Snow Lake

Snow Lake-8.jpg

For a friend's birthday she got a group of us to hike to hike her favorite hike. Snow Lake. 

I was originally going to do Snow Lake Saturday and then Diablo Lake Sunday, but luckily for my knees and feet, Diablo Lake fell through.

Snow Lake wasn't as hard of a hike as I'd been anticipating. It was incredibly rocky, and there were a few places where you had to scramble up boulders, but overall it wasn't too bad. We went one of the days when the wildfire smoke had drifted a bit West, but besides a lingering haze and the smell, it wasn't too bad. 

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You gain about 1400 feet on the hike and then lose 400 to go into the lake basin. So not all of your gain is at once. We hiked partially around the lake to a very exposed overlook where it was pretty cold with the windchill. I ended up breaking out my wool hat, gloves, and Buff that I keep on me in case a hike goes awry and I end up staying out overnight. They helped me stay warmish during lunch. But I'll definitely be buying warmer gloves soon. 

It's a pretty fantastic lake, I can't imagine how beautiful it is without the haze. It's very popular though, so be warned that you'll be sharing it with lots of other people. The parking lot for the hike is huge. We showed up around 8 a.m. on a Saturday and there was plenty of parking, but by the time we returned, it was pretty full.

As beautiful as this was, my favorite is still Lake Serene

What's your favorite alpine lake hike?

Lower Lena Lake

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I'd been wanting to hike to Lena Lake for around a year. We were going to hike to Upper Lena Lake last inter, but it was inaccessible with snow, and then the WTA had trip reports of a bridge out for Lower Lena Lake. It turned out that you didn't have to cross that bridge to get to Lower Lena Lake, so once I figured that out, I planned a hike. 

It was one of the easiest hikes I've done. The switchbacks were so enjoyable. According to the WTA you gain 1,300 feet over a roundtrip of 7.2 miles. My only regret is that I didn't go in the late spring when the water level was higher. But oh well, there's always next spring!

In case you aren't able to tell by now, I like hiking to lakes. This wasn't the prettiest, but it was the easiest! When we started out at 8 a.m. we were the only day hikers. More came along later, but the trailhead had been full when we got there from either backpackers who started out earlier than we did, or the day before.

I'd definitely recommend this hike. I'll be sure to do it again when it's wetter out.

Any easy hikes you'd recommend?

Barclay Lake

This post is late, we hiked this on July 4th, but hey, life gets busy.

Barclay Lake had been on my hiking list and it was pretty close to where we were staying for the fourth, so we woke up early the morning of to set off to do it.

The glimpses of the mountains around us as we hiked were beautiful. A freezing river runs next to part of the trail and I was able to wade partly across to a small island. 

We didn't spend much time at the lake, one of my friends had to get back to study for a test, but the lake was beautiful. 

Where have you hiked to lately?

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Annette Lake Hike

I have a list of hikes I'd like to do, and when the opportunity to hike Annette Lake came up, I jumped at it. We started out around 7:45, there was still room in the parking lot on a Saturday, but not a ton! So be there early if you're wanting to find a space near the trailhead.

I hiked a short .75 mile nature loop while I waited for my friends. When they arrived, we started on the actual trail.

I was more out of shape than I thought I was but the lake was so beautiful. I wish I'd brought a book; I could have sat there all day. Lake Serene may have been a touch more magical, (it may have also been the company) but Annette Lake was fantastic.

Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake
Northwest Pearls: Annette Lake

I'm so lucky to live in such a beautiful area. What are some hikes you love to do?

Staircase Rapids Hike

Someone recommended that I go and hike Staircase Rapids in the Olympic National Forest. The hike is out by Lake Cushman, at the very end of the lake and a little more. Northwest Pearls: Lake Cushman

We got a late start to the day and got lunch in Hoodsport at a little diner called The Tides. Then we continued on our way and got to the hike. We bought a day pass for the hike, one of these days I might buy an annual pass but as much as I'd like to use it, I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the expense.

So we parked and started on our hike. We started by going over the bridge first. It was pretty and the color of the water was spectacular. Once we were over the bridge we got to the trail where we were warned about a recent cougar sighting.

The hike isn't very strenuous although we did break a sweat. However, most of that is probably due to the fact that we went when it was around 90 degrees out. We took a detour down a path that led to an ancient fallen tree, 14 feet in diameter. It was around 800 years old when it fell.

Northwest Pearls: Ancient Fallen Tree

The river runs along most of this part of the loop so you can view it fairly often.

Northwest Pearls: North Fork Skokomish River

Northwest Pearls: North Fork Skokomish River


There is a bridge connecting to the other side of the river and you can feel it move beneath your feet. It reminded me of a bridge over in Spokane. (I don't remember the name of that hike.)

Northwest Pearls: North Fork Skokomish River Bridge

Once we were across the bridge we went right right away and down a little path. This was not the actual path and we turned around after a bit. The path we were supposed to take is straight out from the bridge and eventually we came to a 'T' where we turned right to go back to where we started. This path was a lot better maintained and about four feet wider.

Once we reached our car, we drove off and stopped at a few places to take some more pictures of Lake Cushman.

Northwest Pearls: Lake Cushman

It was a nice hike, and if you're looking for something that's pretty but not too long, it's a good one.

Have you been out to Staircase Rapids? Are there any other hikes in the PNW that you'd recommend?

Celebrating the Fourth of July

Northwest Pearls: Fireworks Northwest Pearls: A Fourth at the Lake

For the 4th of July this year I went to a lake near the Cascade Mountains with my best friends. We hung out, ate, played cards, swam, watched the fireworks, and slept in tents. It was exhausting, but so much fun.

Here's the sleeping bag I used. I bought it last summer and have really liked it. I got hot using it this last weekend, it was a little warm for it, but I unzipped it a bit and cooled down enough to fall back asleep.

I downloaded a camera app where I could control the shutter speed called Camera FV-5 Lite. Slowing down the shutter speed allowed me to take some better fireworks photos.

Northwest Pearls: Fireworks

Northwest Pearls: Fireworks

Northwest Pearls: Fireworks

And of course, we had to try using sparklers to write with. Sadly I forgot the 60 or so sparklers I had at home, so we only had ten to go around, but it was fun nonetheless.

Northwest Pearls: Sparkler Heart

How was your fourth of July if you celebrated it?