Other Tangents

Summer Hikes by Ryan

Work/life balance is really important to us here at Board & Vellum! So, Ryan is here to tell you a little about some of the hikes he's gone on lately, working his way up to a 100 mile goal for the summer.

August 19, 2014

Warning: this blog post has absolutely nothing to do with architecture or design. Please read at your own risk.

This summer I have been exploring the mountains of the Pacific Northwest in search of some fun hikes in my free time between the office expansion, softball, and a bunch of other trips... My girlfriend (Steph) and I set a goal to hike over 100 miles this summer.  We have quite a ways to go... We have hiked plus or minus 54 miles so far. Here are my field notes for some of the hikes we have done this summer. I have included links for each that you can click on to take you to the Washington Trails Association website, which gives you more information about the each one.

Grand Valley

Grand Valley (4)

Grand Valley was a really fun one out in the Olympic National Park (which is my favorite area to visit).  You start by driving down the narrow steep dirt road for about 45 minutes.  When you hit the trail head, you hike along a ridge for a while and then descend down into the valley.  Once in the valley there are lots of huckleberries ripe for the picking. This can add some time to the hike, (cough, cough) Steph. Keep hiking through the valley to arrive at Grand Lake.  It's a very calm protected area with the mountains springing up all around.  We saw a doe and two baby deer walking around.  When you are ready to start heading back you can go back the same way you came in or you can make it a loop hike and go through Badger Valley (the long cut).  If you choose this option (highly recommended) make sure you save some energy for the end because it is a steep hike out.  We maybe saw all of six people the whole time.

Wallace Falls

Wallace Falls (1)

Wallace Falls is a fun hike out in the Central Cascades.  There are three waterfalls on the way to the top. I enjoyed this hike because there are a lot of great lookout points and the waterfalls are really cool. Unfortunately, Wallace Falls is a very popular and an incredibly crowded hike.  If you want to check this one out I would recommend trying during the middle of the week. Here are some pictures that we took.

Hoh-River Rainforest Trail

Hoh River (3)

The Hoh-River Rainforest Trail is another Olympic hike.  I highly recommend this trail even though it gets a lot of traffic you can still get large separation between groups.  On this hike you walk along the river for most of the way.  The views are awesome with lots of old growth and wildlife.

Sauk Mountain

Sauk Mountian (2)

The Sauk Mountain hike is out around the North Cascades. It is a short 45 minutes to an hour hike to the top.  Some of the best views I have had are at the top.  Firefighters even use it as a lookout for forest fires.  We hiked this one on the 4th of July so its hard to say how much traffic it normally gets, but regardless of how many people are on this trail it is still worth checking out. Here are a few images we took.

Ira Spring Trail

Ira Springs (2)

Located near the Snoqualmie Pass, the Ira Spring Trail hike is quite the climb up, but wow is it worth it!  I would highly recommend trying it on a clear day, because if you are lucky you can see awesome views of Rainier.  This hike really has it all, views, wild flowers, lakes, berries...  At the top of the hike you get to a big lake and there are lots of little trails that shoot off all around.  Because this hike is so fully loaded it does attract quite a few people but if you get here early you should be all by yourself out there. Here are some pictures from the hike. If you look closely at the first image you can see Rainier.

Iron Peak

Iron Peak

Iron Peak was the worst hike out of the bunch.  I don't think that I could ever say that a hike was not worth it but man was it close with this guy.  This is more of a horse trail. You have to dodge horse shi..poop the whole way.  When I say dodge it I mean you have to actively search for the one dirt spot where there isn't any poop to put your foot down. Other than that there were no crowds and the view at the top was cool.  Here is a picture.

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