One of the pros of living in the Pacific North West is easy access to great hiking with beautiful views. One of the cons is that everyone has easy access. Even the tucked in, out of the way places see major traffic on beautiful weekends in the spring and summer. This Saturday, Amy and I hiked Bandera Mt. At 8 miles round trip, 3400′ elevation gain, it’s a bit of a thigh burner. But the views are spectacular!
The trail starts pretty flat in the cool, green trees…
…with a few peak-a-boo views of Mt Rainier.
The trail is practically littered with wildflowers.
And then you get to one of the most challenging parts of any trail I’ve ever hiked: the scramble.
I don’t feel like these photos do the steepness and instability justice.
It was touch and go in places, but we made it, injury free. Once you get to the top, you’re treated to 360 degree views of the Cascades, Mt Rainier and even Seattle off in the distance. It’s truly spectacular.
We stopped up at the top for about a half hour to take pictures and eat some snacks. Then it was back down the scramble, slow and steady! Finally we were back in the trees and so close to the trailhead!
It took us 3 hours to get to the top, 2 hours to get back down. Not bad for a hike with these stats and 20+ lbs on our backs! Slowly starting to feel ready to take on Kili. Tomorrow I’ll post photos from our hike up Tiger Mt on Sunday!