We've been going on "First Day" hikes since we woke up one New Year's Day a little worse for wear and decided it'd be handy to get the kids out of the house. Since then it's become a tradition and one I whole heartedly embrace.
In past years we've had some pretty mellow and some pretty epic adventures. Due to other commitments, it was apparent we weren't going to be able to head to Mount Rainier or go night snowshoeing or anything big. But we would have time to head up to the Pass and get in a little time in the snow.
One of the joys of living where we do is the ability to quickly access incredible terrain and trails that extend quite literally from Canada to Mexico. How? The Pacific Crest Trail, of course.
From Snoqualmie Pass we bypassed the long lift lines and crowded parking lots to head for the southbound PCT trailhead. There was one other car there. Off to skier's left of the slopes there's a dense stand of trees interspersed with small meadows. In summer these aren't easily accessible, but in winter, with snowshoes, it's easy to get to them. They're the unicorn of destinations: Close to the trailhead. Little elevation gain. Isolated.
To find these mythical beasts head up the PCT as though you're headed to Mexico. Before you get to the open ski slopes turn to your right and find a spot you like. That's it.
We snowshoed. We played in the snow. Henry played stuntman with our new GoPro. And we got back home with plenty of time to spare. There's certainly no better way to start a year than with an adventure with the family.