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    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Bandera Mountain Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Wonderful, somewhat challenging hike with a beautiful view! One of the many mountain hikes off of the I-90 interstate. I really enjoyed this hike. The Ira Spring trail was nicely maintained with lots of different aspect versus the typical endless switchbacks.

    Distance: 7.6 miles round trip
    Elevation gain: 3400 ft
    Time: 2.5 hours up, 2 hours down
    Difficulty: Moderate to Intense Hike

    Drive: Located off I-90 at Exit 45 on Forest Road 9031. For the last mile, the road is all gravel and dirt but still accessible. No big potholes of any kind.

    Parking: Decent size parking lot. Can fit around 30-40 cars or so.

    Trail: This is a very popular hike sharing most of its trail with the Ira SpringTrail. Mason Lake is another destination. The trail starts off fairly easy with a mild grade incline for the first 1.5 miles through the forest. You will pass a log bridge that was newly built. The pathway is wide but a little rocky. This part is nicely shaded.

    The trail then starts to get a little steeper for the next 1.5 miles with some moderate grade long switchbacks (I counted 3-4). This part is partly exposed.

    Then the trail comes to a junction splitting off to Bandera Mountain and Mason Lake. The way to the lake is on the left, the way to the mountain is to the right and it's all upwards from there. The elevation really picks up here. This is the steepest and hardest part of the trail. The trail zig-zags through a very narrow and rocky pathway with a intense grade incline. Lots of wild flowers blooming. This part is exposed.

    After reaching the ridgeline, you will catch a glimpse of all the surrounding mountains. You will then re-enter the forest for about 5-10 minutes before reaching the minor rock field. The section was my favorite part of the hike. The many large boulders and rocks made it fun to climb over. To the left, you will get a birds-eye view of the beautiful Mason Lake. With no clear pathway, you will be climbing over boulders to the summit. This part is not bad at all but a little hard to navigate.

    At the summit, there is a very distinct view of McClellan Butte and all the surrounding valleys. The clouds covered up the view of Mt. Rainier. This part is also all exposed.

    Bugs: A few annoying bugs at the summit. Overall, I didn't wear any bug spray and I didn't get bit at all.

    Tips: Becareful going down at the ridgeline. I slipped a few times. Bring lots of sunblock and water as most of the trail is exposed to the sun!

    *Northwest Forest Pass required*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Lake 22 (Twenty-two) Trail

    over 3 years ago

    One of my many Alpine Lake trails on Mountain Loop Highway. With the short distance and mild incline this hike is ideal for novice hikers. This is also a very popular trail so come early to beat the crowd.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Elevation Gain: 1350 ft
    Round Trip: 5.4 miles
    Time: Around 2 hours round trip

    Drive: About 2 hours from Seattle. Straight forward, no gravel road or potholes of any kind. The trailhead is right off the highway.

    Parking: Huge parking lot. Can fit around 50-60 cars. No Parking box available. The Verlot Service Center is a few minutes before trail. You can pick up a one day parking pass there for $5 (both cash and credit card accepted).

    Trail: Overall, a very well maintained trail. The beginning of the trail starts off right at the parking lot through the shaded forest with a very gradual mild grade incline. Many log steps in this section. You will come upon a wooden bridge crossing a creek and a small waterfall coming in on your left. The water was flowing steadily at a moderate pace.

    After 1.5 miles or so, the trail leaves the forest and enters a talus slope. Although the next section is not very steep, the trail becomes a little rougher with few spots making up of large rocks. This part can be challenging for younger kids. Sturdy shoes are recommended. There are some switchbacks along the talus before the trail re-enters the forest. Some parts are exposed to the sun so keep in mind of the heat. Make sure you have enough sunblock and water!

    As you arrive at the pristine lake, one of the first thing you will notice is a wooden bridge crossing. The views from the mountain backdrop and surrounding trees were very nice. There is also a pathway that circles the entire lake. This is a nice feature for those busy hike days. Instead of everyone crowding in one spot, they can spread out throughout the lake.

    Bugs: A few bugs here and there. Not too bad.

