Big Tree at Tradition Plateau

A walk through Pacific Northwest forest after a recent snowfall.

Today I had the opportunity to visit Jon, a friend and former student, after arriving in Seattle late last night. We drove east of the city to a natural area called Tradition Plateau (and also, it appears, Tiger Mountain). It snowed a little yesterday, so the trails and surroundings were covered with a thin layer of wet and crunchy snow. The verdant forest I so associate with the Pacific Northwest was still evident, as were the incredibly tall and thin cedars and firs of the sort we just don’t see out East.

Snow-covered forest around Tradition Lake, east of Seattle.

It was a short walk along largely level trails, touching briefly on the edges of two shallow ponds. It was wonderful to spend time in the outdoors, as always. Though the trees are not large by Northwest standards, I still marveled at the size of the ferns and trees.

Jon hikes along snow-covered trails in the Tradition Lake area outside of Seattle.

We paused at a sign for “Big Tree”, a massive Douglas Fir nearly eight feet in diameter and 25 feet in circumference. According to the sign, the tree is 200 years old… perhaps 400 years old?


Hike stats:
Distance: 5.77km
Gain: 64m
Time: 1h30

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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