Jun 23, 2008 at 7:51 am #1229764
@breaksLocale: Flat Ohio
Hello all, I will be visiting the Redmond/Seattle area for business at the end of July, but staying over the weekend and looking for a nice loop hike (15-20 miles).
My schedule permits me to drive to the trailhead on Friday evening, hike Saturday and Sunday, then have to be back at the airport on Monday morning to catch a 11:30am flight back east.
I asked a colleague in Redmond and she indicated the Cathedral Rock/Deception Pass loop was nice, but I haven't been able to find much information on the route.
I would appreciate any feedback on that route, or suggested others I should consider as it's getting close and I need to order maps & figure out gear. This will be my first hike west of the Mississippi!
Thanks so much for your help!
RyanJun 23, 2008 at 8:25 am #1439641
You might get lucky if you go east of the crest of the Cascades – for instance we got to 5700 ft or so yesterday before we hit solid snow, but on the west side we are STILL holding snow at 2-3,000 ft in many areas. We had a massive snowfall this year.
As long as you don't mind snow you can do ok.Jun 24, 2008 at 4:06 am #1439799
For five years Mount Rainier National Park was my stomping grounds. It's a bit of a drive from Seattle, though. I also haven't been back since the big storms a couple of years ago. So, here goes…
There's a loop hike starting in Longmire that goes to Indian Henry's hunting grounds and back. It sort of circles Satulick Mountain. The last (or first) couple of miles is on the road, though. A true master might be able to do this hike in one very hard day. If you make good time it is easy to lengthen the hike over Emerald Ridge, but then you walk back on the Westside Road if you want a true loop. Or, you can just accept a little backtracking to Indian Henry's. Longmire has lots of parking to leave your car.
A non-loop hike that I like leaves your car in Longmire, then hitchhike to Reflection lakes, south of Paradise. (There actually might be a shuttle from Longmire to Paradise, but I'm not sure. Hitchhiking is easy.) Go up the Pinnacle Peak trail and turn west. Outstanding views, and you can tag seven non-technical peaks (Pinnacle, Plummer, Denman, Lane, Wampenayo, Chutla, and Eagle). Unless you try to tag Lane, stay out of the scree along that ridge- stay lower in the valley to make your way to Wanpenayo. Finding the easy way up Wampaneyo can be troublesome. Then, you will swear that you have to fly off a cliff to get from Wampaneyo to Chutla, but there is a very easy ramp hidden from view in some trees- look for it. It is also important to remember that the "trail" up Eagle peak is on the WEST side; do not try to climb the east side- it is technical. Supposedly this can all be done in one day, but I have failed to do so on two occasions (the second time was DEFINITELY my hiking partner's fault) and had to skip Eagle peak both times and go down the Longmire trail in the dark. So, a two-day hike might be more reasonable. It doesn't meet your mileage request, but these are HARD miles, and requires some orienteering on rough ground. You can skip bagging peaks to make better time, but you still have to go over Wampenayo to Chutla. Hmm. Hiking the Wonderland Trail from Longmire to Reflection Lakes would make it a true two day LOOP hike. There you go! Perfect!
A Rainier NP loop I've always wanted to do but haven't (DISCLAIMER!) starts and ends at Mowich Lake, circling the Mother Mountain ridge. On paper (maps and guidebooks) it looks very interesting.
I actually like the Sunrise area better than Paradise (less people), but those are mostly day-hikes in and out of the treeline. You could easily find some loop to do, though. Combining Sunrise, White River, and Burroughs mountain comes to mind. I'd go clockwise, though, or the hike up the mountain from White River to Sunrise would be horrible.
For the truly adventurous, climb 12,000-foot Mount Adams! The South Spur route is non-technical, requiring only crampons and an ice ax, no ropes. I've done it! In two days! You hike up to the Lunch Counter, camp there for the night, bag the peak the next morning and hike down. Actually, wear tough pants and you can participate in one of the longest glissades in North America, from the peak back to the Lunch Counter. Not a loop, though. And a damned long drive from Redmond. And that early in the season the road will still be partly snowed in, so you'd have an extra couple or three miles to hike. And you need to stop in Salmon River at the ranger station to get a permit. I've never heard of them running out of permits, though.
A great book is "75 Scrambles in Washington." I LOVE that book.Jun 24, 2008 at 12:18 pm #1439849
Dean, I did Mother Mt. Loop a couple years ago as a dayhike. Indeed well worth it (I live very close to Rainier so I am up there at least once a month)
Currently you cannot do it due to the Wonderland section missing between Carbon River camp and the turn off for the Northern Loop. The trail sheered off into the river there – it has always been unstable though. For now hikers either go via Seattle Park or take the Northern Loop trail down to the lower bridged crossings of the Carbon River if they want to go via Ipsuit pass.
The park did recover pretty well from the 2006 blowout storm overall. The road to Ipsuit Campground is a trail now for nearly 5 miles and also one section of the WT is rerouted on the road on Steve Canyons Rd.
A good hike is to go up to Indian Henry's Hunting Grounds via Kautz Creek Trail then come down the Wonderland to Longmire. Love that one.
