Nice Margaret’s Way hike today with Ken and Greg. This is a nice hike, about 1,800 feet of elevation gain, much of it in the first mile (it does get your blood pumping right out of the gate), 6.6 miles round trip.
We are getting into a better weather pattern, after near-record rainfall totals for April. Was able to look out on the metropolitan area:
As always, retirement rocks, this sure beats sitting in a meeting room listening to programmers and software architects argue about how to implement the latest tech fad.
Carl has been talking about the Tolt Pipeline Trail and we are scheduled to do it this Thursday. I am meeting Ken and Greg tomorrow to do a Squak Mountain hike but today was nice so I thought I would get an early check on the Tolt Trail.
And I am glad I did. This is my new go-to conditioning hike. It is a wonderful trail – actually a road you could easily drive on, except all reasonable access is blocked by gates – that runs more than 20 miles between Bothell and – well, I am not sure how far it goes. To Sammamish? Carnation?
Anyway, you can get to this trail from any of the numerous roads the trail crosses. That sounds intimidating, but almost all of them are little neighborhood streets with little traffic. There is one fairly busy street but it has a stoplight with a walk signal so crossing is not an issue.
I parked in Woodinville just off 202, near some ball fields, just down the road from Ste. Michelle Winery and Willows Lodge. Who knew a really nice trail went through that area?
Turns out more than one trail goes through there. You leave the parking lot and immediately hit the Sammamish River Trail. The pedestrian bridge there has a couple of beautiful monuments (or whatever they are called) as you can see above.
A short walk on this trail and the Pipeline trail intersects. As soon as you turn onto the trail you can see the famous Heart Attack Hill in the near distance:
The trail goes up and down through beautiful semi-rural country, with numerous beautiful houses, horse farms and stands of trees lining the trail.
I cannot count the number of people with dogs and/or kids I encountered. And one horse:
Of course, a trail with the word ‘pipeline’ in the name has to show you a pipeline at some point, no?
All in all a really nice trail and best of all, not all that far – don’t have to drive south on I-405 through Bothell, Woodinville, Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue traffic then east in I-90 (then reverse the route going back).
Many thanks to Carl for telling me about this great trail. I would add that at the trail head just outside the parking lot is a map of the major trails in and around King County – whoa! Lots of trails, most of them family-friendly and no doubt fun. There is a lot to explore.
I have done two hikes this week. Solo, I did Rattlesnake Mountain/Stan’s Overlook on Monday:
Today, 4/11, I went up the other end of Rattlesnake Mountain with Ken. We started up the Old Trail and went to the third (upper) ledge. We expected a downpour and were dressed appropriately but it turned out to be beautiful:
This retirement gig is sweet!
Babysitting duty on Friday, they may have a sleepover that night, if so I will try to get out on Sunday.
I solo-hiked on Squak Mountain – took the Margaret’s Way trail to Debbie’s View.
It is obvious that Squak used to have a number of people living there, including the locally famous Bullock heir, whose former fireplace still stands.
There are a few street signs still hanging, and the remnants of old roads. Today, I noticed a sign clearly designed to help people looking for a family called the Martins. I think I will see if there is any local history about this time – when was this? Not all that long ago, I presume.
Very nice, cool day, the hike was about 6.8 miles out and back. I love the stand of birch trees about 1/3 way into the hike:
At Debbie’s View, there was a nice view of Rainier:
As of now the plan is to hike with Derek (rain forecasts) on Thursday. Should be fun.
Derek and I did a great hike today. We went up Zig Zag to where the Hall Creek trail splits and, having never explored that trail, decided to take the plunge.
Along the way we met up with three mountain goats, a euwe and two kids. Derek was able to capture some video, if I can figure out how to upload it I will. Very cool, they were right there in front of us on the trail, not more than 25 or 30 yards away, and they did not disappear for almost a minute. In fact, at one point we were fumbling around like Abbott and Costello, pulling out the bear spray, because we thought the adult was charging us. (she wasn’t).
This trail is great, even if unofficial, but with all the snow we had to rely upon clipped branches and pink flagging tape to follow along. And at about 2,500 feet we definitely needed the snow shoes:
Our track was basically a big loop and towards the end of the western portion, where we needed to go sharply uphill to intersect the service road (NF9021/Hall Creek Road) we were able to follow the flagging tape up the ridge.
We were way out there, didn’t see anyone (except two hikers right at the beginning) the entire way. We were able to get some of our landmarks into context, such as Greenway Mountain, which was above and west of us when we hit the service road:
We also got a great view of Hall’s Point and the Olallie View Point we scrambled to a couple of weeks ago (Hall’s Point is the prominence on the left, that is, south of Olallie View Point):
Snow shoes are de rigeur up there:
The Garmin hosed up again, the track shows the drive from home to the trail head but here is a close-up from Google Earth of our track:
Great hike, we learned a new trail and added another piece of the puzzle of the complex topography between Mt. Washington and McClellan Butte.
We found an awesome spot to view the meteor showers on a little side trail that juts to the north, a bit below the ‘Change Creek Vista’ sign. It requires just a bit of rocky scrambling but once you get there it is a nice, safe, wide spot with a terrific view:
As usual on this trail, the views (and the workout) are excellent:
It was great to get out with Derek again, he had a rare confluence of multiple schedules that allowed him to do a really fun hike. The discovery of this potential meteor shower viewing spot was a highlight.
We wound up not going quite as far as we had planned because, once we started going down the J’s Landing connector trail, we started post-holing, sometimes up to the waist, and that is mighty tough going. So we just headed back down.