Top Seven Hiking Trails in Washington State

This blog post is brought to you by guest author Scott Moses of Live Once Live Wild. We love Scott's infectious enthusiasm for the outdoors! Enjoy his article on the 7 best hikes in Washington State and check out his website: www.liveoncelivewild.com


Introduction

When it comes to planning a trip out west, most people think of visiting the Rocky Mountains, or Yellowstone National Park or the Grand Canyon. While these places are certainly fantastic places to visit, one of the hidden gems of the West that many people miss out on is Washington State. This state offers some of the best hiking trails found anywhere, and a cross state vacation will allow you to enjoy diverse beauty from ocean hiking to rainforest hiking to hiking the open plains on the eastern part of the state. Below you´ll find the top seven hiking trails that Washington state has to offer.

Horseshoe Basin

On the eastern slope of the Northern Cascade Mountain Range, you can find a quality hike at Horseshoe Basin. This hike is only a 12-mile round trip which makes it a doable day hike. However, if you have the time, you will definitely want to get a backcountry permit and take along a tent to stretch this into a several day adventure. From climbing several local peaks to making it all the way to the Canadian border, the Horseshoe Basin area has plenty to explore. A relatively minimal elevation gain of just over 1,500 feet makes this a hike that pretty much anyone can do.

On the eastern slope of the Northern Cascade Mountain Range, you can find a quality hike at Horseshoe Basin. This hike is only a 12-mile round trip which makes it a doable day hike. However, if you have the time, you will definitely want to get a backcountry permit and take along a tent to stretch this into a several day adventure. From climbing several local peaks to making it all the way to the Canadian border, the Horseshoe Basin area has plenty to explore. A relatively minimal elevation gain of just over 1,500 feet makes this a hike that pretty much anyone can do.

Park Butte

Also in the North Cascades, but on the western slope you can find another quality day hike that can also be turned into an overnighter. Park Butte is an alpine hike that takes you pretty close to towering Mount Baker, one of the highest mountains in the state. Make it a priority to hike Park Butte in the fall time and you´d be hard pressed to find more stunning autumn color.

Also in the North Cascades, but on the western slope you can find another quality day hike that can also be turned into an overnighter. Park Butte is an alpine hike that takes you pretty close to towering Mount Baker, one of the highest mountains in the state. Make it a priority to hike Park Butte in the fall time and you´d be hard pressed to find more stunning autumn color.

Chain Lakes

While you are in the area of Mount Baker, you might as well hike its slopes as well. The Chain Lakes hike near Mount Baker is perhaps the best way to get your fill of mountain lakes, and there are plenty of them. For some reason, however, you can never get enough of the beauty of mountain lakes and this hike will allow you to explore several. While the actual hike is only just over two miles, there are several longer loop options that will allow you to stretch this hike into an overnighter.

While you are in the area of Mount Baker, you might as well hike its slopes as well. The Chain Lakes hike near Mount Baker is perhaps the best way to get your fill of mountain lakes, and there are plenty of them. For some reason, however, you can never get enough of the beauty of mountain lakes and this hike will allow you to explore several. While the actual hike is only just over two miles, there are several longer loop options that will allow you to stretch this hike into an overnighter.

Hoh Rainforest Trail

Who says that you have to travel to the Amazon in order to enjoy walking through a rainforest. In the western part of Washington, the warmer air currents coming off the Pacific Coast give way to a truly unique ecosystem in the Hoh Rainforest. The actual Hoh Rainforest Trail is a treasure of a hike; ten miles of magic as you meander through the open understory of massive trees cloaked in layers of moss. The nearby Olympic Mountains also offer some great panoramic views once you stumble out of the thickness of the rainforest canopy.

Who says that you have to travel to the Amazon in order to enjoy walking through a rainforest. In the western part of Washington, the warmer air currents coming off the Pacific Coast give way to a truly unique ecosystem in the Hoh Rainforest. The actual Hoh Rainforest Trail is a treasure of a hike; ten miles of magic as you meander through the open understory of massive trees cloaked in layers of moss. The nearby Olympic Mountains also offer some great panoramic views once you stumble out of the thickness of the rainforest canopy.

Rialto Beach and Hole-in-the-Wall

Beaches aren't just for surfing, swimming, and sun bathing. The northwest coast of Washington also offers some fantastic beach hiking options and Rialto Beach is the one beach hike you simply cannot miss out on. This simple four mild round trip is great for families as it will offer you some gentle climbs to cliffs overlooking the ocean while also taking you right down to the shore where you can search for shells, starfish and other ocean treasures.

Beaches aren't just for surfing, swimming, and sun bathing. The northwest coast of Washington also offers some fantastic beach hiking options and Rialto Beach is the one beach hike you simply cannot miss out on. This simple four mild round trip is great for families as it will offer you some gentle climbs to cliffs overlooking the ocean while also taking you right down to the shore where you can search for shells, starfish and other ocean treasures.

