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    Derek Meer reviewed Cascade Pass Trail to Sahale Glacier Base Camp

    over 1 year ago

    The road conditions aren't too bad. The first 10 miles after turning off Route 20 are paved, and there aren't too many potholes on the gravel sections.

    The view from the trailhead is pretty good, but I thought it may get better if the clouds cleared up. I started walking at 10am. Most of the surrounding view was hidden from me in mist, so I focused on walking. The trail itself isn't very steep until the final scramble. I would consider it suitable for most people. There's some snow on the trail, but it's easily passable without microspikes. There are a few spots where you have to jump up onto the snow to cross it, but that's as challenging as it got. I would recommend bringing poles to help with the ascent and descent.

    I made it up to the glacier at around noon and waited for the clouds to clear. They eventually did, and the resulting view was a real treat. I spent plenty of time coming down taking pictures of the lovely wildflowers. Overall, the trip took me around 4 hours of hiking with a couple hours of sightseeing thrown in. I didn't spend too long waiting in the parking lot because the flies were really annoying.

    Derek Meer reviewed Granite Mountain Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Started at about 8:30 and the parking lot was already full. Luckily there's plenty of parking on the road next to I90. It was cloudy and not too warm. The trail was in good condition. There's still snow in the last half-mile that's not hard to cross. The trail branches off at times; follow the footprints and you should be okay. The wildflowers look great, and the view is great as always!

    Derek Meer completed Granite Mountain Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Lake Serene Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Decided to cool off in the 100-degree heat by swimming in the lake. It was cold but very refreshing! A few people hiked around to a large rock / jump-off point; I would wait until it gets a little warmer to do this.

    We arrived at the parking lot around 10:00 AM. The main parking lot was full but there was plenty of space in the adjoining lot. It took us about 1 hour 30 minutes to get up (including the side hike to Bridal Veil Falls). WTA has done some good work here since last year when I came here: more stairs make the trail more accessible (also easier to run down!) and keep it in better condition. The downside is that the stairwells are filled with water on the way up to Bridal Veil Falls (lots of water coming down right now from snowmelt).

    I would recommend coming on a Saturday or weekday. Sunday traffic on Route 2 heading west is pretty miserable. Otherwise, head out to this great hike and don't be scared to take the plunge!

    Derek Meer reviewed Camp Muir Route Via Skyline Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Bring sunglasses. Even though it's cloudy at the bottom, it clears up at the top.

    There's snow the whole way up, so bring microspikes and poles. Snow at lower elevations than the regular snowfield is good for glissading; on the snowfield is too wet. skiing works though. Flags and plenty of footprints mark the path to Camp Muir from the parking lot. Overall a nice hike.

    Derek Meer reviewed Worm Flows Trail

    over 1 year ago

    The summer route is still closed; took a day off work to go up this way. Started around 7:00, made it up to the top by 11:30 with about 3:30 of moving time.

    The beginning of the trail was very misty; we missed the Chocolate Falls crossing originally because we couldn't see the markers on the other side. The trail is very well-marked for the most part, with large posts and/or footprints from earlier climbers to guide you. You can avoid putting on your crampons or microspikes for the first few miles; the trail takes you up a rocky ridge. I put my microspikes on at the weather station. From there it's a step machine to the summit. Unfortunately, a cloud hung over the crater so we couldn't see anything.

    A few tips:
    - re-apply sunscreen at the top; otherwise, you'll get burned on the way down
    - bring gaiters even if it's warm; otherwise, your feet will get wet on the way down
    - don't forget sunglasses and try to cover up as much skin as you can
    - bring waterproof pants for glissading. Ice axe optional, but recommended

    All in all, a fun day on the mountain!

    Derek Meer reviewed Goat Lake Trail

    over 1 year ago

    The road to get to the trailhead is mostly well-paved, but the last few miles are a gravel road. Take your time if you're driving a non-SUV.

    I took lower Elliot up and upper Elliot down. Lower Elliot is shorter and takes you along a river. Upper Elliot is longer, wider, and takes you past waterfalls.

    Soon after the two converge, there's a side trail to see a waterfall. It's worth it.

    The lake itself is nice and cold. Overall, a good, easy hike. I'd take my mother on it.

