Monday, June 23, 2014

Navaho Peak 2014-06-23

12.37 miles and 4,271 feet of elevation gain

This hike is in the Teanaway area outside of Cle Elum, WA.  We drove over the pass Sunday afternoon and camped at the one campsite adjacent to the Stafford Creek trail head parking area.  I never noticed this campsite before, but then I was never looking for a place to camp.

Nf-9703 is a notoriously bad road and a couple of years ago a portion was closed while they were logging along the road.  That portion of the road has been graded and, while not a good road, it is at least reasonably flat with no large rocks sticking out of the ground.

We hit the trail before anyone else arrived and had the trail to ourselves until we hit the main trail after completing the loop.  There is an avalanche area you pass through and you can sometimes see that a few trees where snapped off during the winter.  This year, almost all the trees were snapped off and most had the tree carried some distance down the hill leaving only the stumps.    

After leaving Navaho Peak, we quickly worked our way through the trees and attained the ridge much early than our trip last year.  This avoided a steep rocky section we hit last year.  Some snow was still on the ridge in a few spots.

After crossing the County Line trail, a boot path exists along the ridge that you can occasionally see.  This is the trail for the Three Brothers mountain.  Sly and I just followed Blue, he has a real knack for finding the trail as long as there aren't any squirrels to distract him.  The route along the end of the ridge and the descent into the saddle is on a steep slope with loose rocks.  I make sure I know exactly where I'm stepping.     

Google Maps link   Switch to Terrain for a better view

Along the lower portion of the trail.

The edge of the avalanche area.

The hill is not very steep at this point.  The avalanche still had a enough force to snap almost all the trees and carry them down hill and across the creek.

It is hard to see in this picture, but many of  the snap off trees were carried to the other side of the creek.  Notice the damaged areas on the larger trees on the other side.

The only real creek crossing along the trail.  This area also had an avalanche.

A wet area full of flowers.

Chasing sticks in the meadow, popular camping area.

Sly taking his last cool break about 1/3 of a mile from Navaho Pass.  This is the last water until we close the loop after ascending Navaho Peak.

Navaho Pass

Happy dogs on top of Navaho Peak

Mt Rainier and, if you look closely on left side, Mt St Helens 105 miles away.

 The Stewart Range

Looking back up the ridge towards Navaho Peak.

Looking down the ridge

The intersection with County Line trail.

 Almost to the end of the ridge.  Blue kept stopping and looking back.

 He was looking at the deer that were looking at us.

 The end of the ridge.  Descending this ridge is the only risking part of the hike.

Water at last!  Almost back to the main trail.

Color along the trail.  These are all from the lower part of the trail.

If you have never eaten a ripe wild strawberry, you have never actually tasted a strawberry.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dirty Harry's Connector 2014-06-11

5.35 miles and 1,557 feet of elevation gain.

On the way to Putrid Pete's Peak (P3) you pass by two unmarked trails and I have always wondered were they went.  When I saw a trip report showing these trails I decided it would make nice afternoon hike.  I'm calling this Dirty Harry's Connector because I believe the upper most trail will take you to Dirty Harry's Balcony.  I turned around too early, I think I was only about a quarter of mile from the balcony.  

We started at Exit 42 on I-90 and headed up the boot path next to Mason Creek.  When we hit the road and walked to the Ira Springs parking area, I was surprised at the number of cars for a weekday. 

Google Maps link  Click Terrain for a better view.

The root covered old log across the main portion of the creek.

Fun with sticks

The first Y in the trail, we took a right and continued up hill.  On our return we'll take the left trail back to the car.

The second Y is the start of the connector trail from the P3 trail which continues up the hill on the right.   

Pictures from a rock outcropping along the trail.  McClellan Butte in the background.  This spot and a small talus field, a little farther down the trail, are the only points with any view.  

Need someplace to store your fireworks?

 Blue thinks he looks and smells so good.  A quick trip back to the creek got most of it out.

 A towel around his neck until we can soap up back at home.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Rattlesnake Ridge 2014-05-30

10.6 miles and 2,902 feet of elevation gain.

This was a two car through hike along the entire ridge.  We parked one car at the Snoqualmie Point trail head and then drove to the Rattlesnake Ledge trail head. 

The trail to the ledge is very popular and hiking in this direction reduces the number of people on the trail.  However, even on a weekday morning we met people who were already coming down from the ledge.  It is much quieter after the ledge.

One of these times I'm going mark the GPS with the location of Rattlesnake Mountain and remember to actually go the top.  The trail passes just below the high point.    

Google Maps link  Click Terrain for a better view.

  It wasn't the best picture day.

Blue at Joy's spot