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Old 17th September 2022, 23:11   #1
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Default Hiking in Washington - A healthy & beautiful way to enjoy nature!

Background

I’m sure everybody took up “Walking” at some point in their life's and may have continued or have stopped and moved on to other outdoor activities.

I have taken up walking about a decade back and even when in India used to go for brisk walks at least 3-4 times a week for about an hour and that has helped me curb my weight to more or less the same if not losing it.

I personally enjoy everything outdoors and never been a gym person. I can’t recall how many times I joined a fancy gym and wasted the fees as I discontinued in 2-3 months.

When we moved to US (Detroit, Michigan), we used to live in a beautiful apartment community and I started enjoying the walks there but, since the weather usually was terribly cold most of the year, it’s difficult to be regular. And, due to COVID and work from home, physical movement had reduced to the minimum and I had piled on tons of weight.

Therefore, my primary focus these days is how to become fitter (not necessarily leaner). LOL!

About a year ago, we moved to Seattle, Washington and within a few months I noticed that people here in Pacific North-West (PNW) are extremely outdoor active and it won’t be incorrect to say that track-pants and hoodie is a “dress code” for most folks out here.

It just amazes me the kind of outdoor activities pursued by PNW’ers (Cycling, Hiking, Skateboarding, Mobile Missiles, Horse Riding, Running, Trail Running, Mountaineering and the list goes on). Weather being gentler than the harsh winters of East Coast, its easier to pursue outdoor activities. As you are aware, Seattle is famous for it's infamous "light rain" throughout the year but, that is never a deterrent for folks who are serious outdoor lovers.

Cycling and Hiking is the most popular with masses and not surprisingly, Washington state is 3rd most bicycle populist state in USA. And, takes the 2nd spot for hiking in USA.

Once we bought our new home which has a beautiful trail right next door, I immediately decided to take up both outdoor actives as you may have noticed from my bicycle ownership thread :

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/bicyc...ml#post5390836 (My Priority Current e-BIKE a.k.a White Lightening Review | A journey to a Fit Life!)

However, Hiking was new to me and never did this activity in my life. Please note, hiking is very different from walking as you walk through some really rough terrain with a lot of elevation gains thrown in and pass through treacherous climbs to get to a spot that usually offers outstanding views of nature.

I immediately subscribed to “All Trails” which is one of best apps in US for hiking (predominantly) and other outdoor activities and this costed me $35/annum.

I feel its worth the money as it allows download of trail maps prior to your hike and can be used offline to follow the trail route as most of the trails are snake through dense forests and high elevations where there is usually no signals.

I reached out to our local Team BHP’ians to plan a hike but, as usual interest was shown by only a few and finally BHPian Amol and Ashir planned to join my 1st hike which was in south east of Seattle in Snoqualmie National Forest . Rahul decided to join us at the meeting point for quick hellos- Nice of him to drive 50 miles to just meet us at the trailhead.

Trailhead Definition- There are I think millions of trails in US and each trail has a predefined route and it always start from a “Trailhead” where there are some amazing facilities like parking and restrooms which I am alway in awe as creating this infrastructure deep in forests means this activity is taken so seriously by government officials.

I wanted to share my new found love (Hiking) experience via. this thread where I plan to document each and every hike that I do in Washington and hopefully in different states in future.

I will dedicate 1-2 post for each of the hike in sequential manner so there is a logical follow through of each hikes done.

If you love this outdoor activity, do subscribe to the thread so you get to know my updates.

Without further ado, let start with hikes that I have completed in summer of 2022 (July 2022 onwards)

1st Hike- Lake Talapus and Lake Olllalie (July 23, 2022)

Hike Trail Name : Lake Talapus & Lake Ollalie
Distance : 1.5 Miles to Talapus. Another, 1.5 Miles to Lake Ollalie. Total 6 Miles roundtrip
Total Time Taken (Including Rests & Enjoying Scenery) : ~ 5 Hours
Type : Moderately Tough

I drove 50 miles south to reach the trail head on a nice cold and foggy morning (this was in peak summer) around 8:00am. Met with BHPians Amol (for first time), Rahul (for first time) and Ashir (he is a regular for most meets).

