I love hiking long trails. What I don’t love about long-distance hiking, however, is being away from my family for extended periods of time. Luckily for me, there are lots of shorter “long trails” in my area to explore. The Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT) is one of those trails. Traversing the entire length of the Tiger Mountain State Forest, the TMT is rugged and wild and attracts a fraction of the crowds that flock to more popular trails with big views.
During our recent heat wave, I decided to hit the trails early for another midweek hike. This time I headed to Cougar Mountain – it’s an area I’ve visited previously but not for several years. As a part of the Issaquah Alps mountain range, Cougar Mountain is the easiest to access as it’s the closest mountain to Seattle.
I recently flew to San Francisco with my family for a quick weekend getaway. In between touristy shenanigans, I snuck in an early morning hike of The Presidio along the San Francisco Bay. With over 24 miles of trails, the Presidio is a former U.S. military fort that was added to the U.S. Register of National Historic Places in 1966. The park is conveniently located only minutes from downtown – I called a Lyft and arrived 20 minutes later.
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.
Last Wednesday dawned bright and sunny and so I decided to check out another new trail before work. This time I chose to explore Squak Mountain. Located between Cougar and Tiger Mountains, Squak Mountain is easily accessible from the I-90 corridor and only a 40-minute drive from my house.
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?
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.