The Foothills in Washington State is one of the top trails to checkout when you’re next in WA. It may be the middle of winter at the time of writing, but I’m already starting to plan my summer fun in the Foothills. From hikers, to campers, lovers of water activities and those that simply need a peaceful moment to reflect, Foothills attracts thousands of diverse people across all seasons, but especially in the summer when there is an abundance of fun activities. If you have never been, then I urge you to schedule a trip next summer. Many come armed with their high-end hiking and fitness gear ready for a full blown workout, but don’t be fooled, the Foothills have activities for all fitness levels. The main trail rises slowly upwards, gaining 400 feet in elevation over some 15 miles.
The long slog is well worth it when some of the main attractions start appearing in the distance. First, the Carbon River, then the Cascade Range, farmland, a forest, abandoned railway, untouched pavement, gravel driveway, produce market and finally onto some smaller rivers and creeks. Every time I come here I start to feel like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Even though there are many others enjoying the Foohills, such as other hikers, campers and bikers, I never get the feeling of it being overcrowded and potentially ruining the serenity. So here they are, some of my favorite activities to make the most of summer in the Foothills.
Whether you love hiking or not, the trail will simply remind you that life is one big adventure. The vibe is accommodating for everyone. You will find moms and dads pushing strollers, folks stretching their legs, enthusiasts ready with their bikes and even pet lovers exercising their dog(s). The trail passes many scenic beauties and there are plenty of well catered resting spots where you can grab a snack, take a rest under a tree or simply lie down close to the river. The enormous volcanic mountain also gives you a calming sense of staying in tune with nature. TrailLink has incredible offers for hikers.
This is my favorite part where you paddle a canoe along the stretch of Carbon River. You can even invite others for a contest paddle to make things more fun. If water activities are your jam, then you can also go kayaking, boating and parasailing around Kirkland and explore Lake Washington for some awesome water borne fun. In Foothills, a guided tour to the Kittitas Valley will expose you to five different rivers where you can fish, canoe and take amazing pictures.
Paddle boarding is loads of fun, particularly with large groups. I often see groups of “SUPers” and numerous solo paddlers on the river. This is easily one of my favorite ways to spend a relaxing or strenuous few hours, depending on my mood and how far I’ve already hiked. You can hire paddle boards on site, or bring your own – if you’ve opted for an inflatable paddle board that can fold up into a backpack ready for your hike. Once I had my coffee break (one of the best espresso experiences of my life) at the Trailside Connections coffee kiosk, I hit the five river route where I found dozens ready for paddle boarding while others were being taught how to fly-fish. You can enroll for such classes to go back home with a new skill, something I plan to do on my next visit.
The trail offers several native creeks and its rivers stretch beyond Foothills. One particular fishing spot is the region outside Orting which gives a beautiful view of Mt. Rainer and you can catch some large salmons. If you like, you can ride 3 miles ahead to Carbon River which also has an entrance to Mt. Rainer National Park. When it comes to fishing, Ellensburg Angler is your best bid as they take you to 5 different rivers to have you fun.
When you visit a destination as scenic as Foothills trail, you cannot help but feel the need to stay a couple more days in the area. From the many creeks and riverbanks, to the tall Mt. Rainer and deep forests, you even have a “Proceed at your own risk” sign at Cascade Junction to make things more adventurous. However, this is only placed since the trail that goes ahead is only accessible via a slim path that is frequently flooded, and not because of any real threat. The abandoned railroads and untouched pavements makes you feel like you can make a movie there. It is simply exhilarating and weather friendly during the summer.
Foothills trail passes through the eastern communities from Kirkland corridors (I-90 and I-405) to Renton Island, Mercer and Ellensburg. There are probably a hundred more fun activities you will find as the surrounding region is home to numerous art museums, upscale restaurants and eateries, wineries, state parks, river parks to name just a few. Whilst I’m confident you’ll enjoy more than just 5 summer activities in the Foothills, I hope you use these as a launching pad. Feel free to watch the short recap video below to see how people have enjoyed their summer camp at Foothills.
Do you love the snow? Do you have plenty of time on your hands and do not know what to do with it? Have you ever wondered how people get up hills of snow and thought it would be something that you would like to do? Well, here is a new sport that will blow your mind. It’s called snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is an activity that a person could do while enjoying the snow at the same time. There are several snow trails that you are guided through. Expert snow guides that will show you every aspect of snowshoeing. There’s even a medical team that is on constant guard for any medical needs while snowshoeing. Some of the tours you’ll go on will be very informative. Learning about different snow trails and how they came to be. I will give you some information about snowshoeing in several different trails and where to go to be able to sign up for this exciting new activity.
