We hiked another beautiful Pacific Northwest trail this past weekend! Squires Lake is located on Highway 99. It is just a couple minutes off Exit 242 on I-5. There is a small parking lot and additional parking on the wide gravel shoulder of the road. The parking lot also has a large, wheelchair-accessible port-a-potty. The trail is not wheelchair or even stroller friendly though!
I’ve seen mixed labels of how long this hike is. Washington Trails Association says it is 2.0 miles roundtrip with 200 feet of elevation. Alltrails says it is 1.4 miles with 350 feet of elevation. Seth had Strava going during the whole hike and it said that the trail was 2.5 miles roundtrip with 350 feet of elevation gain so I’m guessing that is the most close to accurate!
The first ¼ mile is uphill with switchbacks. Our kids (2 and 4) were able to go all the way up by themselves no problem though! Once we reached the lake it is a mostly flat trail around the lake. There is one decently sized hill up and down during the loop that our kids both wanted to be carried on towards the end.
There were streams, waterfalls, a few bridges, and lots of wildlife to see! The trail is dog-friendly and connects to several other trails if you wanted to make it a longer hike or a bigger loop. Various places have benches at outlooks along the way. There were not many other people on the trail, even for a sunny Sunday afternoon!
I hope no one thinks that we have perfect children that always happily hike along with us. At one point on the hill, Eliza just plopped down and said, “I ran out of energy.” Overall, they are really good troopers, and the more we get out with them, the more used to it they will be! We are hoping to work up to longer and longer hikes so we can eventually go backpacking with them (without needing to carry them)!
This trail was a bit muddy in spots so Oliver’s Nike’s were not the best shoes for this trail. Eliza has amazing waterproof Keen hiking shoes that I bought used for $20 but I’m not willing to fork over $55 for the same shoes for Oliver since he seems to outgrow his shoes every 3 months! I have a great pair of Keen hiking boots that I got last year to replace the exact same old Keens that had lasted about 10 years! Seth wore his Chacos for this hike, which also worked great for the distance.
One extra fun addition that we just started using for the kids is the addition of a kid-size fanny pack. We only have one right now for Eliza but we will probably get one for Oliver too. This lets them have quick access to their snacks or works for collecting little pebbles along the way. It is a lot easier for them to use than an entire backpack for right now!