It was fun to catch up with them and after spending 45 mins of chit chat, Rahul left back for his home.

Around 9:00am, we 3 started this hike. And, it was 1.5 miles to Lake Talapus and further 1.5 miles ahead was the Lake Ollalie and total elevation gain was roughly 1500 feet over these 3 miles to the top.

With a moderate grade on a wide trail, the hike to Talapus Lake is the perfect introduction to the outdoors for hikers and beginning backpackers. Upon arrival at Talapus, break out lunch or pitch camp.*

If you feel like pressing on, Ollalie Lake is just about a mile and a half up trail, where open campsites offer lakeside havens with calm waters and views of a beautiful lake basin.



Both Amol and Ashir are fit individuals and they were not even breaking any sweat while I was huffing and puffing most of the way and this hike felt rather tough for me (My views will change as you will read in my future hike posts) and it took us nearly 5 hours to complete the hike and come back covering a total of 6 miles ( ~ 10 kms) and it was mostly due to me stopping frequently to rest.

The simple math is if you are covering 1 mile in 30-40 mins, its moderate trail and if a mile takes you over an hour then those trails are considered as tough.
Here are some pictures of my first hike which was a beautiful experience.

Beautiful Drive to Bend, Snoqualmie Falls via. I-90 East

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Last few miles to trailhead was through really patch road

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Reaching the spot after a few miles of this stretch. It was foggy and cold in the morning



After some difficulty found parking at trailhead. As you can see, it was full with hikers.

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BHPians Meet (Rahul, Mobike008, Ashir, Amol)

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Hike begins here...

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Lake Talupus at 1.5 Miles mark. Foggy at 11:00am

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Last edited by mobike008 : 26th September 2022 at 08:05.
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Old 17th September 2022, 23:22   #2
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1st Hike- Lake Talupus and Lake Olllalie (July 23, 2022)....CONT'D

After trudging along for another 1.5 miles up into the forest, it opened up to this beautiful lake- Lake Ollalie.

It was simply gorgeous scenery. we spent an hour just chilling and relaxing by this lake before descending back to trailhead/parking lot.

It took us a total of 4-hours (including resting and stops) to complete this 3-mile hike.

Finally reached Lake Ollalie. Phew !!

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First sight of the lake.

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Lake Ollalie- Lovely Views from here

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Some refreshments at the top

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Lake Ollalie


Last edited by mobike008 : 21st September 2022 at 01:57.
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Old 19th September 2022, 21:29   #3
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Default Re: Hiking in Washington- A healthy & beautiful way to enjoy nature !!!

2nd Hike- Deception Pass Beach & Ledge Trail Hike- August 13th, 2022

Hike Trail Name : Deception Pass Trail (Rosaria Beach & Bowman Bay)
Distance : 2.5 miles. Total 5 Miles roundtrip
Total Time Taken (Including Rests & Enjoying Scenery) : ~ 4 Hours
Type : Easy

As some of our cousins were in town, it was time to show them off some beautiful spots of our glorious state. We decided to do a simple hike and picnic lunch at Deception Pass State Park.

Last year, we had a team-bhp drive and had briefly passed through the "Deception Pass Bridge" which is extremely popular for it’s spectacular views from it. So we decided to find a hiking trail and planned this day-trip.

If you want to read more about Deception Pass :

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/...pass-headlands

Trivia : Apparently, 20,000 cars pass through Deception Pass Bridge every single day. Wow! For a place that is nowhere near any of the big cities in Washington. That’s a lot of cars in a single day.

We reached the Rosaria Beach trailhead around 10:00am and started the hike which passes through sands of Rosario Beach and then up toward the cliffs. We climbed the cliffs and walked along the ledge which offered spectacular views throughout our simple hike of 2.5 miles one-way.

