Monday was the third hiking day, of hike week. We are having a lot of fun and
challenging ourselves everyday. If you live in the area, or are vacationing in the area, I would recommend the Rattlesnake Trail, leaving from the trail head off of exit 27. There are three different hikes, off this trail. Beautiful forest's and views waiting for you to explore and soak in. If you can, hike during the week, as there are very few people.Take your whistle and your bear spray, as there are bears.
Squak Mountain Eastside loop
There is no real views on this hike, but a good, ambitious hike through the woods.
It's appropriate that this hike begins in the heart of Issaquah. In the
language of the native tribes, Ishquowh means "sound of water birds."
The raspy name of this mountain destination, meanwhile, comes from the
raucous calls of the herons that migrate through this area in the spring
and fall--their mighty squak, squak, squak! echoes off the forested
slopes of Squak Mountain.
From the parking area, head east on
Bush Street to its junction with Front Street. There is plenty of parking across from the police station and a final public bathroom at the Front Street market. Cross at the light and
turn south onto Newport Way. Follow Newport Way as it crosses Issaquah
Creek and then continue south on Wildwood Boulevard as it climbs out of
town, soon turning to gravel road as it follows the creek up a gentle
slope. When you reach the old Issaquah Creek Dam, you'll find a paved
trail winding past some apartments and condominiums. A fast pace gets
you past these buildings in just a few minutes and you'll soon reach the
Squak Mountain Access trailhead on the left side of the street, about 1
mile from your starting point. There is very limited parking here, for
those that can't or won't make the hike through town.
mile serves to remind you of what you are about to leave behind. As you
start up the trail, you'll enter a world that is in transition back into
a natural wonderland. The trail is an old road once used by coal miners
and loggers. For the first 0.75 mile on this road-turned-trail path,
stay left at the first two trail junctions before turning right to
At roughly 2 miles from your car, you'll find
yet another fork in the trail (elev. 1450 ft). Turn right and follow the
Central Peak Trail as it climbs gently for another 3/4 of a mile, then a push for about a 1/4 of a mile, where your muscles will be screaming, to the summit
of Central Peak--the peak bristles with radio and cell-phone towers. Last year this area was overgrown with needles and brush, it is all cleared now. You'll find a few broken views from around the legs of the towers, but no real reward in views.
the summit by walking 0.25 mile down the dirt service road before
turning left onto a steep woodland path. Turn left at the next trail
junction (about 0.25 mile after leaving the service road), and continue
descending along an ancient logging road turned trail. This trail ends
at a T junction near an old mill site.
Turn right onto the East
Side Trail and meander through a bright woodland, crossing the multiple
head water streams of Cabin Creek, before reaching the trail end and the
short walk back through town to your car. I found it helpful to put cairn's (stack of rocks) at each intersection, as this is a loop, that feeds back into the trail and several other trails feed in as well, it can be confusing, which way to turn. We had our tracking dog, Emma, on the one intersection, we didn't put a cairn.
From I-90 take the Front Street exit into
Issaquah, and drive south on Front Street to turn right onto Bush
Street. Free parking is provided in the Issaquah Trail Center parking
Lunch provided by Holly,
included a delicious wrap, sliced apple and some dry roasted almonds.
spinach tortilla roasted chicken
Animal Kingdom! Holly, being creative and fun, wrote a name on each bag, we drew out a
bag out of her pack and on the bag was the name of a animal. She told us
for the afternoon entertainment and photo shoot, we would imitate that
Crazy family fun!!
*Sunday's hike which I featured in Monday's blog, Amy made a delicious veggie wrap, that I thought I should share.
Amy's Grilled veggie wrap
grilled yellow squash
grilled green and red peppers
Spicy three pepper hummus
Whole wheat tortilla
Tuesday hike- Rattlesnake Mountain Trail
Off I-90 near North Bend
5 miles r/t to Stan's Overlook; about 10 miles r/t to Grand Prospect;
12 miles r/t to East Peak; 10.9 mile traverse to Rattlesnake Lake
Snoqualmie Point trailhead 980'; Stan's Overlook 2100'; East Peak 3500
If you've hiked to Rattlesnake Ledges and beyond from Rattlesnake
Lake, this is a delightful alternative. Thanks to the handiwork of the trail community, you can now reach Rattlesnake
Mountain from the west, starting from a new trailhead at Snoqualmie
Expect more solitude on this approach, and enjoy the fantastic views
out over the Snoqualmie Valley, Mount Si, Mount Teneriffe, North Bend
and more. You can choose to hike to one of the pleasant viewpoints
along the way, to Rattlesnake Mountain, or as a traverse all the way to
Rattlesnake Lake (11 miles). The views are some of the best in the
Cascade foothills and the trail can be hiked year-round, though it can
be snowy in winter.
The trail was officially dedicated in June 2007, though people have
been hiking along a mix of trail and logging roads for years. Now the
trail winds its way through mostly second-growth forest, crossing a few
logging roads and requiring just a few stints on old roads.
The trail follows I-90 fairly closely, but there are times you don't
remember that it is there. Still, the reality of being in a managed
forest does intrude - you do see and walk through clearcuts.
Fortunately, the forest canopy does get more mature as you go, and there
is a delightful progression of ecosystems along the way.
The first nice viewpoint is Stan's Overlook, about 2.5 miles in
(elev. 2100'). From there you can see Mt. Si and the Snoqualmie
Valley. Next up, and a fine turn-around for those not traveling
end-to-end, is Grand Prospect at about 4.9 miles. This precipice is due
south of the town of North Bend. At six miles and 3500 feet is the
high point of East Peak - great views abound from here! Then it is
downhill to the Ledges (8 miles) and ending at Rattlesnake Lake (that
is, if you've stashed a car here).
This trail system is the result of thousands of hours of hard work by
trail crews from Washington
Conservation Corps, Earth Corps, and Washington Trails Association (WTA's
handiwork was up to the Ledges from Rattlesnake Lake), all jointly
managed by the Mountains-to-Sound-Greenway and DNR. If you see a crew,
please take the time to thank them!
More Information: We did find prodigious and fresh tree scraping by bears along the trail, along with bear sign(poop).
Dozens of trees damaged. We have never seen it to that extent on Snoqualmie.
The trail is dry and well maintained and moves through thinned second
growth. Lot's of Salmon berries and huckleberries, no wonder the bears like it.
|The scratches are from bears claws, tearing the bark off the tree, hunting for bugs. There were dozens of these trees along the path, most likely hundreds, if you wandered off the path.|
This approach to Rattlesnake Mountain is still so new that none of
the published guidebooks describe it. The trail is well-marked! It is really a nice trail and hike!
Directions from Seattle/Issaquah:
To Snoqualmie Point Park
, take I-90 east to Exit 27. At the
end of the off-ramp, go right and follow the road to the end. Go
through the gate on the right to enter the trailhead. Lovely parking area, with restroom facility.
To Rattlesnake Lake
, take I-90 to Exit 32. Go south on
436th Ave. SE, turning into Cedar Falls Rd. SE - follow this main road
3.1 miles to the parking area for Rattlesnake Lake. To reach the trail
follow an old roadbed that circles the lake to the right (as you look at
Today's lunch was provided by me, included, Harvest Salad, a plum and some pistachio's.
|Sweet One, Holly and Allie!|
|Sweet One, Holly and me!!|
Hike week is going well, we are on our 5th hike today, Wednesday. We decided to do challenge hike today and a new pretty hike on Thursday, so that Allie (my niece) could bring her teenage daughters, and they would survive it. I will write about today's hike and the final hike on Friday!
Happy Hump Day! Cheers! JJ