    *Northwest Forest Pass required*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei completed Lake 22 Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Rachel Lake Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Gothic Basin

    over 3 years ago

    One of the hardest hikes that I have ever done but also one of the most amazing views that I have ever seen! I was not prepared for how physically and mentally challenging this trek was. Washington Trail Association states that it was 9 miles round trip with 2840 ft elevation gain. I thought to myself how hard can less than 3000 ft elevation gain in 4.5 miles going up be? Never underestimate any hike. It's not all about the elevation gain but also how difficult the trail is as well.

    Difficulty: HARD
    Round Trip: 9 miles (That does not include the trip from the parking lot to the actually trail head. That does not also include the trip to Foggy Lake)
    Elevation Gain: 2840 ft (It certainly feels like there was so much more elevation gain!)
    Time: 3.5 hours up, 2.5 hours down

    Drive: About 2 hours coming from Seattle. The trial is simple and straightforward. The trail is right off Mountain Loop Hwy. No gravel road or potholes of any kind.

    Parking: There is a small parking lot right across from Barlow Pass. The lot can fit around 10 cars.

    Trail: Passing the metal gate just south of the parking lot is where the adventure start. For about 1-1.5 miles is an old gravel road that parallels to the Sauk River (This part is NOT included in the 9 mile round trip) You will first pass the Monte Cristo trail head first. Keep walking until the trail comes to a fork. You will proceed to the right going into the forest until you see the trail head for "Weden Creek/Gothic Basin #724". There is also an old outhouse. Proceed past the sign for a little bit and then you will then see a large sign for the "Weeden Creek Trail". This is your destination. This part was very confusing for my group and I. We weren't sure if we were going the right way. Good thing that I had screenshot the description.

    The trail starts off with a gentle grade incline through the sheltering forest for about a mile. A couple of small stream crossings will be passed. About 1.5 miles into the trail, a series of switchbacks (about 20) will begin. The switchbacks are moderate at first then the incline starts to ascend pretty dramatically. Some of the steepest switchbacks that I have ever hiked.

    Leading out of the forest, you will arrive at the first major waterfall. Continue onward and upward crossing to the left of the waterfall. The trail then beings to get very rough and rocky continuing this way throughout the rest of the hike. Some of the pathway is very narrow, hugging the edge of the mountain with thick overgrowth.

    The final ascend into the basin is very steep amongst rocks and flat boulders. You will then arrive at Gothic Basin when you see a small lake surrounded by numerous peaks at 4.5 miles into the hike.

    The hike to Foggy Lake was about 20 minutes past Gothic Basin. It is probably about half a mile away with another 500 ft of additional elevation gain. There is not a clear trail to the lake. We had to ask those that are climbing back which direction to take 3or else we would have probably never found it. One of my friends climb several peaks from the basin to see if he can catch a glimpse of the lake but it was no luck. To get to the lake we had to walk very steeply up along 3 ridges of rocks and boulders.

    You will not see any views at the base of Gothic Basin. The higher you go, the better the views get. After reaching the top of the first ridge the view was magnificent seeing the small lake on the bottom and the different surrounding mountains/peaks. The view was worth the difficult journey.

    Foggy Lake is very nice. You will not see much green as it is surrounded by rock formations. There were still some snow melting into the lake. There was a slight wind and the water was freezing. That was very refreshing since it was such a hot day and I was drenched in sweat from the journey up.

    The overall distance is 1-1.5 miles from the parking lot to the trail head. 4.5 miles to Gothic Basin. Another .5 mile to Foggy Lake. Total of 12-13 miles round trip! This hike was mentally draining because you are constantly trekking over rocks, boulders and walking/climbing steeply over ridges without knowing if you are close to the end. However, all breathtaking views come with a challenge!

    *Northwest Forest Pass required*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei completed Gothic Basin Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Talapus and Olallie Lakes Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Very easy, well maintained trail with multiple lakes. Great for beginning hikers, kids, families and dogs.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Round Trip: 6.2 miles (This is to Olallie Lake, you pass by Talapus lake first)
    Elevation Gain: 1220 ft
    Time: 1.2 hours up, 50 minutes down

    Drive: Exit 45 off I-90. The FR 9030 has lots of potholes and large rocks on the gravel road. Drive slowly and carefully.

