I didn’t start the year with a hiking goal, but I ended up doing a different hike for each week of the year with a few to spare. I will thank our incredibly mild winter of 2015 that allowed me to accomplish this. I hiked 32 of these for the first time this year, with a total distance of 535 miles.
Here are the hikes. First time hikes are marked with an *.
Lake Serene (Index) – New Year’s Day hike to an icy lake (that was probably melted out by February).
Annette Lake (Snoqualmie Pass) – One of my go to quick early season hikes became a quick REALLY early season hike on January 3.
Mt. Pilchuck (Mountain Loop Highway) – I watched lots of people slip and slide on this trail in the snow –traction devices advised.
Little Si (North Bend) – One of my go to winter hikes that gets much higher rotation during a normal winter.
Wallace Falls (Gold Bar) – My traditional New Year’s Day hike got bumped to Valentine’s Day this year.
Blanca Lake (Skykomish) – The lake just isn’t the same when you can’t see its otherworldly blue/green color, but it was fun in the snow.
Marmot Pass* (Olympics) – A rare opportunity to hike at 6,000 feet in February.
Park Butte (Mt. Baker) – I missed gorging on berries like I’m able to in the fall, but the winter views of Mt. Baker are tough to beat.
Goat Lake (Mountain Loop Highway) – One of my few negative hiking memories this year. A very cold and windy day got the best of me on this hike, knocking me out for the remainder of the weekend.
Fourth of July Creek to Icicle Ridge* (Leavenworth) – So. Many. Blowdowns. I ran into one of my other hiking junkie friends on the trail and I think this was one of her few negative hiking memories for the year.
Cedar Butte* (North Bend) – Less than a minute from Rattlesnake Ledge and less than 1% of the crowds.
Cow Heaven* (Marblemount) – Right by the ranger station, no people, lots of waterfalls, great name.
Camp 2 Lookout Mountain* (Bellingham) – Meh.
Mt. Ellinor* (Olympics) – The WTA trip description is very clear, but I was not prepared for how steep this is. And the false summit – ugh! Great views from the top and on the way up though. And goats.
Umtanum Creek Canyon & Ridge* (Yakima) – Next time I do this I will do the ridge first and then the canyon second because I always like to get the hard part out of the way first.
Navaho Peak* (Teanaway) – I found the first part of the hike long and tedious, but the views from the top were incredible.
Green Mountain* (Mountain Loop Highway) – So steep! The snow was pretty, but next time I’ll go when I can see the green mountain.
West Tiger 3 (Issaquah) – I never take pictures on this hike except when I see something like this.
Colchuck Lake & Lake Stuart (Leavenworth) – First time I’ve done both of these on the same day, which wasn’t good for my unique hike count!
Mt. Townsend* (Olympics) – Saw my first significant wildflowers of the season on this one at the end of May.
West Fork Foss River and Lakes (Skykomish) – One of my favorite hikes, even though I hit only four of the five lakes this time.
Melakwa Lake (Snoqualmie Pass) – I don’t normally hike with big groups of people or at night, and I did both here. It was fun until someone tripped in the dark.
Thorp Mountain & Lake* (Salmon La Sac) – This was back when Cle Elum Lake still had water. The side trip to Thorp Lake is a quick and worthy detour.
Forch-Kusnacht (Zurich) – Perfect Swiss waterfalls – no drop out of place.
Granite Mountain*(Snoqualmie Pass) – Why I decided to do this at 3pm on one of the hottest days of the year I will never know. People looked at me like I was crazy as I was heading up.
Spray Park* (Mt. Rainier) – So many flowers!
Spider Meadow & Phelps Basin* (Leavenworth) – This was a nice easy hike with a lot of marmots, but I will probably never do it again because the last road to the trailhead scared the crap out of me.
Summerland & Panhandle Gap* (Mt. Rainier) –I liked the Spray Park hike better, but this one would have bumped up a couple notches had I seen the resident goats.
Snow Lake (Snoqualmie Pass) – I did this after work on a cloudy day and it was STILL crowded.
Heather Lake (Mountain Loop Highway) – I’m not a fan of the wooded first half of this hike, but the lake makes up for it.
The Enchantments…half of it* (Leavenworth) – I didn’t have faith I would have the stamina to do the entire 18 miles or get a ride back to my car, so I went up Aasgard Pass (2,000 steep rocky feet in a mile for those not familiar), turned around at Perfection Lake and went back down Aasgard. My only 2016 hiking goal is to do the entire thru-hike.
The Incline* (Colorado Springs) – Because what else would I do after a margarita at happy hour three days after the Enchantments?
Sahale Arm (Marblemount) – Big views and big marmots, both of which are featured in the photo.
Talapus & Olallie Lakes* (Snoqualmie Pass) – Quiet and uncrowded after work hike.
Hyas, Tuck & Robin Lakes* (Salmon La Sac) – Much of this hike uses the term “trail” very loosely, but the payoff comes at the Robin Lakes.
Poo Poo Point (Issaquah) – Fortunately I haven’t been carried away by a paraglider…yet.
Lake Valhalla* (Stevens Pass) – A mountain lake with a sandy beach? Where have you been all my life?!
Spectacle Lake* (Salmon La Sac) – This is a looong day hike, but it’s not too steep and the lake lives up to its name. This was plan B after weather made the Enchantments an unappealing option.
Silver Peak* (Snoqualmie Pass) – A nice short hike on the PCT. Next time I will go on a clear day so I can see the views.
Paklencia National Park* (Croatia) – The best part about this hike was having a wonderful home cooked meal at the top.
Horseshoe Lake* (Leavenworth) – I found this elusive lake thanks to detailed WTA trip reports. Great during larch season.
Heather/Maple Pass Loop (North Cascades Highway) – Beautiful fall colors and larches until the whiteout descended. First snow hike of the fall.
Easy Pass* (North Cascades Highway) – What an awesome fall hike – fall colors, larches, and crazy mountain views. It is NOT easy however.
Lake Ingalls (Teanaway) – Larches – check. Mirror-flat lake – check. Goats – check. Most crowded hike I went on all year.
Third Burroughs* (Mt. Rainier) – Got to break trail on fresh snow as I walked toward Rainier. Also saw a creature I had never seen before.
Mailbox Peak* (North Bend) – A rite of passage for Seattle area hikers, but I prefer less punishment and more scenery.
Wallace Lake* (Gold Bar) – It was about this time I started focusing on getting 52 unique hikes, and this happy log was cheering me on.
Gem Lake* (Snoqualmie Pass) – A pretty little lake tucked away past one of the busiest lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Colchuck Lake in the winter (Leavenworth) – I’m not counting this as a unique hike since it was my third time hiking to it this year, but it’s such a different hike in the snow and ice I couldn’t resist sharing a few photos. Extra bonus – ample parking at the trailhead, which never happens.
Paradise snowshoe (Mt. Rainier) – Not my first time at Paradise, but my first time snowshoeing there, and it was beautiful.
Artist Point snowshoe (Mt. Baker) – Like Paradise, not my first trip, but my first time snowshoeing there. Gorgeous!
Barton Creek* (Austin, TX) – An extensive network of trails in Austin. I was pleasantly surprised by Texas hiking.
Teneriffe Falls* (North Bend) – This was a good hike in the snow that was accessible when the passes weren’t.
Rattlesnake Ledge (North Bend) – One of my go to hikes that I was shocked to realize I hadn’t done all year until the day after Christmas.
Oyster Dome (Bellingham) – Snow added a whole new element to this already solid hike.
Franklin Falls snowshoe* (Snoqualmie Pass) – FROZEN
On to 2016!