Finding time to hike in the Fall can be a challenge, but it is so worth it. I had never hiked to Lake Valhalla before, but it was probably ten times more beautiful with all of the color popping at the end of September.
My hiking buddies for this trek were my best friend from childhood and her nine month old baby girl, Penny. This was Penny's first hike and Kate's first time hiking with more than just a backpack to carry, and they were both champs.
The hike allowed for the perfect amount of exercise without being overly strenuous. There are a couple different routes to this lake and we took the shorter Smithbrook Trail. It is a 7 mile out and back with 1500 ft. of elevation gain.
The lake has a sandy beach which was a perfect place to sit and relax and let Penny get her wiggles out (also chew on sticks, rub sand all over her face, and get all up in the outdoors like a pro). There were some PCT hikers also hanging out on this beach and planning to camp there for the night.
This was a perfect way to spend a sunny September day with my best friend and her mini-me. Today is Kate's birthday (Happy Birthday, lady!) and I hope she gets her wish to hike with the family.
For more information about hiking to Lake Valhalla, visit the Hiking Guide from Washington Trails Association here.