Outdoor Oasis

I have said many times in this blog how beautiful the area around the North Cascades is and what a perfect environment for a vacation or extended stay. I have been beckoning you for a while now. Check out the photos online and you will be astounded by the clear blue sky and majestic snow-capped mountains. It is a true oasis from urban decay with all the unpleasant sights and sounds. You can refresh your soul by simply inhaling the crisp, clean air here—all year round. The temperature is perfect for a variety of summer or winter sports. We specialize in greeting visitors with great friendliness and warmth. Our lodgings are quaint and cozy. You will never regret your time with us.

People think of the area as a winter haven and they would not be wrong. However, we have a lot to offer in the spring through fall. Anytime you come, you will want to spend time outside. Right now, I am sitting in a comfortable outdoor space with an amazing view all around. I just added an outdoor ceiling fan to give me a bit of a breeze as I relax on an unseasonal warm day. I am ready for anything. In the winter, if I want to gaze to the heavens, I have a space heater. My patio works summer, fall, winter, and spring. I am not going to miss an opportunity to enjoy the region and all the wonders it has to offer. You can create a similar oasis all your own anywhere you live. I had researched ceiling fans on the Internet before choosing an attractive compliment to my outside décor, such as it is. I found this great web site that helped me choose: https://www.ceilingfanchoice.com/best-outdoor-ceiling-fan/. It is an industrial fan with metal blades, so it can handle any weather situation. Snow can blow on it with no ill effects. I don’t have to take it down in the winter as that would be a chore. I do have a canvas tarp if I want to be extra attentive. The same goes for the heater in the spring and summer. I like the easy life so no constant installations for me.

With the fan whirring above, I can read, write, listen to music, talk on my cell phone or text anytime. It creates a kind of white noise that is pleasant and unobtrusive. Overall, it is quiet with only a hint of a motor in function. The technology is amazing these days with remote controls and five rotating speeds. You can add a center light fixture for ambiance. I like candles on a dark night as well. My patio is perfect for entertaining family and friends. Guests from the neighboring lodge look over and watch me lazing about. I often wave and make a sign to “come join me.” Sometimes they do. I remember one time when a sweaty hiker came by to cool off under the fan. I immediately turned it on high. Such is our local hospitality!

Staying Active

I talk a lot about winter in the North Cascades because it is so beautiful. Living here is indeed a privilege. You can join us anytime.  The air has a chill and the sky is crystalline unless it is about to snow. When the white flakes fall and decorate the trees and bushes, it is a veritable fairyland. On the other hand, a summer vacation here has its own joys. It is easier to bike, hike, and meander about town and meet new people in a local coffee shop. Most people these days insist on a good fitness center and we do have a few. However, outdoor recreation is our style when it comes to fitness. It is important to stay healthy and in shape and a large part of this goal is to eat well. Our cuisine is therefore organic and homegrown. People like the simplicity of the ingredients and the purity of the fare on our menus.

Because we get so many families, we have put in a selection of the best rebounder trampolines in our campsites and adjacent to our homey lodgings. We got the idea from a boy who said he has a trampoline at home and wouldn’t think of not doing it while on vacation. He was a rambunctious lad and I could see that he needed to regularly burn off excess energy. His parents were thrilled that we had many devices from which to choose. They are public and not off limits to anyone. When you get what you want on vacation in the way of fun and food, not to mention scenic beauty, you will come back again.

I love to watch the kids bounce and rebound. They seem to go on endlessly unless hunger calls them to lunch or dinner. Jumping helps to build up a good appetite, already compounded by our pollution-free air. They can punctuate their days with arts and crafts, watching video games, and riding the rental bikes, but the trampoline has a special part in their programs. I have even been tempted to give it a try myself. As you may know from your own experience, it is easy to learn and fairly safe to practice. Get yourself a spotter at first who will have your back in case you jump too high. If you are off balance, he or she will just shove you back on.

I have learned from the kids and their parents that there are all sorts of great tricks that anyone can do from a somersault, flip, seat landing, half or full twist to a knee tuck or a double jump with a friend or sibling. Parents are often seen side by side with their offspring enjoying a good bounce. It is as exhilarating as it can get in the fresh mountain air. We have started to add photos of trampoline tumbling to our vacation literature. It stands among a variety of shots of the distant mountains and flower-bedecked fields. Aah. Come visit the North Cascades soon!

