9 hours ago

We hiked this trail on a windless, clear, warm day. The view from King Ridge of Opal range (to the east) and the valley in between are spectacular. Pictures do not do it justice!

- Do not attempt in flip flips, sandals or sneakers. You need hiking boots. This is a difficult hike!
- Poles *STRONGLY* recommended
- The hike is broken into two segments (1) from parking lot to ridge. Runs northeast. We took 1 hr 20 min to do this, one stop to adjust pack and take photos. Much of the trail is a 45 degrees climb (2) along ridge to highest point. Runs roughly north. An easy hike, lots of stops for photos
- Get an early start (9am at the latest, we left at 8:30). You do not want the sun beating down on you as you hike up from the parking lodge to the ridge
- To pick up the trail from the parking lot, walk north along hwy 40 until the end of the steel guard rail - a few hundred feet. You will see a footpath leading into the forest. DO NOT cross the creek from the parking lot. Those are game trails used by mountain goats!
- To avoid taking side trails, look for subtle clues. Sometimes people stack a few stones across the side trail, or lay a stick across it. If it's all rocks or stones, chances are you are looking a dry stream bed, not a trail. Another clue is if the trail peters out within a few hundred feet. Just turn around! Don't try to bushwack you way up. The main trail doesn't peter out
- Around the time that you start thinking "will this blankety-blank climb ever end?" you will suddenly emerge on the top of the ridge and encounter one of the best views you will ever see while hiking
- Once you get to the ridge, look around to memorize the area, it will help you on the way down. There are two pink markers tied to the trees (July 2018) marking the start of the trail down the ridge
- The hike down is also difficult. Expect your legs to burn
- After the hike, we had a picnic by the stream. A great finish to the hike!