In 2016 I had the luxury of having four months off during the summer and fall. In 2017 I had to fit my hiking in mostly on weekends, so I was happy to be able to get in 74 unique hikes and 35 new hikes (vs. 84 and 52 last year). I covered 685 miles and climbed 179,000 feet. I also got some more use out of the backpacking gear I bought last year, bringing the amortized cost per night down from that of an oceanfront luxury resort to a Marriott in the suburbs.
Here are the hikes, with new hikes marked with an *. All hikes are in Washington unless otherwise noted.
Lake Serene – I was the first one to hit a freshly snow-covered trail on a clear and cold New Year’s morning.
Kendall Peak Lakes – Another snow-covered hike on a clear and cold morning, and the only hike I’ve ever brought my laptop to (because I was “on call” at work).
Oyster Dome – That sunset though…
Teanaway Butte* – I want to come back and do this on a clear day because I think the views would be incredible.
Mazama Ridge – An awesome place to snowshoe in the winter and then come back and see the wildflowers in August.
Silver Falls (OR)* – Oregon really knows how to do waterfalls.
Panorama Point – So many views of snow-covered volcanoes.
Fragrance Lake/South Lost Lake* – Sometimes a hike is just “meh” – these holes in the rock were the best part.
Gold Creek Pond – Took a friend to try out her new snowshoes.
Hex Mountain – So much mud at the bottom, but the top makes up for it.
Cable Line – Great if you like steep and muddy climbs.
Wallace Falls – This is a go to rainy weather hike for me. Hard to believe I only did it once this year.
Yakima Skyline* – First of several spring treks to the east side of the mountains for some snow and rain free hiking.
Cowiche Canyon – This has a side trail that ends at a winery. Enough said.
Artist Point – Took a day off work to enjoy this one without the crowds.
Ancient Lakes* – First night amortizing the backpacking gear in 2017!
Mt. Washington* – Nice alternative to Mt. Si.
Snow Mountain Ranch* – More Eastern Washington early wildflower chasing.
Mailbox Peak Old Trail* – Did this on Easter so had mimosas at the top.
Poo Poo Point – Left work early to take advantage of one of the first warm days of the year.
Mt. Si – I can’t remember why Plan A fell through, but when it did I ended up here for the first time in around 10 years.
Falls Creek Falls Loop* – One of my faves to hit up when I’m visiting the Gorge.
Coyote Wall Labyrinth Loop* – Exploring the Gorge, one hike at a time.
Tom McCall Point (OR)* – This was my third hike of the day, and when I was done I realized I had covered 21 miles. Good thing I stopped for a cider tasting in Hood River between hikes 2 and 3.
Rowena Plateau (OR), Dalles Mountain Ranch and Horsethief Butte – I’m not going to give myself credit for a new or unique hike since only hiked for about 45 minutes combined for all of these, but I wanted to share these pictures.
Marmot Pass – First hike of the year where it was downright hot – Olympics on Memorial Day weekend.
Navaho Peak – This hike the next day was also hot – shorts and gaiters is such a good look.
Chelan Lakeshore Trail* – Take a ferry and walk the gangplank onto a deserted beach, then walk 17 miles to Stehekin and take the ferry back to civilization. There’s a beach full of butterflies along the way.
Bodega Head (CA)* – Nice oceanside stroll.
Bald Mountain (CA)* – Not really a mountain, but it was pretty bald.
Iron Bear – This is a good one to bridge the spring and summer wildflower seasons.
Lake 22 – Did this on a very rainy June day, and this was the only photo I took.
Bandera Mountain – This one is all about the beargrass…for three weeks a year.
Earl Peak & Bean Creek Basin – I love this one for the views, wildflowers and random lady bugs at the 7,000 ft summit.
Goat Lake – You know you’re a spoiled hiker when you aren’t totally satisfied with this view because the lake isn’t flat like a mirror.
Harry’s Ridge & Coldwater Peak* – I did not intend to go 14 miles on a very hot day with not a lot of water, but with the incredible views, I really couldn’t stop myself. Definitely a new favorite.
Eightmile Lake & Lake Caroline* – The least celebrated of the Enchantments. Better than I thought, especially when I saw a chipmunk eating a mushroom like an ice cream cone.
