2014. My hiking mileage was low (planning a wedding takes a lot of time!) but I still feel proud of each hike accomplished. We honeymooned in Kauai and saw the Napali Coast from the Kalalau Trail (breathtaking), we found golden larches at Lake Ingalls, backpacked for the first time at Eagle Creek and walked through a waterfall tunnel, snowshoed at Snow Lake and trekked to alpine lake after alpine lake. It was a good year. I also started an Instagram account for @hikethepnw, (follow along here) and am continually inspired by the hiking community there.
My goals for 2015 are simple. Keep hiking new trails. Get better at backpacking. Push my annual mileage. Explore a National Park outside of Washington (do you have a favorite rec? :).
So to start things off, I leave you with my first hike of the year: snowshoeing Skyline Lake. It’s a short but steep hike. Only a mile and half to the top, but don’t be fooled. The first mile is all climbing, switchback after switchback. Great way to kickstart your heart for the new year!
The lake is frozen and covered in snow. It’s hard to imagine a lake even resides under all the snow, it looks just like a big open field. We walked around the lake, testing our luck with the frozen surface. It seemed pretty solid, but WTA warns about hot springs below warming the ice’s surface. There was a group at the top making what smelled like delicious mac n cheese on their backpacking stove. Hot mac ‘n cheese > cold pb&j. Note to self: bring stove snowshoeing.
It’s important to note that near the top there’s a fork in the trail. Continue a couple hundred feet on the main path to the ridge lookout or veer left for a flat quarter mile to the frozen lake. We did both and I encourage you to do so as well. The views are very different!
As always, before snowshoeing be sure to check the weather and Avalanche Reports on the Northwest Avalanche Center website. As pretty as it is, if in doubt please don’t venture out. Snow is serious business!
Happy New Year folks! Hope 2015 surpasses all your hopes and dreams!
Lettering Medium: Pencil
Distance Roundtrip: 3 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 1100 ft.
Highest Elevation: 5100 ft.
Location: Central Cascades: Steven’s Pass