We’ve been having such gorgeous fall days that we decided to head up to Mt. Baker this past weekend to take advantage of probably one of the last rain-free weekends of the season!
It was actually the first time we had been up to the mountains this summer, which is pretty abnormal for our family, but between Artist Point being closed really late this summer and smoke, we really didn’t have a chance to go. We started the day pulling off at Picture Lake and walking around the quick half-mile loop. This trail is ADA accessible and fantastic for little hikers!
We drove up to the Artist Point parking lot and debated whether or not to do a full hike. Our kids weigh about 35 pounds each and I didn’t want to end up carrying them really far. We started down the Table Mountain trail which is rocky and not too steep to begin with. The kids were doing awesome hiking so right before we got to the steep part of the trail, Seth ran back to the car to get our kid carriers and water/snacks.
We went up Table Mountain two summers ago too but carried the kids 100% of the way (and they both weighed a lot less then!). Seth got back with all of the supplies fairly quickly and we loaded the kids up in the packs. This trail is NOT GOOD FOR LITTLE KIDS unless they are in a backpack! It is less than a mile from the parking lot to the top, but gains over 700 feet of elevation. There are pretty intense, rocky switchbacks right on top of each other for the last 1/8 mile or so.
We made it to the top with the kids and found a great place to have a snack. The views from the top are incredible! If you have kids that like to run away from you this might not be a good hike either because there are pretty significant drop-offs on the sides of Table Mountain. The top is relatively flat though!
Artist Point is a beautiful place to visit even if you don’t do any hiking! We want to do some longer hikes, but we are trying to feel out how far our kids will be able/willing to go without being carried the whole way!
On Saturday we packed up the kids and took them up to go sledding at Mt. Baker! We never know if at any time we will be heading back to Seattle Children’s so we are trying to take advantage of all the available time we have home with the kids (especially knowing Oliver’s stem cell infusion was coming up on Monday). We looked at the ski report before we left (the ski area is not open yet) and it looked like there was enough snow for sledding. As we got closer and closer to the top we started to get nervous because there was hardly any snow on the ground. Thankfully at the very top there was about 6” of snow!
Once again we learned the lesson the hard way about making sure that we have the right equipment for the kids. Eliza had snow boots for the season but we hadn’t gotten Oliver snow boots yet. We put wool socks on him and shoved his feet in his size 6 rain boots. (The kids are getting new rain boots for Christmas because Oliver is really in size 9 shoe now). Oliver had a total meltdown and was saying, “Ouch, feet!” We ended up trading shoes with Eliza (who has smaller feet than Oliver) and the kids were happy as could be the rest of the time! I went and bought snow boots for Oliver from a thrift store for $7 as soon as we got home.
We got a new sled from Costco this year which was really fast! We also got both kids snow suits from Costco this year which have been really nice even just for going on the playground at night with to stay warm. Eliza kept asking if she could go on the “slow sled” because she was scared of the Costco one. We had an old cheap plastic sled along too that we have used the past few years.
The parking lot was surprisingly full for this early in the season! There were quite a few snowshoers, some sledders, and some people hiking up with skis and skins. It was a great day for sledding because it was clear and 31 degrees so we weren’t too cold. Even with the busyness of the parking lot, we were able to walk about 100 yards away from the parking lot and have a perfect sledding hill completely to ourselves!
If you are wanting to go sledding I would totally recommend going now before it gets too crazy busy on the weekends at the ski area! It feels so good to get the kids outside seeing the mountains, feeling the different textures, and using their muscles for play!