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  • Writer's pictureEdward Leonard

Spring Hike at Garfield Ledges - North Bend, WA



As a seasoned hiker, there are few things that stir my soul like the promise of a new trail to conquer, a fresh vista to behold. So when the 20th of April dawned with the gentle kiss of spring in the air, I knew that my first pilgrimage to Garfield Ledges in North Bend, Washington, would be nothing short of extraordinary.


The drive to the trailhead was a journey in itself, winding through verdant valleys and along the banks of rushing rivers. With each passing mile, the anticipation mounted, fueled by the tantalizing glimpses of snow-capped peaks on the horizon. It was a scene straight from a postcard, a prelude to the grandeur that awaited me.


Arriving at the trailhead, I was greeted by the symphony of nature in full bloom – the trill of songbirds, the rustle of leaves, the sweet scent of wildflowers dancing on the breeze. Shouldering my pack, I took my first steps onto the path, feeling the familiar thrill of adventure coursing through my veins.


The trail to Garfield Ledges unfurled before me like a ribbon of possibility, weaving through ancient forests and across babbling streams. Each twist and turn revealed a new wonder – towering evergreens swaying in the breeze, moss-covered boulders cloaked in emerald hues, patches of sunlight dappling the forest floor like shards of gold.


As I ascended higher into the mountains, the landscape began to change. The dense canopy gave way to open meadows painted with the vivid hues of spring – a riot of color that set my soul ablaze with wonder. Pausing to catch my breath, I drank in the panoramic views that stretched out before me, a tapestry of natural beauty that seemed to stretch on for eternity.


But it was upon reaching Garfield Ledges that the true majesty of the hike revealed itself. Perched on the edge of the world, with nothing but sky above and valley below, I felt a sense of reverence wash over me. The jagged cliffs plunged into the abyss below, while the distant peaks stood sentinel against the azure sky. It was a scene of breathtaking beauty, a moment frozen in time that etched itself into the very fabric of my being.


Sitting there on the edge of the world, I couldn't help but feel a profound sense of gratitude – for the privilege of witnessing such splendor, for the gift of being alive in this moment, for the simple joy of putting one foot in front of the other and embarking on this grand adventure we call life.


And as I made my way back down the trail, the echoes of that experience lingered in my heart, a reminder that the greatest journeys are not measured in miles, but in moments – moments of wonder, of connection, of awe. And though my first spring hike to Garfield Ledges may have come to an end, I knew that the memories forged along the way would stay with me for a lifetime, a beacon of light to guide me on future adventures yet to come.


 

Garfield Ledges was not a hike my wife and I had done before though I'd hike several in the area over the years. I was looking for a quick hike for us that matched our current conditioning. At roughly 2 miles and 800 feet of elevation gain, Garfield Ledges seemed a perfect fit. We arrived early in the afternoon, just after lunch, and found ample parking still available.


We left the kids at home. Finally, they were old enough to leave alone for a few hours. This certainly added to the serenity of the hike and "the gratitude - for the privilege of witnessing such splendor". We love the kids, but it isn't exactly serene dragging them along on a hike.


The hike itself wound through a lush forest with moss hanging from the branches of the trees beside the trail above the dense blanket of sword ferns. The elevation gain was enough to get the heart rate up. At trails end there was a beautiful expansive views of the valley below as highlighted in the photo above.


Definitely a hike I will return to when ever I might not have a lot of time, but could use some inspiration from nature.











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