Rejuvenation in Teanaway country

By Andrea Imler, The Wilderness SocietyOpen ridge on Yellow Hill hike

Until last Saturday, I hadn’t been out on a hike in months. Typing those words is foreign to me, a hiking addict, but they are true. I spent the winter and spring training for road bike racing season, for once determined to focus on a single athletic activity. The hustle and bustle of living in Seattle – loud sirens, constant connection to technology and the concrete jungle were getting to me. I needed to mix things up. I needed a hike. Teanaway Country was calling my name.

The alarm went off and I sprang out of bed. The sun was shining, birds were singing and I was going hiking. What better way to kick off the weekend? My boyfriend and I ate breakfast quickly, grabbed our pre-packed backpacks and headed out the door.

Less than two hours later we parked at the Yellow Hill trailhead in the Teanaway. Ahh, the Teanaway. The Teanaway is one of my favorite places in the North Cascades. I’m not sure what it is about the Teanaway, but I love it. Perhaps it’s the unofficial motto: “It’s always sunny in the Teanaway!” Or maybe it’s the pine trees or the fact that its home to some amazing rocks, rare flowers and one of Washington state’s rare wolf packs. Perhaps it’s simply because it’s Teanaway Country – it draws you in.

The Teanaway has certainly drawn me in. I’ve hiked up sixteen peaks, some formally named like Navaho Peak, while others not officially labeled on a map. My feet have walked well over a hundred miles in the Teanaway, to sparkling blue alpine lakes and through snowmelt-swollen creeks. And I’ve slept under the stars there countless times.

View from Yellow Hill

A few hours later we reached our destination, the top of Yellow Hill. Well, not exactly the top. The summit of Yellow Hill is covered in trees. We made our way down the adjoining ridge and were treated with an expansive view of the surrounding Teanaway peaks. We sat down on a rock outcropping, ate our lunches and enjoyed the feeling that we were the only people around for miles. I felt rejuvenated.

Interested in doing this hike? Check out Washington Trails Association’s Hiking Guide entry about Yellow Hill and Elbow Peak. Note: as of posting this blog, consistent snow began at 4800′ on the trail, which is about a mile from the top of Yellow Hill.

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