    Derek Meer completed Goat Lake Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Heliotrope Ridge Trail

    over 1 year ago

    After I learned the Skyline Divide trail was inaccessible, I came up here for a hike. Most people park along the road leading up to the trailhead, which does have parking spots but is hard to access.
    The trail is a bit muddy/wet (due to snowmelt) or snowy, depending on where you are on it. There are plenty of footprints on the trail to follow up until you break through the treeline. At that point, the footprints on the snow went in several directions. Luckily I had a GPS to help me re-find the trail and forge a path to the glacier overlook. I stopped on a large outcropping with a clear view of the glacier. Be warned that the snowfields you have to cross can be steep at times, so take your time going up.

    Otherwise, a gorgeous day for a hike (or skiing, if you want!)

    Derek Meer completed Heliotrope Ridge Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Skyline Divide Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Impassable trees are blocking the road six miles before the trailhead :(

    Derek Meer completed Skyline Divide Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Mailbox Peak Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Nice, clear day for a hike. 2.5 miles up and down in a few hours. I arrived at around 7:00 and there was nobody in the parking lot; when I came down at around 10:30 there were cars parked on the side of the road. I'd recommend coming early if you want a parking spot.
    Overall, a nice, tough hike. Be prepared for no breaks. Coming down is a lot more fun than going up :).

    Derek Meer completed Mailbox Peak (New) Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Colonel Bob Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Started from the Pete's Creek trailhead. Once we made it to the snow level the trail wasn't marked well enough to continue. Sledding down the snow was fun though! Next time I come here I'll bring a GPS with the trail clearly marked :). Recommend coming in July

    Derek Meer completed Colonel Bob Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Colonel Bob Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Mount Washington Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Nice sunny day today. The parking lot was pretty full when we got there at about 10:45. I would recommend getting there earlier to avoid the crowds. Total time up and down was just over three hours, so a little bit slower than normal. The trail is well enough marked.
    The trail is in good shape overall for the first two miles or so. As you approach ~3000 feet, you'll run into snowmelt streams and puddles; at some points, the water runs down the trails, so be ready to get your feet wet. Having trekking poles helped quite a bit here.
    Once you get past the puddles and streams, the snow starts. By the time you get here it should be soft and well-compacted from the numerous people that have already hiked the trail. I had poles and no micro-spikes while my buddy had no poles and no micro-spikes; we both made good time up the final section, so take that as you will based on your skill level. The poles helped me not fall on my butt so I could move more quickly.
    Overall, I had a good time on the hike; unfortunately, Rainier had some clouds and there was a huge group at the top so we couldn't get very good pictures. Definitely worth it :)

    Derek Meer completed Mount Washington Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Sourdough Mountain Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Only went 2.5 miles up (~1 hour in) since snow made the trail impossible to find after that point, but it was still a good (and tough) hike with my backpacking gear. A few notes here:
    - At no point was the trail level...definitely not a walk in the park
    - There were no real trail markers (other than at the beginning), a topographic map would have been helpful to find the trail
    - Come back in August when the snow melts and you should have no problem day hiking this
    - From the start of the parking lot to the lookout house is 5.2 miles according to the trailhead, so a total of 10.4 miles rather than 8.2

    Derek Meer completed Sourdough Mountain Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Mount Si Trail

    over 1 year ago

    The parking lot was PACKED, probably due to the nice weather. There's some slippery snow for the last half mile; poles are recommended but not required. The haystack is also a bit slippery due to snow, but take your time and you should be able to ascend and descend safely.

    Derek Meer completed Mount Si Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Derek Meer reviewed Black Canyon Trail

    over 1 year ago

    If you want to see what the trail looks like, check out: https://youtu.be/06Qy0Aot6z0
    Total 1-way distance: 3.42 miles
    Some trail info:
    - There's still snow on the north side of the canyon, but it's melting. As a result, the snowmelt is pooling up or running under the still-melting snow. Be careful where you step on the snow or your feet will get wet! I wore my trail runners, and while my feet did get wet, they dried out quickly. No blisters either.
    - Because of the snow I would also recommend poles.
    - The "road" to the trailhead (Black Canyon Road) is very bumpy. If you don't have AWD or an SUV, I would recommend parking at the start of the road (right off N. Wenas Road) and walking from there. It's an extra two miles round trip (9 miles total).
    - The end of the trail is very windy, so bring a windbreaker and gloves if you want to stay warm in the spring!
    - No wildflowers yet; I'm guessing they'll show up in May. They apparently make the hike a very pretty one.

    Derek Meer completed Black Canyon Trail

    over 1 year ago