My top 5 hikes in Washington State

I couldn’t be more lucky than moving to Washington from France. This is where I found out my love for hiking and how much I enjoy my time in the mountains. Here’s my 5 favorite hikes I have done:

1.Burroughs Mountain at Mount Rainier National Park

This trail is amazing from beginning to end and offers one of the most dramatic views of Mt Rainier. This hike is a 9 mile round trip with a 2,600ft elevation gain. There are many possibilities on this trail. You can stop at the first, second or third Burroughs. Usually, people turn around at the second. We reached the third Burroughs with an extra effort, which was worth it. We were so close to Mt Rainier, we felt like we could touch it.

《 Featured image on top is from this hike 》

3rd Burroughs 

2. Tolmie Peak & Eunice Lake

Very nice 7.5 miles with an 1,100ft that leads first to Eunice Lake. After 1 mile with a steep uphill, we reached an old fire lookout with a stunning view of Mt Rainier and an amazing sapphire blue color of Eunice Lake below. Most people stop at the fire lookout. We decided to leave the crowd and go a bit further and it was really incredible.

Captured from the trail
From the Fire Lookout
We kept going after the Fire Lookout

3. Tuck and Robin Lakes

Worth the effort but more a hike for backpacking. This very steep hike will take you to paradise. I recorded about 13 miles roundtrip and 3,500ft elevation gain. It was flat for the first 3 miles, then we gained about 1000ft every mile. Passed Tuck Lake, the trail became indistinct and hard to follow. Some rock stacks helped us find the way.

Tuck Lake


Robin Lake

 


4. Crytal Peak and Lake

We did two hikes in one. We hiked Crystal Peak first and had a stunning view from the summit. The weather was clear and it was possible to see six volcanoes spanning two states. Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, Mt Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt Adams, Mt Hood. We caught a nice rainbow before we went down to the lakes. The upper lake is much larger than the lower lake.   We recorded about 11 miles and 4,000ft elevation gain.

View of Mt Rainier with silly friends
Rainbow with view of Mt Adams on the left and Mt St Helens on the right
Upper Crystal Lake from Crystal Peak
Upper Crystal Lake

5. Rattlesnake Ledge

Short and very popular hike at 1h drive from Seattle. Rattlesnake ledge is a 4 mile roundtrip with an 1,160ft elevation gain. At the top, there is a view of the Cedar River wathershed, Mt Si, Mt Washington, Rattlesnake Lake and Chester Morse Lake. Also, it’s nice to stay at the lake especially during the summer. Here’s some pictures from the last time I went there but the color of the lake when it’s sunny is more beautiful.

Rattlesnake Ledge
Rattlesnake Lake

I’m sure I will change my top 5 hikes by June. I won the permit for the Enchantment.

I’m going to spend 2 nights with some friends at Colchuck Lake. I’m looking forward to it!

😎 STAY TUNED 😎

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Grand Teton

You will never forget the beauty of the Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park is located in Nothwestern Wyoming in the U.S and only 10 miles south of Yellowstone National Park. It is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in the Teton Range at 13,770 feet. Also, it’s a popular destination for mountaineering, hiking and fishing.

How to get there?

If you went to Yellowstone National Park before, then you will drive by the Yellowstone’s south entrance to get the North entrance. The road is closed from early November to mid-May. Otherwise, you can enter at the east entrance or the south entrance.

The nearest airport is Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) located at the base of the Park. It’s 5h drive from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).

Where to sleep?

Camping: There are 6 campgrounds in the park. They operate on a first-come, first-served. Advance reservations are not accepted. Campground fees change each year. Only revervations for group camping are accepted at some campgrounds through the Grand Teton Lodge at 307-543-3296. Campgrounds are open from early May to mid-October depending on the campgrounds. During the winter, primitive camping is allowed in the plowed parking lot adjacent to the Colter Bay Visiter Center for $5 per night from December 1 to April 15.

Other campsites are available near and outside of the park.