We spent over an hour at the top enjoying the views and could see the Deception Pass Bridge in a distance. There were tall golden colored grass that was quite different throughout the trail especially up cliff with views down towards the water. This trail also offered a loop as well as same route back. We liked the way we came so decided to do that as it was slightly tough.

We enjoyed the hiked back to the trailhead where the Blau Rakete was waiting for us eagerly.

Then we drove ~ 2 miles to reach the Deception Pass Bridge and parked safely on the side of the road with continuous traffic passing through. We carried the cooler and trudged along and crossed the bridge to other side and walked down the stairs and hiked a bit through some rough ground to find a spot that had nice views.

We parked ourselves there in that spot and enjoyed a lovely home-made lunch of Sandwiches, Chips and Charcuterie Board.

It was a memorable hike and picnic lunch. Enjoy the pictures from this hike!!

Hike Started Here



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Walking through the ledge with beautiful views of the ocean at the bottom



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This was the end-point of the hike- Gorgeous views from here !!!


Last edited by mobike008 : 26th September 2022 at 08:02.
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Old 19th September 2022, 22:03   #4
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2nd Hike- Deception Pass Beach & Ledge Trail Hike- August 13th, 2022....Contd

Here are some pictures of us enjoying a lovely lunch at a spot that was "Uncomfortable" but, had great views of the bridge above as well as continuous boats that passed below us in the water.

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Drive-by Video- The landscape of PNW is breathtaking and spectacular !!!


Last edited by Aditya : 27th September 2022 at 19:08. Reason: Rule #11
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Old 20th September 2022, 20:54   #5
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3rd Hike- Mt. Rainier National Park, Paradise Trail Hike- August 20th,2022

Hike Trail Name : Mt. Rainier National Park, Paradise Trail
Distance : 3.5 miles. Total 7 Miles roundtrip
Total Time Taken (Including Rests & Enjoying Scenery) : ~ 6 Hours
Type : Tough

Allow me to share some background of the “Pride Of Washington” which is Mt. Rainier. Everyone who lives in Washington is familiar with these mountain ranges as it’s literally visible from several places when you are driving around in Greater Seattle.

If you travel North-to-South or West-to-East, the beautiful and majestic Mt.Rainier is visible from the freeways and can’t help taking pictures of it whenever I can. There are several mountain ranges in Washington but, Mt. Rainier can be distinctly identified due to it’s perfect “Triangle” shaped peak.

I am little upset with myself that it took me a year after moving to Seattle to visit this gorgeous and astonishing beautiful place. But, hey now I bought a yearly pass for $55 so I can visit this place at least 4-times in a year (covering all 4 seasons).

Last time, we visited Mt. Rainier was when we used to live here in 2014. Here are some pics of us back then and now.

Mt. Rainier is largest mountain range in state of Washington and probably the tallest in US as all other major summits are in Alaska. Mt.Rainier stands 14,417 feet (4,394 meters) tall and as a comparison, its roughly 1/3rd size of Mt. Everest.

There are many people who try to summit Mt.Rainier but, few succeed and many have died.

We locals have two ways to access Mt. Rainier. Either approach from north side which is known for some spectacular sunrises and location is also known “Sunrise Point” and other option is to cross the north and approach from south which is known as “Paradise” and this spot is most popular and 80% of population who visit Mt. Rainier visit Paradise as there are plenty of different trails ranging from easy to super hard to choose from depending on your fitness levels.

I am part of the Washington Hikers group and in completely awe with people who do some crazy hikes ranging from 1-day hikes covering 15 miles to 5-day hikes covering over 100+ miles and hike with all camping equipment.

Mt. Rainier is also popular for people to get engaged or married (Yup, folks hike up and then get married with Mt.Rainier as a back-drop). How romantic, isn’t it?

