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Best Time to See Golden Larches in Washington

Best Time to See Golden Larches in Washington

Leaves change colors every autumn. It’s one of those really special times to live in the Pacific Northwest. Sure, we don’t get the same incredible colors as the Midwest or East Coast, but we get something even better – golden larches. You have to know the right time to enjoy them, though. So (a question we often hear)…when is the best time to see golden larches in Washington? The obvious answer is: there is no exact time every year. Mother Nature works on her own schedule. But there is definitely a certain time frame to keep an eye on. Golden larches are typically at their peak anywhere from late September to mid-October. I know that’s pretty broad, so here are some more precise ideas: + We’ve been to the North Cascades to see golden larches twice (click here for two great hikes to check out). Both times we were there on October 7th – both times the larches were in fine form. + According to this Seattle Times article,...

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Golden Larch March in the North Cascades

Golden Larch March in the North Cascades

It’s an annual tradition in the Northwest: the golden larch march. Hikers, tourists, and outdoor enthusiasts flock to the mountains in early- to mid-October to see larches as their needles turn bright yellow in the autumn. Tove and I are among the many who head to the hills, traveling to the North Cascades to enjoy the golden larches. On our recent golden larch march, we tackled two hikes in the North Cascades. We first strolled to Lake Ann, and then we followed that up with a trek to Blue Lake. Here’s a quick breakdown of each hike: Golden Larch March in the North Cascades Lake Ann Starting from the Rainy Pass Picnic Area (map), the hike to Lake Ann is just 3.7 miles round-trip with a 700-foot elevation gain. In other words, this is a hike for all ages and all experience levels. Start on the main trail and moderately climb for about 1.25 miles. You’ll run into a Y in the trail. The path to the left leads...

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Harry’s Ridge | Mount St. Helens Hiking

Harry’s Ridge | Mount St. Helens Hiking

Hiking at Mount St. Helens is unlike any other experience in Washington. It’s haunting. It’s beautiful. It’s fascinating. It’s downright awesome. And I say that in the truest sense of the word – it leaves you in awe of Mother Nature. The hike to Harry’s Ridge provides stunning views, a nice workout, and a journey through the unique landscape. First off, I want to provide a brief history lesson. Mount St. Helens famously erupted on May 18, 1980. The explosion devastated the surrounding area and killed 57 people, including a crotchety curmudgeon named Harry Truman. He was the owner and caretaker of Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake, and he stubbornly refused to evacuate his home despite the pending eruption. This hike – Harry’s Ridge – is named after him. Now to the hike itself. Harry’s Ridge is a 8.2-mile round trip adventure with a 970-foot elevation gain. It starts from the Johnston Ridge Observatory parking lot along No. 1 Boundary Trail, and you actually stay on this...

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Red Cow | Happy Hour in Seattle

Red Cow | Happy Hour in Seattle

There’s a sign for happy hour everywhere you turn in Seattle. Some are deals and some are duds. What we stumbled upon the other day was an awesome deal. We’re talking about happy hour at Red Cow in Madrona. Tove and I met with some friends and family for drinks the other evening. We were getting ready to part ways, and we voiced how hungry we were. So being the great family that they are, they pointed us to happy hour across the street at the Red Cow. Their selling point: steak and frites for just $10. Uh…sold! If you don’t know Red Cow, here are some quick facts: it’s an Ethan Stowell restaurant, and it’s labeled as a “classic French brasserie.” Google even goes as far as calling it “upscale.” Yes, the prices can get a little lofty on the dinner menu, but the happy hour deals were right on the mark for us. No, you’re not getting plates for a dollar or anything like that. It’s a best...

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Snoqualmie Falls | One of Seattle’s Top Attractions

Snoqualmie Falls | One of Seattle’s Top Attractions

There’s no shortage of natural beauty around Seattle. That’s why people love to call our area home, and millions of visitors flock here every year. There’s the Puget Sound, surrounding mountains, and to get more specific – places like Snoqualmie Falls. Snoqualmie Falls is located 29 miles east of Seattle (map). It takes a little effort to drive there, but it’s definitely worth checking out. With more than 1.5 million visitors per year, it’s one of the region’s most popular attractions. Fans of the television show Twin Peaks might recognize the falls from the original series, which was shot in the area. There’s good reason so many people trek to Snoqualmie Falls. The waterfall drops 268 feet (a full 100 feet more than Niagara Falls), and typically runs at an average width of 100 feet. But that’s one of the best things about Snoqualmie Falls: it’s never the same experience twice. Depending on recent rain and snow, current weather conditions, and/or the time of year — the falls are always...

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Borst Lake | Mount Si Reflection in Snoqualmie

Borst Lake | Mount Si Reflection in Snoqualmie

It’s amazing how an unassuming place can create such beauty. That’s what happens at Borst Lake in Snoqualmie. On a nice day, the water creates a perfect reflection of Mount Si in the distance. First things first: where the heck is Borst Lake? This isn’t a place many people talk about; let alone even know about. Borst Lake (not Fort Borst Lake in Centralia) is located 29 miles from Seattle in Snoqualmie. To keep it simple — here’s a map. There is no hiking involved. Borst Lake is right next to the road. There’s not a parking lot, so just use one of the pull-offs near the lake. NOTE: Snoqualmie Falls is just a mile up the road from Borst Lake, so you can easily visit both locations in a single adventure. It’s hard to find much information on Borst Lake. I’ve honestly only stopped there once before, but it was a stunning sight. On a still day, Mount Si reflects perfectly in the water. That’s about all I know...

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