Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades
by Joan Burton (The Mountaineers Books)
© Joan Burton/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
We hit the Talus Rocks trail today with 4 kids ranging from 2 1/2 to 6. The trail description is very accurate. It increases in grade as you go. Just when the kids started getting that "are we there yet?" look in their eyes, we spied the bat caves. Cool! Yelled our two 4-year-old boys, who must have circled the area around the caves 5 times. We went prepared with 2 books on bats to read while we had lunch. The kids LOVED the hike and bat info. One book was a factual book on bats and the other is a new picture book called "Bats at the Beach" by Brian Lies and I recommend sticking it in your backpack if you make this trek.
It was a dark and stormy Sunday, yet the trailhead parking lot was full and the trails were busy. My faithful four legged companion Zoe and I trudged up the west Tiger 3 trail to the summit. The summit was windy and miserable. I huddled under the shelter of some trees and had lunch with a small group. The trail was wet and muddy, but no major sinkholes or puddles and the it was well maintained. Man am I out of shape. I figure this was a good ascent for early season. Next is Si, then on to the Alpine Lakes wilderness once it emerges from the snow.
We went on two out of three so far - the Tradition Lake trail, and the Talus Rocks/Bat Cave.
The Tradition Lake trail is more of a Path. Nice views of the lake, and very flat. There's a platform at the far end, and we talked, and watched ducks swim around there. It would be a great introduction to hiking for kids... we used it to take a break at the end of a tough day from work, and talk.
The Talus Rocks trail was fun. A bit of a hill, but not very bad at all. The trail up was very well maintained, and entertaining, with views of the valley here and there. The rocks were interesting, and the loop around the rocks was quite small, and sported an interesting bridge. The bat cave itself was interesting for its residents, although you can't really get a look into the cave itself. The rocks are interesting, and the trees growing around them made for a great picture opportunity.
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