A friend call last week and asked if we wanted to go hiking on Sunday. Sure! I had read several good reports about Boulder River,. a low elevation hike near Darrington. It starts at about 1,000ft and only gains 600 feet over four miles. The low elevation makes it a good hike for late or early in the season.
We checked the forecast and it looked pretty good. Sunday rolled around and I checked the weather radar in the morning. There were showers all along the highway from Arlington to Darrington but the forecast was still for clearing and no rain. We packed our rain gear just in case, dressed in warm clothing and headed out.
It was easy and beautiful drive through the farm fields and along the Stillagaumish River to the trail head. The drive was lined with big leaf maples and alders that were still wearing their yellow end-of-the-season leaves. We turned off at French Creek Road - FS 2010. The trees were still dripping from the morning showers and the potholes were filled to the rim with water. I dodged the pot holes the best way I could although we did hit several. After a short 3 1/2 miles, we arrived at the trail head.
The beautiful scent of cedar overwhelmed us as we opened the car doors. We had parked in a group of old cedar trees. We laced up the boots and headed down the trail. One side was lined with tall mossy fern-covered rocky cliff. On the other side, Boulder River roared in the distance. The bright sun rays cut the mist and made the forest look heavenly. The path was covered with huge big leaf maple leaves the size of two large hands. Water dripped from moss laden trees.
The sound of the river became louder. At about 1 1/4 miles, we came to a beautiful waterfall. We continued on walking - in and out of the fog and sun. After about 2 miles, we decided to stop at an sunny cliff and have our lunch.
The sun was getting lower. We had just turned our clocks back the previous night and we realized how quickly dark was coming. We returned to the car and headed back. The late afternoon sun turned the area golden and we had to make one more stop along the Stillaguamish River before heading back to civilization.
More details - WTA Boulder River