Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cascades and Olympic Mountains

Monday April 7 the temperature hit 70s and blue skies in Gig Harbor. There is not a better sight on the earth when this happens.  On highway 16 looking south you see the Cascades including Mt. Rainier, and looking north you see the Olympics.  If you go on Soundview Drive looking east you can see the Cascades along with Vashon Island, Point Defiance Park, and Commencement Bay which goes into Tacoma.

The Cascades have four large mountains in Washington State. Besides Mt. Rainier there is Mt. Adams and Mt. St.Helens to the south-east and Mt Baker to the north-east.  Mt. St.Helens had a large volcano eruption on May 16, 1980; so it has a visitor center a lot of people visit each year.  Crystal Mountain, Snoqualmie Pass, and Mt. Baker are very popular spots to ski.  Besides hiking the mountains directly there are a lot of other places to hike in the Cascades as well. Also, you can visit the Mt. Rainer National Park, Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Park, Mt.Adams National Forest, and Mt. St. Helens National Monument.

The Olympics is not nearly as large as the Cascades, however, is a wonderful place to visit, and hike. The largest mountain is Mount Olympus. Also you can view Mt. Constance, and the Brothers which is a double peak from Seattle on a clear day. There is the Olympic National Park which makes up most of the Olympic mountain range.  The Olympics have a number of rivers including several known ones the Quinault, Elwha, and the Dosewallips.  They have what is called the Sol Duc Hot Springs as well; a lovely place to hang out at. Also, while you are visiting the Olympics you are close to the Pacific Coast of Washington as well.

When I was in the Boy Scouts we did a lot of hiking in the Olympics. There are so many places to hike in the Olympics including the areas I already mentioned.  For three years during the summer we went on fifty mile hikes. Also, there are a lot of places you can go on day hikes as well.  So if you are a hiker both the Olympics and Cascades are great places to go even for one day. Make sure to take a camera as well to take a lot of pictures. Washington State has so many wonderful places to visit on vacation. Most of the places can take only two hours to drive too. Though there are a lot of places in the world I would like to visit I could spend a lot of time in Washington as well. 

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