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Ultimate Summer Escapes: The Best Dayhikes and Backpacking Trips Near You

Coming soon to your city: far-out adventures that are shockingly close to home.

©Dave Schiefelbein

Camp amid sand castles at Indiana Dunes.

Seattle

In the city

Portage Bay Sea-kayak the Emerald City’s exotic side, then feast on zesty fish tacos.

Rent a kayak at the Agua Verde Paddle Club, then choose your own adventure: Turn right for a nature outing, or left for a tour of the city’s working waterfront. The former entails a 1.5-hour paddle to the Washington Park Arboretum past sea turtles and eagles, and a stroll amid Japanese maples. Opt for the industrial circuit, an expedition of up to 3 hours, and you’ll float past old crabbing boats and shipyards where massive vessels await repairs or a fresh coat. Both options are best topped off with a catfish taco at the Agua Verde Cafe.

Get There The cafe is on NE Boat St., across Lake Union from downtown.

Get Info Kayak rental is $15 per hour, $25 for 2 hours. (206) 545-8570; www.aguaverde.com/kayak.htm

Daytrip

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Hike to an alpine ghost town.

Come Saturday, Seattle’s REI-addicted, Clif Bar-fueled denizens drive east, hunting for a day’s adventure off I-90; give ‘em the slip by heading north on I-5. You’ll find jagged mountains in every direction, including both sides of the old railroad grade to Monte Cristo (8 miles round-trip), a circa-1890 gold- and silver-mining town. Side trails riddle the ruins and roam every which way past old machinery. At the end of the townsite, take the steep 1-mile spur trail to Glacier Falls, where you’ll find many a good lunch rock and sightlines to glaciers and hulking 7,000-foot peaks.

Get There The trailhead is at Barlow Pass in the town of Granite Falls, 43 miles north of Seattle.

Get Info Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, (800) 627-0062; www.fs.fed.us./r6/mbs

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