A view of the other side of Mt.Pilchuck reflected into an ice cold lake reached by a nice gently graded hike was exactly what we were looking for on last weekend's beautiful Saturday afternoon. We began around 2:30 and although full, the trail head parking lot wasn't overflowing so we figured it wouldn't be too crowded on the trail.
The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming color green just everywhere. It made me so giddy, I've been waiting for spring for what seems like forever. The second was the water. It was flowing every where. Under the walk ways, sometimes over the trail, and the waterfalls were just running out of control. Quite a few times we ventured off the main trail to catch a look at the multiple waterfalls that we could hear from the trail.
As we reached the lake, just before I stepped onto the wooden walkway that surrounds the lake I dunked my entire foot in a large pool of melting snow and mud. My foot was soaked, so we picked a spot on the board walk to sit and eat lunch while my sock dried out.
The lake still had a sheet of ice on the far end and as we were hiking up we passed a group of four young men who had ski's strapped to their backs, with the exception of one who had an inflatable orca whale attached to a snowboard. Apparently they had hiked to the other side of the lake and skied down the snow into the water and went swimming.
yikes...between the avalanches and the freezing cold water...well, they were nuts.
Slightly dryer, we decided to head back down. We passed a group of some hipsters (one of which had hiked up in a dress and flip flops) who were digging up a lone skunk cabbage flower. I didn't bother to tell them about the plant they were digging up. Better to let them experience the smell.
At the beginning of the talus field we noticed a man carrying a teenaged girl on his back. We lost them on one switchback, but quickly caught up to them and noticed that the girl had her ankle wrapped and elevated. The tall one asked what happened and apparently she twisted her ankle at the top and re-injured it. (she had surgery on it last year). We asked if there was anything we could do to help, but the gentleman (who we found out was the father) told us that some people had stopped (who also had a wrap for his daughters ankle) and went ahead to notify Search and Rescue.
We insisted that we stay to help them, although the dad said he didn't feel comfortable with a stranger carrying his daughter down the mountain. I reassured him that though tall and skinny, my boyfriend is a UPS driver and could probably carry both me and his daughter down the mountain. But he wouldn't budge so we followed them down. After having to stop a few times, and some encouragement from his daughter, he finally let my boyfriend take her on his back and carry her down. The tall one proceeded to book it down the mountain. I'm not kidding, I had to run after the guy and he was carrying someone on his back.
SAR never came, so we're not sure what happened with that, and we were passed by the group of hipsters who did not offer to help, but other than that we didn't see another person on the trail. Strangely enough though, it was a lovely hike and the father and daughter (who is graduating high school this year) were a great team and kept things light and cheerful in the midst of what could have been a scary situation. I'm glad we were able to help them.
I highly recommend heading out there and stepping of the beaten path to check out these beautiful waterfalls.