The Hike-a-thon is here!

On Wednesday, I celebrated the launch of Washington Trails Associations’s hike-a-thon by bringing a friend to my favorite trail. Meghan hasn’t been to the Redmond Watershed Preserve before and it was fun to share the trail with a someone new. I’m excited to participate in the hike-a-thon again this year, this time as a part of The Amazing Shaw Family team. We are raising money for the Washington Trails Association – a fabulous organization that promotes and preserves local area trails and our public lands.

Alpine Sunset: Backpacking Mt. Baker’s Chain Lakes Loop

I sat with my back against a rock, watching the mountains reflected in the lake below. As the sun slowly dipped over the horizon and twilight descended around me, I sighed with happiness. This is what I have been missing since I left the PCT last fall. I started my adventure earlier that morning, scrambling to readjust as my original hiking plans for the weekend fell through…

The Trail Not Taken: Misadventures on the Smithbrook Trail to Lake Janus

We found ourselves with some unexpected free time this past weekend and so Daniel and I decided to take a last minute backpacking trip. The night beforehand , I spent hours pouring over maps agonizing over what route to take. I was hoping for a trail near an alpine lake or with alpine views (or both!) – but with a relatively easy level of difficulty. Daniel is slowly recovering from a torn meniscus in his right knee and I’m worried he may re-injure it if we push too hard.

Hello Friend! The World’s Quickest Visit to Mount Rainier National Park

On sunny days, Mount Rainier majestically dominates the skyline as I commute to work each day. The mountain feels like a dear friend after I hiked the Wonderland Trail in 2016. I briefly visited the northwest corner of Mt. Rainier National Park this past spring when I hiked the Carbon River Trail, but it was too cloudy to see the mountain that day. Next time, I vowed, would be different. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to return ever since.

Homecoming: Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Windy Pass to Mirror Lake

Last year I called the Pacific Crest Trail home for six glorious months. I’ve wanted to return to the trail many times since then but, alas, circumstances have prevented it. This past weekend I finally got my chance. On Saturday I planned a trip to Mirror Lake along the PCT starting from the Windy Pass Trailhead, which is a relatively easy 6-mile jaunt roundtrip with only 1000 feet of elevation gain. I first hiked this trail 3 years ago when I was only dreaming of hiking the PCT. It seemed like a fitting way to make my homecoming.

Exploring Nature with Fresh Eyes: A Hike to Talapus Lake with my Three-Year-Old Nephew

This weekend, I hiked to Talapus Lake with my 3-year-old nephew Ben, my brother Jonathan and my sister-in-law Sarabeth. Talapus is one of many stunning lakes that gives the Alpine Lakes Wilderness its name. The lake is accessible by a short and gently-sloped path – which makes it a very popular trail for hikers of all ages and abilities. The trail became increasingly crowded the longer we stayed but I found it to be more manageable than some of the other more popular Seattle-area trails.

Getting our Rock On! Adventures on Granite Mountain

Granite Mountain has been on my bucket list for a long time. Located just west of Snoqualmie Pass, the mountain is famed for amazing 360-degree views of Mt. Rainier to the south and Mt. Baker to the north. It’s also one of the few hikes in the area to feature a lookout tower at the summit. The Granite Mountain trail is off-limits most of the year due to extreme avalanche danger. Now that summer has arrived, the snow has finally melted out – except for the last mile or so which crosses a snowfield.