    Parking: Small parking lot. The Talapus Lake Trail main parking lot can only fit about 20 cars. I arrived on a Sunday at 11:00 am. The parking lot was full and there were many cars parked on the side of the road. I was lucky enough to catch someone right when they were leaving.

    Trail: There are various lakes on the Talapus Lake trail. Talapus Lake is the first stop at 1.5 miles. Olallie Lake is the next stop at 3 miles. You can continue farther to Pratt Lake for another 2.5 miles or so.

    The trail starts off in the shaded forest. The rooty trail is rocky in some areas but the overall trail is very accessible and nicely maintained. The majority of the incline gain is to Talapus Lake. There are some switchbacks but it is very gradual and not that steep. Make sure you stay on the trail! There was a part where it looked like that trail forked off and we actually went the wrong way into a rocky, bouldering terrain. Noticing that there was not foot traffic, we immediately turned around.

    The trail flattens up after Talapus lake. Most of the trail is shaded which was nice because it was very hot that afternoon. Talapus Lake is nicer than Olallie Lake. The water in Olallie Lake wasn't as clean and pristine as Talapus Lake. I didn't get a chance to visit Pratt Lake but probably will do so in the future.

    Bugs: Bring bug spray. Lots of pesky mosquitoes!

    *Northwest Forest Pass required*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Kendall Katwalk Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Whoooot!! My new favorite hike around the Snoqualmie area! No true summit, Kendall Katwalk is a narrow pathway with stunning views!

    Drive: Very easy and straight froward. Right off exit 52 on I-90.

    Parking: The Pacific Crest Trail main parking lot that can fit around 50-60 cars. Very popular trail so come early. I came on a Tuesday morning at 9:00 am and there were already about 10-15 cars parked.

    Trail: The trail is in pretty good shape. Numerous wild flowers blooming. The hike starts off at Pacific Crest Trail parking lot and into the sheltering forest. Some parts are pretty narrow surrounded by lots of lush overgrowth. The beginning of the trail has a very gradual mild incline.

    After about 2 miles, the trail splits into two junctions with a sign for the Commonwealth Creek Trail marked. You will stay on the right side heading upwards. There are a couple of small stream crossings.

    The trail then opens up into an open talus and into a rocky terrain. The trail starts to pick up a little with a moderate grade incline in this area. There are swtichbacks but some are not well defined.

    Around 4 miles or so, the trail starts to get narrow circling the side of the mountain. Amazing views everywhere!

    Kendall Katwalk is a well defined narrow pathway with huge rocks lining the edge. There are two open areas on each side of the ridge to relax and enjoy the scenery.

    If you keep following the trail for another 1-1.5 mile, you will reach Gravel and Ridge Lake. I didn't bother to keep going, 11 miles round trip was already pretty long to me. Lots of trail runners!

    Bugs: Bring bug spray. I got bit 4 times by annoying mosquitoes.

    Tips: The last two miles are very exposed. Be sure to bring sunblock!

    Overall, this trail is pretty easy and straightforward. The overall incline was very gradual and not very steep.

    *Northwest Forest Pass required*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei completed Kendall Katwalk Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Mount Pilchuck Trail

    over 3 years ago

    One of my favorite hikes in the Northern Cascades. Easy enough with some challenging parts. It's about a 2 hour drive from Seattle. I can see why this is such a popular hike. It is relatively short with panoramic views and historical fire lookout. Knowing that it is rather busy, I decided to come early on a weekday to beat the heat and all the hikers.

    Overall time: About 3.5 hours. We arrived at the parking lot around 9:45 am. Started our trek up at 10:00 am. Got to the summit a little before noon. Enjoyed the scenery and had lunch in the lookout. Came down at 1pm. Got to our car by 2:30 pm. We did stop for 10 minutes on the way down to take some pictures of the surroundings. I am still a novice hiker so I am still very slow.

    Difficulty: Moderate (because it was very rocky)
    Elevation gain: 2300 ft
    Length: 6 miles round trip

    Drive: The Mount Pilchuck road is paved up until you reach FR 42. The last mile or two on that road is in horrible condition. Unpaved and contains large potholes, so drive with caution.