Backcountry camping: A trip into the backcountry requires planning in advance. All backcountry camping requires a permit.  They are issued on a first-come, first served basis for $25 no more than 1 day before the start of your trip. You can apply at the Colter Bay and Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Centers, and at the Jenny Lake Ranger Stations. For advance reservations you can book through Recreation.gov from the first Wednesday in January through May 15. Fees are $35. Also, bear-proof canisters are required for overnight stays.

Lodge: all details on Grand Teton’s website

What to do?

Many activities are offered but the most famous are climbing & Mountaineering, hiking and fishing.

  • Climbing & Mountaineering: No permit required
  • Hiking: Hundreds of miles of hiking trails wind around the lakes and through the mountains
  • Fishing: A license is required according to Wyoming state laws
  • Backcountry camping
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Scenic drives
  • Boating & floating
  • Biking
  • Horse back riding
  • Cross-country skiing & snowshoeing
  • Ranger Programs
  • Concessioner activities: buzinesses and organizations licenced to provide visitor activities

 

Safety

This is a bear country. Always carry bear spray and make bears aware of your presence.

Be prepared for rapid weather changes.

 

My experience

Grand Teton National Park was a part of the road trip we did with Yellowstone in June 2016. We drove there from Yellowstone’s South entrance at the end of the day. The scenery was spectacular. The Teton range took my breath away. The sky was cloudy and the light came through them. We spent 2 days there.

We stopped at the Visitor Center and asked a ranger where we could find a campsite available, which was Gros Ventre Campsite located near the south entrance and the airport. We were lucky to find a spot that late of the day. However, we were less fortunate the next day and had to drive about 1h outside of the park.

Day 1

I wanted to challenge myself and Grand Teton was a good place for that. Amphitheater Lake was our destination, which starts at the Lupine Meadows Trailhead. But we decided to start at Taggart Lake Trailhead and reach the Valley Trail Junction to get there.

Taggart Lake Trailhead

At the very beginning of the trail we took a right and walked a mile before we had to take another right and walked another mile as far as Bradley Lake. 

Bradley Lake

Then, we walked 1.5 miles and reached the Valley Trail Junction. A turn to the right would lead us to the original Trailhead. We took a left to continue on towards Amphitheater Lake. The trail made a strenuous climb over a couple switchbacks. As we were climbing higher, views of Jackson Hole became even more prominent and both Bradley and Taggart Lakes came into view as well.

Views of Jackson Hole, Bradley Lake (left) and Taggart Lake (right)

After 1.3 miles we took a right and walked about 2 miles. Finally, we reached the short side trail that leads to surprise Lake, which offers an outstanding view of Grand Teton from its southeastern shore. It was only a quarter-mile walk to reach Amphitheater Lake, so we decided to come back there later and swim.

Surprise Lake

Amphitheater Lake lies in a cirque basin below Disappointment Peak. My friend and I climbed on the side of the lake to get a higher view of it. Also, we had a great view of Jackson Hole and Taggart Lake.

On our way down, just before Bradley Lake, we kept going straight instead of taking a left, which was the trail we took earlier. That allowed us to see Taggart Lake before getting back to the parking lot.

Taggart Lake

I recorded this hike but my phone shut down about 30min shortly after.

Recorded: 15 mile – 3,697 feet elevation gain – Total time 7h30 – Moving time 5h

I recommend starting your hike as early in the morning as possible to avoid the hight temperature during the climb.

We wanted to find a spot at Jenny Lake Campground and be closer for our hike the next day. Unfortunately we couldn’t find one, although we tried to find one early before the hike. After the hike, we tried to find a spot at Gros ventre Campground where we spent the night before, but this time we didn’t get one. Probably because it was Saturday. We had to drive about 1h on Gros Ventre Rd to find a spot outside of the park.

Day 2

We took it easy on day two and chose to do Jenny Lake, which is the 2nd largest lake in the park, and String Lake. They are 2 different hikes but we wanted to combine both. Also, they are very easy and mostly flat. We started at Jenny Lake Visitor Center and headed south.

After about a mile, we took a junction that leaded to Inspiration Point. We had a nice and panoramic view of Jenny Lake by gaining about 500 feet elevation.

