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April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

Seattle, Washington
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April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

Hi,

My cousins are visiting me from abroad, and I wanted to showcase the NW mountains/forests to them. I was hoping to take them on a day (3 to 7 miles round trip) hike where they can see a lovely lake or falls (old trees and mountain views wouldn't hurt). I am also looking for a trail without snow at this time (first week of April). After much research, I found these 4:

Lake 22 North Cascades - though there is still a little snow

Wallace Falls Central Cascades - no lake

Twin Falls Snoqualmie - may be underwhelming

I was wondering if anyone could provide inputs to those or suggest another better area?

Thanks in advance!!

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Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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1. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

If it were me I would head to the Olympic Penninsula. You could visit beautiful Lake Crescent and include gorgeous forest walks to Marrymere Falls and Sol Duc Falls. Each hike is around a mile and there will be NO snow. The Olympics have some of the most beautiful old growth forests in the NW.

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Lake Crescent Lodge
Lake Crescent Lodge
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Olympic National Park, WA
Sol Duc Falls
Sol Duc Falls
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Olympic National Park, WA
Washington State
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2. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

The Wallace Falls hike can include a loop out to the lake, but it's not a high country lake ... just a nice regular one. This map isn't great, but you can see a loop: mappery.com/maps/Wallace-Falls-State-Park-Ma… Hike along the river to the Upper Fall, go up the hill and west to Wallace Lake, then head back via the Greg Ball Trail. That's probably closer to 9 miles.

The waterfalls are probably pretty good right now.

You need a Discover Pass to park at this state park.

Seattle, Wa
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3. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

I like Glaciermeadow's idea best, if you have the time. You can drive up to Hurricane Ridge for your mountain views, but hike down in the areas mentioned. Twin Falls is pretty but you're right, the forest is underwhelming (and crowded) compared to many other destinations. Wallace Falls is pretty but will be crowded on a weekend, so hopefully you can do a weekday. Lake 22 will have snow. Boulder River Falls is an idea, but it's kind of a long drive for the payoff.

If you have a vehicle with clearance the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail is nice, though you get river, not waterfalls or lakes. But it's very lush, not crowded, and not too far from the city. And it's very NW.

This isn't exactly what you want but what about something like Oyster Dome? It's more of a Puget Sound experience, but great in early season.

www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/oyster-dome

Check out WTA's suggestions for spring hikes:

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/seasonal-hikes

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Hurricane Ridge
Hurricane Ridge
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Olympic National Park, WA
Boulder
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Snoqualmie
Snoqualmie
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Port Angeles, WA
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4. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

Olympic National Park is a great choice, but it's really too far for a day trip. The summit of Hurricane Ridge is 3 hours and 45 minutes from Seattle. Marymere Falls on Lake Crescent is also 3 hours and 45 minutes. Sol Duc Falls is about 4 hours and 15 minutes from Seattle. In addition, you cannot hike Hurricane Ridge in April, as it is under 10 feet of snow. In fact, the road is only open on Fridays through Sundays. The Marymere Falls hike is only 40 minutes round trip, and the Sol Duc Falls hike is roughly the same. You asked for a 3 to 7 mile hike, so I can suggest the Spruce Railroad Trail along Lake Crescent's eastern shore. It is roughly 7 miles round trip. The trail head is 3 hours and 30 minutes from Seattle and 30 minutes west of Port Angeles. There is no waterfall, however, except for a small seasonal trickle that sometimes flows near the second railroad tunnel. Some years you see it, and some years you don't. The trail is still beautiful.

All of these are beautiful, memorable places. If you could spend on night in Port Angeles or on Lake Crescent, your cousins could get a sense of how beautiful this region is.

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Hurricane Ridge
Hurricane Ridge
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Seattle
Seattle
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Marymere Falls
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Lake Crescent Lodge
Lake Crescent Lodge
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Sol Duc Falls
Sol Duc Falls
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Port Angeles
Port Angeles
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Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

Hi glaciermeadows, PacificNWfamily, Christy1 and kalberg,

Thank you so much for all the helpful information and wonderful suggestion, links and maps!!

With regard to Lake Crescent, Sol Duc Falls and Marymere Falls, I couldn't agree more about how beautiful the forest is, but it's about 3.5 hours just to get there, which is too long - I need a day trip cause they're only here for 4 days and Im taking them to the islands, wineries, etc:) So I suppose Boulder River is also out..

Luckily, we are going in the middle of the week, so Wallace Falls and the Lake may still be a good option:)

Wow, I think Oyster Dome and the Spruce Railroad Trail are pretty cool - I think I'll go there when they leave, but since they've never been hiking in the USA before, I wanted to take them somewhere more "mainstream"..

kalberg - The 3 to 7 mile was only an approximation, if you could think of any that is shorter but fits the experience I'm looking for, it would be very appreciated:)

Again, thanks so much everyone, I just moved here 2 years ago, so all the advice and pointers definitely help!!

Jacky

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Lake Crescent Lodge
Lake Crescent Lodge
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Olympic National Park, WA
Sol Duc Falls
Sol Duc Falls
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Olympic National Park, WA
Marymere Falls
Marymere Falls
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Seattle, Wa
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6. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

On a weekday, Wallace Falls will be nice enough. If you are planning on going all the way to the lake (9 miles rt) keep an eye on trip reports--the trail isn't maintained in the winter.

wta.org/go-hiking/…wallace-falls-lake-loop

The thing that this idea doesn't do, that it sounds like you want, is show off our mountains. You basically drive through the suburbs to get there, and then some ratty towns, without getting to where Hwy 2 gets really scenic. If you wanted a scenic drive after, you could drive to Stevens Pass and back. It wouldn't really be that much further and it's awfully pretty.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

Ooooo.. that's super nice to know Christy, I hate the "driving through ratty towns" part, and yeah I loveee Hwy 2...=) I think I'm gonna do (even) more research, and hopefully come up with another option :)

Thanks so much, I really appreciate all the tips!!

western WA
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8. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

Speaking as someone who lives near the "ratty towns", there are actually some very nice places to stop. I'd suggest the Hitching Post or the Monroe Bakery in Monroe, the Sultan Bakery in Sultan, exploring the Great Wall of Index, or having dinner at one of many locally owned restaurants in Monroe.

The idea of driving up to to the pass is a good one, but be sure to head back down before it gets dark. It is a beautiful drive.

I think the trail to Dorothy Lake will still be snowbound, but otherwise would be an excellent candidate. You could call the ranger station in Snoqualmie.

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Monroe
Monroe
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Snoqualmie
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Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

I went to Murhut Falls yesterday:

www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/murhut-falls

It was wonderful.

Poulsbo, Washington
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10. Re: April Day Hike with Lake or Waterfall and No Snow

Murhart is a nice waterfall. Going to the Olympic Penninsula does take time and includes a ferry although if took Pala's advise you could go by way of the Tacoma narrows Bridge. I used to do daytrips to places like Murhut Falls and Sol Duc Falls often when I lived in Seattle. Part of the fun is riding the ferry which most visitors love. It does take time, but in my opinion it is very rewarding. Where I work we get a lot of foreighn visitors. I have taken people from France and Italy on several ocassions as a daytrip when they stayed in Seattle and they all loved the day. I do, however, understand if you do not want to take the extra time required! If it were me and I did not choose the Penninsula, my second choice hands down would be Mount Rainier and Narada Falls. Even in April Rainier would be spectacular rain or shine IMO.

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