Cold Creek Trail 1303
Easy well-groomed trail to Twin Lakes, but after crossing the log, it gets a bit tougher from there. The trail was washed out in a few areas, so we bushwhacked around until we found the trail again. Fairly steady climb up to the PCT. Well signed. Nice run down to Mirror Lake. Saw some lynx tracks around the lake. Nice camp sites, but we just stayed for lunch. Nobody else on the trail, except the chainsaw crew (Saw Dogs).
Good short techincal run down from Twin Lakes to the trailhead.
Mt. Margaret / Margaret Lake Trail 1332
Long drive up the mountain to the trailhead on a super-hot day. The hike starts off on a pretty steep gravel road to the trailhead sign. Clearcut forest full of Bears Grass (read: pollen) in full bloom. Snow patches on the trail were a nice break from the heat. After turning down the trail towards Lake Margaret, it's a pretty steep descent along switchbacks into the snow. Hard to find the trail, so we took a couple of wrong turns before crossing the creek. Even though it was so hot, the amount of snow was surprising. There were people camped by the lake, and lots of kids cliff-diving into the lake.
We walked around to the North side of the lake for lunch (careful around the banks... i took a wrong step and fell into the lake up to my knees).
Gold Creek Trail 1314
Good trail after the 2 miles of gravel road. Pretty surreal views once you get into the valley. Hundreds of small butterflies in the forest, followed by tons of giant dragonflies in the meadows. Unfortunatley, you cannot get over to the waterfall (at least after spring) due to the thick ground-cover).
Couldn't cross Gold Creek because the water level was so high. If we had our Tivas we may have been okay to cross and make it up to Alaska Lake.
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT South)
First time with the PCT as a destination. We've crossed it a zillion times, but never actually done it on purpose. Leave from the Snoqualmie parking lot (surprisingly empty for a nice day).
Beautiful views of Guye Peak from the ski hill (which made us want to climb it... see our later trip report on that).
Tons of rockslides, so the terrain is really cool. Very different hike for this area, as it opens up to wide-open spaces, and feels like you're crossing the Great Divide. Highly recommended.
Dirty Harry's Balcony and Museum
Our 3rd hike here. Finally found the Museum! Hiker's code says not to give ditections, so you'll need to follow the GPS tracks ;0)
First chunk of this is on the road, so beware - it's a long walk to the trailhead. Not much of a trailhead, so watch carefully - it's easy to miss. Sometimes it's marked better than others.
Once you get onto the trail, it's a lot of up, but not overly steep. Lots to look at off-trail, so don't be afraid to wander. Took a couple of side-trails (okay - there were no trails, so we made them). Some pretty cool rock formations right before the turn to the balcony.
The balcony is a great spot for a break and a snack (along with some pictures), but it does get crowded. Lots of people turn around here.
The treck up from the balcony doesn't change much. We stopped just bedore the warerfall crosses the trail (hint), and went off-trail.
Pretty cool adventure from there. Lots of bushwhacking. Stopped at the museum for lunch and more exploring. Spent about an hour there, and had the place to ourselves (which added to the treat of finding it).
Awesome hike with a great run down.
Kendall Peak Lakes Trail
First time on this trail. Only other person we saw was a Ranger, and she aaid she couldn't find the lakes. Trail was super-snow-covered at the top, and no way to find the trail.
Might go back in the spring, but this one spends way too much time on a road... not so much of a trail, so it's pretty boring until you hit the stream crossings.
Finally decided to try this, after hearing the horror stories for so long. We actually did this by accident. Went their looking for another trail that leaves from the same trailhead, bit couldn't find it, so we went back to the car and ditched our heavy gear. Definotely a leg burner... this is the same elevation as Big Si, but half the distance, so much steeper. Hard to fond any real trail once you hit the upper tree-line. People just blaze their own, so when in Rome...
Once you hit the halfway point, everyone pretty much grinds to the same slow pace, so you end up leap-frogging eachother the rest of the way. Slow and steady is about all you can do here, but it's worth it. Once you clear the tree line, it seems like the rocky outcropping is the peak, bit no... you get there and realize you're only halfway up. A final trudge rewards you with the old mailbox (i wanted to kiss the thing in triumph)!
Amaaaaaazing 360 degree views at the top, but enjoy the rest, because going down seems even harder at that steep angle. We ran small portions, but it's tough to run... with so many roots and so steep.
Chambers Bay hike
This small trail is hidden along Chambers bay - just south of the golfcourse, and is nestled between the old factory and the residential area. It's actually larger than ee thought, and there are several side trails down to the marsh area. We only explored a couple of them, but worth a look if you have an extra hour or so. Super easy, well groomed with a nice hill to get your cardio going. Not bad for the location, but definitely wouldn't classify this as much of a hike.
This was an attempt to get to Kendall Katwalk, but the snow made it super-slow going, and we tan out of time (also lost the trail in the deep snow).
As you can see... it was snow-packed from the parking lot. Couldn't even get in (with our 4x4 Range Rover. A few cars parked outside, so we joined them, and made our way up. The avalanche center didn't call for any warnings, but you could sure tell that things were ominous about half way up. Had our gators and microspikes on from the get-go, but it was still super hard to find grip. First time i've slid down an emabankment (~50 feet), and it sure made us think twice about going on the catwalk. Amazing day in the sunshine, and only around 4 other hikers all day (they didn't have spikes, so the turned around much earlier).
Definitely need to go back in a month to do the rest of this. Beautiful vistas in the snow, though... so it was still great!
Kristoff Mtn Unmarked
Kristoff trail is a little known gem just outside of Greenwater. Some locals at the Outfitters told us about it last year, and we loved it, so decided to come back in the spring to go a bit further.
Park in town and walk in on the main road, turning left down the hill. Follow the road around to the right, and when you reach the stream, turn left after the bridge.
This is a nice meandering stroll through open forest. Keep an eye out for the pet cemetary on the left. Also watch for elk along this path. We ran into a few in the winter, but only saw fresh tracks and pellets this time.
Go right up the hill when you reach the bridge, and you'll find the trail about 200yds on the left.
This sucker is steep. More like a boot trail in spots. It's sometimes hard to spot rhe trail after crossing paths and clearings, so we built some cairns along the way.
Lots of cool vistas to view along the way.
Best part: zero other people.
"The Chair" is more like a stone throne, and is typically the turn-around spot for those not heading to PCT. Apparently this is very close to the junction, although we won't know until next time!