But personally? The section of the PCT that runs through and near the park is gorgeous. It is my kind of hiking – start high and stay high! ;-) Chinook Pass is finally starting to melt (you can finally see a bit of open water up at Tipsoo Lakes!) so maybe by July hiking will begin on the West side!Jun 24, 2008 at 2:20 pm #1439871
@greenwalkLocale: PA & Ireland
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but what is the current status of the Wonderland Trail? Has it been repaired? Have some sections been re-routed? I'm asking cause it's on my wish list. MikeJun 24, 2008 at 7:50 pm #1439933
You can do it now :-) (O, not right now..lol! Since it is buried under snow…)
They did fix or reroute all issues last summer. For now there is the detour at Carbon I mentioned above and the one near Maple/Box Canyon. But with that one can still do a full hike :-)
It is though going to be a long wait this year. If anyone wants to see a great view of just how much snow is left, go here: http://williswall.com/ Watch the movie they have up on Panhandle Gap from the 14th. Indeed, it was a bumper snowfall this year!Jun 25, 2008 at 3:54 am #1439985
Here are some quickie maps:
I've never done this loop, so if you say it can be done in one day I believe you. Pisser about it being damaged. I did climb over Knapsack Pass, camp there in a beautifil col, and bum around the area overnight, once. I climbed out along the Mother mountains. Great views. I always parked at Mowich Lake, but I assume that there is good parking at Ipsut Creek, too.
Really easy to change the length to suit you.
There really isn't a "trail", per se, between Plummer and Chutla. But then, I'm kind of partial to scrambles. I'm not into technical mountaineering at all, though.Jun 25, 2008 at 12:26 pm #1440094
What that map doesn't show is the trail on the other side of the Carbon River. It connects from near Ipsuit Campground to cross the river and run up to the Carbon Glacier. It does allow the MM Loop to be done even with the Wonderland gone there, but you do have to cross the river twice. Fully bridged though!
If anyone does the MM Loop I recommend starting at Mowich Lake (since the road to Ipsuit is gone). Head out on the WT to Ipsuit Pass, drop down, cross the bridges, head up the glacier then cross the suspension bridge. Head up to Seattle Park then to Spray Park and out to Mowich.
It isn't an easy dayhike but my slow butt made it ;-) Ididn't walk well for two days though…lol! It is 16 or 17 miles? With the reroute more like 18-19 now. Still, it isn't bad. The only thing is: be sure to watch for the yellow arrows in upper Seattle Park! You can get lost easily in white outs up there, so a sunny day is best. Water is not an issue either – plenty to get to drink.Jun 25, 2008 at 1:19 pm #1440105
@greenwalkLocale: PA & Ireland
Sarah, Thanks for your reply. –M P.S. I'm going to pick a copy of your book for sure.Jun 25, 2008 at 4:16 pm #1440145
Btw…for those hiking by Indian Henry's Hunting Grounds on the Wonderland? Be sure to at least go visit Mirror Lakes behind on the short side trail. There is an old trail beyond it, disguised by trees that goes to some of the prettiest open areas on the mountain. This photo was from 2005 – my son Ford, friends Drew and Tori. Tahoma was putting on a good lenticular cloud that morning as we left.Jun 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm #1440154
@breaksLocale: Flat Ohio
Thanks so much for the feedback.
For hiking the routes mentioned, what are the camp (any flat spot?) and permit policies?
Also, I hear what you're saying about the snow… The trip is a month away, so I'm hoping there's some melting going on, but what additional gear might I need to take? I'm a 3season Ohio hiker, so definitely not well versed on the art of higher elevation travel. Would this potentially be a crampons / ice axe situation? (If so, a trip to REI will be necessary!)
Also, any thoughts on temp expectations? Although my Ultra 20 says 20, I'm consistently cold in it at 40 ;)
And finally, no comments thus far on the Cathedral Rocks / Deception Pass route…Is that maybe not a good pick?
Thanks again for all the help!
RyanJun 25, 2008 at 7:22 pm #1440183
Cathedral Rock is gorgeous!I did the section of the PCT from Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass in 2006, late July. The only thing to be careful with is one of the stream crossings between – after Cathedral Pass you drop down to a less than scenic view of Hyas Lake and a bunch of srubby avy chutes, this is where the crossings are. The first is the worse. But it is doable.
With the PCT there are good campsites all the way – not on maps but you can expect to find ones near all water sources.
Since you are doing late July expect hot days and chilly nights in the mountains. A 20* bag is fine though.
Even though we have so much snow it should be fine by late July!
Btw, as you get closer? Check out nwhikers.net for up to date trip reports :-)Jun 26, 2008 at 3:23 am #1440217
So, if the road to Ipsut is gone, are there still campites there? Otherwise I assume you would need a back-country permit to camp around Mother Mountain. They're easy to get, though. IIRC there's a Ranger Station in the town of Carbonado, on the way to Mowich Lake, that hands them out.Jun 26, 2008 at 7:08 am #1440246
They actually moved the ranger station to the Carbon River entrance two years ago. The road "ends" about a mile in past the entrance, though in most cases it is sealed at the entrance. They built a trail where the road blew out – it is open to hikers and bikes, no dogs. Only thing that blows now is if you are going to Mowich you have to go out of your way to get a permit!
Thing is the campground back there? It came through with NO damage. Ipsuit Creek rerouted itself in 2006 and jumped over the small ridge and flows under a hiker bridge now instead of the car bridge right before you enter the CG. They turned it into a backcountry camp with bear poles (and picnic tables!)
To camp around MM Loop the ideal spot would be Cataract Valley camp. It isn't very scenic though…..(assuming one started at Ipsuit Pass and went downhill to Carbon then up to Cataract). After CV it opens up and stays in subalpine or alpine tundra nearly the rest of the way :-) One can get that permit or a cross country permit (though they don't hand those out so readily).
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