DISTANCE
12.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4,980 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

trail running
2 months ago

I decided to do this route based on the elevation gain and wanting to cross Thurston Peak off my list. I ascended via Great Western and after a couple of miles succumbed to power hiking the uphills and running any flats I came across. I enjoyed the ascent quite a bit, beautiful fall colors and scenic views once you get up a few thousand feet. There is a bit of a scramble to reach the actual peak, there isn’t much of a defined trail but it’s obvious where the peak is. Great view and well worth the scramble to get to the top.
Here’s the con to the whole route, the descent via Thurston Peak Trail and Adams Cabin Trail is complete and utter garbage. The trail evaporated at least a dozen times and I found myself stopping and getting my phone out to find the trail at least every 200 feet. Nobody uses the trail apparently, not even game. I got lost for a half hour trying to find the trail in some rough scrub oak (my legs are wrecked). Once back on the trail it was so overgrown that I couldn’t really move at a fast pace. I think it took me just as long to get back down the mountain as it did to get up.
Long story short, ascend and descend via Great Western, don’t bother with the other “trail”. I also logged 13ish miles rather than 12.1 according to Garmin.