Best Hikes with Dogs: Western Washington
by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2010 Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
3 Night stay at Pete lake. Pretty busy on the weekends, but better than other lakes that day hikers come to. Good campsites and a really nice looking lake with views of some great saddles and passes packed with snow (you can see these best once you get to the lake). Excellent trail, very flat and mellow. Lots of water to jump and cross over, but it makes the hike interesting. Bugs only bad in the parking lot, but not bad at all around the lake. Beautiful clear Lemah Creek that dumps into the lake on the west side. Go during mid week to escape the crowds. On the last night we were there only 1 person stayed overnight. Great entry point to other areas further up. Rained on us the last half day and night, but was kind of cool watching the rain hit the lake as we pondered if we should head out to one of two very small islands in the lake. Great all around hike for anyone !!
Did an overnight at Pete Lake, June 18-19. Trail has a few blow downs and water over trail in places. One log to cross on river and one nasty wash-out area near the lake. Camp area is nice, lake is beautiful, fabulous views. Had a 4-point buck come into camp and stay for about 20 minutes. Only two other overnighters at the lake but I hear it is busy on week-ends. Cat tracks on the trail along with deer and elk. Well worth the walk. Only down side were the "skeeters" near the parking lot on the return.
A great hike with dogs. Not a lot of traffic and several places to place in the water. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy hike with unique scenery (old growth trees) within a couple hours of Seattle. We selected it since it was raining in other old growth forest areas around Seattle (e.g. Mount Rainier). Since it is east of the Cascades, we had better weather. Initially, the trail goes along Cooper River with nice views up and down the riverbed. It then crosses several dried-up tributaries that feed into the river. It was a very enjoyable walk with cool temperatures, dense plant life, varying ecosystems and endless numbers of old growth trees. Plus, we had never seen so many different mushrooms – white, yellow, brown, orange and purple! You pass several areas that are prime for individual and group campsites. Once you get close to Pete Lake, you turn the corner and see two enormous old growth trees. They were truly spectacular and really stood out. Great photo opportunity. Pete Lake was a perfect ending spot with a large campsite area and places to eat lunch down by the water. Spectacular views of the distant mountains leading up to the peaks of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Very peaceful and no one around. Oh, and you pass through Roslyn to get to the trailhead. It is a pretty cool tiny old town to visit for a quick beer, burger or donut!
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