    Parking: Larger parking lot. Probably can fit 50 cars or so. One outhouse toilet and picnic table available.

    Trail: Overall trail is in good condition and mostly easy to follow. The trail starts off in the sheltering forest for the first mile/mile in a half. With a mild to moderate steady grade incline, the trail consists of switchbacks, rocks, roots and stairs.

    After exiting the forest you will then proceed through the very rocky and open terrain for about another 1.5-2 miles. Hardly any shade in this area. You can catch a glimpse of the top of the summit. It may look challenging with a lot of elevation gain but trust me, it's not that bad. The incline grade during this part is pretty steady and mild. This was the most challenging part of the hike, not because it was steep but because of all the gladiator rocks. Some of the rocks are very loose so becareful and watch your footing. This part slowed down my time because some parts of the trail weren't so defined but there are many signs around stating the wrong way.

    The last part before reaching the lookout requires a scramble with all fours. The rocks are very large and easy to step on. Nothing to difficult. I very much enjoyed this trail because of all the variations that it had to offer. Endless switchbacks can be weary.

    Crowds: As we were hiking up, there were about 15 people coming down. When we reached the summit, we were the only ones there. A few minutes after that, about 10 more people made it up. As we were descending down, we probably past about 40-50 people coming up. I am glad that we came on a weekday. The lookout isn't that big so it would have been very packed.

    View: Beautiful, amazing, picturesque panoramic views of Mount Baker, Mount Rainier and the Olympics. The lookout was very nice and relaxing because it provided shade underneath the hot sun. We came on a very clear and sunny day so the weather and views were perfect.

    Bugs: So many annoying bugs on this trail. Mosquitoes, flies and gnats! Bring bug spray!

    Tips: Most of the trail is exposed so bring sunblock!

    *Northwest Forest Pass required*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei completed Mount Pilchuck Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Mailbox Peak Trail

    over 3 years ago

    It feels so good to be able to say that I conquered Mailbox Peak, the OLD trail. It is definitely one of the toughest hikes ever. Extremely steep, challenging and mentally draining.

    I started hiking about 2 months ago and everyone had asked me "Have you done Mailbox Peak?" or "Is it harder than Mailbox Peak?". Everyone talks about how strenuous it was so that psyched me out. I initially wasn't planning on doing this hike till towards the end of summer when I was more fit. Out of the blue a friend and I had decided to conquer it so we can finally say that we did it.

    Difficulty: Hard
    Round trip: 5.4 miles
    Elevation gain: 4000ft
    Time: About 4 hours up, 2.5 hours down. (4000ft elevation gain over 2.7 miles is no joke, I still consider myself a novice hiker so I'm very slow!)

    Not kid friendly. Pet friendly.

    Drive: About a 45 minute drive from Seattle. Easy and straight forward drive. No potholes of any kind.

    Parking: Two parking areas. Lower lot has a small parking area and parking on the side of the street. I did not pay attention to the upper parking lot but the gate closes at 7 pm so make sure you get back in time. We arrived around 9:30 am and there were already about 15 cars parked in the lower lot.

    Trail: From the lower parking lot, you will pass the new trail first. The old trail is just right ahead. We past by a group of hikers training for Mount Rainier. One of them stated that it was "scary steep" and for us to be extra careful. Great, just what we needed.

    The trail starts off in the sheltering forest and continues so for about 2/3 of the way. The path starts off with some switchbacks. I immediately wondered if I had taken the right trail. However, the not so many switchbacks in the beginning then fades out and the trail is immediately taken over with a moderate to severe grade incline of tree roots. All you see for a while are trees, dirt and roots. No defined trail anywhere, you are stepping over roots and roots. I actually didn't mind the roots that much because it gave us something to grab onto. The trees added great shade from the scorching sun. There are white diamond shape markers that are posted against the trees to direct you on the right path. Even with that, we got lost about 3 times, adding about 20-30 minutes onto our time.

    After what seems like forever, exiting the forest, the old trail then merges with the new trail. You will then hike parallel to the rocky terrain. From my understanding, there was no pathway parallel to the rocks back then. I was told I had to scramble to get to the top of the rocks. I guess they build a new, less dangerous pathway. It is still very steep.

