Dayhiking Silver Falls

While the spring has been unseasonably on and off hot in the PNW, unlike last year, we had above average snowfall (last year was a drought). So while we keep setting records for heat, and there has been ample melt out, there is still plenty of snow up in the mountains in Washington State. One just need to drive up is all.

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So Kirk and I took the boys up to the snow, so they could have fun (and so I could judge when the trails will be open as well…which is I would hedge another 2-3 weeks time, so right on time). This is just below Cayuse Pass on Hwy 123.

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They had a lot of fun on the remaining 3 feet or so of snow depth, although maybe Mama has a point about sunglasses!

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And if there is still snow in the mountains, my choice of a late spring hike is Silver Falls in Mount Rainier National Park. We do it at least once a year, most years. It is kid friendly, short enough they don’t notice the rolling trail, and as long as you keep a tight eye on them at the falls overlook, safe for little ones. The forest of Ohanapecosh is one of my favorites, mostly because it is the lesser visited side of Rainier. No mountain views await you, but there is visually nearly endless miles of old growth forest, full of birds and animals, with a river rarely out of hearing distance.

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Alistaire, our youngest, is now nearly 4½ years old, and has gotten his trail legs this year. They lose the short chubby toddler legs one day, and you realize they have long legs! It makes hiking so much more fun.

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With plenty of snow still melting, and a rainy week (can you say normal chilly temps this week?!), Silver Falls was running fast.

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The forest was lit up with Bunchberry Dogwood in bloom.

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It’s chilly, even on a hot day, down at the falls overlook. This time we turned around at the bridge over the river, and did an in and out. The trail can be a loop, but I find the main trail prettier. Still, an enjoyable 3 mile dayhike with my kids is always a great way to spend a Sunday…..

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