Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cedar River Divide 2016-05-18

7.31 miles and 3,016 feet of elevation gain.

Every time I headed up the Change Creek trail and past the turn offs for Hall Point and J's Landing I kept think I should check them out.  Today was the day along with an investigation of the boot path up the ridge to Mid-Mountain Mountain.

We started out at the Hall Creek "trailhead", across the road from the Olallie State Park South Fork Picnic Area.  The connector trail to Hall Point is short and steep.  The point is a rock outcrop with nice views.  Just as we started back down the trail I noticed a faint boot path up the ridge.  We followed it up the ridge to J's Landing.  I almost turned back at the beginning because I missed the path and started across the top of a very steep bank.  After that the trail was easy to follow.

J's Landing is a flat spot on the ridge created at the end of a very old logging road.  On the west side is the connector trail down to the Change Creek Trail and on the east side is the new MMM Ridge Trail that continues up the ridge to the next logging road.  From there we started to scramble up the ridge for a little bit until Blue decided it was too much of a scramble and we turned around.  Back at J's Landing we took the connector trail down to the Change Creek Trail eventually turned around near the pond after the trail closed sign.   

Google Maps link

Hall Point - The boys enjoyed the climb up

Looking up the ridge from Hall Point.

J's Landing

 Blue's turnaround point

 Many blows this year, fortunately, they had all been cleared.   

The shortcut trail sign has been removed and the blowdown blocking the trail was not cleared.  The main trail has been cleared so we continued up it.  On the way back we took the shortcut trail and only had a few obstacles that were easy to get around.

We took the Pond Trail up to the road to check it out, didn't see any activity.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Stan's (Joy's) Overlook 2016-04-16

4 Miles and 1,039 feet of elevation gain.

 Click here to view map full screen

A wonderful hike to remember Joy.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Granite Lakes Trail 2016-03-30

7.17 miles and 1,370 feet of elevation gain.

I had been planning a snowshoe trip up to Granite Lakes but trip reports indicated an impassible blowdown area just after crossing Granite Creek.  One trip report called it "Blowdown Town".  I decided to wait awhile.  I haven't seen any recent trip reports so off we went.

The trailhead is located at the beginning of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road, about a quarter mile from the end of the paved road.  Usually the potholes aren't too bad on this section of the road.  Today they were incredibly bad, I assume from all the heavy equipment used to upgrade the road.   The road is scheduled to be paved this year starting in late April.

New steel beam bridges were installed recently at the first creek crossing, where a culvert was remove a few years ago, and at Granite Creek.  The Granite Creek bridge replaced the temporary log bridge that was installed when the old logging road was 'landscaped' into a trail and the original log bridge was removed.

Once past Granite Creek, many of the blowdowns have been cut and cleared from the trail.  A good sign, I was hopeful the trail would be cleared.  Farther up the trail, trees were cut just enough to make a hole to get through.  At about a half mile from the bridge all chainsaw work had stopped.  You can get a few more feet up the trail before hitting the next wall of trees. 

Counting the trees not blocking the trail, there are probably several hundred downed trees.  Looking on the north side of the trail you can see large areas where well over half the trees are down.

Google Maps link

The first bridge (Mine Creek?)

The Granite Creek bridge.

The remains of the temporary log bridge.

One of the blowdown areas north of the trail.

One of the holes cut in the trees.

Looking back on the last of the chainsaw work.

This is where we turned around.  The trees are so dense that getting through would be next to impossible. Blue made a valiant effort, can you see him?  I could see much farther up the trail than what is visible in this picture and it looked the same.

pub 4/9/2016

Mount Persis 2013-03-09

This is a previously unpublished trip and one of the last hikes we enjoyed with Joy.

6.12 miles and 3,827 feet of elevation gain.

Joy had contacted a person from that knew the way to Mount Persis and the route up the mountain.  We met at a Chevron in Monroe and headed out.  We didn't make it all the way to the what is called the trailhead because of snow on the road.  I thought this was going to be a quiet out of the way hike, turns out that that was not the case.  Several people from NWHikers were already there getting ready to start.

Not long after starting up the road we took a shortcut up a steep gully to get to the trailhead and when added to the elevation on the first part of the trail, we did 2,100 feet of elevation in 1.14 miles!

Once we were on the trail we caught up to a large very slow moving group blocking the trail through the young fir thicket at the beginning of the trail from the trailhead.  It took awhile before the terrain opened up enough so we could pass.  We never saw them again.

All that aside, the views from the summit area were awesome.

While we were loading up the car after the hike, I happened to glance into the trees on the downhill side of the road.  I couldn't believe my eyes, it looked like someone had emptied out an office and threw everything off the side of the road, chair, desk, filing cabinet, bookcase and bags of garbage.

The road to the trailhead goes through Wayerhaeuser land and is closed as of  2-15-2016 because of shooting, vandalism and garbage dumping.  Apparently this is a recurring problem and the road is repeatedly opened and closed.

Here's a link to the WTA trail description for Mount Persis, it has a great picture of the shear cliff you are standing on at the summit.

Google Maps link

Another straight up climb.

Great views at the summit.

On the way back we looped through a small basin with a snow covered tarn and the best views of Mount Index.
Mount Index in the background.

Sly was ready to play not pose.

The boys had fun chasing snowballs.

pub 3/31/2016

Little Bandera 2013-02-17

6.05 miles and 3,089 feet of elevation gain.

A hike from 2013 that was not posted.

A winter hike up to Little Bandera.  We hiked up the old trail and then at 3,250 feet of elevation, we found a good spot to leave the trail and started up the hill.  Once on the ridge, we followed it to Little Bandera.  The route over to Bandera looked too dangerous to continue our trip and we had been on the trail for three and half hours.  Time to head back. 

Google Maps link

A few inches of snow at the Ira Springs trailhead.

The ridge up to Little Bandera.

Just a few more feet to the top.  By the look of the trees it must get quite windy, fortunately it was a calm day.

Looking back down the ridge.

Looking down on Mason Lake and a little sliver of Lake Kulla Kulla.

I-90 far below

Bandera Mountain from Little Bandera

Something of interest to Blue.

Looking back up the ridge to Little Bandera.

pub 3/31/2016

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mason Lake 2016-02-25

7.28 Miles and 2,931 feet of elevation gain.

Started from I-90 at exit 42 so we would get our exercise in even if the hike was cut short.  I wasn't sure if we would be able to cross Mason Creek, where they took out the culvert, because of high water level from melting snow.  To my surprise they finally put in the bridge!  The trail was snow covered starting at about 3,100 feet.  The lake looked like it was melting by the outlet.

Google Maps link

The new Mason Creek bridge.

The bridge provides a great view of the falls.  

Is this supposed to hold the bridge if it is hit by debris coming down the creek?

 Mason Lake



pub 3/31/2016