Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle

“There’s no dry day in the forecast after Friday,” warns a meteorologist. Seattle has had 140 rainy days since Oct. 1 — blowing past the previous record with more rain to come before the month is over.    – Seattle Times Friday April 20, 2017

As I am sitting here in front of the window waiting for the record-breaking rains to arrive, here’s a look at the spring blossoms at the Washington Park Arboretum Continue reading “Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle”

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Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

Did you know that, just an hour drive south of Seattle there is a National Wildlife Refuge? It is one of my favorite places to visit all year round.

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Upon entering the refuge you are first greeted with a duck pond. Continue reading “Nisqually Wildlife Refuge”

Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle

Elliott Bay Trail is a short walking/biking trail, twenty-minute walk from the touristy Pike Place Market. It is ideal for visitors of the Seattle area who wish to enjoy a great view without the crowd.

The trail starts from the Olympic Sculpture Park, goes through Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Park. There are interesting Pacific Northwest artifacts along the trail , such as a totem pole Continue reading “Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle”

Autumn in Mt. Rainier

People come to Mt. Rainier, in the summer for its myriad displays of wild flowers; in the winter for its endless opportunities of winter sports.

But on a beautiful sunny day in the autumn…

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The view could be equally astonishing.

14457564_974507629344890_7806518816704935320_n Continue reading “Autumn in Mt. Rainier”

Glacier Basin

Glacier Basin is a scenic hiking trail in the Mt Rainier National Park Sunrise Area.

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It offers a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier and Emmons Glacier.

The trail is in excellent condition (Thanks to WTA volunteers). It is relatively flat and shaded most of the the way to the top. Continue reading “Glacier Basin”

Ebey’s Landing

Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island is an easy, family-friendly loop trail with a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean.

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The trail starts either from the Prairie Overlook Trailhead or the seaside parking lot at the end of Ebey’s Landing Road. Washington State Discovery Pass is required to park in the parking lot.

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Looking at Penn Cove where the famous namesake mussels are farmed

Continue reading “Ebey’s Landing”

Crystal Lakes

Crystal Lakes Trail, in the Mount Rainier area, is a beautiful day hike best enjoyed in late spring (June) or early fall (October). With 2600 feet elevation gain in merely 3 miles, it may seem challenging, but the trail is very well maintained with mostly dirt path, and shaded most of the way to the top.

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Unless you are camping overnight, no pass or permit is required.

The only caveat is finding the trailhead. It is on the east side of Highway 410. While there are no signs visible from the road, parking is available on both sides of Highway 410. WTA website has a good description of how to get there.

Even if you drive past the trailhead, this view of Mt. Rainier, with rushing rapids of the White River snaking through verdant valley, is worth checking out.

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Back to the trailhead,  start the hike by crossing Crystal Creek on a rustic log bridge. Continue reading “Crystal Lakes”

Goat Lake

For those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest, summer is finally upon us. Last weekend my friend and I hiked Goat Lake trail in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forrest.

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Located at the end of the Mountain Loop Highway, two hours drive from Seattle downtown, this is one of my favorite hikes in late spring/early summer. Thanks to volunteers from the Washington Trail Association, the trail is very well maintained and practically flat, making it a great destination for families with kids.

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The trail starts at the far end of the parking lot. In just a few minutes, come to a well signed junction for the Upper Elliot and Lower Elliot trails. They’ll rejoin in approximately three miles. Given that it was a 90°F day, under a cloudless blue sky, we picked the lower trail. It is mostly shaded and curves around a running creek that keeps the temperature down. Continue reading “Goat Lake”