Flashback Friday: Moran State Park

For the first installment of our Flashback Friday trips we take a look back at our trip to Orcas Island. To celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary in June 2014, we decided to getaway for the weekend and do some whale watching. So we dropped Catarina and Molly off with family and took the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island.

We stayed at the Rosario Resort, and one of the many things we did that weekend was a beautiful, short hike to Cascade Falls inside of Moran State Park.

I love this photo. It is so wild. So Western Washington. The downed trees, the waterfall in the background, the creek in the foreground, and a solitary human dwarfed by the nature.
I love this photo. It is so wild. So Western Washington. The downed trees, the waterfall in the background, the creek in the foreground, and a solitary human dwarfed by the nature.

Moran State Park has five lakes and more than 30 miles of hiking trails, though our hike was probably no more than 3.5 miles roundtrip.

We parked at the Cascade Lake South End campground, and after taking some photos of the stunning lake we found the trail near camping spot 1 and headed uphill into the woods.

 

Cascade Lake was both gorgeous and eerie at the same time.
Cascade Lake was both gorgeous and eerie at the same time.

The hike was moderately steep at the beginning, as you had to climb up the initial foothills through old growth forest, and next to a bubbling creek.

You eventually break free of the heavy canopy of the forest and enter some open space, before returning to old growth forest.

A year after taking this photo it is a bit confusing. I'm pretty certain the (3) means there are three waterfalls ahead, because it definitely wasn't a four-mile hike in each direction. Anyway, we only saw one waterfall, but there are more if you are willing to put in some serious uphill climbing to reach Mountain Lake.
A year after taking this photo it is a bit confusing. I’m pretty certain the (3) means there are three waterfalls ahead, because it definitely wasn’t a four-mile hike in each direction. Anyway, we only saw one waterfall, but there are more if you are willing to put in some serious uphill climbing to reach Mountain Lake.

After about 1.5 miles you come to Cascade Falls, which isn’t the biggest waterfall we’ve ever seen, but it is easily one of our favorites. The entire area is just so wild. As you walk up the stream to the falls, there are giant trees that have been blown down over the stream, giving the area a true Western Washington feel.

This tree fell over a long time ago. Made for a good photo opp with Veronica, who was dwarfed by the root ball.
This tree fell over a long time ago. Made for a good photo opp with Veronica, who was dwarfed by the root ball.

The day was even more special for us because we did not see or hear another person on our entire hike. A true escape into the wild.

Two things to notice here: 1. The trees in this part of Moran State Park are enormous. They remind of the Redwoods to a degree. 2. That thing growing on that tree looks like a creature. Made me feel like I was in a Lord of the Rings movie.
Two things to notice here: 1. The trees in this part of Moran State Park are enormous. They remind of the Redwoods to a degree. 2. That thing growing on that tree looks like a creature. Made me feel like I was in a Lord of the Rings movie.

If you ever find yourself on Orcas Island, you must do this hike – and if for some reason you don’t feel like doing the hike we did, you can just be a lame tourist and park in the Cascade Falls parking lot and do a 10-minute walk downhill to the overlook and view the falls that way.

cropped-1622585_10152558634797755_345890202257030379_o.jpg
Cascade Falls through the trees.

 

Believe me, though, doing the longer hike is worth it.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s