Chelan Lakeshore Trail to Stehekin, Washington - Weekend Backpacking Adventure

This was my first-ever true backpacking trip and it was fantastic! Lake Chelan is a narrow strip of icey blue water surrounded by snow-cover peaks and it reminded me of a fjord. This is not a beginner hike, but the campsites have a lot of amenities that make backpacking easier and allow for a lighter pack. Trailhead access is by boat only, and a reservation is needed, so a little planning is required.

11 Grand Canyon Surprises - I did my research but I still never expected...

With our Grand Canyon trip I did a decent amount of reading but also had the impression that I have been to enough of this part of the country and enough National Parks that I knew what I was doing. I was wrong! Here is my list of lessons learned and things you should know if you are planning a trip, with a bit of our adventure mixed in.

Mount Teneriffe, Washington - Perfect Hike for Waterfalls, Mountain Views, and Bragging Rights!

This hike is mostly tree covered, with just small glimpses here and there, so when you pop out of the trees at the top it takes your breath away. On a clear day you can see Seattle and all the way to the Olympics. There are several possible routes, with Kamikaze being the more challenging by far and in my opinion the most fun.

Finger Lakes Day Trips - Hiking Canyons, Petting Goats, and Stunning Waterfalls

This area is dotted with craggy lakes, deep gorges, cascading waterfalls, and lush greenery, peppered with small towns and wineries. I lived in this area for over a decade and did lots of exploring. The Finger Lakes in Central/Western New York has so many places to check out that it is hard to pick just a few, but these are my picks for where I would take friends from out of town for a memorable trip:

Watson Lakes, Washington - Picturesque Lakes with Options for Most Skill Levels

Something about the mountains and the reflections here make these lakes really special. The trails to Anderson Lakes are an easy walk complete with some boardwalks and a little up and down, the first Watson Lake requires a little elevation change going over a ridge, and the far side of the second Watson Lake is barely a trail, but worth it.

Mount Ellinor, Washington - A Leg Burner on the Edge of Two Worlds, with a Chance of Goats

The steep climb up what may seem like endless stairs brings you to a summit with lush green lake views to one side and snowcapped mountains on the other. It really feels like you are right on the edge of the mountain range. There used to be lots of mountain goats in the area. Many have been relocated, but you never know.