    After reaching the top of the rocks, you have another 1/2 mile or so left. You will then see a false summit. This part is not shaded. This was the hardest part of the hike because it was so steep and there are lots of loose rocks. It was also mentally draining because you think you have reached the summit only to see that you have to keep going for a little bit more.

    Once I saw the mailbox, it was the best feeling because I had accomplished one of the hardest hikes (or maybe even the hardest hike) in the area!

    View: There is a nice view of Mount Rainier and of the nearby Valleys. However, even though there is a panoramic view, it is not as nice as I thought it would be. I was disappointing to have gone through that brutal trek for an "okay" view. I have gone on easier and more accessible hikes with much nicer views. They have recently replaced the mailbox.

    Crowds: I came on a Sunday morning. We arrived at the summit around 2 pm and there were about 15 people there. When going down, we past by about 40-50 people.

    Bugs: Lots of bugs! Bring bug spray.

    *Discover pass required*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Mount Fremont Lookout Trail

    over 3 years ago

    A picturesque destination in Mount Rainier National Park. Great for beginning hikers, families and kids. Nice drive, easy hike and gorgeous views all around. The most scenic hike that I have been on. Very popular destination so come early to avoid all the crowds.

    Difficulty: Easy
    Elevation gain: 800-900 ft
    Round trip: 5.6 miles
    Time: I don't know that overall time because we stopped so many times to take pictures.

    Drive/Parking: The Fremont lookout trail is located at the Sunrise Area Trails. The drive is about 2 hours from Seattle. Easy, accessible drive. Even the drive to the hiking trails was calm and scenic.. The parking lot is huge. There is a visitor center with a gift shop and a small restaurant. Public restrooms are available by the trail.

    Trail: Mount Fremont Lookout Trail is one of the ten trails available in the Sunrise Area Trails. The trail starts out hiking up Rocky Ridge trail. There are some steps but overall a fairly mild incline along a paved walkway.

    About 1/3 of the way, the trail wraps around Frozen Lake. The lake was very small but there were snow along side of it which made it look beautiful! The water is very clear and calm.

    After passing Frozen Lake, the trail then gains a short moderate grade incline before reaching the ridge across the large rocks of Mount Fremont. The trail becomes very narrow, rocky and flat for awhile till reaching the Fire Lookout. There are some snow of the nearby slopes from the summit.

    All the trails are paved and looks very easy.

    View: Breathtaking scenery everywhere along the trail. The fire lookout provides a panoramic, beautiful view! Every single picture I took looks like it can belong on a postcard. This is one of the most beautiful views that I have ever seen! I saw a couple of chipmunks. A couple mentioned that they saw mountain goats as well. Lots of wild flowers blooming.

    Bugs: Some bugs but nothing too bad.

    Tips: Beware that the trail starts off at 6400 ft elevation and the highest peak at 7,200 ft so it can get very cold. Bring a light jacket.

    *The entrance fee to the park is $20/day per vehicle and $40/year per vehicle*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Blanca Lake Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Most rewarding hike ever. That brutal trek to get to the end point was worth every single step. This hike has been on my bucket list and I'm so glad that I conquered it! Blanca lake is the most BEAUTIFUL lake that I have ever seen. The glacier fed robin-egg blue water is magnificent, calm and clear. The surrounding mountains still had snow on the peak making a stunning backdrop.

    We started around 8:30 am and got to the lake around noon. Ate lunch and enjoyed the scenery for about an hour. Descended down around 1 pm and got back to the parking lot around 3 pm. I am still a notive hiker and this was one of the hardest hikes yet because it took me so long to get to the summit. I took lots of 10 sec breaks to catch my breath and to drink water.

    Difficulty: Hard
    Elevation gain: 3300 ft
    Round trip: 7.5 miles

    Drive: Located in Skyhomish county near Gold bar. The drive from Seattle is a little over 2 hours. The FR 65 road is all gravel but nothing too bad. No sharp rocks of any sort but there were a couple of small pot holes.

