ROAMING THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
THE BACKYARD BEAUTY OF MOUNTAIN RANGES
When it comes to wild places, we at BEYOND are the how; working to connect you with them. The Remote Unknown is the why, demonstrating the beauty and benefits that you’ll uncover once there. Through the lush photographs and reflective words shared in each installment, we hope to inspire your next adventure.
We’ve both always been huge Geology nerds. As a kid, Hollis learned about rocks and dinosaurs from his dad. Meesh wandered the rivers in Texas searching for dinosaur prints, and spent time tumbling rocks and cracking open geodes. With this love for the earth's complex physical structure, we both share an admiration for volcanoes.
We decided to take on a day hike in the Pacific Northwest to a 300,000-year-old glacially eroded complex stratovolcano. It lies in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, part of the extensive Cascade Range, and contains one of the most well-protected lakes in this range. It was shaped by the changing climate of the Pleistocene Epoch, during which multiple glacial periods occurred and glacial advance eroded local Northwest Mountains.
The 6-mile round-trip hike takes you along a glacial lake and to unbeatable 360° mountain views at the summit. The hike up was quite brutal, gaining a little less than 2,000 feet over a span of 2 miles after the mellow, relatively flat first mile, but the views were consistently stunning. We began to see colorful ramparts and a panorama of alpine scenery. The lake was unbelievably beautiful, with bright blue turquoise glacial water. The view of the mountains at the end of the hike is literally the best we have ever seen. With patches of alpine snow pack at the peak, our pup Apollo had a blast running around cooling off on a hot summer day in the snow fields.
The rough access and short seasonal window of opportunity made this hike all the more alluring.
After enjoying the beautiful sunset hues from the summit, we made our way down the trail and enjoyed a gorgeous blue-hour setting. This hiking trail is only clear for a few months a year, and getting to the trailhead requires a high-clearance four-wheel drive capable of slogging through some very deep ruts and steep pitches. The rough access and short seasonal window of opportunity made this hike all the more alluring, and another reason why we decided to check it off our list of Remote Places in the Pacific Northwest.