Yesterday I took a big step for me. I took all 3 boys hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), without my backup of having Kirk along with me. We met up with my friend Jennifer, who writes at The Hiker Mama, and her two children. Back in the day, I hiked with her when her kids were young, and I had the older kid. Quite the switch, as her kids are 8 & 12 now. It was nice to walk with someone who understand it though.
We chose Lodge Lake, south of Snoqualmie Pass, off of I-90. Jennifer had not been there before, and it had been I think fall of 2008 since I had last visited that section. So if anything, it felt like new to me, especially that the younger boys had never been there.
Ford, Walker, and Alistaire at the trailhead, south Snoqualmie Pass (finding the parking can be tricky, look at Google Maps and you will see the way to it):
While I-90 is below you for the first shy 1 mile of the hike, the fake alpine-ess of the ski resort does make up for it.
This time of year the wildflowers are amazing:
As long as you don’t look down to your left, the hike up is gorgeous – but honestly I-90 isn’t very loud. I realized that with being last in the line, with a 2-year-old in front of me, boy this pace was nice. You don’t get out of breath!
We took a break at Beaver lake, at the crest of the hill, and Alistaire decided it was sitting time. Good thing I had the Deuter kid carrier backpack with me. Walker was much more interested in my GPS unit than in his lunch.
Beaver Lake is pretty for what it is, a small lake/meadow that is sunny. It can get buggy, but is a nice spot to rest.
Trail selfie of Alistaire and me. He is getting a wee bit heavy. I think my pack topped at 45-50 pounds with him in (doesn’t help the Deuter is over 7 pounds to start off with) –
If one isn’t paying attention it is easy enough to miss Lodge Lake. It doesn’t sit right on the trail. There is a large campsite right off the trail, and a trail to the lake, maybe a 10th of a mile long, with another large campsite near the lake. It is used by thru hikers often, who want an early start rolling through Snoqulamie Pass (the pass is a popular resupply stop), before heading into the wild.
The sunniest day ever for me at Lodge Lake. It was balmy warm, with a light breeze and only a few bugs (wow). It may have helped that the past week was cold and wet though!
Soon…berries! The trail in this section is lined with berries of every type – and is also a blueberry and wild strawberry patch of heaven.
We enjoyed a long stay at the lake until I realized how late it was getting – and I knew the hike out would be long, as Walker was tired. Jennifer stayed behind so her kids could wade and have fun – and we got a head start out.
Whoooo….or something. This tree had the coolest tear drop holes up and down it! Totally looked like a haven for owls –
Walking on the trail. He was pretty tired by then.
One of my favorite times of day to hike is early evening, in summer. The heat is waning, the bugs settling down, breeze picking up. Love hiking at dinner time!
The boys ahead of me (well, all but the smallest one!)
One last look at the peaks north of Snoqualmie Pass, before we headed down –
Lodge Lake isn’t a long hike, by adult standards, but is challenging for young children. Don’t believe the guide books though. The hike, with side trip to the lake, is about 4 1/3 miles roundtrip, not the 3 miles claimed. It also has more elevation than claimed as well – it is not 500 feet gain. You gain going in and out. It is more like 500 going in and 400 or so going out. This section of the PCT doesn’t get a lot of love, it isn’t stellar scenic, in the ways that nearby sections are. Yet it is very pretty in its own way!
PS: And hilariously my oldest noticed we had 3G phone service. The entire hike. Oops. Hard core wilderness, ya know!