    Parking: The parking lot wasn't too big. Probably could fit around 20 cars or so. I came here on a sunny Sunday morning. Knowing that this is a very popular hike, my friend and I got to the trail around 8 am. There were already 6-7 cars there. As we left around 3 pm, the parking lot was full with many cars parked on the side of the road. Outhouse Toilets available.

    Trail: Overall, very nicely maintained. Minimal garbage on the ground. The trail started off immediately with switchbacks in the sheltering forest with a moderate grade incline. All the trees from the forest gave off a very aromatic scent. After the first mile or so, after passing by the large cedar tree that had been recently cut down, the switchbacks started to get steeper. Some of the switchbacks (I counted about 30) are very long and very steep. Some parts of the trail had lots of large roots and large rocks.

    At 2.5-3 miles or so it started to flatten out once we reached the ridgeline. Catching a glimpse of the views from the valleys and mountains was a good breather.

    Once you pass the large rock area that you have to climb over, Virgin Lake is down the corner. I was rather disappointed at Virgin Lakes appearance. It looked like there was so much moss growing around it and the water was rather dirty.

    After passing by Virgin Lake, the trail goes about .5-.75 miles downhill to Blanca Lake. This section was very muddy with many large roots and rocks. The trail then flatten outs again into a distinct pathway leading to the ever so amazing lake.

    When we got to the lake, there wasn't that many people so it was very nice and relaxing. As we were heading down, we passed by so many groups. I would recommended coming early to beat the crowd.

    Bugs: So many bugs on this trail! Bring bug spray!

    *Northwest forest pass required*

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei completed Blanca Lake Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Snow Lake Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Easy hike! Due to popularity of this hike, I wanted to go on a weekday to avoid the crowds. The weather wasn't so great, it was rainy and cloudy which can put a damper on any hike.

    Difficulty: WTA classified this trail as intermediate
    Elevation gain: 1800 ft
    Round trip: 7.5 miles

    Drive: Easy drive. Exit 52 off I-90. About an hour drive from Seattle. Smooth ride, no off roading or potholes of any kind.

    Parking: Hugh parking lot. It is shared with the Alpental Ski area so I can imagine it filling up quickly on the weekends. Outhouses toilets available.

    Trail: As a novice hiker, I didn't find this trail challenging at all. This was probably one of the easiest hikes I've done so far. No breaks needed. A little under 3 hours round trip. On the way down we wanted to check out Source Lake but it was raining so hard we decided to skip it.

    The trail starts off with a short series of log steps. Then it proceeds to ascend into the forest for a short period of time before passing the rocky terrains. The views are beautiful of the nearby mountains, streams and surrounding trees. After about 2 miles in the trail divides into two area. One to Source Lake and the other to Snow Lake. After passing that sign there are switchbacks but nothing too difficult. The entire trail had a mild steady inclined. Very doable for beginning hikers.

    Even though it was cloudy, I didn't see the surrounding mountains but the water was very clear. There was a slight emerald green/blue hue from the rocks in the lake.

    Due to the volume of visitors for this hike it very nicely maintained. The overall trail is beautiful. Very easy hike with a beautiful reward.

    Bugs: None

    Tips: This trail has some very rocky area, very slippery with the rain.

    *Northwest forest pass required*

    I would probably come back when the weather is nicer so the sun can reflect upon the colors of the lake.

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei completed Snow Lake Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Dickerman Mountain Trail

    over 3 years ago

    This trail is actually 8.6 miles out and back, not 5.8!

    Challenging yet excellent hike! I came here on Memorial Day around 9 am. Not too many people on the trail. The weather wasn't that great. It was a little chilly with a some light rain and very cloudy.

    Time: 3 hours up. 2.5 hours down.

    Difficulty: Hard for me as a beginning hiker. I hiked with a group of friends and they have been hiking forever and they didn't find this trail difficult at all.

    Road: Very straight forward and easy drive. It took about 1.5-2 hours coming from Seattle. The trail is located right off Mountain Loop Highway on the left side. No pot holes and off roading of any sort.

    Parking: Lots of parking spaces in the parking lot. There are two outhouse toilets available.

