Hiking is finally allowed again in Washington so we can get back to some outdoor family adventures! Monday morning was a gorgeous day for the Pacific Northwest. We attempted to find Racehorse Falls a week ago and thought we found it…but realized when we got home that we pretty much found a steep creek, not the actual racehorse falls.
Eliza and Oliver are getting to a tricky hiking age where they are too heavy to carry for a really long distance, but don’t have quite enough stamina for a multi-mile or steep hike. Racehorse falls was a perfect hike for them because it was only 0.6 miles each direction and had a gorgeous view of a waterfall at the end! It was pretty much entirely flat except for the last ¼ mile which was pretty steep (down on the way there, up on the way back). I held Eliza’s hand in a death-grip on the way down. On the way up, I put Oliver in the Ergo and Eliza in Seth’s kid-backpack for the way back up. I used my hands to grab roots to help myself up on the way back up a couple times, so I felt a lot safer having the kids in carriers. There was a good size drop-off in a couple areas too so I’d probably recommend a 1:1 adult-child ratio for toddlers/preschoolers if you go to the base of the falls.
One great thing about this hike is that it is only about a 30 minute drive from our house! To get to Racehorse Falls, you drive up Mt. Baker Highway to Mosquito Lake Road – the trailhead is not well marked, but if you enter it in Google Maps it gives you the exact directions. Here is the link to the Alltrails website with reviews and directions too! The last part of the drive is on a gravel road. When we went a week ago there were quite a few potholes, but they filled them in since then and the road was totally fine to drive on with our VW Golf yesterday! There is no cell service on the trail though so it is a good idea to download offline maps before you go.
If you are worried about the steep hill with kids you could easily just hike to where it starts getting steep and then turn around. If you make it to the base of the falls, there are many wonderful picnic spots! There were very few bugs when we went since it is so early in the year. You definitely get a lot of bang for your buck as far as effort goes on this hike!
We are really excited to get out and hike more this summer! Last summer we had to be extremely careful to keep Oliver out of the sun and he was not allowed to touch dirt for a year after transplant (until December 2019). This year we are still careful with sunscreen but let Oliver play outside as much as we can. He is able to hike and play in the dirt like a regular 2-year-old boy. It is so good for him and for us! Happy hiking!