Here is a Wiki link, if you are interested to read more about “Shaan” of our state :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rainier

Alright, coming back to the hike. I wanted to hike the Paradise trail and after these previous couple of hikes, I was feeling stronger and ready to take on some tough ones.

Planned during my cousins were in town and also reached out to BHPian Ashir. He is always sportive and ready for an adventure and he immediately confirmed.

Mt. Rainier is 120 miles (2- hours drive) from home and is located in south-west of Seattle. We had planned to start from home at 5:00am as we know its going to be super busy as every weekend in summers all popular hike trails are crowded with hikers. We could only leave home at 6:00am and drove south and met Ashir after crossing Seattle downtown. After grabbing some coffee, we were on our way to Paradise, Mt. Rainer.

We reached Paradise around 9:00am after stopping enroute for pictures.

After going to the restroom and taking some deep breathes, we started the hike at around 9:30am. We decided to to club a couple of popular hikes called “Paradise Trail “ “Flower Valley Trail” and it was a loop and would come back to the parking lot after roughly 10 miles.

This has to be the most stunning, mind blowing, spectacular (words fail me and can continue to use up all adjectives in dictionary) hike of our life. The visuals at every step was gorgeous.

Btw, this is hike had an elevation of 3000 feet (Imagine how far down we were from the summit) but, still the views were amazing. This hike took the breathe out of all of us as it needed us to climb one mountain and then go down another and we did this a couple of times and it took a toll on us.

When we descended on other end, we had covered roughly 7.5 miles and our cars were parked somewhere 2 miles ahead. We literally gave up and I requested Ashir (Fit as a Fiddle Fella) to hike alone and get the car and pick us up. He was gracious to do just that and we rested our battered bodies for an hour till he came back.

We had a lovely home made lunch at “Reflection Lake”- As the name suggests, Mt. Rainer at a particular time of the day reflects completely in this lake. Unfortunately, around 3 or 4pm, when we sat down for lunch. It was not reflecting completely. Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous surroundings to enjoy a simple lunch.

This was one of the most memorable hikes of my life and will not be forgotten ever.

Here are some pics of this gorgeous hike.

Us at Mt.Rainier in 2014 when we used to live in Seattle

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Us at Mt.Rainier in September 2021

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Live to Drive !!!

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Long Lines to enter the Mt. Rainier National Park

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Pit Stop at Paradise Logo for a quick picture

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Our Parking Spot for the day

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Hike Begins here at 9:00am- Traffic was like peak hours at Connaught Place, Delhi. LOL!

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Multiple Trails to choose from depending on your fitness levels. 6 Miles to 90 miles.

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Following pictures are where we hiked through the Paradise Trail and Flower Valley Trail

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Last edited by mobike008 : 26th September 2022 at 08:08.
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Old 22nd September 2022, 00:44   #6
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3rd Hike- Mt. Rainier National Park, Paradise Trail Hike- August 20th,2022..Contd

We came across this beautiful lake at the top. It was simply breathtaking to find something like this somewhere in top of the mountain. We spend quite a bit of time sinking in the spectacular sights.

After the steep climb, we came a flat land for about a mile and it felt like walking in clouds with mountains right behind us and before the descend starts we came across this pretty lake. There is a video of this lake in subsequent post and also of the majestic Mt.Rainier behind us as we kept walking through this breathtaking landscape.

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Last edited by mobike008 : 24th September 2022 at 23:48.
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Old 22nd September 2022, 01:07   #7
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3rd Hike- Mt. Rainier National Park, Paradise Trail Hike- August 20th,2022..Contd

When we came downhill to other side, we spent some time at the popular "Reflection Lake" which is reflects the Mt.Rainier in the clear and crystal waters.

We were not lucky as during that time of the day (Late Afternoon, it was not completely reflecting in the water).

Anyways, here are some pictures of Reflection Lake and Home-Made Lunch that we enjoyed sitting by the cool and calm waters.

