With the seasons changing, it was time to get a few more hikes in before the snow falls and ski season begins. The last trail near Leavenworth I hiked was the Fourth of July to Icicle Ridge trail, where we found a couple of dogs that wanted to join us on the trail. Hoping to find Duke and Nala, we found another hike along Icicle Creek Road. One of the steepest hikes in the area, according to WTA.org, we decided to endure the challenge.
With a fall weather window in the Pacific Northwest, you have to jump at the opportunity to be outside. Not knowing what to expect, we had brought the necessary gear and were hoping for clear views to see most of Washington’s volcanoes on the horizon while standing on the summit. The elevation of the top was near the snow line, so we were optimistic to see snow for the first time as well. We were not let down.
Icicle Creek Road was beautifully lined with autumn trees and views of larches on the mountain side. I have heard and seen pictures of the spectacular larches found in Washington but had yet to experience them first hand. I looked and peered around every corner until realizing the trail was not close to the larches we drove past on the way to the trailhead. I guess there is always next year…
The trail winds and switchbacks through old growth and moss-covered forests before coming to a ridge. The ridge was covered in sliver snag trees, or trees that were burned from forest fires of years passed without bark, and snow! Seeing the snow got my hopes up for an early ski season, but we were not done with the hike.
Walking along the ridge, I finally noticed a few orange larches holding their own in the cold, windy weather. Even though it was not a cluster of larches, I felt that my fall season was now complete so I could move onto the winter season. Who knew one trip would end fall and begin my winter?
The sun was out as the clouds blew through the sky. I was happy to see what we could with slight glimpses of a couple of mountains in the distance. The clouds covered up the large snowcapped volcanoes in the distance, but the snow dusting on the other peaks made the summit beautiful. We even endured the chilly winds as we refueled on the summit.
Below are the images from the beautiful hike, along with video shot with a newly acquired GoPro.
Hiking through the silver snags.
Hiking along the ridge.
On our way back to the trailhead.
Back to the forest we go.
Larches along Icicle Creek Road.
After the hike, we headed back towards Leavenworth and found mountainsides filled with vibrant orange larches. Stopping the car whenever I thought the angle was right, I found joy in capturing these unique fall trees making me nostalgic for autumn back East.