Over the River and Through the Woods

The sunshine made an appearance today! Tim and I took full advantage of abundant blue sky and went hiking in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (located in Washington state). The snow levels this time of year can make finding a trail difficult, so we opted for a lower level hike we had done before called Siouxon Creek. Despite our careful planning, we still encountered snow! It was primarily on the forest roads leading to the trailhead, but it dotted much of the trail as well. We weren’t deterred though-we had the trail to ourselves for most of the day!

This area is absolutely gorgeous. There are plenty of waterfalls, lush greenery, tall trees (Douglas Fir and Red Cedar), and chirping birds to keep hikers company. Plus, the trail parallels Siouxon Creek most of the route. Even though the sun was shining overhead, the forest was COLD! Winter hats, gloves, and fleece pants kept us cozy. And, monster-sized veggie sammies kept us fueled for the 7.5 mile roundtrip hike.

My favorite spot on the hike:

Horseshoe Creek Falls

Unfortunately, the last stretch of the hike was impassable due to a creek crossing over a massive slippery rock. The water level was too high for a safe crossing, so we stopped just shy of the last waterfall and had lunch before turning back to the trailhead. Want to know the funniest part? I was looking through old photographs and discovered that the last time Tim and I hiked this trail was exactly 5 years ago (well, minus 1 day, but still!)!! We didn’t plan that, it was simply coincidental!!

This hike was just what I needed to get me even more excited for warmer weather and lots of hiking and backpacking. Nothing compares to being surrounded by the comforts and sounds of nature.