I’d been looking for a hike I could do safely by myself. Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island is well-populated, only 5.6 miles long, and not very technical. It’s also not in the middle of the mountains. So I picked it.
It happened that my mother came along, which made it a lot funner. But it did mean that I wasn’t by myself. Not a bad fact.
You may need a ferry reservation to access this hike. We got lucky and made it on as a stand-by, but barely.
We parked at the trailhead across from the cemetery for the hike. The Washington Trails Association had recommended that trailhead for more of a hike and the other one for more of a beach walk.
We’d chosen a day to go when it was supposed to be raining sideways. Thankfully, the rain and wind weren’t as bad as predicted. It rained a bit, but I stayed dry in my Arc’teryx. My mom’s Columbia wetted out.
The prairieland here was amazing. Nothing like other parts of Western Washington I’ve seen.
At one point two bald eagles flew at eye level maybe 15 feet off the trail. It was amazing. I had my phone in my hands but was too busy looking at them to take a picture. So I took one when they were flying away.
I could have done without the walk on the beach. It wasn’t as enjoyable as the walk on the bluff. If I did it again, I’d probably stay on the bluff, walk down the hill to the beach, and then back up to the bluff and just do a there and back.
It was a pretty good day-hike. Afterwards we took the ferry back to Port Townsend (again, get reservations!), got pizza for lunch, stopped at a loose-leaf tea place where I found my new favorite decaf tea, and drove home.
Do you have any fairly easy hikes you’d recommend in the area?
On The Outbound Collective website, I found a trail with a stump house at the Guillemot Cove Nature Preserve. A friend an I drove out there on what happened to be a sunny day to see the stump and the beautiful view of the Olympics.
It’s out near the town of Seabeck and situated on the water. It’s an easy trail but there were a few tight squeezes between trees. There was a family with a stroller in front of us and they ended up carrying the stroller because it couldn’t get down the trail. Also, when we went, it was incredibly wet. I wore my waterproof L.L. Bean Thinsulate boots which worked fine. I wouldn’t have been comfortable in anything that wasn’t waterproof; there were parts that were impassable without going through water.
But we made it to the stump house and it was so cool! Parts of the roof are made with newer wood, I had thought it would be all old, but either it’s a new stump house, or it’s been upkept with newer materials.
And I’d hoped to see the Olympics from the beach, but the clouds covered all but one or two peaks. While disappointing, the sun was still out for us and we had fun walking around the beach. I’d love to go back out some clear, sunny day and see the view then.
Do you have any unique local adventures to recommend?
After we went snowshoeing, which if you want to read about is available at the Lake Wenatchee Part One blog post, we spent a few hours down in Leavenworth, Washington. My favorite thing to do there is to get a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Caramel Apple. I got it and some other candies, and we probably stopped in every single store downtown. There was an outdoors store that sold some Woolrich pants one of my friends got, an art gallery that sold metal wall art of the mountains and trees, a bookstore, and so so much more. Leavenworth is a pretty little town but it’s my favorite when there’s snow on the ground. We happened to go the same weekend as their ice festival so there were lots of other people in town watching the ice carvings and various contests and races.
After our time in Leavenworth we went back to the cabin and cooked burgers. We got up early the next morning to head home and made a couple of stops along the way. We had second breakfast at the Cascadia Inn in Skykomish and then made another stop on the side of Stevens Pass Highway to look at some massive icicles hanging from the cliff on the other side of the river.
My L.L. Bean Thinsulate boots worked for this little stop fairly well. I fell through the ice once or twice but the water below was only a few inches deep so my feet stayed dry. I am planning on getting waterproof hiking boots in the next week or two though, when the coupons from REI come out with the REI member dividend.
Do you have any favorite places to stop or explore in the Cascade Mountains near Steven’s Pass?
We’ve been wanting to go hiking lately, but the weather and our schedules haven’t been cooperating. With some time to finally go, of course the weather is pretty bad too. But we didn’t let that stop us.
I didn’t really feel like snowshoeing or going to up to the mountains. I don’t have gear for the heavy snow. And where there aren’t mountains, it’s raining. While we aren’t going to let the rain stop us, we did let the rain stop our hike to Capitol Peak. We figured that there wouldn’t be much of a view, so we are going to save that hike for later.
So we found Mima Falls. Close enough to home and a long enough hike. You do need a Discover Pass FYI.
We got there easily enough at about 9:30 a.m. We were the second car. When we got back to the parking lot about two hours later, there were probably 8-10 cars.
It was a little muddy, but as long as I watched my step, my running shoes didn’t get wet. My brother’s hiking boots were waterproof so he didn’t have to look where he was walking.
We chose to not do the loop, we went straight to the falls and returned the way we had come, but it was still a nice hike and a good one for a cloudy winter day.
It’s not my favorite hike, but, again, it was nice to get out and our options were limited with the weather and the snow.