Quinault River-Pony Bridge-Enchanted Valley

Who wouldn´t want to hike in an enchanted valley? This classic hike is a must if you are planning on visiting Olympic National Park in the northwestern part of the state. The actual trail will take you through moss covered trees and also into open prairies where you stand a pretty good chance of spotting elk, black bears, and other local wildlife.

Who wouldn´t want to hike in an enchanted valley? This classic hike is a must if you are planning on visiting Olympic National Park in the northwestern part of the state. The actual trail will take you through moss covered trees and also into open prairies where you stand a pretty good chance of spotting elk, black bears, and other local wildlife.

Snowgrass Flats

The Goat Rocks Wilderness Area might not be as well-known as some of the other natural areas around Washington State. Nonetheless, for wild flower lovers, you´d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful area. You can plan up a 20-mile round trip hike through Snowgrass Flats, the Cispus Basin, and the Nannie Ridge Loop. This hike is best done as a 3-4 day hike and will keep you high on the ridges offering stunning views of the valleys below and Mount Saint Helens in the distance.

The Goat Rocks Wilderness Area might not be as well-known as some of the other natural areas around Washington State. Nonetheless, for wild flower lovers, you´d be hard pressed to find a more beautiful area. You can plan up a 20-mile round trip hike through Snowgrass Flats, the Cispus Basin, and the Nannie Ridge Loop. This hike is best done as a 3-4 day hike and will keep you high on the ridges offering stunning views of the valleys below and Mount Saint Helens in the distance.

 

Make It an Epic Adventure

As you have probably seen, hiking Washington State offers a whole variety of landscapes, from rainforests to beach hiking to the relative flatlands of the eastern part of the state. If you are really looking to turn your hiking trip into an exotic adventure, consider exploring other areas of the western United States. Check out this website LiveOnceLiveWild.com which offers some great complete guides to some of the best national parks to visit out west.

 

 

Mountain Muesli Makeover

It's our 6th birthday and what a year it's been! The last 6 months at Mountain Muesli have brought a lot of change.
We believe in transparency so here's what we've been working on!

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New company logo: We partnered with Orca Design Group in Gig Harbor. We are thrilled with the new logo we have. It incorporates Mount Rainier and the Scandinavian aesthetic perfectly. We hope you'll love it as much as we do. Now that our logo is complete and released, keep an eye out for Mountain Muesli swag.

New cereal packaging: working with a different artist, we are refreshing the packaging for our muesli. It will come in the same size pouch and incorporate our new logo. In case you didn't know, the FDA has changed the nutrition labeling standards so you can expect that to look a little different as well. 

Cereal flavors: Get your Cranberry Hazelnut and Island Time while you can! These flavors are being taken off the shelves sometime this year. They will still be available for purchase in a bulk order
of at least 20 pounds. Cinnamon Raisin is getting a slight tweak -- it will soon be called Cinnamon Pecan Crisp. It's the same cereal you love with the addition of dried apples. It's delicious! Cherry Almond and Blueberry Walnut will remain unchanged and absurdly good!

We are excited to announce our new flavor, Coconut Cashew Crunch, which will be available for purchase in the coming months once our new packaging is printed and ready. For now, you can buy it in the bulk bin at Marlene's Market in both Federal Way and Tacoma. 


Retail Locations: Metropolitan Market opened a new location in Sammamish.
It is a beautiful store and our mini bites are available to purchase there!

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Do you like Mountain Muesli? Do you like Ellenos yogurt? Would your day be made 100 times better by combining the two? Then let us make your day! Mountain Muesli makes the muesli topping on the Nutty Fruity Muesli flavor.
Support 2 local businesses at once and get your snack on!

 

That pretty much wraps up all of our updates for now. Thank you so much to our customers for your loyalty and support!

Do you have a store in your neighborhood you would like to see Mountain Muesli products?
Do you have a need for bulk cereal for a product of your own? Let's collaborate! 
Email us at info@MountainMuesli.com!

 

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Yellowstone National Park

Humans have been enjoying all that Yellowstone has to offer for over 11,000 years. Indigenous tribes and bands of people lived within the area now known as Yellowstone Park long before its boundaries were ever defined and the land was ever protected by the government. Did you know that Yellowstone is also connected to the Pacific Northwest? The Salish people have oral histories of their ancestors at Yellowstone over 3,000 years ago, however, it wasn’t until 1872 that the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act established Yellowstone as the first ever national park.

According to the National Park Service, The Yellowstone National Park Protection Act says “the headwaters of the Yellowstone River … is hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or sale … and dedicated and set apart as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” In an era of expansion, the federal government had the foresight to set aside land deemed too valuable to develop.” On March 1st, 1872, President Grant signed into law the Yellowstone Protection Act, thus setting the precedent that lands could be reserved for the future and protected from the waste and degradation of resources.

What followed was a tumultuous time for the park. Vandals, poachers, and squatters plagued the park’s superintendents. With no real budget or manpower to police the area, Yellowstone Park suffered and was thought unsafe by the public. In addition to these issues, the American government was at war with several Native American tribes. On August 20th, 1886, the US Army took power of Yellowstone park and worked to relive the pressure from poachers whom had all but exterminated certain wildlife.

