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    McKenzie Carlson reviewed Hidden Lake Lookout Trail

    3 days ago

    My husband, dog and I hiked this yesterday (10/14). The weather conditions were perfect at a cool 45°, not a cloud in the sky, and no wind; all of which I find pretty amazing for the middle of October in the Cascades.

    We started at 12:05, reached the lookout at 3:00, started descending at 3:30, and reached the vehicle by 6:10.

    I loved the different layers of this hike; dense forest, uncovered meadows blanketing the slopes, boulder fields dotting the top, and a challenging scramble to reach your destination.

    There were a few pockets of snow and on our descent, the top half of the trail was a muddy mess, otherwise it was very manageable. The few morning hikers we met mentioned seeing a mama bear and her cub in the meadow above the trail but we didn't see them. Also for any fur parents, my 40 lbs. lab mix did not fair well with rock scrambling to the lookout and down.

    All in all, I really enjoyed it. The worst part was the brutal 4 mile road to the trail head.

    McKenzie Carlson reviewed Goat Lake Trail

    10 days ago

    We hiked this trail Sunday, 10/7. Temperature was in the 50's with a little sprinkle that we really couldn't feel until we reached the lake. Fall is my favorite time to hike to alpine lakes because no bugs, no crowds, and gorgeous foliage. Round trip, this hike took 5 hours with taking about 30 minutes to admire and explore the lake area. We took the lower elliot up and the upper elliot down. To be honest, I wouldn't waste my time with the upper elliot again... it is longer and gravel road-like. The lower elliot runs along the creek and offers diversity and more challenge. Fresh snow appeared to be accumulating on the peaks above the lake! All in all, we enjoyed it; serene and leisurely.
    Also, no bears in site.

    McKenzie Carlson completed Goat Lake Trail

    10 days ago

    McKenzie Carlson saved Lake Ingalls

    20 days ago

    McKenzie Carlson saved Lake Ann

    22 days ago

    McKenzie Carlson reviewed Mount Dickerman Trail

    2 months ago

    Hiked today (8/5), sunny and in the 70's. No snow.

    We arrived at the trail head at 2pm and had no trouble finding a parking spot. We only saw a dozen people and had the trail to ourselves on the descent.

    SO.. first off, the trail is actually 8.2 miles round trip (add it to the list of inaccurate distances in AT). I have to be honest, I hated this hike for the majority of it. The first 70% of it is switchback after rocky, rooty switchback until it opens up towards the final ascent. After that, it was more enjoyable and the views are, indeed, beautiful; 360° of surrounding peaks and enough room to enjoy a secluded snack at the top. We saw a few mountain goats in distance too! Then back to the unrelenting switchbacks...
    All in all, I probably won't don't do this one again with so many other options in the National Forest with similiar, more attainable results.

    McKenzie Carlson saved Lake 22 Trail

    3 months ago

    McKenzie Carlson reviewed Tolmie Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    This was my first hike in Mt. Rainer National Park and I fear it will be hard to beat. The view from the lookout tour is unreal, a screensaver. We were lucky enough to not have a cloud in the sky and we saw a bear cub and a few deer as an added bonus. My only complaints would be the gravel road leading to the trail head as it was a dust storm the whole way. Bugs were a buzzin' and there wasn't that sense of seclusion I crave due to all the other hikers but that was expected.

    McKenzie Carlson completed Tolmie Peak Trail

    3 months ago

    McKenzie Carlson reviewed Goose Rock Trail

    3 months ago

    The hike itself was gorgeous! Short, sweet, and beautiful views, and puppy approved.. Some of the switch backs were pretty dusty and loose from lack of rain but we managed. We admired a couple seals while eating a snack along the perimeter trail. My only complaint would be trying to find a parking spot among the hordes of people and cars admiring the views from the bridge.

    McKenzie Carlson completed Goose Rock Trail

    3 months ago

    McKenzie Carlson saved Skyline Trail

    3 months ago

    McKenzie Carlson reviewed Heather Lake Trail

    3 months ago

    McKenzie Carlson completed Heather Lake Trail

    3 months ago

    McKenzie Carlson reviewed Meadowdale Beach Trails

    3 months ago

    Great little hike if you are crunched on time but want a serene view. I'm new to the PNW and I feel like this offers a great glimpse even though it's in such an urban area. Down sides would be minimal parking and is highly trafficked.

    McKenzie Carlson reviewed Watertower, South Ridge, Beach and North Trail Loop

    3 months ago

    Short and sweet! I went on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon with my dog. Once we reached the water, it was a little crowded with people soaking up the Seattle summer sun but we still found a little shaded niche to admire before heading back up the north side.