Fall Hiking Adventures

Fall Hiking Adventures

I approach running and hiking differently. While I love running for itself, I pour my competitive energy and my desire to improve into my training. That’s part of what brings joy to running for me: hard workouts, long runs, that satisfying feeling of accomplishment after a race. 

Hiking, on the other hand, is more about being present and enjoying the moment. Of course, there is a good amount of overlap: I love in the miles of running themselves, and I want to improve my abilities as a hiker. But overall, at least right now, hiking is more laidback than running for me. 

That’s sort of the theme of hiking over the past few weeks: enjoying the moment. Rainy season is starting and we’ve already had a few canceled backpacking trips due to wind and rain. Ollie is still learning how to hike and building up his endurance for the trails – not to mention that he just got over a bout of giardia and a round of antibiotics.

Ollie is still learning how to hike and building up his endurance for the trails – not to mention that he just got over a bout of giardia and a round of antibiotics. Some parts of hiking are still a bit confusing or scary for him, such as narrow wood bridges and water crossings. He’s learning and improving with each hike! 

Fall Hiking Adventures

Hiking has been more about the journey and less about the destination – quite literally in some of our recent hikes.  But the thing is: the journey is still beautiful! The trails along the Cascade mountains in fall are stunning. 

Pratt Lake

Several trails reach Pratt Lake, the shortest of which is about an 11 mile round trip. When the trails permit it and we are not surrounded by other people, we let Charlie off-leash for some exploration and extra exercise. He’ll run ahead, zoom back to us, and then run forward again. A year ago he definitely was not ready for such freedom, but now at 3.5 years old he’s mature enough to handle off-leash hiking. 

Fall Hiking Adventures

Barclay Lake

Barclay Lake is an easy trail – 4 miles round trip and 500 feet elevation gain with no steep ledges – so we chose this one for Ollie’s first hike. At 14 months old, Ollie is still a puppy in many of his behaviors. 

Notice how Charlie is giving Ollie the side-eye here! Puggles love to eat about as much as marathon runners do. 

Fall Hiking Adventures

Barclay Lake offered a long stretch of open lakefront, which allowed Charlie and Ollie to run around, chase each other, and play. 

Fall Hiking Adventures

And the mountain views were stellar! Mount Baring looms over Barclay Lake and the surrounding evergreen trees. 

Fall Hiking Adventures

Snow Lake/Source Lake Trails

We heard about the beautiful fall foliage at Snow Lake, so of course we choose to hike our perennial favorite trail again this weekend. The vibrant colors did not disappoint! 

Fall Hiking Adventures

Thanks to recent rain, hiking along the Snow Lake/Source Lake trail was like hiking through a small stream. Small waterfalls dotted the mountainside and flowed over into the trail. A couple parts of the trail required crossing over a waterfall, which unnerved both Charlie and Ollie (and me too). 

We did not make it all the way to Source Lake;  Ollie was tired (he was on medication for giardia), and the trail became narrower and less clear with each step. Ryan and I both have stubborn personalities and would keep pushing on, but ultimately we decided to turn around and not fret about not arriving at one of the lakes. The views along the trail were scenic enough to reward us for our hiking!

Fall Hiking Adventures

So even though we haven’t done any long or challenging hikes, we’ve been enjoying fall hiking for all it has to offer: an opportunity to opt outside during the most beautiful season of the year. 

Are you competitive in just running or in other activities as well?
How have you been enjoying your weekends recently?


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10 Responses

  1. I am not at all competitive in anything besides running, and even in running I am not that competitive. I have been loving spending time on our deck during the weekends. Its been cooler so I have had to bundle up in a hoodie but its a nice change from roasting out there in the heat! Your hikes are really just so beautiful!

  2. I feel like I’m hardly competitive in anything anymore! Then again, I refused to let Alex go farther than me on a run a few weeks ago. I think that is my last hold of competitiveness: YES I WILL HAVE MORE MILES THAN YOU HUSBAND

    1. Have I told you about the first time I ran 10 miles? Ryan was doing long distance running and ran 9 miles. Then the next day I went and ran 10 (8 had been my previous distance record) because I get competitive like that!

  3. Poor Ollie! Giardia is no joke.

    I love that area around Pratt – I have a couple of almost-loops (either need two cars, drop-off, bike, or road-walk) back there that I highly recommend for next summer. (1) hike up to Melakwa Lakes (be sure to visit the upper, more secluded lake), then down to Tuscohatchie, around to Pratt, and then jog down the very runnable trail down to I90. (2) hike the old trail to Mason Lake (much better than the Ira Spring trail), summit Mount Defiance, go back to Mason Lake, then hike to Island and Rainbow Lakes, big loop around to Ollalie and Talapus. If you look at maps of the area you’ll see the opportunities are endless!

    Hunker down and stay safe during the storm this weekend!

    1. He’s all better now – just finished his medicine and is already acting so much better. We will have to try those areas around Pratt – thank you for recommending them! You stay safe as well in this storm!

  4. I love reading about your hikes and looking at all the pictures because I myself can’t get out there and do that stuff in this phase of my life. I hope to one day though! You’re my inspiration!

  5. Beautiful hiking pictures! I really want to go back to Oregon for more hiking – 1 week there this past week just wasn’t enough. The PNW is so gorgeous!

    The more I run and focus on running goals the less competitive I become with hiking (not that I was ever that competitive with it). For me spending time outside and relaxing is what hiking is all about!

    1. Thank you! All of your hiking photos from Oregon were stunning! I agree – hiking is just about being outside and enjoying it! I love winter hiking especially for that reason.

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