Camping Accessories for Grown Ups

Hi friends of the beautiful, scenic, and invigorating North Cascades. Today it is all about camping because it is still the season and there is plenty of good weather ahead to encourage us to stay outdoors. Camping happens to be my favorite pastime with the kids, friends, or colleagues. It is different with every group. Young ones like to stay active and love a stream for mock fishing or easy trails to hike. They are content to listen to music, hear stories by the campfire, and eat burgers and s’mores. Adults want a mini kegerator (see here) nearby so they can grab another cold brew.  It is my latest accoutrement and replaces the ice-filled cooler. It stays at the appropriate temperature because it is battery powered. What a great camping accessory. It beats the outdoor lights I bought last year or the portable generator that keeps our laptops going.

Other camping gear are the old-fashioned gadgets like fire starters, canteens for water when out and about, a handy Swiss army knife, and fireproof cooking implements. I still like an enamel coffee can placed right on the fire. Collapsible cups, easy wash eating utensils, handiwipes, etc. are seen at my campsite. In my knapsack is an umbrella, a foldup rain poncho, rubber shoe covers, protein bars, and sunglasses. Other people keep sunblock, gum, a visor, a disposable camera, or chapstick. It all depends how rugged you want to be. Most adults I know like every amenities possible as long as it fits in a backpack.

Camping is not a time to indulge yourself but rather to learn to deal with the elements. We often kid ourselves that it is about survival skills in the wilds. Not at our base camp. There is running water and outdoor bathroom facilities. This is why it is so popular. The vistas from the top of the trails is spectacular. Isn’t that what we come for? We also come for the exercise and fresh air. We need to get out of our lounge or office chairs from time to time. The rat race must stop and let us rest for a moment. I can’t think of a better place than the North Cascades.

My camping experiences are fairly relaxed and uneventful which is a positive. It means no problems, injuries, or missing people. No search parties are needed to rescue any of my family or friends. Besides, I know the area like the back of my hand. In fact, I am the one most often in an assembled search party. I am a good camper, know what to bring, and know how to make the most of the outdoor life. I recommend it highly for all you couch potatoes who have come to my blog for an escape.

Among the various summer and fall activities, camping is surely at the top. I like it when the air starts to become crisp and the sky is still clear. What suits you the most?

Rental Accommodations

Visitors to the North Cascades like their amenities. Who doesn’t? People don’t expect luxury as in a city vacation, but they like clean and simple. The lodging is usually accommodating but sometimes you have to know what type you are renting since there are several—from hotels, inns, to rustic log cabins. Others prefer to camp out. If you are going to stay inside (highly recommended when it starts to get cold), you might want to ask what to bring so you are prepared. The proprietor might say you should bring pots and pans for cooking, your own linens and towels, or if you have to clean the place before you check out – including whether you should vacuum yourself. It depends on the type of rental and some are more basic than others. Maid service is not always available.

This is not to say that you must bring a cumbersome vacuum with you as they probably have at least a canister type on hand. Many have an upright which is suitable for more extensive cleaning. If given a choice, I would ask for a canister vs upright vacuum as it has easier maneuverability in a small space. An upright may have more power if there are carpets. People bring kids and pets so there are spills and messes. I am not surprised that sometimes you are asked to tidy up. Of course, you are not expected to launder or change the sheets or clean the bathroom.

I am talking about budget accommodations here and they do save you some money if you are willing to go with the flow when you leave and adhere to the rules. When you go to the wilderness, part of the charm is roughing it a bit. Remember, it is worth it given the gorgeous views and vast recreational facilities. No one goes home unhappy. They have been breathing crisp, clean fresh air and have been outdoors hiking, touring, or biking. It is like a scenic health retreat—and more.

This blog is meant to tout the natural beauty of the North Cascades and encourage more visitors each year. Those who visit come back again and again. Don’t let a quick run of the vacuum deter you. It takes minutes. I am told that if you are unable to operate the machine, you can ask for help. There is a solution to every problem here.

When in our territory, ask about the hiking trails as there are many different routes—all exposing extraordinary vistas. Also inquire about our local eateries and you will enjoy some mighty fine home-cooked food. We have some casual bars and entertainment venues for those who enjoy a night life, even after a hard day of trekking about. If you need companionship, folks here are friendly and will share stories over drinks any time. The residents go out of their way to make people feel at home.