Reflection Lake

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Narada Falls which is a few miles away from Reflection Lake

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Home-Made Lunch enjoyed at Reflection Lake post-hike

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Last edited by Aditya : 27th September 2022 at 05:12. Reason: As requested
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Old 22nd September 2022, 08:28   #8
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I thought of dedicating a post only to videos of our Mt.Rainier Hike. Hope you enjoy the scenaries as much as we did being on the top.

Entering Mt. Rainier National Park- It was foggy at 8:00am during peak summer month.



Our Pit Stop at this famous place to click a few pictures and also enjoy the flowers that bloom only during summers in these mountains.



Found Parking with a lot of difficulty at the top as it was choc a block with hikers.



Our Hike started here and it was cold, foggy and steep to climb the mountain. Weather prediction was sun will come out from 11:00am onwards.



Mt. Rainier- Up and close. Isn't she majestic?



Lake on Mt. Rainier. It was simply spectacular views from this point.





Reflection Lake, Mt. Rainier



Narada Falls, Mt. Rainier


Last edited by mobike008 : 24th September 2022 at 23:45.
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Old 27th September 2022, 05:14   #9
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Default re: Hiking in Washington - A healthy & beautiful way to enjoy nature!

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th October 2022, 23:37   #10
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Default Re: Hiking in Washington - A healthy & beautiful way to enjoy nature!

Lake 22 Trail Hike ( September 2022)

This trail is one of the most popular trails and has 8000+ reviews on “All Trail” app and this was one our “to-do” list for a while.

Since it’s not too far from home and is part of Snoqualmie-Mt.Baker National Forest area, we thought of completing this hike in this summer. One Saturday, we went there around 11am and believe it or not. The entire parking at trailhead was completely full and there was absolutely no parking.

Other option was to park on the road 1/2 or maybe 1-mile away and I was not comfortable to park my car unattended on main road (small 2-lane road in forest).

We decided to come back following week but, real early. We did exactly that and following week we reached the trailhead at 8:00am and found a nice parking spot in parking area of the trailhead.

This trail is a 7-mile loop trail and generally considered a moderately challenging route, it takes an average of 3 h 30 min to complete. And, we started the hike around 8:15am and after maybe 300 meters, the elevation began and we were shocked to see the trail as it was not walking but, literally “rock-climbing” as we had to literally scale rocks every few feet to move forward.

Imagine, walking this type of a route for 3.5 miles (5.5kms) with a decent elevation thrown in along with rocks mostly moist and wet due to heavy fog (It was super foggy even during summers), made this route almost dangerous for amateur hikers.

We somehow continued and I had a found a decent grip on how to scale the rocks and keep moving forward. But, wifey was having a tough time and she was scared she may slip on the moist rocks. After 2.5 miles and continuing going on top, the rocks became even more jagged and slippery.

At this point, we decided to turn back and make our way back down to the trailhead parking as didn’t want to risk slipping and falling.

It’s unfortunate we could not complete this hike but, I will definitely go back and complete it this season or next year season as I understand the views from top is breathtaking.

Enroute to Lake 22 Trail- Beautiful route

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Entering Snoqualmie and Mt.Baker National Forest

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Trailhead of Lake 22

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Blau Rakete found a nice parking spot.

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People come in Ferraris for a hike here....

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A beautiful S7

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Some info of Lake 22 Trail

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As you can see from pictures, the trail was shockingly tough for novices like us. It was mostly rocks all the way.

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Beautiful view of the road below from somewhere enroute to top

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A jubilant me when approaching back at trailhead. Haha!

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A tough 4.25 mile of my life...

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Old 10th October 2022, 23:43   #11
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Default Re: Hiking in Washington - A healthy & beautiful way to enjoy nature!

Lake 22 Trail Hike ( September 2022)...Contd


Here are some videos of the hike- As you can see entire trail is filled with rocky jagged stones and rocks at least 80% of the way and elevation was also steep.

Pretty tough for amateurs like us.







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