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dryad

Need some advice

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I have a friend from NYC coming to visit me over Thanksgiving. He expressed interest in seeing some of the famed Washington wilderness that I keep raving about, and I'd love to take him out somewhere, but here's the catch: this dude is a not even a little bit outdoorsy - he went for a hike maybe 3 times in his life. So what would be a good place to take him for a hike/snowshoe trip/whatever with maximum scenery for minimum effort? I was thinking some of the tourist trails around Paradise would be great, but not if the weather is crap and it's all socked in as is likely the case this time of year. What would be a good backup plan?

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Canoe up Ross Lake. Camp on beach. Canoe back down. You do the paddling and your friend checks out the wilderness.

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As a day hike: Lake Serene near Index. Little chance of snow, just AMAZING view of Index peaks, short enough hike for even my parents!

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Dungeness Spit near Sequim is a killer super easy hike. Beautiful beach hiking. If the weather is clear, you have killer views of the olympics, vanc is., cascades, etc.

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Alex's suggestion is a good one. You can walk around the lake on the side close to the cliffs to get a different perspective of the same view. If you want to see what we're talking about, see the pictures here (in particular some of the pics on page 3 of the photo page).

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Dungeness Spit near Sequim is a killer super easy hike. Beautiful beach hiking. If the weather is clear, you have killer views of the olympics, vanc is., cascades, etc.

 

This is one cool hike! Lots of wintering birds this time of year. It's in the rain shodow of the Olympics. Be ready for wind. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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Hurricane Ridge and you can hike out towards Hurricane Hill on rented snowshoes and have hot chocolate in the lodge. Just make sure it's open. It was closed all this weekend due to ice on the road. Wew, that pesky ice!

 

North Cascades hwy is a winner no matter what. Do the whole loop. Go through Darrington, if it's open, take the Mountain Loop hwy to get to Darrington.

 

Both these offer short little hikes to see a waterfall, or some other side attraction.

 

Pick something that is new to you too!

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Dru's suggestion of Lake Serene is a good one. Not too long, well maintained trail, waterfalls and great views at the top too.

 

Another good one off I-90 is Lake Annette. Not a lot of sprawling landscape views, but it is a nice hike and a picnic at the lake would be fun.

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For a ½ day trip, Big Four picnic ground is a drive-up destination with an extremely spectacular Cascade mountain wall right in front of you when you arrive at the parking lot. You can walk on the boardwalk over a beaver-dam swampy area and it looks "natural," and "wild" even if you can't see the mountain wall looming above. Then there is the river not far beyond, and you can hike up the most very easy trail to the ice caves to actually touch some snow and ice. It is cool and, if you are lucky, you'll get to see an avalanche. 1.5 hours' drive from Seattle.

 

Mount Pilchuck will probably be both snowy and maybe icy too, but I bet the trail is stomped solid enough for relatively easy walking unless it snows the day before you go. This is a peak climb for the non-climber. If it is a decent day, I'd consider it (but run a search on nwhikers.net first, to check on trail conditions). Also 1.5 hours' drive from Seattle.

 

If you want to go somewhere closer and easier, I'd go for Alpental, and hike up to Source Lake or the pass above it. It is not as spectacular as Lake Serene, and I've never been to Lake Annette, but it is an easy walk. 1 mile. Flat to a small climb.

 

If you want to drive a little further, or maybe make a weekend jaunt of it, I'd go for Hurricane Ridge. If it is clear, you have one of the most spectacular views in the State. And you get to take a ferry to get there. Who knows, maybe you'll see baby Orca. Combine this with the beach at Rialto (a sampling of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, in my opinion), and maybe a rainforest visit (N. Fork of the Quinault is my favorite for a casual visit but maybe I remember some roadway issues).

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Dont forget Mt townsend. It is a nice hike that privides both a nice view of the snow covered olympics and a great view of the sound if the weather is good. Be sure to stop at fat schmitties(sp) for a huge burger to top off the day.

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i also recommend lake serene - a nice short hike just to the waterfall and a bit farther to the lake, and an easy way to introduce the non-outdoorsy some local beauty.

 

also recommend the north cascades hwy - ooh, aah.

also recommend even driving up to the pass (snoq. or stevens) or all the way out to l-worth if you're into that sort of thing.

 

if you don't mind a longer drive and maybe a nice ferry ride, the spit recommended above is a really nice way to see some of the more coastal part of wa. the Lake Ozette/Cape Alava/Sand Point Loop hike out on the coast is very cool - longish but very flat. would probably be pretty chilly this time of year, but walking on beaches is always nice and the ferry ride might afford some good views, too.

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Saturday supposed to be okay. Sunday is better. Also keep in mind snow will occur at 2000 feet over these next couple of days. He will not see a thing from Wednesday to Friday no matter how hard you try.

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What would be a good backup plan?

yeah. your 'friend' is a loser. make a date with a real man. baby. pm me. right away;-)

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