I’ve never done this hike mostly because it’s one of those that has the reputation of just being hard without much payoff. It’s also close to Seattle so it’s very popular. The same reasons that I’ve never hiked the even more popular Mt. Si.
There was a lot of people but contrary to expectations the payoff was also pretty good.
We got to the trail head early, around 7:00 and even that early the sizable parking lot was mostly full. It was a partly cloudy day but with the promise of sun.
There are two trails up to the peak. The one we took was put in a few years ago to replace a shorter (i.e. steeper) one. It was a nicely maintained trail
Our track is in red, the old trail is the white dotted one to the south
It’s 4000 feet of elevation gain so you shouldn’t expect a lot of level paths, just relentless up.
Note that it gets even steeper after mile 4.5 or so to the top. The steep part begins at a talus field
Up to the left
The path is pretty well marked and laid out like steps in many places. It’s not too bad.
At this point we were above the clouds which made for some dramatic views
Of course, the reason everyone comes is to see and put stuff in the mailbox
Why is there a mailbox at the top? There is a report that claims it was dragged up there in 1960 by a letter carrier named Carl Heine. This is corroborated by a few other sites but who knows? It’s a nice destination nonetheless.
There were a lot of people up there. If you’re looking for solitude pick another peak. It was pretty though. Lots of bear grass in bloom at this time of year.
It’s definitely worth another trip. Next time I’ll bring something to post.