Twin Falls State Park Hike – North Bend, WA

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Twin Falls in North Bend….no one fell in so the hike was a success in my book!

The semester ended for our kids this past Monday so the whole school district has to let the kids off for the day. I’m not sure if my kids really go to school for a full five days in a row. What, with all the holidays, late start days, etc. my kids never seem to go to school for a full week.

Wait children….

However, we aren’t here to complain about the state of our education system. Instead we are here to chat about another great little hike here in the Seattle area. It is the Twin Falls Hike off of I-90 in the North Bend area. This is a short hike coming in at only two miles round trip.

Of all the years I have live here, I have never done this hike. With all of this great winter weather we have been having lately, I thought we should take advantage of going on an easy hike during the “off season” of hiking. (Die hard hikers would say there is never an “off season”). From what I have read about this hike, it is a fairly popular hike especially during the summer. Consider it is January and we usually have a bunch of rain, I figured this is as a good time as any to do this hike.

Luckily, I checked the trail report at wta.org and learned that there was a washout on the trail to the Twin Falls. This would stop is if we left from the traditional trailhead off of Exit 34. Good thing I check it out before we started our hike. The Wta.org website is an excellent resource for all hikes in Washington State and I highly recommend checking it out before any hike.

We modified our starting point to the Ollalie State Park parking lot off of Exit 38. You start your hike on the Iron Horse Trail for about half a mile until you come to the spur/trail to the Twin Falls trail. The Iron Horse Trail is an old Burlington Northern railroad bed (now a service road) so the downhill grade is mild for about half a mile. The trail to Twin Falls is clearly marked (from the Iron Horse Trail) and you won’t miss it (unless your face is buried in your phone texting a friend).

After you leave the Iron Horse Trail and use the Twin Falls Trail, you will be going downhill for about 3/4 of a mile. Just remember, you will be going down and that means the way back is uphill.

Easy trail down for my hiking partners and myself. In our hiking band, we had my wife, my daughter, and another Girl Scout (and friend) with us. No one complained about the hike so that means it is a fairly easy one for 12 year old girls and 40 year old parents.

For all you math geeks, the different route brings this hike in at 2.5 miles.

Awesome detailed map of where you will be lost. The best part? You won’t have a clue of where you are at!

Overall, this hike is a good family hike and easy to do. We left the Covington area around 2 pm and we’re back to Covington by 5 pm. That included a stop at McDonalds for hot fudge sundaes (for the girls). Hey, I’m working out so I can win the Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge so I’m skipping that stuff. Well, until I get home…then I pig out and cry into my bowl of chocolate peanut ice cream….

At least Cyndi (my imaginary stalker) cares….

See those two dots? Those would be the kids I’m suppose to be in charge of.

Well, Everyone made it back from Pinnacle Peak Hike – Dr. Martin Luther King Day

While the folks back on the East Coast are battling snowstorms, we have had sunny, clear weather with temperatures into the high 50s and low 60s. The bad part about all this warm weather?   The freezing level has skyrocketed up to 10,000 feet and that translates into no snowshoeing for us in January! Yikes! Normally we wouldn’t do this lower elevation hike (at this time of year) because I would much rather get out in the snow.  It’s winter, we want to see some snow!

So last week, instead of a snowshoe hike, we hiked up Pinnacle Peak in Enumclaw. My hiking partners this billy goat trip were my 12 year old daughter and two of her friends. All three happen to be part of our Girl Scout troop and I wanted to see if this would be an age appropriate hike and skill level for them. As it turned out, they didn’t have any problems keeping up with me.

Pinnacle Peak is part of the King County Parks system. It is a short hike (2 miles round trip) and starts at 800 feet elevation and ends at 1800 feet elevation. Since the weather has been fairly nice, the trail wasn’t as muddy as it could have been this time of year. I wore my Merrill walking shoes and didn’t get them too muddy. There were a couple of slick spots but nothing that deter us from reaching the top in a timely manner. Here’s the link to the Pinnacle Peak map PDF

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Success at the top of Pinnacle Peak!
Success at the top of Pinnacle Peak!

One thing I neglected to do on this hike was to track the time we were on the hike. I do know that we left Kent around 2 pm and returned by 5 pm. That includes stops in Enumclaw at a chocolate shop and a stop at Kelly’s Latte Stand.

Do you have any favorite hikes you’d like to recommend?  Leave your tips and advice below!