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.
Nice hike today with Derek, his call, Granite Mountain. This is a tough hike but not a killer. However, winter has come early to the mountain as we hit snow at maybe 4,700 feet (summit is 5,600). Near the summit we were slipping and sliding.
Maybe .3 mile from the summit there is a discouragingly steep section, considering how much effort it takes to get to the point where you can look up at this:
But having come so far, you might as well keep going and so we did. It really is beautiful in the snow on a mountain:
About 8 miles, 3,700 feet of elevation gain, great hike. Saw not quite a half dozen people on what is, during the summer on a weekend, like downtown Seattle with the crowds.
Great hike today with Carl. We went up the Change Creek Trail, took the Pond shortcut to the Olallie bike trail (still not officially open) to the Great Wall, south to the service road, east along that road a mile or so, then north to Songbird Peak. Same route back.
Perfect day. It was cool and cloudy in the early going, just right for that steep beginning, but by the time we got to the bike trail the sun was out and the views were incredible.
13.1 miles, about 3,600 feet of elevation gain, a really nice hike.
I did my new conditioning hike today. When I do this I will not put in a new post, I will just add a note to this one.
This is Squak Mountain in a very vanilla way. No forest trail – this is the South Access Road, it goes almost straight up to the top, where there is a microwave tower. I have no idea what kind of maintenance they do on a microwave tower, but whatever kind it is, they use this road (which has a locked gate near the start) to get there.
However, it is not at all illegal to hike right up this road. I saw a couple of other people today, and near the parking lot, which is on SE May Valley Road (and requires a Discover Pass) there are three or four houses.
This is pleasantly steep and you can get as tough a workout as you like, just adjust your speed accordingly. As usual, my speed was slow (75 minutes to the top) but fairly steady.
Anyway, if you look at the picture above, you see a short stretch close to the bottom (they are building a new home on the right) that is level, and notice the hill. Well, that’s about how it is the entire 2.6 miles up.
When you get there, you know where you are:
And the “view” is not exactly spectacular:
But this is a conditioning hike, not one for views or spectacular forest. It is like a 2.6 mile long treadmill, but outside in the woods. More fun than the gym.
Awesome hike today with Carl. We started up the Ira Springs Trail just after 7. I am a slow poke and didn’t make it to the summit of Little Bandera until about 9:40 or so. But don’t let the word ‘little’ in ‘Little Bandera’ fool you.
It is ‘little’ only because it is a false summit. Another 1/2 mile or so on a ridge gets you to Bandera Mountain, but most people settle for Little Bandera since the summit has no views (trees block the view) and the short hike there is not interesting.
This hike is interesting in spades. Here is what it looks like near the summit – it is a boulder scramble:
Generally, I would say this hike has 3 distinct sections.
The first section, about 1.5 miles, is on a nice trail and has a relatively gentle elevation gain. We make pretty good time here.
You hit a very obvious spot where it is suddenly steep. And it stays steep up until about 2.7 miles, where there is a sign directing you either to Mason Lake (go left) or Bandera (go up).
This is the third section and it is what makes this hike so challenging. It is pretty much straight up for more than a half mile, including sections where you are not “hiking”, you are looking for ways to make progress over and across boulders. Very tough coming down as well.
But it is rewarding, as the views up there are awesome, and the workout to get there is the best.
On the way down, Carl noticed a plane or glider slipping by. Looked like this person was having fun. Hard to get in the frame, it is in the lower right of this picture:
6.8 miles, just under 3K elevation gain, check out the elevation profile in the track below:
Another solo hike, nice day, good workout but still a fail because I was unable to achieve my goal.
I wanted to continue south on the Change Creek trail, past the pond trail, around the Change Creek gorge to check out the bottom of a trail I spotted going down from the Great Wall. But the trail south of the pond trail is gone, replaced by a solid wall of bushes and small trees.
So I made a quick decision to take the pond trail and see what it looked like on the other side. I knew the new Olallie bike trail was on the other side of the ravine but I had forgotten whether or not it was steep.
A view from the Change Creek trail:
It is pretty steep, and I calculated the bottom of the trail, if it existed, would be a good 1.5 miles south, since I spotted it not all that far north of the place where the Great Wall splits, going west to Mt. Washington or south and then east to Songbird Peak and Greenway.
The temperature was climbing and I didn’t feel like adding a possibly fruitless three mile back-and-forth on a steep trail so I reluctantly turned right and headed back via the Great Wall connector trail and the Mt. Washington trail.
A perfectly nice hike, great workout, fun, but not doing what I set out to do kind of stings. So I will be going back on my first weekend chance (I am avoiding the Great Wall on weekdays) to scope out the mystery trail from the top.
Speaking of mystery trails, I have, a couple of times, noticed a steep bank just off (south) of the IHT where someone has attached a rope to a tree to help boost yourself up. Every time I have noticed this quasi-trail it has been at the very beginning of a hike and I have forgotten exactly where it is located by the time the hike was over.
But today, having parked at the 2nd Exit 38 lot but having come down via Mt. Washington main trail, I had to walk east on the IHT. I noticed the rope and here is where it is: it is on the west end of the Change creek bridge. Another little trail to investigate.
Lots of rock climbers today:
At the very end of the hike, as I was about to walk underneath the Hall Creek bridge I heard what sounded like an explosion to my left, in the vicinity of Hall Creek. I was taken aback; I looked up to see several idiots on bikes tossing big rocks off the bridge. I yelled at them to let them know there were humans down there. I passed 3 people coming up and warned them.
I am not sure how to understand the thinking of people tossing rocks – big ones! – off a 150-foot high bridge onto an area where you can expect hikers to be hiking. Takes all kinds.