One of our bucket list hikes was Mt. Defiance. We have seen it on the north side of I-90 many times, driving away from hikes on the south side, such as Mt. Washington and McClellan Butte. Today we checked it off our list. And what a great hike it is.
You can visualize the hike on a map right here:
Basically, from the trail head you go east, then north/north-west, then mostly west, then at the very end the route to the summit is an unofficial path (it does not qualify as a trail) that just outright goes straight up:
To put this into a better context, this part of the world is hiker and backpacker and snowshoer heaven. It is the wilderness and there are more trails, official and unofficial, than we can count.
The trail from which we turned upwards to gain the summit goes on and on. We went another mile or so to investigate the trail before we turned around and headed back, making our hike 12 miles.
There are plenty of great sights along the way:
And we both love being able to put our hikes into a wider geographic context. If we have seen Mt. Defiance from McClellan Butte, well, the sight lines go in both directions.
Directly above is the very peak of McClellan Butte. When you are there you are on the side not visible from Defiance so this view is interesting. And it illustrates why the McClellan Butte scramble is so steep and dangerous.
I have to say that we were really pumped and on a great high after this hike. What a great Sunday. But when we got back to the car Derek called Jill who told him that Jan, with whom Jill, Finley, and Cam had been hanging out at a mall had been taken to the ER with stroke-like symptoms.
She did in fact have a stroke (the doctor said it was a ‘minor stroke’) and at the hospital last night she said she felt fine, was showing no impairment, etc. etc. But she is there even as I type on Monday morning and we are all hoping for a speedy recovery and a diagnosis that prevents this from happening again.