 

While this was occurring, 14 other national parks were established. They were independently administered and it soon became clear that the army could not provide the in-depth educational experience many visitors wished for. The parks were managed inconsistently and with a distinct lack of direction. This prompted the creation of the National Park Service in August of 1916.

Today, Yellowstone exists predominantly in Wyoming and also in parts of Montana and Idaho.  The park spans an area of over 3,400 square miles. What sets Yellowstone apart is arguable the great variety of naturally occurring features within the park. Yellowstone is home to lakes, canyons, mountain ranges, rivers, the largest supervolcano on the continent, and countless species of fish, plants and wildlife. The bison herd in Yellowstone is the oldest and largest public bison herd in the United States. Wolves, elk, and grizzly bears are also found in the park. Yellowstone National Park has one of the largest forests of petrified wood due to the caldera, or volcanic crater, within the park. There are nearly 300 waterfalls in the park, ranging from 15 feet to 308 feet!

The park sits on the Yellowstone Plateau at an elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level. The highest summit on the plateau is Mount Washburn at 10,243 feet. The Washburn Range is one of two mountain ranges that resides completely within the boundaries of the park. In 1870, Mount Washburn got its name from one of the leaders of the first expedition to summit this mountain, Henry D. Washburn. Now Mount Washburn is home to one of three fire lookout towers within the park. Though there are two trails, climbing Mount Washburn is quite popular and the trails can get crowded.

During the same expedition that would later give Mount Washburn its name, Old Faithful also received its moniker. Erupting with clockwork consistency every 44 to 125 minutes, Old Faithful is the most famous geothermal geyser.

Yellowstone National Park is not only the oldest of our national parks, it is also one of the most well-known. Regardless of what your favorite recreational activity is, it is likely that Yellowstone can accomodate your every outdoor wish. Yellowstone is DEFINITELY in our top parks to visit!

Mt. Rainier National Park

We can’t start a blog series about beautiful parks without first posting about the park that inspires so much of what we do at Mountain Muesli. That’s why Mt. Rainier National Park is the first one on our list!

We can’t start a blog series about beautiful parks without first posting about the park that inspires so much of what we do at Mountain Muesli. That’s why Mt. Rainier National Park is the first one on our list!

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Mt. Rainier National Park is of course the mountain itself. Topping out at about 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is not only the tallest mountain in Washington, it also boasts the most glaciers as well. Mt. Rainier's glaciers cover more than 35 square miles and are important sources of water for six major rivers. If ice isn't really your thing, consider this -- Mt. Rainier is also an active volcano!

Mt. Rainier is a mecca for mountain climbers, with approximately 10,000 people attempting to summit every year!  It’s a difficult climb, and only about half reach that ultimate destination. Because there are so many activities that you can do at Mt. Rainier, it can be a very busy place, especially on a beautiful sunny day.

Mt. Rainier was originally referred to as “Tahoma” or “Takhoma” by the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest. One translation for these names is “mother of waters”. It is believed that the city of Tacoma adopted this as their city name due to their proximity to (and love for) the mountain. The current name, Mt. Rainier, was given by British explorer, George Vancouver, who named it in honor of his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier. In 1890, the United States Board on Geographic Names declared that the official name of the mountain would be “Rainier”.

Established in 1899, Mt. Rainier National Park boasts five developed areas and each have their own historical significance and overall ambiance. The areas are Longmire, Paradise, Ohanapecosh, Sunrise, and Carbon & Mowich. We recommend spending time exploring them all but hope you’ll enjoy our brief synopsis.

Longmire was the original park headquarters in 1916. Though no longer the park headquarters, there is museum and a Wilderness Information Center. Paradise is the second of the developed areas and is most famously known for its brilliant fields of wildflowers in the warmer months. It is also quite popular for winter recreation as it receives on average 643 inches of snow per year. Ohanapecosh is thought to meant “standing at the edge” and is a great option as it is typically more dry and sunny than Longmire and Paradise. The old growth forests located in this area allow visitors to experience a unique beauty and complexity often lacking in more urban settings. Sunrise is a very popular option as it is the highest elevation reachable by car. At 6,400 feet, Sunrise offers stunning views of wildflower meadows, glaciers, and Mt. Rainier. Lastly, Carbon & Mowich is the area that refers to Carbon River and Mowich Lake. Carbon River got its name from the coal deposits found in the area. It is often rainy and resembles a temperate rainforest. Mowich Lake is set within a glacial basin and is both the largest and deepest lake within Mt. Rainier National Park. This is another great spot to take in the wildflowers.

Whether viewed from the shores of Puget Sound or from the top of the mountain itself, Mt. Rainier is a beautiful icon for all who live in the Pacific Northwest and beyond! 

Mountain Muesli Blog

Welcome to the homepage for the Mountain Muesli Blog. The majority of the time, you will find a post highlighting one of our amazing National Parks. While we reserve the right to cover other topics, we can't help but brag a little on some of the amazing places that inspire us. 

 

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