We had a really nice time near Steven's Pass, Washington this weekend (May 16-18). Our initial plan was a beach on an island somewhere..but that plan died a horrid death, so, we rented a little ski cabin for two nights instead.
The cabin owners were nice enough to provide a 55 Hikes near Steven's Pass book as well as a current trailhead parking pass..so, we had no excuse not to get out somewhere!
On Saturday, we got up early and hiked the Wallace Falls trail. We did like the book told us and took the Woody Trail up and the easy Railroad Grade trail back to the truck. I don't remember the stats exactly since we had to leave the book there..but I think it was about 6 miles and 1200ft elevation gain to the Upper Falls which was at about 1600ft.
This was a really nice trail through the woods..there was lots of water along the way for Clifford the Big Red Dog to drink and the forest was scenic..not boring. The trail resembled the Grouse Grind in spots (mostly near Upper Falls), so I did plenty of sweating and gasping for air. There were raging river viewpoints at the Lower, Middle and Upper Falls. The Middle viewpoint was the best because the water was tremendous and we also got a view of the valley below. When we got to the Upper Falls, we could have kept going for another 1 1/2 hrs to Wallace Lake, but my dogs were barking and we had a lot of downhill to do and my knees were chomping at the bit, so back down we went.
The start to Wallace Falls
Along the way
This looked like a bunch of boobs to me
North Fork of the Wallace River
This was the Lower Falls where there was a picnic shelter
The Middle Falls was so powerful that it sounded like a freight train before we got close (not to be confused w/the real trains going by down below!)..the ground was trembling and the spray was everywhere..for the most part it was hard to see anything but the mist.
View from Middle Falls
Upper Falls at Last
This was the continuation of the trail to Wallace Lake.
This bastard jumped out at me on the trail back. It was actually bluish in color. Cali took this one since I was standing as far away as possible and ready to run and save myself if it decided to chase me.
On Sunday, we got up early to do a quickie before we had to pack up and head home. This one was right off of Hwy 2 and was just 2 1/2 miles, so we hit the trail about 7:45am. The Heybrook Lookout trail (if I remember right) had 1000 ft of elevation gain and at the top it was about 1800ft..but then we had to climb the tower from HELL...so that added some elevation! I was a big pansy and so was the dog when it came to going up and down the stairs. I don't know why I get completely irrational with certain heights. The last time I remember being this chicken was on the Chief w/Sam a few years back. So..Cali thought it was pretty funny. When I got to the top, I took some pics and then promptly sat down behind the safety of the chicken wire (teehee..get it? Chicken wire...hah..sorry[:I]) that lined the rails while Cali had his snack.
On the way up
perfectly straight trees
I got dizzy just looking up at this thing
The Pansy-Eye view
The views of the surrounding peaks was really super. We could see Mt Index and Mt Baring and a few others that I've forgotten now. We could also see Bridal Veil Falls and another waterfall that I can't remember. The peaks are very jagged. Beauty!
Mt Baring (I think)
Happy to be on the ground again
So..apparently my skill with the camera will never improve
. You'll have to trust me when I say the hills were gorgeous and this area is worth exploring if any of you ever head down that way.
One other cool thing that we saw was just outside the town of Index, the road was washed out. So we splashed around there for awhile.
Index was really set in a beautiful spot
view from a main street
This area is chock full of mountains, rivers and lakes just waiting to be explored by....ME!