Mount Catherine (#1348) is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Snoqualmie Pass, WA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
cross country skiing
Take I-90 Exit 54. Turn right, then immediately go strait at the stop sign. You're now on Hyak Dr. E. Simply take this all the way around, past the ski lifts and some of the cabin homes. Eventually it turns into a gravel road and FR 9070. You'll take this road all the way up towards Mount Catherine trailhead. The trailhead is about 4 miles from when the gravel starts, and about 4.5 miles from the freeway. There is a little stake marked 1348 on the right side of the road.
Great 1/2 day hike. The forest road that leads to the trail head is no joke. I wouldn't attempt it in a car without the proper clearance. The trail is in excellent condition and the view at the top is awesome. The summit is a small ridge that you should definitely watch your footing on or else you'll find yourself hitting the forest a few hundred feet below. My only disappointment was that it wasn't longer. The drive from Seattle almost hit 2 hours and the hike was 90mins so the drive/hike ratio was a bit off for me.
The hike itself was great. Steady but not steep inclines and relatively short, compared to others. Felt more like a four or five mile hike though, maybe that was with the ascent of the peak? Changes of scenery and lots of peek a boo views until you get to climb a short cable and reach the top... Breathtaking. Feels like you're on top of the world. Id do this hike several times if it was more accessible. But it took us three hours from the trailhead to get back to Seattle... And 45 minutes of it was on the gravel potholed road up the mountain to the trail. Tore my car up pretty good. It's a shame.
This hike, not easy to find. Road was washed out in places and had very large potholes. Wouldn't recommend driving up it unless in some sort of truck, Subaru, jeep etc. Albeit beautiful, the trail had so many downed trees to climb over and go under. Also, it says 1.4 miles up... Everyone we spoke to on the trail all agreed it felt WAY longer and even on our phones tracked it at being almost 3 miles up not 1.4. When we completed the descent our phones said 5.7 miles somethings not right lol but great weather, beautiful wildflowers and amazing views at the top.
70° mostly cloudy.
Lots of downed trees. Several under climbs.
The pinnacle is quite beautiful. 360° views when the clouds weren't obstructing the lake or mountains.
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Great hike! It's a long climb up, but the view at the top makes it all worthwhile! Trail was in good shape other than many downed trees to go under, over, or around. The final summit is steep for sure, but use the cable to hold on to, and it's an easy climb. Once on top, the view is spectacular 360 degrees, but might make those that are afraid of heights a little uneasy.
Great climb, few down trees but overall very enjoyable. Great view
Great hike, but there must have been 40 trees over the path. Some were three feet in diameter or more, and required some serious scrambling to get over, under, or around them. Not impossible, but definitely slowed me down.
Nice and easy!!! Great views
One of my favorite short and easy hike. Nice trail in the forest that leads to a gorgeous 360° panorama on top. The road to access the trailhead is in pretty good shape.
I talked with several people on the trail and they said that it was harder than they were expecting. Great views and lots of fun.
If you are looking for a short hike with a beautiful view without all the crowds then Mount Catherine is the hike for you.
Road: The drive here wasn't the best. After exit 54 on I-90, you will past Hyak Drive, then the paved road ends turning into FR-9070 for about 5 miles. It took us about 30 minutes to drive through the FR-9070 because the road was in HORRIBLE condition. All gravel with lots of large sharps rocks on the road. Numerous of huge potholes after another. I made it okay with my small acura but this road is better with an SUV or all wheel drive. At least it was free of snow.
Parking: Located on the side of the road as there are no designated parking lot for this trail. It can accommodate about 5-6 cars at most. I didn't see any other parking area around. We came on May 2nd, a sunny Saturday afternoon and there were about 4-5 cars parked.
Trail: The trail can easily be missed. It is located on the right side marked with a #1348 sign. The trail is nicely maintained. Since this is a short hike, it consist of mainly switchbacks with a few flat areas. The trail starts off on a gravel steady incline. Then throughtout the hike, it consists of moderately inclined switchbacks. I counted about 20-22 switchbacks. The pathway were mainly on a dirt trail with some rocky moments but nothing too extreme. Towards the end of the switchbacks, there were a few areas covered with snow. One area had about 3-4 feet of snow around the corner of the mountain. To get to the very top, we had to climb amonst the trees because the pathway disappeared underneath the snow.
View: The view was amazing at the top. There are views of Mount Rainier, Silver Peak, Tindham Peak, Snoqualmie Mountain, Keechelus lake and more! Since we came on a very clear sunny day, the view of Mount Rainier was very distinct.
Bugs: Free of bugs.
Did this trail again with some friends in the end of October. Clouds were magical! Again, nobody else on the trail. Definitely a good trail if you don't want to step out of the way every 5 minutes.
09/15/14 (Monday) - Unsurprisingly, there was nobody on the trail at ~4pm, which made it really nice. I didn't see a soul the whole time I was there. I walked up the road to pay my respects to the PCT before heading up the mountain and there were a couple of cars parked there. The trail to Mount Catherine is lovingly labeled Trail #1348. It starts out flat and rocky before beginning the switchbacks most of the way up. This section is pretty relentless, but nothing you haven't seen before. Near the top, the switchbacks stop, but the incline continues until the final ascent to the top. You can choose from a variety of methods to get up there, but the one with the cable is the most direct.At the top you can see 360 but some trees do obscure the view. It was hazy when I went so Mt Rainier was a mere faint outline. I'll be back on a clearer day. This is a good, short hike. The forest road is comically bad in parts, but it too is fairly short.
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This hike was perfect. Not too long, not too short, and not crowded at all. Only passed 3 people on my way up and I had the top of the mountain to myself for over an hour. The trail was very diverse as well. Didn't feel like never-ending switchbacks like a lot of the trails I've done. I'll definitely do this one again.
Gravel road to trailhead is rough today, most cars can get to the top, but you have to take it slow at stretches due to potholes and exposed rocks. The trail is well maintained and most of the elevation gain is within the first mile and gradually rises to the top the last mile+. Used the embedded cable to reach the top and was rewarded with a great view. The only negative was that there were plenty of clouds cutting down the whole view, but still enough views to make the hike worth while.
Saturday 8/31/2013: My wife and I went on hiking up Mount Catherine. We knew there was no toilet at the trailhead, so we stopped at Iron Horse State Park in Hyak to use the toilet. The toilet is a very modern one with sensors for flushing toilet, washing and drying hands. The four-mile forest road to the trailhead is rough with deep potholes. We arrived at the trailhead at 10:30. There were six other cars. The hike to the summit of Mount Catherine is short 1.4 miles with 1300 ft gain. The trail was well maintained. There were a few huckleberries by the trail. The final access to the summit is very steep but there is a bolted cable to help you. We reached the summit just before noon. There were several people including a baby at the summit. The view from the summit was spectacular. We could see Mount Rainier, Silver Peak, Snoqualmie Mountain, Granite Mountain, etc and Keechelus Lake. We left the summit at 12:30 and returned to the trailhead by 1:16. There were 10 other cars on the road side.