Green Mountain Un-marked Trail
Looking into this hike we found two Green Mountains in the area, one off Middle Fork and one in Kitsap County. We wanted to try the one on Middle Fork / Snoqualmie Road.A bit hard to find: drive past MailBox trail for several miles until you come to a small concrete bridge. Park on the side of the road before the bridge. Cross the bridge on foot and at the very end of the bridge on the left hand side you will see what looks like a game trail. There is no trailhead and no facilities here. The trail looks like a boot path but you can tell it has seen use. The area is quite nice, large old growth trees, birds and no other people. Cross a couple of forest service roads (on the second one, follow it and it turns back into a trail again after a mile or so). Found a nice waterfall hidden deep in the forest, so we ended up coming back to it for lunch before heading back. Running down wasn't too bad, some flat sections that we had to walk. The trail was really more of a mud-pit in some sections. We really want to try this one in the spring or summer when the trail is more dry.
Denny Creek Trail to Melawkwa Lake
We have done this hike quite a few times but this time around it was with both our kids and their significant others. Lots of ice on the trail, especially down to Melawkwa Lake. Definitely needed the microspikes. The waterfalls were awesome in their frozen state. On the way back down, we found a small hidden trail that led out to the large waterfall. Set ourselves up and had lunch in the section above the falls. Running down this trail is a bit hard as there are lots of smaller rocks sticking up everywhere. Because we started so late, we ended up with the headlamps on for most of the trail back down.
Easton Ridge Trail 1212
Been here a couple of times now... as there are 2 different trails from this head. Hard to find the trail on this one. Head right immediately and go down to the stream and go left toward a small waterfall. Very steep, elevation gain doesn't really stop until you hit the ridge. Tons of newly downed trees, so be prepared to climb over/under. Lots of wildlife tracks and scat. We followed the trail to the end cliffs as the trail started to go down into what I would assume would be Cle Elum. Pheasants in the bushes that we startled. Amazing views across the valley of the I-90. Good views of Mt Rainier in the distance. Great run down, but not until you get back into the forest, as there are large cat prints everywhere, and running could be considered "bait' ! :O)
Annette Lake Trail
This was our 3rd time here. Pretty easy hike, with lots of different landscapes and distractions off-trail :)Very well maintained trail, with an awesome tree-bridge. tons of small waterfalls and streams dot this trail during the winter, and are simply dried up during the summer, so it's like two different hikes. The lake itself is beautiful, but pretty cold due to lack of protection. The trees are NOT dense around the lake, so the wind whips through here pretty good. It was because of this hike that we went out and bought a Pocket Rocket and some small fire supplies). Beautiful hike.Great one for running down. Fairly steep climb, but nothing too drastic. We ran the entire way down, and made really great time.
We've done this a few times, and we go back for a reason... it's just plain cool scenery. There's ALWAYS weather hanging around in the basin, so the fog & low-lying clouds tend to make it seem rather surreal at times. This follows a part of PCT North for Kendal Katwalk, taking the lower trail from the junction. The valley views are awesome. The hike isn't hard after the turn off. Massive rock screes with picas chatting everywhere. Good off-trail scrambling here! You have to cross a waterfall section that is actually broken into two falls. At this time of year they were rather easy, have gone in the wet season and it was almost impassable. Mushrooms everywhere and really cool growth. Pick a stream & head off-trail for a good lunch spot :)
Diablo Lake Trail
This is on Stevens Pass, at Diablo Dam. The drive was incredible, made lots of stops. Spent probably an hour at the Dam taking pictures. The trailhead is shortly after the Dam on a dead end road. The trail is well maintained, nice elevation, not too steep. Followed animal tracks for quite awhile on the trail but never saw the animal. Really nice views in some spots but the power lines get in the way. Followed the trail to the next dam, the rest of the trail was closed due to a landslide. Stopped at the lake just before the second dam for lunch. Found some old structures out of bricks and stones, stairway that led to nowhere, the best part of the hike. Not one of our most interesting hikes, but pretty cool area.
Rachel Lake Trail 1313
Parking was crazy. Get here extra early if you want a parking spot. Bathrooms at trailhead. Trail wasn't too bad for number of hikers, considering the parking lot. Still too many for us though. Lots of cool streams and waterfalls. Didn't make it to the lake, started getting too crowded and it was time for lunch. Went back to a waterfall and went off trail to climb up the waterfall for lunch. The best parts of this hike are definitely off-trail, so wander around !
Kachess Ridge Trail 1315
This is a bike trail as well so be careful. Steep to start, cool canyon in the first two miles. Found a really cool canyon area with waterfalls and very secluded.Hike was really quite flat and boring. Tons and tons of different mushrooms on both sides of trail. Nice steep run down when you get back to the canyons. Only saw maybe four people.
Crystal Mountain Loop
Had to ask several people where the trail started. A huge national frisbee-golf tourney was on so the place was packed. Extreme elevation to start but then a gradual incline. Mountain Jays kept following us. Busy trail at times, but not too bad. Took a cool turnoff for a lunch spot at a lake but it had a large group already there. Hard to find a quiet spot. Ran in to an injured camper hiking out with a badly sprained ankle, so we taped him up (good thing we carry a good medical emergency supply).Rock blasting near the top, so couldn't finish unless we took a side trip on the main road. There was a cave we could have explored (gold mine shaft) but we had picked up a lost dog and were taking him back down to his owner. Not one we would go out of ourway to do again
This hike probably ranks #1 in the PNW from an "amazing view" perspective. We've done 150+ hikes in the area, and this is right at the top of the list. Wow.Parking was full, so we had to park on the road. This lot covers a few hikes in the area, so it certainly doesn't mean the trails will be busy. On a gravel road to start, stream had washed out part of the trail so it was hard to find the continuation. Follow the river to the right to pick it up again Tons of elevation here (as you'll see from the comments in the log book), but when you get up to the basin it's simply amazing. You could stay up there for days exploring. There were a few tents set up but didn't see people in them. Little side trip at the end - we headed off-trail towards the back valley, and followed the sound of a huge waterfall. After scrambling down to a narrow ledge, we followed it around the cliff, and found a cave next to a gorgeous waterfall. The ledge was somewhat challenging, as it was about a foot wide in places, above a sheer cliff drop off. Don't attempt unless you're comfortable with heights. We decided to turn around just before the cave, as it seemed like there might be something big & furry (and hungry) living in there ;O)Bottom line - do yourself a favor and don't miss this one. Some day I'd like to go back with some decent camera gear.