Olallie Bike Trail/Christmas Lake 1/15/2018

Trail Map
Trail Map

After a few close encounters with the pre-opening mountain bike trail in 2016 I finally got to hike the official trail today.

Before it opened you had to look for a muddy spot on the IHT about 2 miles from the parking lot and bushwhack up to the under-construction trail but now that it is open the trail head could hardly be more obvious:

New Trail Head
New Trail Head

As of now, this trail goes east and intersects the Mt. Washington trail at the pond, then goes across the northern face at that level (probably about 3400 feet) and then down to just south of what the Olallie map calls Change Lake, aka The Pond.

Last summer Carl and I accidentally found the current eastern terminus; within a year they expect it to go to McClellan Butte.

A good hiking trail but for the mountain bikers among us, this trail seems to be top rate. Three bikers passed me as I was hiking back west, and I asked them how they liked the trail. I got a great five-word review: “Beautiful. Well maintained. Drains well.”

Here are a couple of typical trail views:

Trail
Trail
More Trail
More Trail

I only went part-way and then turned around but a near-term goal is to hike it to near the eastern terminus, split off at the pond shortcut and go back down via Change Creek trail and IHT.

On the way back I detoured off the IHT down the Christmas Lake trail, a little-used trail and way more interesting than the IHT. It borders the northern shore of Christmas Lake most of the way, and just where you leave that section of the trail to head west, there is a nice view of this obscure little lake:

Christmas Lake
Christmas Lake

About 7.6 miles total, sure beat working!

Twin Falls/Mt WA trail 1/13/2018

Falls and Forest
Falls and Forest

Ken, Mark, Greg and I hiked Twin Falls today.  We went from the Exit 34 trail head to the IHT, then east to the Mount Washington trail head, and up that trail to the first waterfall.

Nice hike, kind of wet today but not too bad.

The falls are pretty intense lately:

Busy Waterfall
Busy Waterfall

My first hike as a retired geezer, as my last day working was Thursday the 11th.

I am predicting a busy hiking 2018 and, I hope, a road trip east.

Rattlesnake Mountain Upper Ledge 1/6/2018

Looking East
Looking East

First hike of the new year with Ken, Mark, Mike and Greg.  We took a version of the old trail from the Rattlesnake Lake side of the mountain to the upper ledge and found some folks making tea.  The upper ledge is not capacious:

Crowd on the Ledge
Crowd on the Ledge

I hiked solo on New Year’s Eve, did Margaret’s Way but when I got home just a few minutes before Jill and Derek and the kids arrived so I never got around to recording it.

Next week is my last week as a working stiff.  I will be retired as of next Friday.  So – more hiking in 2018!