Thursday, February 5, 2015

Zig Zag Trail to Old Fuel Truck 2015-02-05

6.48 miles and 2,846 feet of elevation gain.

I saw the Zig Zag trail on Google Maps when I was making the link for the Change Peak hike.  I didn't know the name until after some research.

It was a wet, raining, drizzly and coldish day with only a few breaks in the low clouds to get a view.  Not the best hiking weather but a good workout and a chance to explore a new area.  The Zig Zag trail appears to have had some significant work done in the last year or so.  At a little over a mile from our parking spot, the trail ends at an intersection on road nf-9021.  This road is open to the public but we didn't see anyone.  We continued on the road going up hill until we reached the fuel truck.  In Google Maps satellite view you can just make out the fuel truck.


Google Maps link

Blue found something to rub in.  At least with the soggy weather, it didn't dry before I could wash it off in Hall Creek.

Old Fuel Truck





A little rain doesn't bother the dogs at snack time.

MidMountain Mountain is the bump at the end of the ridge just to the left of center, in the clouds to the right is Mount Washington and Change Peak is on the right.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Change Peak 2015-01-26

10.21 miles and 3,660 feet of elevation gain.

A close in hike that I haven't been up this trail in several years.  We started up the rock climbers trail on the west side of the Change Creek bridge and followed the John Wayne trail until the start of the Change Creek trail, which is by the Hall Creek bridge.  You can also go up an old road trail that follows Hall Creek and then cross over Hall Creek to the trail on the west side of the bridge.  The Change Creek trail is in better shape than I remember and now has several signs.  Sometime we'll have to check out Hall's Point and J's Landing.  And then there is the sign right out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon (as one trip report noted) that reads "Short Cut".  You do want to take the short cut.

I was expecting snow at the higher elevations and maybe some cold temperatures, so I had snow boots and thick socks.  No snow and the weather was quite warm and sunny, bordering on hot.  Fortunately I had brought some sock liners, in case my feet got cold, and at least got rid of the heavy socks.  Rolling up my pants really helped on the initial climb up the sun soak side of the ridge.

Didn't see anyone until we were almost to the top and then ran into one person coming down.   I was surprised to see anyone, this isn't a popular peak.  I didn't even know it had a common name until researching trip reports.



Google Maps link

Base on the Change Creek bridge

Looks like someone recently "girdled" trees growing under the bridge. 

View of Change Creek from the bridge.

The Change Creek trail starts right behind Blue.

You can see the sign from the bridge.

The trail is very rocking until after you get to the top of the ridge.


View from the end of the ridge.
 


 Blue thinks I'm taking too long taking pictures.

I-90 corridor

Mount Washington from the start of the Great Wall.

At the end of an old logging road spur, a boot path heads up to the peak.

Some renegade work has been on the trail to the peak and a little trimming to afford some view. 


 Hall Creek

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

West Tiger 1-2 2015-01-20

9.14 miles and 3,215 feet of elevation gain.

Another West Tiger hike to stay in shape.   We did have a little excitement along the way.  When we were almost to the top, where the Upper Bootleg trail intersects, the trail was obliterated with blow downs.  Some work had been done to clear a few of the trees, but that was a drop in the bucket of what needs to be done.  We headed down hill and worked our away around the trees and then back up the hill.  Blue really enjoyed blazing a route.  After we were back on the trail, we walked back to the blow downs and could see some clearing had been at that end.  A few months ago they had clear cut the trees just up the hill from trail.  No surprise the trail is covered by blow downs.

On the way down, Sly decided to get himself lost or just wasn't ready to rejoin the pack for half an hour.  Backtracking added almost three quarters of a mile and another 400+ feet of elevation gain.



Google Maps link

Looking back at the beginning of the blow downs.

Looking forward from the last patch of visible trail.

Down the hill

From the other end of the blow downs


Hikers Hut view point.





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.