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:
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:
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:
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:
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!
I have done a few hikes since my last post but only today have I been able to create a new post – some infected files. Hope it stays uninfected.
Went to Mason Lake yesterday with Greg, Mark and Mike. Had a great time but missed Carl, who is out for a few months following knee surgery. He should be back in time for some nice late spring hikes.
The trail was a bit snowy but fairly clear the entire way. There was one section that was a little sketchy, narrow, icy, with a drop off only a few inches away. Here is Mike wisely using three points of contact to steady himself:
Great views of Rainier and the peaks south of the freeway:
All in all a wonderful way to spend Saturday morning.
Sadly, Mike, who, after we met at the Exit 22 Park and Ride, volunteered to take us to the trail head 23 miles east, hit something sharp as we hit the gravel road that leads to the Ira Spring Trail Head and it popped his tire.
He was able to get us back to a Starbucks where the under-the-weather Ken Mallit met us (and bought our coffee – what a guy!) and drove us back to the Park and Ride. Hopefully Mark got a new tire and all is well.
Carl and I were going to do Change Peak but when we met up at the Park and Ride it was already raining so we decided to scale down. By the time we got to Stan’s Overlook it was starting to pour so we headed back down.
Better than nothing, a fun day. Had coffee afterwards in Snoqualmie’s nice little coffee shop.
If the view above was out of the window where I worked I would consider myself lucky. But this is the view from just above the E. Sunset Way Trail Head on Tiger Mountain. So, not quite awesome.
This is my new trip report for a hike I will be doing for conditioning purposes every chance I get. I brought my Garmin but once again it screwed up and tracked the entire trip from home to the trail head, etc. From past hikes here I believe what I did today was about 4.5 miles, 1,400 feet elevation gain. In that area.
I went up the E Sunset Way connector trail, up to the Puget Power Trail, to the Adventure Trail, to High School Trail, to Section Line, down the Nook Trail to the Bus Trail, Bus Trail to Around-The-Lake Trail, back to Puget Power Trail and then back down to the car.
The Bus Trail itself is nice:
The namesake bus, not so much:
No track because it was screwed up. I will just update this post whenever I do this hike, like (hopefully) on a Monday afternoon on a long break from work.
What I did Saturday is hardly a hike, just under 4 miles and 1K elevation but I guess it qualifies technically. My legs were a bit worn out from the Thursday Granite Mountain outing so I did something mild.
I guess this should be included in my annual count.