wild flowers

14 days ago

I did this yesterday with my daughter who is getting ready for cross country. It's a nice trail for hiking or for trim running which we did The trail was in great condition with only one dead fall and that could easily be stepped over. Essentially all the snow is off the trail but there still plenty of running water for dogs along the trail. Still had plenty of wildflowers in the Meadows but I'm assuming they Will be gone quickly. The road is a little bumpy the last 2 miles but much better since they filled it in with rock much better than the deep ruts it used to be. First half-mile is a little uphill and then somewhat flat and rolling for the next 2 miles then the last mile is a steep 800 foot ascent over some scree and rock. Bugs were not a problem especially while moving. Great views from the summit as always

Amazing overnight! The hike was intense but worth it. The weather was perfect and the views of Adams, Hellens and Rainier were very picturesque! Will be doing this again in the next season or two.

3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike!

11 months ago

Great trail. The view from the top is like nothing I've seen before!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

best hike I've done so far this summer. pretty easy-going three-quarters of the way until you start your climb to the top. once you get to the top it will all be worth it with the views that await you. can't wait to do it again.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beautiful hike with a fabulous view at the top. Some snow around on July 23.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Friday, September 11, 2015

Trail seamed washed out in most places and the overgrowth was dreadful! But still pretty when you stopped to look around.

Friday, September 11, 2015

We hiked on a warm September afternoon and couldn't have asked for better. Subalpine meadows and forests for the first 2.5 miles after Section 3 Lake, then an 800ft thigh-burner for the last mile up to the summit of Bear Creek Mountain. Great views east all the way up, and wonderful views of Adams, Goat Rocks and Rainier at the top.

I imagine in late Spring, this area would be mind-blowing with a little more snow on the ridges and wildflowers in the meadows. We look forward to returning in June/July next year.

The road to the trailhead is a little rough, but easily doable for anything besides a sports car. 4wd would only be necessary in snowy or very muddy conditions.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This trail wasn't what I remember it being 5 or 10 years ago. Over growth along the trail has become a small problem. My friend and I did this trail with our kids on our back, so the tree limbs sticking so far out was scary for a six month old. Lol but we had fun. Beautiful canyon walls all along the trail.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

8-1-15, Clear Lost Trail:

This is a great hike and can be difficult at times, however…it’s a bit hard to find and not easily seen from Hwy 12. I did a solo, day hike from the Clear Lost Trail #76 trailhead to the “Old Lookout Site” at the junction of Bluff Lake Trail #65, for a 16.3 mile out and back that took 11 hours counting stops with a 4347 foot elevation gain RT.

The road to Clear Lost Trail TH is excellent. It’s off Hwy 12 however, there are no road signs and is easily driven by as it looks like one of the many pullouts on Hwy 12. Plus the trail itself isn’t easily seen from the road and the registration box is 75ft down the trail. Here’s how to tell: The pullout is on a corner. The pullout guardrail stops near the trail entrance. The guardrail restarts on the corner and is marked with 3 yellow/black diagonal striped signs. One sign on the beginning of the guardrail and two signs on a pole above the guardrail. The trail/registration box is to the right of the 3 signs and below the road. While this is a pullout, there can be limited parking.

From the get to, you go down loosing approximately 900ft the first mile. At the bottom there’s an area to camp next to the Clear Fork Creek. There is no bridge and will need to be forded. The creek is very low but expect to get your feet wet.

From there it’s UP until the Old Lookout Site. After 2.5 miles is the four-way junction of Clear Fork Trail #61 and Clear lost Trail #76, the site of Dewey’s Cabin. An old fallen cabin. This junction is clearly marked on a downed log. I missed it because I was looking up for signage not down. That said, if you have a map, it’s quite obvious your direction.

After is a gentle climb that gets steeper as you go and levels out for a bit at the junction of Coyote Lake 2.5 miles later. There was no signage that I could see but if you have a map, still clear as its direction. This is where you get your first views of Mt. Rainier and other peaks. About a mile later is a small lake in an alpine meadow below beautiful cliffs. This is the only source of water since Clear Fork Creek 5 miles ago. Climb another 1/2 mile to Lost Hat Lake. This lake is at the bottom of a cirque and only half its original size. Not sure if that’s normal or this year’s low snow level. There were a lot of animal tracks at the lakes edge. A popular watering hole I guess and the reason I opted to get water elsewhere.

Next climb about 800ft in .9 miles to the Old Lookout Site at the junction of Bluff Lake Trail #65 at 6200ft elevation. This was a tough section for me. Steep and very hot and was running out of water with little shade at the top. From Lost Hat Lake on is all alpine and the trees become scarce but there was a nice breeze at times that was welcomed! The lookout is on a peak that’s thin and long. From the top you can see Coyote Lake below. Beautiful. There is the three mountain view of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mount St. Helens and in the distance, White Pass Ski lifts.

