The Adrenaline Rush
THE HYPERACTIVE WEEKEND
FORGET FIGHTING Friday's post-work trafficleave at 6 a.m. Saturday instead. Drive 25 miles east on I-90, take exit 25, continue about five miles, and drop your bags at the Salish Lodge and Spa, which overlooks 268-foot Snoqualmie Falls (doubles, $259-$359; 800-826-6124, www.salishlodge.com). From there, follow Washington 202 toward Fall City for three miles and go east on Fish Hatchery Road to reach the put-in for the Snoqualmie River's Class II Powerhouse kayak run, at the base of the falls. Paddle until 11 a.m., backtrack to I-90, head east for about 20 miles, and follow signs to Alpental ski area at exit 52. Hike the Snow Lake Trail for three miles, then follow the Source Lake Overlook Trail to The Tooth, a rock pyramid visible a mile across the valley (Snoqualmie Ranger District; 425-888-1421, www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/). Climb the four pitches, rated 5.3 to 5.6, for great views into the central Cascades. Rappel back to the trail by 4 p.m. and drive five miles west on I-90 to the Denny Creek exit, start of the Granite Mountain Fire Lookout Trail (which branches off the Pratt Lake Trail, 1.2 miles in). Speed-hike the four miles and 3,800 feet of elevation gain to watch the sun set behind the Olympics.
The next morning, head east with your mountain bike to exit 38 off I-90 to access the Iron Horse Trailhead. Spin up the old railroad tracks, now compact gravel doubletrack that never ascends more than a 2 percent grade. Bike about 16 miles to Snoqualmie Pass and the 2.3-mile tunnel that goes under it. Once through the tunnel, turn around for a gentle downhill ride back to the car. Next, drive four miles west on I-90 to exit 34 and follow signs to the Dutch Miller Gap Trail, 25 miles ahead. Hike along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River until you find a hole teeming with rainbows. Catch a few for lunch. Return to the car by 4 p.m., drive 17 miles west on I-90, exit on Issaquah's Front Street, and follow it three miles to Seattle Paragliding.com ($125-$145 per person; 206-467-5944). Hanging at 4,000 feet in a harness, you'll see much of the wilderness you kayaked, hiked, climbed, fished, and biked in the last 36 hours.
THE WILDERNESS FORAY
IT'S A 20-MILE round-trip paddle from Anacortes, north of Seattle, to the tip of 15-square-mile Cypress Island, the largest undeveloped isle in the San Juan archipelago. The wildlife is what makes this adventure extra special: Orcas migrate down the west coast, and bald eagles nest in the evergreens and junipers. Contact Island Outfitters ($195 per person for a two-day trip; 866-445-7506, www.seakayakshop.com).
THE NEW, NEW THING
CAREEN DOWN Whistler Mountain, catch air at the jump park, or ride Vancouver's famed North Shore with the pros at just-opened Whistler Bike Camp in British Columbia. End your three-day stay with a little "heli-biking." A chopper pilot will grab you, your three or four friends, and a guide and drop you at a trail outside of Whistler for at least two hours of brake-burning downhill (three-day camp, $330; heli-biking, $80; 866-788-2453, www.whistlerbikecamp.com).
THE RECHARGE SPOT
AT THE 104-YEAR-OLD North Head Lighthouse Keeper's Residence ($252 per night, two-night minimum; 360-642-3078), four hours south of Seattle where the Columbia River meets the Pacific, you'll find three bedrooms, one bath, and blissful solitude. Hike the woods of Fort Canby State Park, then head to the two-mile-long sand beachthe perfect spot to fly a kiteor perch on the rocky headland and take in the view that thrilled Lewis and Clark.