Hike Distance: 6.7 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 144.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 793 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 18620 feet
This was the last day of my son’s visit and we decided to go out for a hike. Not wanting to drive very far, I wanted to show him the trail system of the WSU Salmon Creek campus, which is fairly extensive. I also wanted to show him the route to the Pleasant Valley Park.
We stopped and purchased a parking permit for guests and then drove to the blue lot. I feel it’s very safe within a university campus, which is why I always park in their lots. The goal of this hike was to walk the periphery of the campus along with a side trip to the Pleasant Valley Park.
We walked past the buildings and then in a counter-clockwise direction through a forested area. There is a side trail that led toward Salmon Creek Ave., and also Pleasant Valley Park. At Salmon Creek Ave. we turned left and walked on a wide asphalted trail to a crossing at the street. Once you cross the street there is a trail to the right that leads to a bridge over Salmon Creek. This is a robust bridge with a beautiful view. The trail splits past the bridge and makes a nice alternate option on the way back. We continued to the left and then continued for another 4/10 mile to the end of Pleasant Valley Park.
Pleasant Valley Park has nice wide open meadows and some picnic benches for visitors. The trail system is minimal. The park also borders between a school and homes. We turned around and took the alternate route back, visiting a different river view and a pond!
We went back to the WSU trail system the same way we came, and proceeded in a counter-clockwise direction around the university. There are some nice boardwalks, forested settings and open fields along the way. In fact, there are just short of 10 miles of trails to wander around. Rather than expound on the route we took I’ll leave it to the reader to think about crafting their own route, since there are so many options.
Along the way my back decided to again give me sharp pains! This is the first time in the past week this has happened, and was disappointing. I stopped to stretch and took some aleve, and this worked well enough to get back. Something needs to change if I want to go on the four planned backpacks this summer!
A fantastic day with my son and in some awesome weather. We also had views of Mt. St. Helens and the tip of Mt. Adams!