The importance of choosing a guide for snowshoeing is very important. If a person would go off on a snow trail for the first time and do not know the terrain, or different obstacles. It’s a good chance that someone would get lost, or even hurt on the unfamiliar trail. Choosing a guide knows the ins and outs of the trails and will guide you safely through without any injuries. The first thing you would like to do is, first choose a trail that interests you. The second thing you would need to do is request for a guide of your choice. The guide will set up a time and place for you and or your company to meet to begin your new journey in the snow. It’s that easy.
One of the first things a person would like to know is what gear is needed to begin this activity. The first thing you would need to know is bring the proper clothing wear. You should also take an extra set of clothing for the trail. A headlight is an imperative tool that you would need; along with extra batteries just in case something happens to your supply that you have already. Plenty of food and water is a must. You don’t want to get dehydrated or starve in the open wilderness. Make sure that you supply yourself with a comfortable sleeping bag that is suitable for severe cold weather. An entrenching tool (small shovel). And a beacon for avalanches.
It is very important to learn a form of safety when snowshoeing. Mainly if you have not done it before. There are some trails that are funnels for avalanches. There is ranger that a person could call before they set out on a trail. Be sure that there are no bad to severe weather is in the forecast. The rangers could check the weather through: Avalanche, and mountain forecasts. A detailed report from the WTA is also accessible.
Trying snowshoeing is a fabulous activity for all your friends and family members. It’s strictly detailed when it comes to safety and weather precautions. It’s a safe way to have fun and enjoy the snow at the same time.
Looking for a few hikes to tryout in the Foothills? We hear you. Give some of these a try and let us know what you think!
Location: With Mt. Pilchuk hike, you are sure to experience one of the most thrilling hikes in Washington, USA. It is always heavily crowed with hikers from all parts of the US, especially on the weekends. It is located in the Northern Cascades and the roundtrip to Mt. Pilchuk is approx 5.4 miles, its elevation is 2300 ft and the highest point is 5327ft.
What you will find: You will remember it for its mesmerizing view. You maybe fortunate enough to see the entire Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier and the Olympics from the peak. Many people describe this view as unforgettable and we tend to agree. Mt Pilchuk is sometimes obstructed due to snow, so you need to proceed with caution.
It is located in the famous I-90 corridor hiking and climbing zone.
Location: The easiest and the most accessible hiking venue, The Rattlesnake is located Near North Bend on I-90 and you have to pass through Cedar Falls Road SE which is 4 miles to the parking area of The Rattlesnake. Its distance is just 2 miles and elevation is 2100 feet.
What you will find: There is not much climbing, nor will it take much time as it is just 2 miles. However, it will still give you the feel of a mountain climbing and the view is also breath taking. It is accessible throughout the year and the view over the Cedar River Watershed and Chester Morse Lake is panoramic. There are other fine views like Mt. Si, Mailbox Peak and the Snoqualmie Valley.
Location: It is located in the Issaquah Alps and its length is 1.2 miles, which includes a round trip too. Its elevation is 50 ft and the highest point is 460 ft. There is no parking pass or entry fee required.
What you will find: It is a complete forest trail, so don’t come expecting views of lakes or other running water features on this hike. It is actually a forest preserve located north of Beaver Lake in Sammamish. The trail covers an extensive forest route with lots of large green trees on both the sides. You will find both coniferous and deciduous trees. You will not find any lake on the trail but still there are places of standing water. The path is also covered with hanging ferns and mosses. However, as the path is under dark forest, you might encounter black bear and other wild animals, so be alert!
Location: It’s located in the Renton-Maple Valley and its round trip comes to approx 34 miles. Its highest point is 50 ft and it can also be accessed through public transit system.
What you can find: The trail follows the Cedar River from its origin point in Lake Washington in Renton and moves up to the boundary of the Cedar River Watershed. You will witness the access points to Lake Washington, Renton, the Cedar River Park, Ron Regis Park, Big Bend Natural Area, and Cedar Grove Park all along the trail. It is an ideal hangout option for weekends for people who love hiking, however you can also plan a family visit during weekdays.
Location: It is located in Central Washington, Yakima. It covers a distance of 3 miles in the entire to and fro movement. Its elevation is 700 ft and the highest point is 2000ft.
What you will find: The entire trail is covered with Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine. You will also find lots of wild flowers along the route like yellow desert-parsley, bitterbrush, bluebells and squaw currant. Carry your binoculars with you so that you can see the spectacular birds like the woodpeckers and the bluebirds. It is an easy hiking path and you will enjoy it along with your family and kids. You will also witness the Grand Canyon walls along the trail and can also opt for the top view and reach the highest point of the hike.