My Favorite Hikes of 2016

Maybe it was the hike covered in wildflowers that we did when my sister was nearly ready to have her 4th baby, or the afternoon spent floating on Goat Lake. Or was it that time I short-notice asked if anyone would hike Sauk Mountain with me with me at sunset? Or that snowy early morning sunrise hike at Oyster Dome? How can I pick just one favorite hike of 2016? There were so many good ones! Here are the hikes that stand out as my favorites and a little about why they were so special.

Oyster Dome in the snow via Samish Overlook- This was my first time hiking from the Samish Overlook parking area. As we pulled up, the sun was just starting to light up the sky with pinks and oranges.The trail was snow covered and the morning was crisp and beautiful. What a perfect way to start the day!

IMG_9663You can read more about this hike here in the blog post I wrote about it.Oyster Dome Snowy Hike

Skagit Wildlife Area on Fir Island– Okay, so this is definitely more of a walk than a hike, but what a perfect evening this was. It’s listed as one of my favorites because my husband brought our family here and introduced this special spot to us. At certain times of the year, this is a popular duck hunting area so check into that, before you head out with your family.DSC_0403

Ebey’s Landing – Wow. Just wow. I had NO idea that a place like this existed around here.  This hike was so special because it was the last one my sister did before having her baby and also because the wildflowers were The majority of this hike is along the bluff, with a full view of the water. If you go in June or July, you’ll be greeted with wildflowers almost the entire way.  DSC_0882Here’s my full blog post about this place. It was definitely one of my favorites this year.DSC_0874

Sauk Mountain at sunset- After running it by my husband, I threw the idea of a sunset hike to Sauk Mountain, out there to our hiking group. Minutes later, I was giddy.  My people were IN. The next day we carpooled to the trail head, arriving at 6:30pm. The sun would set at 9pm, so hiking at a steady pace, taking pictures as we went, we climbed.DSC_0091 The company was perfect and so was the trail and the weather. This trail is open and while you head down, you’re facing west. It’s ideal for a sunset hike. My full blog post about this one is here.DSC_0043Floating Goat Lake!  What a fun day. We’d always said “Hey, we need to bring floaties and hangout on Goat Lake sometime!” Finally we did and what a blast it was! Here’s my full post about this day, along with a list of what you’d need to bring. 

Ice Caves with my sister and all the kids– This hike is on my list of favorites for a different reason. It’s the people who showed kindness this day that I’ll never forget. As we walked the boardwalk, just beginning our hike, this sweet little babe of mine stepped backward to let some other people by. Overstepping, she fell backwards into the deep, freezing water. Seconds later, I was in, with my sister holding onto my backpack so I wouldn’t go in too deep myself. A stranger was there too, in the water with us, I think but I can’t remember for sure. Together we pulled her out and after a few seconds, she started crying. We quickly walked to the car, since she was freezing from head to toe. Strangers gave us socks and blankets to get her warm and after changing her and putting her on my back, we went ahead and did our hike (I was wet up to my waist, but it was a short hike). I was right there with her, and still she fell in. If I hadn’t been right there to jump into the freezing water, it would’ve been unthinkable. So thankful tonight for the man who helped her out of the water and to the nice lady who gave us warm things. Mostly I’m thankful that my baby is ok!

The blanket they gave her is on her bed and she sleeps with it every night. The kindness they showed us in that scary situation meant to much to me.

img_8341 If you’d like to read more about this hike, here’s my full post.img_8291

What were some of your most memorable hikes of 2016? What made them special?

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About Angela Strand

Angela is a wife, mama to three little ones and a lifelong Washington State resident. Besides facilitating the NW Healthy Mama website, she loves being involved in her kids' school, hiking with her girlfriends, growing all the things, writing, reading and taking photos.

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