www.wallography.com

Nathan Wall

about 3 years ago

Easily the best trail running locality, and park for that matter, in Seattle!

Utilize any of the parking lots for easy access to the loop trail. A moderate up and down 3 mile loop awaits you without the crowds found on Elliott Bay, Alki, or at Green Lake. On a clear day the vistas are stunning with views of Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains, Elliott Bay, and Puget Sound. On a rainy day the local scenery of lush forests with occasional old growth offerings doesn't fail to impress. The loop trail can be combined with the rest of Discovery Park's trail offerings for longer loops and beach access. Discovery Park has my vote as the most scenic natural location in Seattle! Enjoy!

A nice easy loop...

Convenient access in central North Seattle makes this a great spot for a short jog. While on your run enjoy excellent people watching, dog watching, and tranquil views of Green Lake. If you're able, the Discovery Park loop trail in Magnolia is a much nicer and well-groomed trail run with far superior scenery and less crowds.

Well worth the ascent...

On a recent drive back from California I decided to hit up Lassen Volcanic since I had never been there before. Short on time and craving some cardio I settled on hiking to the summit of the peak. The trail is well-graded and easy with sweeping views of Mt. Shasta and Northern California. I expect on a clear day you could see well into Nevada and Oregon as well. It took my party about 2:15 round-trip with a 40 minute lunch on the summit. As of July 26th, 2016 a scenic swarm of California Tortoiseshell Butterflies can be found on the summit and the flanks of the peak. Get after it!

A gem no longer...

Overuse has ruined Umpqua Hotsprings. Pack it in, pack it out - It's a simple concept, folks, and bury your solid waste or use the onsight facilities... Geez. As of July 2016 the Forest Service has prohibited dispersed camping at the trailhead and access is now only allowed from sunrise to sunset due to overuse and lack of leave-no-trace practices. I visited for my first time in over 3 years just last week and was shocked at the increased popularity of these springs. Solitude can no longer be expected: expect a party-sort-of-atmosphere from early afternoon until sunset and a family atmosphere in the AM. I'm sad to say that I won't be traveling out of my way anytime in the future to soak here. Bummer.

Spectacular Vantage Point...

... at the Heart of the Wenatchee Range. Walk-in permits for the the Eightmile / Lake Caroline zone of the Enchantments are generally available at the Leavenworth Ranger Station should you want to overnight. In early season, when large amounts of snow is still present, the North Face of Cashmere can be quite intimidating and the direct ridge scramble is favorable. On the North Face expect steep snow fields with precarious run-outs in early season and on the direct ridge route expect exposed Class 3 scrambling. Some parties opt to use a glacier rope for added safety and belays for less experienced party members. Happy climbing!

Nathan Wall

over 3 years ago

An Olympic gem...

When Hurricane Ridge is crawling with tourists, and you're able to grab an overnight permit this old-growth to high-country route is phenomenal. Late season is the best time to explore the basin as the tarns and lakelets are all melted out and the bugs cannot survive the chilly evenings. Early season adventurers may want to consider an ascent of the second tallest peak in the Olympic Mountains: Mt. Deception. Competence on steep snow fields and scrambling 3rd class loose rock are amust for this add-on. Don't be scared off by the "advanced" rating. It's nothing more than a jaunt in the park on a well-maintained trail: intermediate at hardest.

Nathan Wall

over 3 years ago

It's Seattle, it's Summer, and there are plenty of...

Better places to jump in and cool off! Anyone who walks or runs the lake knows that there are constantly toxic algae blooms. What makes you think that if your dogs health is in jeopardy yours is not? If warmer water is your thing look to a plethora of Lake Washington beaches: Madison Park, Rainier Beach, Magnuson Park, or Matthews Beach. If you're a recent transplant, looking to put hair on your chest, or to be a true Seattleite head to the Puget Sound beaches: Golden Gardens, Alki Beach, or Discovery Park. For those who like their swimming experiences controlled check out the salt water pool at Lincoln Park or a number of indoor fresh water pools run by the city. Happy Summer!

Solitude in a spectacular alpine setting...

What more could you ask for? Your climbing party, and the mountain goats, are likely to be the only folks on the mountain. In addition to Washington's volcanic peaks the views of the core Olympic range and the Puget Sound lowlands are outstanding. I'd personally recommend doing this climb in the early season only (April / May). The climb is viable as soon as the trail to Lower Lena Lake begins to melt out, but the sweet spot is when the trail is generally melted out all the way to the climber's bivouac at the terminus of the Valley of the Silent Men. I'd personally rather ascend steep snow through the Hourglass any day over loose rock, and of course, continuous snow allows for glissades on descent to save precious time. There are excellent camps at the climber's bivouac as the sites at Lower Lena Lake, while more scenic, draw crowds, backpacking neophytes, and noise.

Some decent routes, but...

The rock is better and the routes are generally more memorable 6 miles west on I-90 at Little Si / Exit 32. Albeit, there are some hidden gems in the area and the grades are more moderate.

Worthwhile Wonder

Buckskin Gulch is a sublime wonderland, and though not as delicate as Antelope Canyon (or other area classics), it makes for an exceptional day-hike when you weren't able to snag your Wave permit! Some moderate scrambling skills (Class 2-3) were necessary last time I made my way through the canyon. As always, do not enter the canyon if there is any chance of significant precipitation in the area: Buckskin and the Paria drain from the Colorado Plateau and flash floods can and do reach the canyon from as far North as Bryce!

Spectacular setting high on the Boston Massif snug in North Cascades National Park. What else could you ask for?

Sahale Peak is a prominent sub-summit of Boston Peak and is worth the ascent. The panoramic views of the North Cascades are top-notch for an approach of this distance. If you're able to obtain an overnight permit a base-camp at Sahale Glacier Camp is a must, but be prepared for high winds and blowing dust at nighttime. If you get off-route you can easily end up in Class 5 terrain on the summit block so route finding skills are essential. Watch your footing while on the summit: Last time I climbed Sahale a party dislodged a barrage of rocks that rained down and scarcely missed members of our party during our ascent. Wear a helmet! A glacier rope, and knowledge of crevasse rescue, is also highly recommended for the glacier crossing as accidents have occurred en route.

Off the beaten path for now...

Find solitude mid-week and nevermind the fuss over the Coyote Buttes permits. Go in Spring or Fall for better hopes of diffuse light midday. Heed the warnings and make sure you have a suitable vehicle or hire a guide.

Hey Gavin. Yes, I have done this climb... What's up?