Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In Search of Snow: Lake Valhalla

 Trailhead Parking Lot
Missing Hillary in this pic!
Came across the PCT
 Just a lil bit of snow
 New gaiters came in handy!
 Snow angel!
It's snowing!
Where's the lake?
 Something to warm me up!
Mountain top peaking through
Beautiful trees!
 Not enough snow
The gang is all here, including William's body!

Date hiked: Sunday November 20, 2016
Location: Lake Valhalla Trail, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Hiked: 7 miles out & back 
Elevation Gain: 1500 ft
Highest Point: 5050 ft 
Difficulty: easy to moderate

I should've written this post while it was still fresh in my mind, but with Thanksgiving and my entire family in town for the holiday, life got busy. Anyways, the girls and I hiked Lake Valhalla a couple of Sundays ago, and it was amazing! I don't think I have ever experienced this much fresh snow before. I mean, it snows in California, but it never sticks around for long.

That Sunday morning, Alex, Sarina, and I drove and met up with Hillary in Snohomish, and she drove us the rest of the way to the trail head. Lake Valhalla is located off Highway 2 in the Central Cascades. We had typed into Google Maps Lake Valhalla, and it had gotten us a little lost, good thing we had a screen shot of the WTA directions! We didn't start too early and hit the trail head around 11:00-11:30 AM, that morning. We gave ourselves a turnaround time of 2:30 PM since it gets dark so early now. The trail had a well worn boot path. The only time we questioned the trail was when we hit the PCT, whether to go right or left. Looking at trail directions, we went right towards Lake Valhalla. We made it to the lake around 2:00 PM, perfect timing! A quick ramen lunch, and a few pictures later, we headed back for the car. On the way back we even got snowed on. We didn't see much of the lake due to fog, but what we did see was beautiful. Everyone put on microspikes on the way back for easier trekking, but truly you could've done it without them. Gaiters were helpful though, and kept snow out of my shoes and my leggings dry! It was around 4ish when we got back to the car, just before sunset.

So glad we did this Sunday hike, and happy we got to hang out with our friend Hillary!

Until next time Central Cascades!

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