Hiking in the pacific NorthWest

More like Pacific Northbest, amiright?

DSC_1320.JPG

I am Washington born and bred (more specifically, I was born at the University of Washington Medical Center, grew up in Federal Way, attended high school in Tacoma, and made it back to Seattle for college!), which means that I've spent the lat 20 years with the familiar view of Mount Rainier in sight at all times - and I wouldn't have it any other way! My family loves to hike (we've been doing it every summer for years), and I wanted to have a place where I could save the details of all these hikes in case I ever want to revisit them - so that's the purpose of this page!  Whether you're looking for a short morning hike or something more involved, I hope these locations can serve as some inspiration for you!

Van Trump Park | Mount Rainier National Park

Anybody who loves chasing waterfalls and doesn't mind rocky terrain needs to make a beeline straight for this park! This was my last hike of Summer 2017 :(( but it's OK because it was absolutely beautiful, and the wispy clouds were a welcome break from the heat and a reminder of fall being right around the corner! The hike was a 6.5 mile loop and although steep at times, it was pretty manageable all the way up.

 

 


  We followed the signs to Grand Park, which was 6.5 miles away from our starting point!

We followed the signs to Grand Park, which was 6.5 miles away from our starting point!

Grand Park via sunrise | Mount Rainier National Park

This hike was the longest hike I did this entire summer - 14 miles to be exact! It was certainly fun and well-worth it, but I highly recommend packing a lot of water and snacks if you want to make it all the way to the field, which is probably even more beautiful when all the wildflowers are in bloom! I highly recommend this hike if you want to see a bunch of waterfalls on the way to the final view!

IMG_2133.JPG
IMG_2138.JPG
  This hike was the queen of waterfalls

This hike was the queen of waterfalls

  The Grand Park view!

The Grand Park view!

IMG_2253.JPG
IMG_2247.JPG
IMG_2237.JPG

  View at the halfway point of the Skyline Trail

View at the halfway point of the Skyline Trail

Skyline Trail | Mount Rainier National Park

Honestly, the entire route of this hike is incredibly breathtaking, especially because it was a clear day and there were pretty wildflowers lining most of the hike. It was 6 mile roundtrip, but most sections of it weren't too strenuous - I'd recommend this to anyone!

  The hike starts at the  Jackson Visitor Center!

The hike starts at the  Jackson Visitor Center!

  This is probably my favorite view of Mount Rainier that I've seen all summer, mostly because of those wildflower blooms <3

This is probably my favorite view of Mount Rainier that I've seen all summer, mostly because of those wildflower blooms <3

IMG_1640.JPG
IMG_1646.JPG
IMG_1661.JPG
IMG_1689.JPG
IMG_1885.JPG
IMG_1857.JPG
IMG_1757.JPG
IMG_1685.JPG
IMG_1897.JPG
  Reflections Lake | Mount Rainier National Park   - Area: Paradise  - Pass: National Park pass required  - Difficulty level: Moderate

Reflections Lake | Mount Rainier National Park

- Area: Paradise

- Pass: National Park pass required

- Difficulty level: Moderate

The best part about this hike was all the wildflowers in bloom! We started seeing flowers from the minute we set foot on the Reflections Lake trail, and they peppered the path all the way to Reflections Lake and throughout the Paradise Loop. The hike was only a 6 mile loop roundtrip with moderate difficulty, so I highly recommend checking it out!

Seriously though, this hike is a A+ if you're looking for beautiful views of wildflowers! As the Visit Rainier page states, there are "plenty of magenta paintbrush mixed in with yellow arnica and lupine in addition to Western pasqueflower in different stages of its life cycle" - even when I was trudging up steep hills in the August sun, the sight of bright orange and pink and purple made me smile and keep pushing forward.

  Edith Creek |&nbsp;Mount Rainier National Park

Edith Creek | Mount Rainier National Park

  The entire path was lined with wildflowers!

The entire path was lined with wildflowers!

IMG_1128.JPG
IMG_1133.JPG
  Some colorful blooms!

Some colorful blooms!

  God bless clear signage

God bless clear signage

  The view of Reflections Lake! We had a delicious lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches, granola bars, and other Traders Joes snacks (I highly recommend the dried mandarins and salmon jerky - and after a hike like this, you've definitely earned it!)

The view of Reflections Lake! We had a delicious lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches, granola bars, and other Traders Joes snacks (I highly recommend the dried mandarins and salmon jerky - and after a hike like this, you've definitely earned it!)

  Being where my feet are | We found a beautiful creek on the way back - In this moment, I was listening to a podcast from Invisibilia about the way that we get into our routines, and the way value of reintroducing novelty into our lives.

Being where my feet are | We found a beautiful creek on the way back - In this moment, I was listening to a podcast from Invisibilia about the way that we get into our routines, and the way value of reintroducing novelty into our lives.

  Love me some fun colors

Love me some fun colors

IMG_1138.JPG

 - Area: Mount Rainier National Park  - Length: 6 miles roundtrip  - Pass: Northwest Forest Pass required

- Area: Mount Rainier National Park

- Length: 6 miles roundtrip

- Pass: Northwest Forest Pass required

This hike was 7 miles roundtrip, and we got to the lake after a 2 mile trek, which wasn't too bad! If you keep following the path, you pass over Sourdough Gap, which is a beautiful view of Mount Rainier. We did some wildflowers along the way (my favorite part), and it was a pretty manageable difficulty for my dad, aunt and me.

 

  Sheep Lake | It only took about an hour of hiking to get here!&nbsp;

Sheep Lake | It only took about an hour of hiking to get here! 

 Summers in Washington are unbeatable – and so are these colors!

Summers in Washington are unbeatable – and so are these colors!

  Views on the way down from Sourdough Gap!

Views on the way down from Sourdough Gap!

  Blooms!&nbsp;

Blooms! 

 
DSC_1344.JPG

Honestly, I did this hike during Summer 2016 so the details of this hike are a little bit fuzzy - still, I often look back at these pictures and think, "how lucky am I that a place this beautiful is right in my backyard!" This pike was the first time that I ever saw wildflowers, and  I remember gasping every time I saw more.

  Fryingpan Creek

Fryingpan Creek

DSC_1420.JPG
DSC_1520.JPG
DSC_1516.JPG
DSC_1539.JPG
DSC_1529.JPG
  This view was the highlight of my summer

This view was the highlight of my summer

DSC_1664.JPG
 Just beyond the riverbed (and the wildflowers) was this -&nbsp;&nbsp;a rocky moraine that's a passage into a different world:&nbsp;"A world of boulders and gravel, of rushing melt water streams, and shallow tarns that may be ice-covered, or may sport snow bergs, well into the summer" - Washington Trail Association

Just beyond the riverbed (and the wildflowers) was this -  a rocky moraine that's a passage into a different world: "A world of boulders and gravel, of rushing melt water streams, and shallow tarns that may be ice-covered, or may sport snow bergs, well into the summer" - Washington Trail Association

Other places | Articles | Resume | About