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Signs of Spring: Water Everywhere

Posted by Susan Elderkin at Apr 27, 2011 03:25 PM |

As the snow melts, water appears. Read WTA's spring hiking tips, then head out to one of Washington's spectacular waterfalls.

Yes indeed. Spring is finally here. The sun has been peeking out with more frequency. Flowers are blooming. And hikers are taking to the trail. The past weekend's Trip Reports featured the most diverse destinations of the season.

Some hikers are pressing to see how high they can climb before they reach snow. That will be the major question hikers seek to answer each week until well into July. But as the temperature starts to creep up, where does all of that snow go?

Well, it runs downhill, going anywhere it can. Streams swell with snow melt. Trails that drain poorly become muddy. And waterfalls become mightily impressive.

As you wait for your favorite hikes to melt out in the high country, why not take the time to visit one of Washington's incredible waterfalls? Ten Great Waterfall Hikes can steer you to a spectacular cascade this spring. Looking for other choices? WTA's Hiking Guide, powered by Mountaineers Books, allows you to search only hikes with waterfalls when you use the Advanced Search. Visiting a waterfall after some warm weather will assure maximum enjoyment.

What about the other effects of water - the ones we're not so crazy about, like muddy trails and scary stream crossings? They're part of the seasonal cycle, and go hand-in-hand with many of the things that make hiking in the spring so enjoyable: the sweet pungent scents of the forest coming to life, plants like skunk cabbage that emerge from boggy areas and the cacophony of a roaring river.

We've put together some tips for spring hiking that are important to review for even the most seasoned hiker - what to wear, what to have in your backpack, how to choose a hike, and how to handle the hazards of hiking in the spring (snow, water, mud, blowdowns and nasty roads). With a little preparation, you'll have a great time out there! And when you return from your hike, please write a Trip Report!