Most of Spring Break week we spent in a cabin in North Bend, Washington. I will share details and pics of our cabin in a separate post when I talk about the hikes we did IN North Bend. This post is about the hikes we did just up the road, in Snoqualmie Pass. The pass is within 20 minutes of North Bend, and once momma realized we were staying in the foothills to these beautiful mountains, there was no way she was sacrificing a day to check out any other part of the greater Seattle area, even the islands!
The first Snoqualmie Pass-area recommendation we got was from the woman who makes Swell gelato for dogs. Our dog friends in Washington get to eat this gelato all the time, and we are super jealous! So when we were at the local pet store in North Bend, momma couldn’t resist the chance to get us some, too. And trust me, we LOVED it. Now the lady who makes Swell gelato for dogs is from the area, and suggested we hike in to check out Franklin Falls.
Franklin Falls during the summer is only about a 2 mile hike. But in the winter, the road is closed so there is an extra 6 miles of hiking to get there! This is the kind of hike momma lives for, because it’s obviously super popular for a reason (it’s amazing!), and many people are wayyyyy too lazy to hike an additional 6 miles. We aren’t!
And I would say it was worth it! It was a huge waterfall, that was just gushing water. It was so loud that both Lolo and I were a bit scared as we went down to the base. I didn’t want to go, and momma said that was fine, that I could wait up at the top in the forest. And I was happy to do that, until everyone else went down. I wasn’t going to wait by myself!
Once I was down there it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought. Lolo had the opposite impression. He wasn’t worried at all until he got down there, and then he didn’t like to have the waterfall behind his back. In fact, this was the best picture we got of him (as you can see, I’m laughing at his discomfort)!
When it was colder, the water was frozen enough to ice climb! This is another activity both momma and daddy did before they got us dogs to change their entire hobby scheme, so they enjoyed seeing what was left of the climb (and the left behind anchor), remembering how they used to be soooo much cooler 😂. We spent a bit of time down at the waterfall because we were the only ones there. But Lolo never got less concerned with the waterfall as you can see.
On the way out of the hike there was a parallel trail that we took which kept the whole day more relaxed for us, as we knew people were coming in behind us to the waterfall, and this kept us from passing anybody. Don’t let our expressions fool you, we were having a blast. We just don’t always want to take pictures.
Later that afternoon we headed to a short and easy snowshoe at Gold Creek. It was easy parking at a Sno-Park trailhead, and then a hike into this little pond with AMAZING views. We then hiked all the way around the pond, which was turning such a pretty shade of blue with all the snowmelt.
An ongoing theme in all of our pictures from this spring break trip to the PNW is how sunny it was EVERY DAY. I mean it was hot (like 60s and 70s) and sunny. SO sunny! The complete opposite of what we packed or planned for!
Lolo in a familiar pose, checking to see if there are any squirrels under all that snow down there.
Momma was really looking forward to the traditional PNW weather, she does enjoy gloomy, moody days very much (as does my pink nose which gets sunburned quite easily). The locals couldn’t stop gushing about how summer-like the week was, and how lucky we were to experience it!
And look, we aren’t complaining. Any day in the mountains is awesome. Bluebird days are even better! And when we got hot we just rolled around in the snow. And there was still TONS of snow to melt off up there, daddy is walking across a bridge where the snow was to the top of the railings!
The third hike we did in the Snoqualmie Pass region was to the Kendall Lake lookout. This was a trail we found using AllTrails and asked about at two separate ranger stations to get information on the avalanche risk here. Both ranger stations gave us the same “we aren’t sure” answer because the hike sits right on the boundary between two national forests. So we decided to check it out, and were happy to see a few other people on the trail (well, only two, but still).
This hike is pretty simple, walk uphill for 4 miles. See amazing views for the last 2 miles, including a view of Mount Rainier at the top on a clear day. Walk back downhill 4 miles.
Can you tell how warm and sunny it was? The snow was so bright it was hurting our eyes, and momma was kicking herself for not bringing out RexSpecs (which were sitting at home in Davis).
Momma and daddy were keenly aware of the terrain here and saw only one section that was potentially dangerous because of the warm snow. We made a plan to traverse separately through this section and were A-OK both times!
We did not make any attempt to go down to the lakes, as the snow slopes surrounding those definitely did not look safe at all!
The view from the top was really something else. It’s hard to see if you don’t know what you are looking at, but just above Loki’s head to the right above the mountains is Mount Rainier. It looks like a cloud in an iPhone photo, but that is really it!
The day was pretty warm and momma and daddy already knew this meant the way down was going to be a posthole SLOG. Here you can see daddy is almost up to his knee with that one step. I also posthole frequently, but it’s more annoying because I have 4 legs that equally posthole versus only their two!
We had lots of fun wrestling on this outing, as the space up top was quite conducive to running around.
On the way back down momma stopped to take this picture of me when she saw a chickadee flying around, which made her wonder if Washington chickadees are like Tahoe chickadees that like to eat out of your hand.
As you can see, the answer is yes, they are exactly the same! Momma and daddy had some fun feeding the birds, while Lolo lost his marbles with the birds flying around. His No. 1 job at home is to keep the birds out of the bushes, so it was a bit maddening to keep calling them back in – it’s completely counterintuitive to how he operates!
Here is a video of momma feeding the birds, and Lolo trying to get them away 😂
All in all, our opinion of the Snoqualmie Pass hikes were fantastic! We saw very few people and the weather was fantastic, so it was a very promising lead for us if we do end up moving to this part of the country after daddy retires from the Army!