The return trip went much faster but that’s to be expected since its all downhill, but even the last climb to the car wasn’t that bad. All and all, this was a great hike. Wonderful views once you entered the alpine area near Lost Hat Lake and if you’re multiday hiking, there is camping at Lost Hat and Coyote Lakes. I’d rate this hike as moderately difficult due to its elevation gain.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Thursday, July 09, 2015

This is a favorite of ours. Yes a little difficult to get to trailhead , 4wd is best to have. Perfect amount of flat and elevation gain. Best part of work out is last 800ft or so, straight up but what a reward at the end! It's rated Easy, be careful though, it's not a "stroll in the park".

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Perched halfway between Rainier and Adams, this offers great views of both. Depending on the time of year, water sources are limited once you hit the PCT from the Snowgrass Flat area and not much shade either. It's a nontechnical scramble up a rocky trail to reach the summit.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

This hike is a little more difficult to get to. You have to drive up pretty rough gravel roads. At the beginning of the hike the meadows and wildflowers are beautiful. Towards the end, it gets pretty steep with loose dirt paths. The views are amazing towards the end!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This hike is a solo day hike to Old Snowy via Snowgrass Trail 96, the PCT, an alternate trail to Old Snowys summit and the horse route back to the PCT to make a small loop at the end for 16.8 miles RT that took 9.5 hrs counting stops. Max Elevation: 7930ft, Elevation Gain: Approximately 4500ft. The posted track is one way, so Elevation Gain is just a guess.

I started at the Snowgrass Trail 96 TH on the Saturday after Labor Day and at 9am there was still parking. However when I got back 9hrs later the TH was packed but still some parking at the end.

For the amount of traffic, the trail is in good condition and quite level for the first couple miles, climbing a bit beyond the Bypass Trail 97 junction and a bit more to the Lily Basin Trail 86 junction at Snowgrass Flats. This junction can be somewhat confusing as scramble trails to campsites intersect the junction and you’ve got a few directions to choose from. Lily Basin is clearly marked on the left. The PCT is not. If heading to the PCT continue straight, following Snowgrass Trail 96 for .8 miles. From Snowgrass on, the vistas are beautiful and don’t stop. If you plan on staying at Snowgrass Flats, some campsites are out of view. Use scramble trails to access them.

Continue straight on Snowgrass Flats Trail 96 to the Jct of the PCT with vistas of Old Snowy and Ives Peak ahead and Mt. Adams and Mount St. Helens to your right and behind you. Now with vistas everywhere, turn left and follow the PCT for 1.8 miles. The trail is distinctive, however cairn’s mark the way. Bring extra water for this section as there are no good water sources. There are a number of campsites along the way to choose from if overnighting here. At one point I thought someone was whistling but later found out it was marmots. Those suckers are loud. Mt. Rainier soon comes into view behind Goat Lake/Hawkeye Point. Then you’ll cross a small snow patch near the Old Snowy junction, marked by a large cairn. The signed junction is a couple hundred feet to the right of the Cairn.

If continuing on the PCT keep left at the signed junction. Turn right and follow the PCT Alternate route to Old Snowy. Aside from a small snow patch in the beginning, the route is easily discerned among the rocks. Once on a ridge take in the view, not quite 360 degrees yet since Old Snowy is in the way and choose to scramble up Old Snowy or turn left to take the alternate route back to the PCT. Follow the scramble trail to the summit. The scramble trail is easily discerned in the beginning and can get confusing later on. Trekking poles become more difficult to use after this and nearing the top requires both hands. Trekking poles are best put away so they don’t get dropped. The path disappears near the top and a few small routes can be picked. Choose the right side and pay attention to loose rocks with each step until you reach the top.

Now a 360 degree view, there is room enough for about 6 people plus a small bivy spot. The view is stunning! Everything can be seen. Mt. Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Goat Lake/Hawkeye Point, Tieton Peak, Packwood Lake and The PCT/The Knife to name a few. Have a snack, take pictures and return to the ridge and go back to the PCT the way you came or continue straight for .4 miles on the Alternate PCT trail down toward The Knife , then turn left on the Horse Route for .4 miles back to the PCT. Head back the way you came.

This makes for a long day hike but well worth the time and effort! Bring extra water and snacks for the day. Extend this hike one day and overnight at Snowgrass Flats or on the PCT and take your time, relax and enjoy.

Monday, September 15, 2014