Time: 7 hours (including an hour lunch on Noble)
Gear: Boots and poles (hat, sunglasses and sunscreen!)
Bugs: Yes, but the breeze kept them down
A scorcher was in the making. Sadie already had huffed and puffed through a Saturday monitoring the driver as she worked in the garden. Sunday was to be much warmer and it was time to get out on the trail - somewhere. Hopefully, there might be some snow. Trail Pair had headed out for an overnight up north by Mt. Baker. Hiker Jim was up for a more "local" hike, and friends Joe and Kate were game for an adventure with Sadie. Noble Nob was such a fun hike last March (when there was very little snow), Sadie believed that there might be some snow left to cool her tootsies on this sure-to-be record-breaking day of heat. Left Queen Anne at a little after 7:00 a.m. to pick up Kate at the Park and Ride off Bellevue Way; then on to 405 South and 169 to 410 and head south towards the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. Be aware, because there really isn't a roadsign indicating the way to the trailhead. It's about a mile south of Buck Creek Campground. There will be a roadsign that says FS 7170 (to your left). Be advised, however, that you are turning onto what appears to be a private road with lots of little recreational cabins. The road dead ends in about 3/4 of a mile - and there is room for about 3 cars max to park. There is an outhouse up the hill a little - but I wouldn't suggest that one plan to spend much time there! Rustic at best. The trail is actually due east of the off of the road - you can hear the roar of Deep Creek.
Head toward that sound. DO NOT cross the creek. You follow the creek only a short distance.
This is important to note, because there is no water after this point, so your 4-legged friend will need to rely on you for water. The trail doesn't waste time starting up. It's a series of switchbacks - there are several downed trees across this route - nothing you can't negotiate - just a diversion.
Not a lot of bugs, but they are there. Having a breeze helped to keep the bugs down. The trail gets serious quickly. You have about a 3000' climb up to the trail junction that intersects the Corral Pass trail (for those of you less adventurous, you actually can drive to within 2 miles of the Noble Nob junction and take the trail that gains very little in those two miles. Sadie was surprised that there was very little snow on the trail - very little left in spots here and there. It won't be there by the end of this week.
Nice not to have snowshoes, crampons and/or ice ax. Only hiking poles. And the flowers - - - oh the flowers! Another stellar weekend of flowers. Lots and lots of wild strawberries. Actually, we were early for the lupine and the paintbrush - but it won't be long. (Check Hiker Jim's report for better pictures - I got something on my camera lens and didn't realize it! Sorry)
Soon we were at the "overlook" just before the junction, where we got the full meal deal pic of Rainier.
We did see a group of three guys headed to Noble Nob right at the junction - one of their group was ahead on the trail up to Noble.
We were on top of Noble with the three guys - think they came up from Tacoma. We decided to spend a little time on the top of Noble. A beautiful location for a lovely lunch. A nice breeze to tone down the heat and keep the bugs in check. The views were spectacular - opening up to the Stuart (thanks, Jim) Range, Glacier Peak, Snoqualmie Pass and points north; then across (of course) to Mt. Rainier and the Sherman/Steamboat Prow side of the mountain; and then south towards Norse and Crystal Mountain. We also had great views of several lakes. The trail from the junction to Noble Nob was virtually brown. Only minimal snow. After a lovely lunch on Noble, we headed back.
When we got to the junction, Kate, Jim, Sadie and the driver decided to head towards MuttonMountain for an added 300' feet of fun. Joe decided to head back to the cars. In about 1/3 mile we reached a way-trail towards Mutton.
Up we went and in another 1/3 of mile we were on top - lovely views that included Mt. Adams. What a treat.
We also ran across more lovely flowers that we hadn't seen earlier (Anemone and Buttercup)
That little side trip was worth about 45 minutes. We got back to the trail junction and headed down. In about a 1/2 mile, we were greeted by 5 mountain bike riders heading out the Deep Creek Trail. They were doing a loop from Corral down to Deep Creek and then back to Corral Anyway, it was a hot hike down and we all agreed we could have used more water for this day. Sadie was one hot dog. She couldn't get back to Deep Creek soon enough. It was a lovely hike otherwise. So nice for the first 4 miles, because you don't see anyone - no one really goes up through Deep Creek. Once we got to the junction, we saw 4 or 5 different groups plus the biking group. No one was up on Mutton. Sadie had a nice jump in the creek and was ready for a snooze on the way home. The chilled Diet Coke was a welcome refresher. Good choice.
Thanks for the TR and pics. I was wondering about Knoble knob last weekend and was told it was not accesible..so Ms. Poo and I did Dog mt. instead
Aha - probably those slackers who go into Noble via Corral Pass! (much shorter and much easier route to do it via Corral rather than Deep Creek only gain about 1000' total as opposed to almost 4000'). The folks we ran into who came in via Corral said that the snow added about another 1/2 mile or so to that route - but, it is definitely doable. Great views from Noble. Even better views from Norse Peak - which is an alternative.
Sadie would respond to Ms. Poo personally, but she is resting comfortably right now. She'll check her e-mails later. the driver
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