– Ben Martens

Crystal Lakes Hike

When spring rolls around, I start flipping through various hikes trying to figure out which ones I want to tackle that summer. The first one I identified this past spring was Crystal Lakes. It’s not a very strenuous hike but it’s one of my favorite areas and ends up at an alpine lake. For those of you following along in your textbook, this is hike #66 in Beyond Mt. Si.

Free weekend days with no rain are getting harder and harder to come by, so on Sunday Tyla and I decided to go for it. It as rainy/misty/cloudy for most of the drive but it didn’t bother us on the hike. The hike itself is consistently steep as it climbs 3000 feet in about 3 miles. The trail is very smooth and well maintained though so you don’t spend a lot of energy stepping over roots and rocks.

We arrived at the lake and found a couple people there, but even though this is a popular trail, we saw less than a dozen people all day. We were able to see all around the lake (and even spotted some leftover snow from last season on the far bank.) It quickly got very cloudy/foggy and we didn’t have much of a view.

It was a very enjoyable hike though and we did get some good glimpses of fall color and at one point the clouds parted and we could see Rainier. The shore was very accessible all the way around. I’m tempted to go back in the summer and do some (chilly) swimming there.