Business Retreats

Visitors are more than welcome to come to the North Cascades. Locals encourage you to explore the splendors of our area and they will be happy to be your guide. It is beautiful, scenic, and relaxing—the perfect place for a honeymoon, family vacation, or business retreat. Everyone leaves happy and smiling. Their cell phones are loaded with photos. Companies, in particular, find that it is the right environment for work-related bonding activities. If your coordinator needs help, we have professional staff on site. We can plan your entire outing for as many days as you like. The agenda will be thorough and varied and meet the retreat goals.

Most companies conducting a retreat want a few hours of indoor lectures and events plus ample time outside for hiking, jogging, playing softball, swimming, playing tennis, or learning archery and riflery. People can stay and chat or sit in the shade. Nights mean dinner by a campfire and sitting under the stars listening to local entertainment. Musicians and singers abound in our region. A retreat should truly live up to the name. You don’t want to do what you would back home. In the North Cascades, you are truly away.

If you are planning to book a retreat, be sure to get a local map and list of important venues. We can help your people understand what to bring and how to pack. It is very casual and warm in summer so a minimum of changes of clothes is all that is needed. Most things can fit into a roomy business backpack. It may be a business event, but it is more like a vacation. A good backpack for business travel like the ones from https://www.businessbagreview.com/ can later do double duty for camping and weekend outings. Some companies provide new ones with the corporate logo so everyone immediately has a sense of identity.

During the business day, it’s rise and shine and an early breakfast. At first the attendees may break down into small groups and participate in bonding exercises. They may be given a topic for discussion, a problem to solve, or a role play to enact. They may make lists or brainstorm ideas for corporate improvement. Focus groups can be conducted and time given to question and answer periods. It is all about giving employees attention and respect, and listening to their ideas, plus a chance to get away from it all. It is one complete package.

Meals as a team are a great time to socialize and recap the morning or afternoon program. We have the best chefs in the region featuring local ingredients and a comfortable place to dine with great views. We also provide transportation to town if they are given an afternoon off. Our area has much to offer and places to explore. Many people like to stay an extra day or two. They feel comfortable wandering on their own. They can take up horseback riding, watercolors (for perfect landscapes), or learn animal care.

 

Staying Hydrated Safely While Hiking

Majestic snow-covered mountain peaks soaring to the blue sky above: a picture of nature’s grandeur. Distant fields populated with wild flowers in spring and summer. These kind of sights lure tourists to the North Cascades in droves. We welcome everyone to explore our neighborhood and spread the word. We are known for dramatic scenery and challenging mountaineering, so come join us for a summer hike right now. See the ridges formed by ancient glaciers, the alpine meadows, and the u-shaped valleys. Don’t forget your cameras. The vistas are beyond the scale of the mundane cell phone. If you want a winter experience, there are guides willing to help you survive this colder time of year.

Everyone out on the trails will tell you that you need constant hydration so bring plenty of water; we don’t like to share. Just kidding. We don’t mind since there is so much available. In your lodge, you can fill your steel reusable bottles designed for outdoorsmen and woman. The water here is crisp and clean as we use filters to exclude any metallic or chemical taste. It will seem as if you are drinking melted snow. We are frugal folks and save on expensive cases of Evian with our practical approach to matters. The environmentalists are quick to say that they hate the waste and the nasty plastic empties that are dumped in the landfills. We all agree that filtered water is the best way to go from every perspective, and the benefits (listed here) are many. Most of our tourists leave us with the same opinion.

We discovered water filtering decades ago when a fellow came from Seattle to sell us a new system he had developed and was marketing. He offered us a demonstration and installed a unit in one of our inns in the base camp. We were convinced in no time. He assured us that the quality of our water was already good, but this would make it even better. He was right. We were converted fast. He explained that it wasn’t expensive, needed no additives, was safe, and maintenance free. In this world in which we all want good health, this is the place to start, he said. We all wanted to jump on board. We probably ordered ten units that very day and he promptly gave us a group discount. This is the secret behind the North Cascades base camp pure water campaign. We tout our pollution free purity to the world. Frankly, I don’t think that tourists come for the water like they do in Lourdes, France; but I know deep in my heart that it has helped. The visitors keep coming and always ask to fill their reusable bottles. They must have heard something in the wind.

