Overlooking the Crooked River in Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Smith Rock State Park: Oregon’s Rock climbing Mecca & Dreamy Day hike destination

A legendary rock climbing destination, Smith Rock State Park is a paradise for hikers as well. We made a (not-long-enough) stop here for a few hours on our way south to Bend. What our 4-mile-hiked lacked in length, it made up for with a challenging workout and spectacular scenery.

Mountainside Trail #207 running through the blast zone at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Remembrance and Rebirth: Visiting the Eastern Side of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted with a force exceeding 27,000 bombs. The excitement/dread/anticipation of the predicted eruption had consumed our kid minds. Now, nearly forty years later, we are finally visiting the site of the most significant geologic event of the 20th century, and tangibly experiencing the wonders of our childhood fascination.

Unnamed glacial pond just off the Naches Peak loop trail in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Hiking the Naches Peak Loop Trail in Mount Rainier National Park

On our Naches Peak loop hike, we will walk through beautiful subalpine meadows dotted with evergreens and waves of autumn color. We will gaze at glacial ponds and lakes. We will get a taste of the Pacific Crest Trail. And last but certainly not least, we will take in more stunning views of “that mountain” we’ve fallen so hard for.