I wonder if people who live on the Mediterranean look at that crystal-clear, turquoise-blue water every day with awe. I can’t get enough of blue water- in the mountains or tropical ocean (I’m not picky). Like, I have to take a picture of it whenever I see it! Such was the case, last Tuesday, at Lake 22! Gorgeous.
Lake 22 is, simply put, famous around Seattle. When you mention that you like to hike, people rattle off a list of hikes that are ‘just great when you have little ones’ or are just a great experience, for one reason or another, and Lake 22 is always on it, along with Wallace Falls, Ice Caves, Heather Lake, Little Si, Rattlesnake Ridge and Mt. Pilchuck. We had plans for Rattlesnake Ridge and Pilchuck, but our kids spoke up and said that the views are pretty, but they prefer a swim hole at the top, like a reward for all their hard work. We could hardly argue with that reasoning, so we are rethinking our end of season hiking this year. 😉
Lake 22 is in a nature reserve that was set aside in the 1940’s and left, pretty much, untouched from then. There are old growth trees, several waterfalls and the views along the ridge are gorgeous. The lake is pretty, but I agreed with the guide, the true beauty of the hike was the trail.
The trail was made up of a variety of walking surfaces- we walked through waterfalls, through sticky mud, over boulders, on fist-sized gravel and beautifully maintained bridges and boardwalks! It was a fairly intense trail. Sometimes I feel lame for saying things like that, so this time I kept track of my heartrate as I traversed the trail. I got about 1200 feet of elevation over 2.5 miles. It took us about an hour and a half to go up, and my heart was consistently in the upper 140’s- solid cardio! That’s a good workout! I hate it when people talk down hikes and downgrade them to a walk in the woods or whatever. Hiking takes work. I’ll admit it. It’s just work that I love. My most favorite form of fitness!
My daughter said that Lake 22 was her best hike ever. I think it had something to do with the fact that we also brought our nephew along. I sustained my first-ever-since-childhood skinned knee, complete with embedded gravel, which I’m strangely proud of. It was a really fun hike, one that we will happily return to.
We find most of our hikes in a book called Best Hikes With Kids-Western Washington and the Cascades. I’ve used it since before I had kids, mostly because it has a difficulty rating for kids (and overweight, middle-aged women, I’ve always added). If it says it will be moderately difficult for kids, I know it will be the same for me! If you’re looking for hikes with kids, this site from the Washington Trail Association has a pretty solid list of hikes to take with kids. While you may not have kids, I think that these are probably hikes with special features that make them either more accessible (easier), interesting (waterfalls and extra beautiful)and more fun (swimming)!