I’m really proud of my daughters. They are working up to hitting one hundred miles hiked in the past fourish months. Whatever quarantine has been. We have literally been all over Washington and have also stepped our toes into Oregon a few times. Have really tried to stay in Washington and not go too far away from home.
I got curious. We have been a hiking family forever. Our girls were out hiking just as they started walking. We have always been heavily involved in the outdoors and adventuring. So I wanted to know what their favorite hikes have been. So one day upon waking up I gave them all the objective to think about all the hiking we have done and to come back to me that night with their top three favorites, why and which one they found out of the three to be the hardest.
I’m going to list off their lists. Will start with my youngest daughter. Madison, she is 10. She listed some great ones for sure.
• Skyline Trail. This one is located at Paradise on Mount Rainier. The trail is a 5.9 mile loop. With an elevation gain of 1,788 feet. • Summit Lake. This one is located near Mount Rainier/ Carbon River entrance. The trail is 5.7 mile out and back hike. With an elevation gain of 1,443 feet. • Bench and Snow Lake. This one is located near Reflection Lake on Mount Rainier. The trail is 2.7 miles out and back hike. With an elevation gain of 498 feet.
Madison shared with me reasons as to why these were her favorite hikes. Skyline she enjoyed because she got to see her first Mountain Goat. Which she first thought was a horse. Was actually pretty funny. She was the one who saw it first and turned around to her dad and I and asked “why is there a horse up here?” We about died laughing. Has been such an amazing memory for all of us. A moment we wont ever forget. Same hike at Panorama Point we stopped for a break where a very curious and cute little chipmunk thought he would make friends with her and climbed all over her. I think he was after her very smelly food in her pack. She loved the animals and thought the chipmunk was fun.
Summit Lake she enjoyed because of the moody weather we had that day. By the time we made it up to the view point and where one would see the lake and mountain it was heavily clouded. She enjoyed the cloudy view. She said she felt like she was “on top of the world” She also enjoyed coming back down because we did stop at the lake and the let the kids get wet a bit.
Bench and snow lake she liked because it was the best of all worlds and gave a lot of different perspectives. Meaning the lakes, distant waterfalls, water crossings, flowers, views of the mountain, small animals. She did complain about the bugs on this particular hike though. They really were bad.
Out of these hikes, Madison said that the hardest would’ve probably been the Summit Lake hike. She said it felt like we were constantly going up. Not much for flat walking at all. Especially the last bit after the lake as it did seem like most of the incline came at that point.
Alright my next daughter Cheyenne she is 15. Definitely going to get some diversity with this one and her choices.
• Ruby Beach. This one is located on the Pacific Coast. The trail is a 1.4 mile loop. With an elevation gain of 68 feet. • Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail/Tree of Life. Again located on the Pacific Coast. Trail is a 1.4 mile out and back hike. With an elevation gain of 13 feet. • Kalaloch Beach 4. Again located on the Pacific Coast. Trail is 1 mile out and back hike. With an elevation gain of 98 feet.
Cheyenne shared that Ruby Beach was her favorite. She enjoyed the large rock formations. All of the tide pools and ability too see so many different critters up close in their habitat.
KCNT she enjoys as a nice walk through the Hoh Rainforest. Able to feel like your in the depths of the forest but still being right next to the ocean. The Tree of Life has also always been one of her favorite places to visit. The way to tree looks and the feelings she gets when standing by it she says is empowering. And its only a short walk from the parking area to the tree.
Beach 4 she liked because again we got to go through a nice thick forest before reaching the beach. The feel and dynamic of the beach was different than any of the others. The rock formations and appearance of them made them interesting. And with the longer harder hike it seemed less people were at this spot.
Out of these hikes the hardest for her would’ve been Beach 4. Had the greatest elevation change and upon getting to the beach we had to climb over large rocks to get to the beach. And depending on the type of shoes you are wearing sand on the rocks made it to be a tad slippery/challenging. But once on the beach all was ok. Going back up the rocks to the steep incline back up to the parking area wasn’t too bad either.
Last but not least Emma she is 16. Another whole different view. Love how the girls have their favorites.
• Mashel Falls. This one is located in Eatonville, WA the trail is 5.3 miles out and back hike. With an elevation gain of 741 feet. • Franklin Falls. This one is located off I-90 in North Bend. The trail is 3.8 miles long out and back hike. With an elevation gain of 531 feet. • Silver Falls Loop. This one is located at the Ohanapeacosh Campground off 410. The trail is a 4 mile loop. With an elevation gain of 705 feet.
Emma shared with me that Mashel Falls holds close to her heart because she has hiked that hike with her class and friends getting a chance to take a swim in one of the many pools. Then we have got to do it a few times together as a family. Silver Falls she said was her favorite because the water was so unbelievably blue. It really made the hike great. Being able to see something so vibrant and amazing created by the planet. Then she said Franklin Falls was a nice waterfall with so many different spots to stop and see different views of the river, offering many small falls and beautiful views.
Out of these hikes she expressed Franklin being the hardest because the end of the hike was trying because of the rocks that we had to walk across to get down to the falls. They are slabs of rocks that are slippery when they’re wet. And they’re wet from the spray of the falls.
The girls really did a great job in taking the time and thinking about what hikes they liked. How they impacted them. The difficulty, the views. With all things considered I was pretty pleased in what they picked. It was fun listening to the reasons and their stories behind each of their choices. I absolutely love all their choices. I think based on their choices here. My top three off their picks I would pick Skyline, Ruby and Silver Falls.