West Fork Foss River Lakes – Five alpine lakes in 7.5 miles (each way) makes this one of my favorites.
Granite Mountain – I’ve always wanted to do this during beargrass season, and this year I finally did.
Bare Mountain* – You exit in North Bend and then drive forever to the middle of nowhere. If you want to avoid crowds, this is the place for you.
Spray Falls & Spray Park – The flowers were great as usual, but the true revelation was the wood-fired pizza at Carlson Block on the way out.
Spectacle Lake – It’s a long day hike, but the lake truly is a spectacle.
Snow Lake – Did this as an after work hike and got tons of observations for the pika study I was doing, including a couple that ran across the trail right in front of me.
Royal Basin* – It takes a ferry ride, a long drive and a long hike to get here, but the destination is really worth it.
Seven Lakes Basin* – There is so much to love about this hike, and at 22 miles, it really deserves more than a day. Next time…
Mount Storm King* – Aborted this hike before the top because of fog…but it also had sharp drop-offs that make me think I won’t be attempting this one again.
Skyline Loop – Lots of fauna and flora on this smoky summer day.
Bench & Snow Lakes –Ditch the crowds at Reflection Lake and hike to see the reflection in Bench Lake.
Berkeley Park* & Second Burroughs – Berkeley Park is much less crowded than other areas near Sunrise, plus there may be wrestling marmots in the rocks as you head in.
Naches Peak Loop* – Nice short scenic hike. Beautiful flowers and I’ll bet the fall colors are amazing too.
Slide Lake (OR)* – This is in the middle of nowhere Eastern Oregon and was my home base for the eclipse. The pikas there have a different squeak from the pikas here.
Strawberry Lake (OR)* – This lake is easier to access than Slide Lake so it was full of eclipse campers, including a guy who had wheeled a roller bag suitcase full of water 1-1/2 miles up the dusty and rocky trail to the lake.
Maxwell Lake (OR)* – This was my consolidation prize after cancelling a three day backpacking trip to the Wallowas due to lightning storms and smoke. There’s always next year.
The Enchantments – Had to get my goat and pristine alpine lakes fix in.
Sahale Arm – This is one of my favorite hikes, but this was the first time I didn’t see the Sahale bear.
Lake Ann – Another night of backpacking. Not a bad view from my tent.
Chain Lakes Loop – Nice hike out of Artist Point near Mt. Baker.
Gothic Basin & Foggy Lake* – Last time I didn’t find the lake; glad I did this time.
Sky Pond Loop (CO)* – I froze on the way up because it was 30 degrees to start and I only brought shorts, but it was so worth it.
Chataqua Loop (CO) – Nice series of trails in Boulder.
Church Mountain* – Was glad to finally knock this one off the list, especially with the fall colors.
Twisp Pass* – A very long drive for more fall colors and a stare down with a bear.
Libby Lake* – This one is known for its larches.
Carne Mountain* – This had the greatest density of larches I’ve ever seen. It also has one of the worst forest roads I’ve ever driven.
Lake Ingalls – I lucked out finding the perfect window with needles still on the larches, snow on the ground and the trailhead still accessible. First time not seeing goats though.
Melakwa Lake – First time I’ve done this one in the snow. It was fun to compare the picture I took this time with one from the same spot a few summers ago.
Ebey’s Landing* – This little one and I both startled each other.
Deception Pass Headlands* – Second Black Friday/Opt Outside hike for the day – needed to work off the Thanksgiving dinner somehow.
Rattlesnake Ledge – It’s been awhile since I’ve done this, so I was impressed with the new permanent bathroom structure and armada of porta potties.
Heather Lake – I like doing this one in the snow.
Four Dances Trail (MT)* – Killing time in Billings, Part 1.
Phipps Park (MT)* – Killing time in Billings, Part 2. This had a crazy Frisbee golf course built up and down a mountain.
Little Si – I used to do this one at least a half dozen times a year, so it’s hard to believe I made it to mid-December before doing it this year.
Teneriffe Falls – This one has grown on me.
Franklin Falls – I like it on ice.
Until next year!