Meandering the Trails at Warren G. Magnuson Park

I spent a pleasant afternoon this past Sunday wandering the trails at Magnuson Park. I’ve been to the park before and was already familiar with individual areas such as the dog park and kite hill, but this time I focused on exploring the entire park’s trails. I parked at the E1 parking lot in the Southeast corner of the park with the intention of walking along the Beachwalk Trail, and instead found myself exploring the wooded trails of Promontory Point.

When the Going Gets Steep: Scrambling Up Little Bandera Mountain

While researching new trails that are within reasonable driving distance, I came across Bandera Mountain. I remember seeing the peak on a map when I previously hiked in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and I was curious to check it out. I briefly skimmed through the description on the Washington Trails Association‘s website and noted that the last section gets a bit steep. The total distance and elevation gain of the hike overall didn’t seem that bad though. How hard could it be?

Exploring the Wild and Beautiful Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River: The Pratt River Connector Trail

On Saturday, Daniel and I decided to explore the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River area. We were looking for a relatively easy trail near Seattle and I wanted to go someplace new. The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road is newly paved and winds through pristine forests along the banks of the Snoqualmie River. We passed many small turnouts and trailheads along the way that were virtually empty. I guess everyone else was too busy hiking Mailbox Peak.

Washington’s Beautiful but Deadly Official Waterfall: The Palouse Falls

On our way home from visiting family in Eastern Washington this past weekend, Daniel and I decided to visit Palouse Falls. Designated as Washington state’s official waterfall in 2014, the 198-foot waterfall is a stunning surprise amid the Palouse region’s arid rolling hills. When I mentioned our plans to my aunt, she grew concerned and warned us to stay away from the cliff’s edge. I thought she was being overly cautious until I did some research and found out that four people have died at Palouse Falls in the last two years, and 17 people have had to be rescued via helicopter.

Kamiak Butte: Forested Oasis amid Palouse’s Rolling Hills

I grew up hearing stories about Kamiak Butte. With an elevation of 3641 feet, it’s a forested island that towers above the rolling hills of wheat, alfalfa and barley so typical of the Palouse region. My parents are originally from the town of Palouse and have fond memories of hiking Kamiak Butte years ago. It’s one of the few options for hiking available in a region primarily dominated by rolling agricultural fields.

Sunset in the Desert: Backpacking Ancient Lakes

Over Memorial Day weekend, I headed east of the mountains with my sweetie, Daniel. We planned to visit my aunt and stopped off at the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area for a quick overnight backpacking trip. I was already familiar with the area as I had recently day-hiked an 11-mile loop starting from the upper Ancient Lakes Trailhead. This time, we chose a shorter route starting from the lower Ancient Lakes & Dusty Lakes Trailhead.