Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Grand Canyon of Fifteenmile Creek Loop 2015-01-13

8.41 miles and 1,874 feet of elevation gain.

The Washington Trails Association description, for our previous West Tiger loop hike, mentioned that the lower portion of the Hidden Forest trail went through a more interesting part of the forest.  So we hiked the lower portion of the Hidden Forest trail and made a counterclockwise loop around the Fifteenmile Creek "Grand Canyon".  It is a nice loop hike but misses out on the picturesque trail that follows Fifteenmile Creek and does not offer any panoramic views.  This loop also involves about a mile of road walking at each end.  The road isn't open to the public, the only wheeled vehicles we came across were two mountain bikes and a baby stroller.   Next time we'll head up the Grand Canyon trail and enjoy the views along the creek.  This is a short trail but at least one trip report mentioned a boot path that continued up the creek.     

Google Maps link

The original plan was to hike South Tiger, but with all these horse trailers at the trailhead, it didn't seem like a good idea.

This is a recently added access road that parallels a trail that goes from Tiger Mountain Road to the road in the park.  There is plenty of room to park several cars without blocking the gate but no parking signs are placed everywhere.  You have to park your car in the ditch on Tiger Mountain Road.  There is only room for two or three cars before you hit the no parking signs on the road.

The boring part of Fifteenmile Creek.  As a side note, Fifteenmile Creek is less than six miles long according to the map.

On the road

The start of the Hidden Forest trail.

Blue likes the new bridge.

Dieter Spring, I wonder who Dieter was?

Glacial erratic

The unofficial connector trail from Tiger Mountain Trail to Hobart-Middle Tiger RR Grade trail is over grown and muddy but is only about a quarter of a mile long.  It allows for a couple of loops from different trails

The Hobart-Middle Tiger RR Grade trail

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

West Tiger Peaks Loop 2015-01-07

9.37 miles and 3,014 feet of elevation gain.

This was a four summit loop hike from WTA (http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/west-tiger-four-summit-loop) but we skipped the trip over to Poo Poo Point.   We did the loop in a counterclockwise direction.  The lowland fog and a Wednesday hike resulted in very little traffic on the trail from West Tiger #3 back to the trailhead.  This can be a very busy trail on a sunny weekend.


Google Maps link

Blue is ready to go.

Break time at the Hike's Hut on West Tiger #1

Everybody wants a piece of banana bread.

Zoom shot of Mt Rainier.

The lowlands where covered in fog.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mason Lake 2014-12-29

5.19 miles and 2,171 feet of elevation gain.

An afternoon hike to the outlet of Mason Lake to get some outdoor time and check out the snow conditions.  Consistent snow on the trail starting about 2,800 feet.  Put on microspikes around 3,500, there was never a need for snowshoes.  Would probably need snowshoes to continue on to Mount Defiance.

Google Maps link

Starting up the trail.

Crossing the creek can be a challenge since they removed the culvert.  Many of the rocks above the water were covered in a clear sheet of ice.  

Mason Lake

My first panorama shot with the new camera.  Some people showed up with a dog and wanted to get to this same spot right when I was taking the picture.   I didn't get to experiment.  I'm disappointed with the pixel height, it's about a third of a normal picture.

Mason Creek

The sun starting to set over McClellan Butte on the drive back to the freeway.

Monday, December 15, 2014

McClellan Butte 2014-12-15

10.87 miles and 3,766 feet of elevation gain.

Lazy start, didn't arrive at the trailhead until after 9:30 AM.  No other cars in the parking lot.  We only saw a couple of people on the way down.  There were a few blow downs, nothing too bad.  Patches of compacted snow/ice on the trail after the first show chute.  It was very winding in spots, especially where you cross over the ridge.  Once we were on the northwest side it looks like winter with a enough snow to cover the ground and the trees.  No more wind until you get to the top.

Google Maps link

Kent's Court area

Small avalanche across the trail covered with a little fresh snow.

Looking uphill you can see the rock face where the avalanche started.
 The backside of the mountain

At the top

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dirty Harry's Museum 2014-11-18

7.4 miles and 2,261 feet of elevation gain.

A nice hike in the woods, only limited views along the way.  Started at the "Exit 42" trailhead we have used several times.  Followed Mason Creek up the hill to the Forest Service road to the Ira Springs trailhead.  At the first big turn in the trail to Mason Lake, keep going straight on a faint trail through the trees.  The first split in the trail goes back down to the freeway.  We took this route on the way back.  At the next split, take the left trail, Dirty Harry's Connector Trail.  Right continues up the hill to Putrid Pete's Peak (P3). The trail traverses the hill side then intersects with the trail to Dirty Harry's Balcony, take a right.  After a short distance, take another right at the main trail/old logging road and continue up the hill for about 0.6 miles.  Just before crossing Museum Creek look for the old steel logging cable on the right, follow this into the bushes and find your way up hill for about 50 feet to a very old logging road.  Follow the road up hill and you will come to the old boom truck.

Google Maps link

Museum Creek

The turn off to the museum just prior to the creek.

The "road" up to the museum.

The old boom truck

Using a stick to try and get both boys to pose by the truck.

It didn't work, but they had fun.

The cairn, in front of the tree, to bushwhack back to the trail.