Archive for May, 2009

Lake Serene

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

This hike climbs about 2000 feet in four miles, at first on relatively flat valley floor, then steeply up the mountainside to a beautiful lake.  On the way it passes Bridle Veil Falls, impressive in June with a torrent of water.

We encountered snow just approaching the lake.  There is a nice rock where you can sit in the sun, eat lunch, and admire the impressive Mt. Index towering above.

Mt Index


GPX: Lake Serene

More Photos

Outer Loop

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Back when I was in good shape, I was regularly running a loop around the principal parts of Cougar Mountain Park.  This was my favorite run.  It starts at the Red Town Trailhead, which can be quite crowded on weekends.  I have never found the parking lot completely full, but sometimes nearly so.

The run starts up the Red Town trail, which climbs steeply at first, then levels out.  At this point I sometimes go up the Quarry Trail, or if I am more ambitious, the Shy Bear Trail.  Either way, the climb is steep.  I aspire to be able to run the qhole way, but I have not achieved that yet.

Fred’s Railroad trail is wide and flat: a respite from climbing.  The easiest alternative is to continue on Fred’s Railroad Trail, around Klondike Swamp Trail, and back down Coyote Trail and Cave Hole trail.  But the “full” outer loop takes a right up East Fork Trail, another moderate climb, until it crosses Clay Pit road, and into the northern parts of the park: Tibbetts Marsh Trail to Shangri La, past the Anti-Aircraft trailhead, and down Coyote Creek.  Back at Clay Pit road, it is possible to return on the Road, to the unsightly and depressing unfinished development on 166th Way, and down Military Road to the trailhead.  Cave Hole trail is a lot more scenic.

Map: I did not start my GPS at the beginning, so this starts at the turnoff from Indian trail.

Outer Loop

GPX: Outer Loop

Mt Si

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

The most popular hike in the Seattle area, this not for the faint of heart.  The first challenge is to find a parking place.  The ample parking lot is often full during weekends when the weather is good, any time of the year.

The trail climbs relentlessly, about 3400 feet in 4 miles.  The trail is either steep or steeper the whole way.  But the path is wide and well trampled, and it is rare that a minute goes by without passing by another group of hikers.  Hikers of all ages, shapes, and sizes who don’t look like they are working very hard (but must be).  Finally, at the top, the trail emerges from the tree cover and you can see for miles and miles, all the way to Seattle and beyond.

The trail stops at the foot of a great block of rock, but many people climb around the back and up to the very top.  I tried this myself, but about half way up thought better of it and retreated.  Others, some clad in sneakers or flip-flops, continued on.  I think I turned back at the hardest spot.

In May, there was snow just below the summit.


GPX: Mt Si