52 Hike Challenge

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).

2015-12 01 Lake Serene 01-15 028

Annette Lake (Snoqualmie Pass) – One of my go to quick early season hikes became a quick REALLY early season hike on January 3.

2015-12 02 Annette Lake 01-15 025

Mt. Pilchuck (Mountain Loop Highway) – I watched lots of people slip and slide on this trail in the snow –traction devices advised.

2015-12 03 Pilchuck

Little Si (North Bend) – One of my go to winter hikes that gets much higher rotation during a normal winter.

2015-12 04 Little Si 02-15 02

Wallace Falls (Gold Bar) – My traditional New Year’s Day hike got bumped to Valentine’s Day this year.

2015-12 05 Wallace Falls 02-15 02

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.

2015-12 06 Blanca Lake 02-15 007

Marmot Pass* (Olympics) – A rare opportunity to hike at 6,000 feet in February.

2015-12 07 Marmot Pass 02-15 083

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.

2015-12 08 Park Butte 03-15 043

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.

2015-12 09 Goat Lake 03-15 007

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.

2015-12 10 Icicle Ridge 03-15 019

Cedar Butte* (North Bend) – Less than a minute from Rattlesnake Ledge and less than 1% of the crowds.

2015-12 11 Cedar Butte 03-15 03

Cow Heaven* (Marblemount) – Right by the ranger station, no people, lots of waterfalls, great name.

2015-12 12 Cow Heaven 04-15 040

Camp 2 Lookout Mountain* (Bellingham) – Meh.

2015-12 13 Camp 2 Lookout Mtn

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.

2015-12 14 Mt. Ellinor 04-15 022

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.

2015-12 15 Umtanum Canyon 04-15 006 2015-12 16 Umtanum Ridge 04-15 050

Navaho Peak* (Teanaway) – I found the first part of the hike long and tedious, but the views from the top were incredible.

2015-12 17 Navaho Peak 05-15 16

Green Mountain* (Mountain Loop Highway) – So steep! The snow was pretty, but next time I’ll go when I can see the green mountain.

2015-12 18 Green Mountain 05-15 097

West Tiger 3 (Issaquah) – I never take pictures on this hike except when I see something like this.

2015-12 19 West Tiger 3 05-15 02

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!

2015-12 20 Colchuck Lake 05-15 051 2015-12 21 Stuart Lake 05-15 028

Mt. Townsend* (Olympics) – Saw my first significant wildflowers of the season on this one at the end of May.

2015-12 22 Mount Townsend 05-15 021

West Fork Foss River and Lakes (Skykomish) – One of my favorite hikes, even though I hit only four of the five lakes this time.

2015-12 23 West Fork Foss 06-15 032 2015-12 24 West Fork Foss 06-15 040

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.

2015-12 25 Melakwa Lake 06-15 01

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.

2015-12 27 Thorp Mountain 06-15 120 2015-12 26 Thorp Lake 06-15 013

Forch-Kusnacht (Zurich) – Perfect Swiss waterfalls – no drop out of place.

2015-12 28 Zurich

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.

2015-12 29 Granite Mountain 06-15 12

Spray Park* (Mt. Rainier) – So many flowers!

2015-12 30 Spray Park 06-15 034

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.

2015-12 31 Spider Meadow 07-15 085 2015-12 32 Phelps Basin 07-15 063

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.

2015-12 33 Panhandle Gap 07-15 108

Snow Lake (Snoqualmie Pass) – I did this after work on a cloudy day and it was STILL crowded.

2015-12 34 Snow Lake 07-15 08

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.

2015-12 35 Heather Lake 7-15 02

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.

2015-12 36 Enchantments 08-15 068 2015-12 37 Enchantments 08-15 061 2015-12 38 Enchantments 08-15 134 2015-12 39 Enchantments 08-15 171

The Incline* (Colorado Springs) – Because what else would I do after a margarita at happy hour three days after the Enchantments?

2015-12 40 Incline 08-15 01

Sahale Arm (Marblemount) – Big views and big marmots, both of which are featured in the photo.

2015-12 41 Sahale Arm 08-15 061

Talapus & Olallie Lakes* (Snoqualmie Pass) – Quiet and uncrowded after work hike.

2015-12 42 Talapus & Olallie 08-15 05

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.

2015-12 43 Hyas Lake 08-15 005 2015-12 45 Robin Lakes 08-15 062

Poo Poo Point (Issaquah) – Fortunately I haven’t been carried away by a paraglider…yet.

2015-12 46 Poo Poo Point 08-15 02

Lake Valhalla* (Stevens Pass) – A mountain lake with a sandy beach? Where have you been all my life?!

2015-12 47 Valhalla

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.

2015-12 48 Spectacle Lake 09-03 055

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.

2015-12 49 Silver Peak 09-15 006

Paklencia National Park* (Croatia) – The best part about this hike was having a wonderful home cooked meal at the top.

2015-12 50 Croatia 150

Horseshoe Lake* (Leavenworth) – I found this elusive lake thanks to detailed WTA trip reports. Great during larch season.

2015-12 51 Horseshoe Lake 09-15 098

Heather/Maple Pass Loop (North Cascades Highway) – Beautiful fall colors and larches until the whiteout descended. First snow hike of the fall.

2015-12 52 Maple Pass 09-15 009

Easy Pass* (North Cascades Highway) – What an awesome fall hike – fall colors, larches, and crazy mountain views. It is NOT easy however.

2015-12 53 Easy Pass 2015-12 54 Easy Pass 09-15 194

Lake Ingalls (Teanaway) – Larches – check. Mirror-flat lake – check. Goats – check. Most crowded hike I went on all year.

2015-12 55 Lake Ingalls 206 2015-12 56 Lake Ingalls 209 2015-12 57 Lake Ingalls 092

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.

2015-12 58 Burroughs Mountain 10-15 114 2015-12 59 Burroughs Mountain 10-15 017

Mailbox Peak* (North Bend) – A rite of passage for Seattle area hikers, but I prefer less punishment and more scenery.

2015-12 60 Mailbox

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.

2015-12 61 Wallace Lake 11-15 02

Gem Lake* (Snoqualmie Pass) – A pretty little lake tucked away past one of the busiest lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

2015-12 62 Gem Lake 11-15 048

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.

2015-12 63 Colchuck 11-15 026 2015-12 64 Colchuck 11-15 031 2015-12 65 Colchuck 11-15 061

Paradise snowshoe (Mt. Rainier) – Not my first time at Paradise, but my first time snowshoeing there, and it was beautiful.

2015-12 66 Rainier Shoeshoe 11-15 095

Artist Point snowshoe (Mt. Baker) – Like Paradise, not my first trip, but my first time snowshoeing there. Gorgeous!

2015-12 67 Artist Point 11-15 048

Barton Creek* (Austin, TX) – An extensive network of trails in Austin. I was pleasantly surprised by Texas hiking.

2015-12 68 Barton Creek 33

Teneriffe Falls* (North Bend) – This was a good hike in the snow that was accessible when the passes weren’t.

2015-12 69 Teneriffe Falls 12-15 08

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.

2015-12 70 Rattlesnake 12-15 04

Oyster Dome (Bellingham) – Snow added a whole new element to this already solid hike.

2015-12 71 Oyster Dome 12-15 09

Franklin Falls snowshoe* (Snoqualmie Pass) – FROZEN

2015-12 72 Franklin Falls 12-15 15

On to 2016!













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