Skyline Divide, located near Glacier, WA, is a breathtaking hike with wildflowers in the summertime and unparalleled views of Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, and the North Cascades. My friends Grace and Margaret had never hiked it before, and after finding out a tree that had been blocking the road had been removed, we decided to go for it. At 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 29th, we all met up at the Ash Way Park and Ride, piled into my Subaru with Margaret's dogs, Heidi and Badger, and headed for the trailhead.
Lodge Lake is small, quiet lake tucked behind the Summit at Snoqualmie Ski area. Clocking in at 4.0 miles roundtrip and just over 800 feet cumulative elevation gain, the hike is a scenic, approachable option for beginners, families, out-of-town visitors, and if you're short on time. Starting from the trailhead, you take off south on the Pacific Crest Trail, climbing 450 feet and passing under chair lifts on the north-facing slope of the ski resort, then descend 350 feet to Lodge Lake.
We were looking for a sub-5 mile, snow-free hike to do together and to test out how Onur's knee injury would hold up. We figured we weren't going to get a Mount Rainier view since the cloud base forecast was 6,000 - 12,000 feet, so a hike to a lake with wildflowers seemed to be a good move. It was also nice that it was less than an hour drive to the trailhead, off exit 52 on I-90.
Grace and I were driving back from Chelan on the Fourth of July, cruising over Stevens Pass on a traffic-free evening, when we had the kind of exchange hiking buddies have while figuring out on their next hiking adventure. Someone said "Tolmie Peak" and then someone wondered aloud when the next full moon was. Grace looked it up: "Huh, it's this Saturday." Done! We had found our next hiking fix: a full moon hike on Saturday, July 8th, to Tolmie Peak Lookout in Mount Rainier National Park.