Summer brings a whole new life to Seattle. Gone is the dreary drizzle of October through May and the sun finally shines on a backdrop of brilliantly blue skies. The mornings have a slight coolness to them and most days are pleasantly warm, making the summer months of June, July, and August perfect for all things outdoors. While summer is not quite over yet, here are some of the hikes and camping trips we’ve enjoyed this summer.
I grew up in a family that camped frequently. My childhood summers were spent in various campgrounds throughout Missouri and Kentucky, riding my bike or fishing for trout. For a few years in college, I did not like camping, but I started enjoying the mini retreat and solitude it offers, especially once we moved out here to the Seattle area. (Ticks and snakes were my least favorite parts about camping, but we do not have those out here).
Lime Kiln Trail
The Lime Kiln Trail was a quiet hike through a mossy river canyon. Since the trail follows an old railroad, the grade is gentle and the terrain is soft and not very technical at all. The full hike is approximately 7 miles.
Charlie wears a look of utter boredom whenever we try to get a photo of him on trips. I promise he enjoys hiking, although the ruins were apparently underwhelming for him.
Monte Cristo Ghost Town
Look at how bundled up I am in that photo! June is still crisp and cool in the mountains. This was our longest hike of the summer at about 9.5 miles. Unlike some of our long hikes of past summers, the trail to the Monte Cristo Ghost Town had a gradual incline. The ghost town is interesting, espe
cially if you continue along the trail and see the former sites of a housing area.
We returned to Dorothy Lake after enjoying our camping trip there last year and enjoyed a completely quiet Fourth of July outdoors. We can camp right on the shore of the lake. The hike is short yet challenging (climbing, climbing, and more climbing of stairs), so you feel like you get to enjoy This was the trip when Ollie became an adventure dog.
The Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic Peninsula is simultaneously bucolic and untamed. Moss wraps along towering trees and over rocks, and even in the established campgrounds you get a sense of being removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life. My favorite (and Ollie’s favorite) part of the peninsula is Crescent Lake, a crystal clear lake that spans for miles.
Pratt Trail to Olallie Lake
The ground was muddy, swarms of mosquitos and flies assaulted us, yet this trip was relaxing. The hike up to Olallie via Pratt Trail was not an easy one – 4 miles long with a steady climb. I have found more and more this summer that I need to unplug as much as possible on the weekends.
Despite the mosquitos, this camping trip was a leisurely weekend at on a lakefront. The water was warm enough and clean enough us to wade in as the dogs swam. The hike itself was a beautiful 3 mile trek along a section of the PCT, with seasonal flowers decorating the trail.
North Cascades National Park
While we did not hike at the North Cascades National Park, we visited this gem a couple times this summer. The water is so incredibly blue! Ollie swam in Lake Diablo last weekend, yipping and yodeling with joy as he fetched sticks.
How has your summer been?
Where have you traveled recently?