How to enjoy your public lands this weekend
Conservation Northwest / Apr 20, 2016 / Public Lands
By Alaina Kowitz, Communications and Outreach Associate
We hope you can join us for our “Celebrate Your Public Lands” rally at the Asahel Curtis Trailhead on April 23!
After our hour-long rally celebrating our public lands, we encourage you to go out and enjoy them! The Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is full of hiking trails and scenic areas to explore, and opportunities abound for climbing, fishing, and other recreational activities. Here are some ideas to kick-start your post-rally planning.
Asahel Curtis Nature Trail: If you don’t have all day but still want a quick jaunt into the woods, the Asahel Curtis Nature Trail is the way to go. The trail begins at the Annette Lake Trailhead, just a quick walk away from our rally location, and enjoy old growth Douglas-fir, western hemlock and cedar as well as boardwalk crossings over Humpback Creek. A great trail for families or those wanting a nature walk before heading back to the city! Length: 0.5 mile
Annette Lake: Another hike close to our rally site and an excellent choice for those looking for a longer day hike. This popular trail leads to Annette Lake and passes waterfalls, talus slopes, and old growth forests along the way, and provides views of Humpback Mountain and Silver Peak. Length: 7.5 miles round-trip
Franklin Falls Trail: An easy 1-mile trip to spectacular Franklin Falls, just east of the pass. This is a great option for those hiking with kids or wanting to chase a waterfall on a quick Saturday hike! Length: 2 miles round-trip
Twin Falls Trail: Despite a trail closure in Olallie State Park, the lower viewpoint of Twin Falls is still accessible from the Homestead Valley Trailhead off of Exit 38. Hike along the Iron Horse Trail before it joins up with the Twin Falls Trail, which leads to the stairstepping falls. Another great choice for those looking for an iconic Pacific Northwest waterfall. Length: 3.5 miles round-trip
Middle Fork and South Fork (below Twin Falls) of the Snoqualmie River: A great river for both fly and gear fishing, the Snoqualmie offers a opportunity to fish for rainbow and cutthroat trout not far from I-90. The fish are often small, but they are beautiful! If being on the river sounds better than hiking be sure to check out the Snoqualmie River. A valid Washington state fishing license is required. The Middle Fork River is mandatory catch and release, with no bait allowed. We recommend practicing catch and release and not using bait on both these rivers to limit harm to these native fish.
Deception Crags at Exit 38: If you’re itching to do some climbing, Deception Crags is the spot for you. An easy walk from the parking area takes you to a slew of granite climbing walls near the Change Creek canyon, including both bolted and trad routes and several mini crags and bouldering options.
Asahel Curtis Picnic Area : If you’re really short on time, take half an hour to enjoy lunch along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River in a stand of old-growth trees not far from the Annette Lake Trailhead.
Gold Creek/Wildlife Underpasses: Want to see some of Conservation Northwest’s work in action? Stop by the Gold Creek wildlife underpasses just over Snoqualmie Pass from Asahel Curtis. These innovative crossings allow increased wildlife movement under the interstate, connecting habitat and wildlife populations in the Cascades. Washington’s Department of Transportation has documented bears, mule deer, waterfowl, and more utilizing the underpasses–to see some of these images of wildlife, click here. You can also enjoy a stroll on the paved Gold Creek Pond Trail. Gold Creek Pond Trail length: 1 mile
Our public lands belong to each and every American. They are treasured and utilized for a myriad of recreational activities, provide important habitat for wildlife, and are vital to the identity of the Pacific Northwest.