    Trail: The trail is in excellent condition. Very nicely maintained. The beginning of the hike was probably the hardest part for me because the switchbacks seems never ending. For the first 2.5 miles or so, it consists of mainly moderate grade incline switchbacks (I counted about 50-55) through the forest. Some are very long. I marked the half-way point of the trail at the end of the series of switchbacks. You will then pass a very large rock formation on the side of the mountain along with some stream crossings. The trail opens up past the forest with some views of the nearby peaks. This part of the trail remains somewhat flat with some rocky steps for about 1 mile or so. This part was nice having to be able to catch my breath from the beginning of the hike. Then the trail then begins to get steep again with some more short switch backs and steps. About 1/2 mile from the top, there are some snow on the trail but nothing too hard to cross. The overall trail is pretty straight forward and not that bad. If I was in better shape, I don't think it would have been so challening.

    View: No view! It was so cloudy that there was no view what so ever! I was so disappointed because this was the most challenging hike that I have ever done and I couldn't see anything! I will sure be back when it's more clear.

    Bugs: None

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei completed Mount Dickerman Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Mount Catherine

    over 3 years ago

    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.

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Kamikaze/Teneriffe Falls

    over 3 years ago

    I came here at 10:30 am on a Tuesday. The weather wasn't that great. It was very cloudy, chilly and there was a light rain. Of course given to the weather condition and the fact that it was a weekday there wasn't very many people at this trail. We saw only a few hikers on the way up the trail.

    Road: The road to very straight forward but the unmarked parking lot can easily be missed. This trail is on Mount Si Road, the trail head is off to the left with very few parking spots. Not very many places to park nearby too. Discover pass required.

    Trail: This is a pretty easy hike. The first two miles is basically a flat walk down a wide dirt gravel road with a slight incline. The forest is rather well covered for the majority of the hike. The last mile before reaching the falls is where the trail picks up most of the elevation. There were about 22 switchbacks. The switchbacks aren't too bad but they are narrow, steep and very rocky. Some of the rocks on the switchbacks were very loose and uneven so make sure you have sturdy shoes. Overall, the trail is largely free of obstacles and not too strenuous.

    Bugs: Not too many bugs on this trail.

    View: The views along the switchbacks are pretty nice. You can see all the different mountains, valleys and highways. There are a few small streams connected to the fall on the way up. The waterfall is amazing. I'm glad we came around this time before it drys up. The trail will take you to the left side of the waterfall but there are so many trees it is much better to crossover the stream and see it from the right side. Watching the waterfall flowing off the clift at full force a couple of hundred feet above us was mesmerizing.

    Tips: Make sure you wear appropriate shoes because the switchbacks are VERY rocky. Be careful when crossing the steam to get to the right side of the falls.

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei reviewed Annette Lake Trail

    over 3 years ago

    Trail: As a beginning hiker, it wasn't too difficult. The trail begins through the sheltering forest with a steady elevation. Ascending to the top, the elevation is gained during the first 1.5- 2 miles with lots of swtichbacks. After 2 miles or so, the trail stays fairly flat. Very animal friendly.

    View: Towards the top, there are views of the different mountains from the north and west. You see natures beauty from the trees covering most of the trail along with rock formations, small water crossings, wild flowers and a couple of creeks. I came in mid april and there were still snow on the top!

    Annette Lake is absolutely beautiful and serene. My picture does not do justice because the camera on the phone is horrible! The water is calm, clean, clear and pretty shallow. The mountain surroundings and dense forest make a picturesque view.

    Maintenance: Overall the trail is pretty well maintained. There are some muddy areas from the water crossings.

    CONS:

    Parking: The parking lot is small so I can imagine it getting packed in the summer time.

    Bugs: Lots of moisquitos! Bring bug spray!

    Pathway: Towards the top of the hike, there are some areas from the rock landslide that has lots of gravel on the trail. Becareful of the slippery rocks.

    TIPS: Bring a light jacket as it can get pretty cold towards the top. Make sure to bring lots of water and snacks. I was hiking with a friend at a pretty decent rate and it took us about 5 hours total to finish (3 hours ascending, 2 hours descending. This is also including our 2-10 min breaks to take some photos along the way and a 15 min stop at the lake).

    Bao-Yen Tran-Palelei completed Annette Lake Trail

    over 3 years ago