The moral of the story is to take water along with you while hiking, whatever the season. Its fresh taste will wake you up and help keep you going.

Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count

The more time you spend outdoors, the more you start to appreciate all the living things you come across. One great way support wildlife is to participate in the Audubon’s Great Backyard Bird Count.

For over twenty years, the Audubon Society has set aside a few days each February to ask all birdwatchers to go outside for at least fifteen minutes and write down what kinds of birds they see. They ask that you submit the information for each day that you participate on their ebird.org website or through their eBird mobile app. You can even download a participation certificate from the site when you submit information.

By enlisting the help of the general public, more information can be gathered much more quickly and efficiently across the globe. Thanks to the power of the internet and computers, the information people gather can be compiled and analyzed. Researchers can use that information to chart migration patterns as well as the health and proliferation of various species of birds.

If you don’t have a lot of experience, don’t worry. The eBird website is chock full of photos, descriptions, and bird songs of just about any feathered friend you might encounter. And you can enter your zipcode to get a customized checklist of the species you are most likely to see at that time of year. The list is interactive, meaning you can click on the name of any bird and it will take you to a page that gives you information on that species – including photos, video, sounds, and a history of each bird.

Here in the Northern Cascades, we are very lucky in that we have a decent roosting area in the wintertime for bald eagles. It is an amazing experience to see so many of these majestic creatures out in the wild. My favorite are the juveniles, who are so different in markings than mature eagles. February is also a great time to see other varieties of birds that call the Methow Valley home. There are geese, hawks, gulls, owls, woodpeckers, chickadees, wrens, finches, sparrows, and more birds in the area. Taking some time during the Great Backyard Bird Count to go bird watching can be a great experience.

The best part is that you can do this no matter if you are here in the valley or in your own backyard. All you have to do is head outside, put on your listening ears and keep your eyes open.It doesn’t require a fancy camera or expensive binoculars, although they help if you have them. We hope that it is something you take the time to enjoy and participate in no matter where you find yourself this February.

Take the Scenic Route

The Northern Cascades area is home to many scenic routes that reveal its extraordinary beauty. The vistas are unimaginable unless you are already a resident and then you know. But you never get used to the picturesque region or tire of looking at it while driving, picnicking or on hikes. It is all around and forms the Camping is the favorite local form of recreation. Tourists abound during the high season and are guided promptly to the right places and especially the overlooks. Some mighty good photography is taken in these parts.

Because I love my home state and want to save it from catastrophes like forest fires, I want to encourage campers from smoking on site. In the summer when is dry, it doesn’t take much to start a conflagration. You cannot be too cautious. You cannot assume that one cigarette is harmless. It takes one red butt to ignite tinder. My message is for visitors who must respect our land.

Smokers aren’t usually outdoor types in any case. But there are some who indulge while enjoying the fresh air and scenic sights. If you see a culprit tossing a cigarette out a car window, it should be reported fast. Naming and shaming on Facebook isn’t enough. He or she will no doubt do it again. The side of the road is a common place for fires to start. In our area, we have a kind of pact among residents to become a neighborhood patrol. After one serious fire that threatened some mountain cabins, we went “on watch.”

Smokers come in to town and it is easy to spot them. They have been on the road for some time and ask in the general store for an air purifier that is suitable for cigarette smoke. If we have them in stock as there is a lot of demand. The tourists prefer these devices to spray that doesn’t last. Imagine being in a car with a smoker for eight hours. The fabric of the seats just reeks. It adheres to the car ceiling and floor rugs. The car wash tries its best but is hard pressed to succeed. They end their task with a spritz of scent, but it can’t mask the deep odor.

I don’t smoke but I do use an air purifier for health reasons in my home. It does a good job of ridding the place of cooking and bathroom odors, not to mention the harmful pollutants and allergens that are common in summer when the windows are left open. I recommend these appliances and often give them to friends as practical gifts. The air is full of danger when it is warm. My air purifier is my best friend. I have stopped the sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and irritated throat. Two units take care of the entire house. They are strategically placed and on 24/7. I pray that they won’t wear out.

Stay Awhile

If you are planning a trip here to the North Cascades, you’re going to need a place to stay. No matter the size of your party and your lodging needs, we’ve got you covered. This post highlights a few different types of accommodations that are available to you.

