Started again at Windy Gap and headed south. I had thought this section of the Pacific Crest Trail may be the end of my contiguous sections of the PCT south of Snoqualmie Pass. However, after a lot of map reviewing I found a trailhead that gets us within about 3.5 miles of the PCT. Probably next year.
I picked Arch Rock as my turnaround point as it was close to my distance limit. I was hoping to see the face of the rock, all I saw was trees. I took the short Arch Spring trail that lead to a small camp area in hopes of catching a glimpse, but just trees. There was a boot path heading toward the rock but I figured it was time to head back.
Not as many PCT hikers as last time. I did get a couple of good quotes. "Almost there, only 300 miles to go" and "Getting tired, ready to be done". One was from a young woman and the other from an old man.
Google Maps link
The hits the end of a road and has a great view of Mt Rainier. Several PCT hikers were taking pictures when we arrived. The white on the ground is hail not early snow. The hikers told me that a large thunderstorm passed through yesterday.
On my GPS map it showed that the PCT was on a road for a short portion this is not correct. I wasn't paying attention and missed the trail just a few feet down from the view point. Fortunately this wasn't a big deal and I spotted an entrance to the trail not too far down the road.
On the way back we followed the trail instead of the road. On this portion of the the trail there was a lot more hail, four inches deep in some places and the hail was over a quarter inch in diameter. Not Texas size hail but I would not have wanted to be on the trail when it came down.
Sign at Government Meadow commemorating the first wagon train over Naches Pass. Wikipedia link on the Naches Pass trail.
The meadow looking toward Naches Pass about 3/4 of a mile away.
Mike Urich cabin at Government Meadow. Built by a snowmobile club.
Also used by PCT hikers and sometimes has an unofficial host. On my return trip I met a couple who were going to haul out the trash. They were trying to determine if they could park their van closer. Currently they were parked about two miles away.
Really nice trail south of the cabin.
Just before Arch Rock, the trail passes at the top of a large bare area that looks compacted crushed rock.
Stopping for a drink at the creek by Government Meadow on the way back.