Willy's Outdoor Adventures

Just a Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally about his thoughts on life.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hiking Stuart Lake, Leavenworth, WA

The town of Leavenworth is a great place to spend the weekend, as well as a good place to grab a beer and enjoy some live music. However, it's also an ideal place to go hiking! After all, it was the alpine majesty of the mountains that inspired Ted Price and Bob Rodgers to invest in the town.

In short, the hike to Stuart Lake is an absolutely incredible experience. There is so much to see on this trail. From the interesting mix of plant life, the roar of the river beside you, the diversity of plants and trees, to the lake itself; all of the aforementioned is what makes Stuart Lake such a fun and challenging day hike for anyone in the area.


Trail Description 

Length: 9 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 1,984 feet
Difficulty Assessment: Moderate- Difficult
Trail Type: Out and Back

No Dogs

Northwest Forest Pass required to park

Official Site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev2_027010
You can buy it at various vendors. Annual is around $30, day pass is $5 and can be purchased at the lot. Have exact change if possible. Overnight passes available at the Leavenworth Ranger Station.

Directions


Directions to the trail head are simple:

  • Drive west along hwy 2 out of Leavenworth
  • Turn down Icicle Creek Rd, continue down the road until it takes you along the mountains
  • Continue to drive along Icicle Creed Rd for about 8 miles while looking for Eight Mile Rd.
  • Drive south onto Forest Service Road #7601/ Eight Mile Rd for about 4 miles on unpaved road until you reach the trail head parking lot. Be careful that you don't park at the wrong trail head. Read the signs. The parking lot is developed and has trashcans and toilets.
  • ***Stuart Lake Trail head is popular because it's also an entry point to the popular Enchantments hike. For this reason, parking may be problematic depending on the day and time you get there.


The Hike

Once you've paid for your permit, take some time to look at the message board and take in any messages that's relevant to you. Here, you will need to fill out a hikers tag.


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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Bavarian town Leavenworth in Washington

About two hours east of Seattle is the small town of Leavenworth. Partially inspired by Solvang in California, the town reinvented itself in the early 60's to take on a heavy Bavarian influence. Now, Leavenworth serves as a popular weekend getaway for both tourist and locals alike all throughout the year.


Home to the famous Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, Leavenworth is a great place to visit because it's not too far from Seattle, there's tons of beautiful hikes to explore on the way there, and ample hiking and climbing opportunities once you're actually in town.

To get there, you can either take highway 90 or 2. Either option seems to take about the same amount of time.


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Monday, August 21, 2017

Hiking Franklin Falls, King County, Washington

Taken from WTA's site because I felt it summed up the hike perfectly: "At just 2 miles roundtrip with 400 feet in elevation gain, Franklin Falls is the perfect destination for any hiker looking for something easy and beautiful."


Trail Description
Length: 2 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 400 feet
Difficulty Assessment: Easy
Trail Type: Out and Back
Dog Friendly - Must be leashed

Northwest Forest Pass required to park
Official Site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev2_027010
You can buy it at various vendors. Annual is around $30, day pass is $5 and can be purchased at the lot. Have exact change if possible

Directions

From Seattle, E on I-90 to exit 47. Left off the freeway. Right at T in road for .4 miles. Left on FSR 58 for 2.5 miles to FSR 5830. Turn left and park before bridge, trailhead is just before bridge on the right -- Taken from AllTrails.


The Hike

I didn't look around too much when I was here, but my impression of the area is that it's a great place to camp for the weekend with family.

Although Franklin Falls is located right underneath the I-90W highway, it doesn't really take away too much from the area. It's still a neat little fall and perfect to have lunch at and let kids play in the water.

The hike from the parking lot to the falls is not difficult at all. It's a mostly flat 1-mile hike  straddled by the river and the road. As such, it's not uncommon to see people park their cars alongside the road rather than in the paid lot to avoid paying $5.


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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hiking Snoqualmie Falls Trail, Washington

A wee bit past Issaquah and just outside of North Bend, lies Snoqualmie Falls. Easy to access off the 90-E, Snoqualmie Falls is a great place to visit, especially if you want to take a dip in the river.


Trail Description Length:
1.4 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 250 feet
Difficulty Assessment: Easy
Trail Type: Out and Back

Dog Friendly - Must be leashed

Directions:
Snoqualmie Falls is such a popular location that any map app should be able to locate this attraction. Just drive along the 90-east until you reach Northbend.

There are a few places to park: the main lot, the upper lot, and the lower lot. The main parking lot is a fee lot, while the upper and lower lot are free. I personally prefer parking at the lower lot. I start by looking at the falls from below, hike to the top for an alternative view, and then return down to the lot and hang out by the river for a bit.




The Hike

The walk to the bottom of the falls is not difficult at all and suitable for all ages and sizes. It's a flat walk towards some stairs that eventually lead to a walkway along the river.



And the end of the walkway, there is an area for people to take pictures. It's small however so be prepared to wait if you want a picture without other visitors in it.


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