Inspiration Point

Then, we walked back down to Jenny lake and reached String Lake by crosing a bridge.

I looked at back on the Grand Teton while heading to Spring Lake

We did the loop, which was about 3.7 miles. 

String Lake

Finally we finished the loop of Jenny Lake by the north, which was my favorite of Jenny Lake cause we had a view of the mountains.

I also recorded this hike but unfortunately my phone shut down again. I couldn’t record the entire loop of String Lake. About 1.3 miles are missing, which I drew in black.

Recorded: 10,9 mile – 1,037 feet elevation gain – 5:10 Total time  – Moving time 3:40

Also, there is a shuttle boat that takes you from the Visitor Center to the other side of the lake.


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Glacier National Park

Welcome to Montana

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Glacier National Park is located in the U.S State of Montana, on the Canada-United States border with the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Glacier National Park definitly fits well its name. I hardly imagine how cold is it during the winter! Brrrrrrr I’m already cold 😅❄

☡ Glacier National Park is also known to have a black bear and grizzly habitat. It’s EXTREMELY important for hikers to make a lot of noise, carry bear spray and hike in groups. Trails can be closed due to bear activity . It’s a better idea to check with a ranger on the status of a trail before proceeding on any hike in the park.

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We spent 4 days there in September and for good reason, total of square miles 1,583 split in 5 areas :

  • Lake McDonald
  • Many Glacier
  • North Fork & Goat Haunt
  • St. Mary
  • Two Medicine

Interesting facts :

  • Total number of lakes : 762
  • Number of named lakes : 131
  • Largest lake : Lake McDonald at 9.4 miles long, 1.5 miles wide, 464 feet deep
  • Number of mountains : 175
  • Highest mountain : Mt Cleveland at 10,448 ft / 3,190 m

 

Of course, 4 days was not enough to explore the entire park. We did the boat tour at Lake Mcdonald, and some hikes at Many Glacier and St. Mary.

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My favorite hike so far was Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint located at Many Glacier area. A stunning view all along the hike. Starting with Swifcurrent Lake and Josephine Lake, then on your way up to an amazing view of Grinnell Lake and ending at Upper Grinnell Lake. Absolutely breath taking.

10.6 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 1,600 ft

Trailhead : Grinnell Glacier Trailhead or Many Glacier Hotel

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In the same area, we did Iceberg Lake. Known for its Icebergs, but unfortunatly we didn’t see any of them. Apparently, it still wasn’t cold enough 😅

9.6 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 1,200 ft

Trailhead : Iceberg Ptarmigan Trailhead

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The boat tour at Lake McDonald was pretty cool and relaxing (it was a surprise for my boyfriend’s birthday 💝) We walked around the lake a little bit, enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and admired the incredible and famous color of the pebbles. For information, boat tours start between the end of May and the end of June and are over between beginning and the end of September depending on the tour : Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lake, Two Medicine Lake or Many Glacier. Prices are from $13.75 to $27.50 for an adult.

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If you enter the St. Mary area at the East entrance, you can enjoy the view of St. Mary Lake from the famous “Going to the sun road”. We chose to do Hidden Lake Overlook. It’s an easy but busy trail. It’s up to you to admire the lake from the overlook or keep walking to the bottom. It was our last day after we did Iceberg Lake and we still had to drive back to Seattle during the night, which is a 9h drive. So we decided to stay at the top. What a view ! Totally happy to end the trip like this 😍

2.8 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 460 ft

Trailhead : Logan Pass Visitor Center

*Additional 2.4 miles out and back further to Hidden Lake, dropping 780 ft from the overlook

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Bamboo Sunglasses

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I have discovered Tree Tribe on Instagram. They make natural bamboo sunglasses  (that float!)  and each pair purchased they plant 10 trees in less fortunate communities that flourish off the resources the trees add.

I just tried them and I fell in love. I love the simple design, they are light and provide full protection UVA/UVB rays.  You have different lens colors and different models. Pick out the ones you like 😎

Click here and use “MYHEARTS” for 10% off and help to plant 10 trees

🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