|Agency:||Washington Department of Natural Resources|
|Location:||In the I-90 corridor on the outskirts of North Bend, Washington|
|Distance:||4.1 miles (one way) - Trail Map|
|Total Ascent:||2,413 feet|
|High Point:||4,167 feet|
|Low Point:||756 feet|
|Season:||Spring, summer and fall|
Start at I-90 exit 32 near North Bend. Go N for 0.2 mi. Turn left on SE North Bend Way. Go 0.4 mi. Turn right on 432 Ave SE (Mt Si Rd). Go 2.3 mi. Trailhead on left.
A good, moderate to strenuous hike in the Seattle area. Oh heck, it's easier to tell you the facts: 3500 feet gained in 4 miles. It's steep almost from the start, but the real workout begins above Snag Flats.
It's a good idea to bring two water bottles. Wear sturdy boots for this is occasionally a very rocky trail. It may be an easy hike for true mountaineers, but for the rest of us this is a challenge. To reach the true summit one must ascend what is called "The Haystack", a large hunk of steep, crumbly rock. I took one look at it and the rocks coming down, loosened by people on their way up, and decided it wasn't worth the risk. The days of risking my life for a few more feet of elevation are gone for me, I guess. Views from the Haystack Basin (what I would call the summit plateau) are excellent, including the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley and, of course, Mount Rainier.
If you bring food, be prepared to defend it against some very aggressive birds. One of them landed right on my head while I was taking a picture. Imagine the possibilities had I been holding a candy bar.
For those less physically fit in the family, there is a creek loop hike just a few feet up the trail from the parking area. There is also a Talus Loop trail which leaves the main trail, then returns to it a mile or so later. Not sure what the attraction is. Maybe some nice talus? At any rate, another hiker on the trail told me it's twice as far, and just as difficult as the main trail.
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