We’ve got traditional hotels for those who like to be near the action but have somewhere familiar with all the comforts of home at the end of the day. You’ll find great rates at places like the Quality Inn Okanogan, the Abbey Creek Inn, the Hotel Rio Vista, and the Sun Mountain Lodge.

If your family likes to dine and eat, the Idle-a-While Motel is an affordable choice. They offer cozy cottages and kitchenettes with up to three beds. There are also some nice amenities here: tennis courts, access to hiking trails, a picnic and BBQ area as well as wireless internet and a hot tub. As an added benefit, dogs are also welcome here.

For a special getaway for the whole family, the Methow Valley Inn is an excellent choice. With room for up to 18 people, this vacation rental is amazing. Located in Twisp, the Inn is only 10 minutes from the Winthrop cross-country skiing trailhead and 15 minutes from the ski slopes.

If you aren’t sure what type of reservation you’ll be needing, contact the Mazama Country Inn. The inn itself has 18 guest rooms with a variety of accommodations, from gas stoves, Jacuzzis, and several sleeping configurations. It makes for a peaceful stay without TV or phones (they do offer free wifi, however). They also have over 30 vacation homes in the Mazama area, each with a completely equipped kitchen and linens. Even if you aren’t a guest there, you can have a meal at their fantastic restaurant. As an added bonus, in the winter, the room rates include all three of your meals at the restaurant! There is a ski rental place within walking distance, and in the warmer months, you can rent mountain bikes directly from the Inn.

For those who would rather be sleeping under the stars, we have a variety of camping options to fit your needs. You can find plenty of places to make camp at the Colonia Creek Campgrounds, North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake, and lots of others. If you’re more of an RV camper, we’ve got Riverbend and Lightning Pine RV parks.

These are just a few of the options you’ll find around this area. Contact a travel agent or take a look online to find the best accommodations and rates for you. We can’t wait for you to come and visit us.

Enjoy Methow Valley any Time of Year

Methow Valley is a fantastic place to be no matter the time of year. The natural beauty of the area lends itself well to any type of weather! Whether you enjoy skiing, biking, horseback riding, swimming, or you just prefer gorgeous views, everything is better here in this great area of Washington State.

In the winter, we’ve got lots of family-friendly activities for people of all athletic levels to enjoy. The Methow Trails have cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, kids’ trails, and even dog trails. There are also adaptive trails if you need special assistance – so don’t let that old knee injury keep you from missing out on the fun! Another really cool thing to try at Methow Trails in the winter is riding a fat bike, which has wide tires capable of traveling over snow. Talk about a great time! If you are more interested in bird watching, every winter we have a number of bald eagles who make nests here and are amazing to see. The snow is especially beautiful in this area, if we do say so ourselves. So if you’re interested in wildlife, all that snow can make it easier to track some of our four-legged friends!

As the weather warms up into spring, this area starts to come alive with bees, butterflies, and many other creatures. The wildflowers are in full bloom and the water thaws out. The lovely mild weather provides many opportunities to explore the beautiful scenery. It’s a wonderful time to be outdoors and explore the area!

In summer, you have some perfect weather here in the Methow Valley. The days here are long so there’s plenty of time to do all the things you want to. The Methow Trails thaw and are perfect for hiking, horseback riding, or bicycle riding. The Northern Cascades National Park is a perfect place to visit this time of year. The weather is also perfect for swimming, boating, fishing, and lots of other water sports!

And in autumn, this area is a bright and colorful wonderland. The air is crisp and clear, and the weather is still mild enough to get those last hikes and camping trips finished before the first snowfall. There are plenty of local places harvesting the most amazing produce. Fall is also when we have our amazing Raptor Migration Festival, and it is a must-see. It is a day filled with educational information and beautiful views of some amazing birds like hawks, merlins, and eagles as they prepare to leave for their winter territories.

So no matter what time of year you need a little break from your everyday life, Methow Valley is a great place to visit and recharge. Whether your favorite season is summer because you like camping in the great outdoors, or you love strapping on some snowshoes and making your way across the valley, you’ll have a memorable time here.

A Family Vacation You’ll Never Forget

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a trip to Europe or Disneyland to have a great time with your family. Being together and doing something new and interesting is really all you need. And the North Cascades have plenty of opportunities for your family to do just that!

