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FiresideChats
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PostSun Jun 23, 2019 9:20 pm 
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I could use some help thinking through the following scenario:

I'm taking a group of high school kids and adults on a day hike on Thursday.
We are camping on Middle Fork Snoqualmie.
Weather might be a bit sketchy, but the snowpack is way low for the season.
Kids are pretty fit. 6-8 hours of hike time, not too long in the cars to the trailhead.

I'm thinking Denny Creek, with the hard-chargers heading up to Melakwa Lake. The slower plodders can aim to reach the falls. Is this a good/the best choice? I've never been in this area, usually GPW, but I have most of Wednesday to scout for Thursday.

Thanks in advance for feedback.
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Hiker Mama
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 8:39 am 
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There are lots of choices for hikes for youth in the I90 corridor. Denny Creek is fun - the "waterslide" is a great destination. I haven't personally been up to Melakwa Lake, so I can't comment on that, but I'd think if the kids were fit and prepared with proper hiking shoes and gear, they'd do OK. If they are not hikers, though, I'd hesitate - that trail has a lot of elevation gain, not normally something I'd encourage for beginning hikers.

Another great hike nearby is Talapus/Olallie. It's really beautiful, not as difficult as Melakwa.

If there are kids or adults who don't want to hike very far, Franklin Falls is wonderful. The nature trail at Asahel Curtis is also nice.

Up at the pass, Snow Lake is within your parameters. If folks don't want to go that far, Lodge Lake is kind of cool, you can even hike over to Mirror Lake from the pass. I haven't checked the trip reports in a long time, but I'd imagine these areas are melted out.

Down on the Middle Fork, I haven't been down there much. It's been years, and I haven't been there since they paved the road. I seem to remember the Middle Fork trail, where you cross the photogenic suspension bridge to start, is a good trail - you can go either right or left. Hopefully others will chime in, as that area isn't super familiar to me.

Have fun! It's always an adventure taking groups of kids out on hikes!

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Cyclopath
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 8:49 am 
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There's a side trail about a mile above the water slide that goes to a granite slab with waterfalls and a pool.  Slightly scrambly.
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FiresideChats
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 9:15 am 
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Thanks for the help! Lots of good things to scout out.
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InFlight
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 9:21 am 
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The other option in that area that would be fun is hiking through the Snoqualmie Tunnel and than up to Lake Annette.

A shorter nice hike for beginners would be Lodge Lake.

Another vote for Talapus and Olallie Lakes.

I would tend to suggest keeping the group together, the logistics of longer/shorter routes and matching kids to drivers is problematic.

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thunderhead
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 11:46 am 
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I personally like Melakwa better than talapus/ollallie, for its better views throughout the hike in my opinion.  Plus if you fall short on melakwa you still get to a fun destination, like you said. Either hike would be fine for in shape kids in terms of effort.  Neither is super hard.
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FiresideChats
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Thanks everyone -

Lots of great ideas. I'm already looking forward to scouting as many as possible on Wednesday.
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RandyHiker
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 4:01 pm 
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If you are camping at the Middle Fork Campground,  the Taylor River trail to Otter Falls starts from quite close to the campground.

The distance is a bit long, but not much elevation gain.

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/otter-falls-taylor-river
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 7:51 pm 
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I'm with RandyHiker. If I was camping on the Middle Fork, I would hike on the Middle Fork. I would hike downstream (officially the Pratt Connector Trail). It is quite nice, and not that crowded. You don't get sensational views, but the weather will likely prevent that anyway. If the kids have too much energy (and you want to wear them out) try going up towards Rainy Lake.
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PostMon Jun 24, 2019 7:59 pm 
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Stegosaurus Butte is another good hike that can be undertaken right from the campground

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/stegosaurus-butte
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Brushwork
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PostTue Jun 25, 2019 9:02 pm 
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There’s also the Granite lakes trail.

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FiresideChats
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PostWed Jun 26, 2019 8:25 am 
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Great beta! Heading up now to look around.
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PostSat Jun 29, 2019 11:05 pm 
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Thanks for the great suggestions; we had a great time, despite the rain. I scouted Melakwa and that will be a great choice for next year, if we can get the weather. The waterslide was a fantastic destination that I had no idea of previously. Also instead of the unmarked Stegasaurus trail, I ended up on the equally unlabeled Rainy Lake Trail, but that was fun to scout out (+vertical mud sliding).

I ended up taking the group on the Pratt Connector trail, with highlights being a pair of screech owls, peek-a-boo views of mountains across the valley, and a small cave for the kids to explore. The next morning I took most of the boys to scout out the first couple miles of the Snoqualmie Lake Trail along the Taylor River.

Good times.
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Hiker Mama
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PostTue Jul 02, 2019 1:16 pm 
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I'm really glad to hear you had a successful and fun trip!

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Cyclopath
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PostTue Jul 02, 2019 1:54 pm 
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Those poor kids.  Nothing in nature is clickable!  Trees don't have a number of likes written on them.  It must have been so confusing.   They probably experienced terrible side effects like wonder and contentment. wink.gif
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