in Seattle. We just need to do our homework and figure out the right connecting paths to take.
Sadly, looking back into my camera roll, I didn’t take ONE photo on this trip. Mostly because I was biking… no time for holding my phone to snap pics! I did, however, get a shot of our bikes crammed into the back of the car, and a geeky selfie of us with our helmets. #safetysquad.
And that concludes our first three PNW adventures. Like I said, many more to come. We’ve bookmarked a TON. My new coworkers have been so helpful in providing lots of recommendations + we’ve been using both Washington Trails Association and AllTrails to fuel our research efforts. If you live in the area and have a suggestion of a fab trail, let me know! I’m curating a long list and am always welcoming new ideas. Cheers!