Otter Falls – North Bend, WA

After spending the past several months nurturing a Taco Bell baby in my belly, it’s finally time to shed my pear shaped physique and start hiking again. Being the brilliant man that I am, I determined that a 10 mile hike out to Otter Falls was the way to go right out of the gates. Unfortunately my body has been telling me that I’m an asshole ever since.

The trek to Otter Falls starts on the Snoqualmie Lake Trail, and includes a little off-trail hiking to get to the falls. There are several creeks and streams you’ll have to rock-hop across unless you don’t mind getting your feet wet. I decided to be the cool guy that waded through the water, then felt much less cool when my feet were freezing for the next hour. After about 4-5 miles you’ll see a makeshift shrine (think Blair Witch Project), as well as carvings in a tree that will point you up the mountain side (all off-trail). Once you reach the top you’ll see the falls and be able to hike down the side of the mountain to relax and swim if it’s warm enough.

Besides the distance, this was a great first hike. There weren’t a lot of people on the trail the day I went, maybe because it was Memorial Day weekend? Although every time I tried to fall back from the group to go #1, a family with kids mysteriously appeared on the trail coming right at me. Instead of exposing myself to a bunch of children I chose to hike over a hill to do my business, then I almost got turned around and walked the wrong way. Good thing I’m an experienced mountain man… I quickly located my footprints in the wet mud and followed them back out to the trail. That’s what mountain men do… if you didn’t know. Which you probably didn’t, since you’re not a mountain man like I am.

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