This area is full of lakes, mountains, forests, and gorgeous views. We have activities that will appeal to everyone, at just about every fitness level and age group. We’ve highlighted just a few places and activities below to give you an idea of what’s available here in the North Cascades.

Imagine you and your family cruising down the North Cascades Highway. This wonderful drive provides spectacular views without even having to leave your car! There are plenty of scenic overlooks so that everyone can enjoy the breathtaking views. You’ll also drive past quaint little towns and campgrounds as you make the 132-mile drive.

Another great place for families is the Ross Lake National Recreation Area. There are hundreds of hiking trails for you to try, rivers, reservoirs, water sports, and plenty of campgrounds so you can extend the fun! You cannot beat a day of fun out on the water and a night under the beautiful starry night sky!

Lake Chelan is another great place for families. Itis one of the deepest in the entire country. If you like to spend your days fishing, kayaking, or boating, you’ll have a wonderful time here. If you’d rather spend your time on land, there are lots of places in the area to stay and dine. If you like golf or shopping, there’s plenty of that, too!

And if you love photography, you are in luck. With natural beauty all around you, there is hardly a place to visit that won’t be worth taking pictures at! Mount Rainer, the tallest peak of the North Cascades, has a wonderful park. Paradise is the most beautiful, with amazing views and fantastic wildflower meadows.

A great place for winter sports is Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. While it has great places for hiking and picnicking in the spring, in winter, this place really shines. There is skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

If you want to add a little education to your trip, head on over to the Skagit Power Project. Seattle City Light will take you on one of their Diablo Dam tours (one of our favorites is the Diablo Dam Good Dinner Tour) or on a lake cruise to see how hydropower can be a great alternative energy source.

Memories are made through shared experiences and good times. A vacation here in the North Cascades will give you plenty of opportunities to spend time together and bond as a family. You’ll want to return again and again to experience all that this fantastic area has to offer.

Take a Hike!

There are so many great places to get out into nature around here. One of the easiest ways to do that is to take a hike on one of the great trails nearby. We’ve compiled a list of a few places to start you off:

For those who like their hiking on more flat terrain, there is Big Valley. Located between Mazama and Winthrop, this 5-mile trail gives you some lovely views of the surrounding mountains without making you feel like you’re trying to climb them as you go! It is a great trail for the whole family, taking you through a variety of surroundings—a pine forest, open fields, and the Methow River.

Another trail that is reasonably flat is Cutthroat Lake. It is a 4-mile trail that brings you past a beautiful lake and some lovely rocky mountains. One of the best times to take this trail is in the fall, when the trees start to turn a lovely golden hue. If you want to challenge yourself a little more, there is a fork in the path that will take you up to Cutthroat Pass from there.

If you’re along the Highway 20 corridor and want to experience a gorgeous mountain lake, a hike to Blue Lake is a perfect way to spend your day. It’s not too far, only about 2.2 miles each way.The views are spectacular so don’t forget to bring a camera! The spring is especially lovely here with all the wildflowers providing a colorful foreground to the granite mountains.

On the other hand, if you’d rather see your water moving, try Cedar Falls/Cedar Creek. Close to Mazama, this round-trip hike of only 3.5 miles will bring you through a lush cedar forest to some majestic tiered waterfalls. Once the snow starts to melt, this trail gets even more beautiful, as the waterfalls are at their strongest.

Maple Pass Trail is one of the longer trails we’ll mention here, about 6.7 miles long, and will be well worth it for the more athletic or the seasoned hikeramong you. You can take an additional loop to pass through two beautiful lakes, Lake Ann and Rainy Lake. This trail is often busy but it is so worth your time. The views are absolutely incredible. If you start going clockwise, you’ll do the harder and more inclined portion of the trail first. Just be careful if it has recently rained or snowed in the area because the trail can get wet—and the snow can hang around until late July!

Then there is Goat Peak. If you are looking for a birds-eye view of this beautiful valley, this is the trail for you. Goat Peak is over 7,000’ tall. While that sounds intimidating, know that you can drive a significant portion of the way–you’re only hiking about two miles each way. It is worth it to go up there at least once—and again, bring a camera, because the views are incredible!

There are so many hiking trails around here that it is impossible to mention them all. Don’t just take our word for how beautiful they are, though, come on over and see for yourself!