Its my first trail report so I hope the pictures work out right. No matter what anyone says we all know the pictures are the important part of the TR.
My wife had a doctors appointment that wasn't over till noonish so we got a late start.
I've never done this hike before so I can't compare to anytime before but it looks like the parking lot, bathroom, and even the trail itself has recently received a lot of love. The parking lot in particular looked brand new.
We got started around 3:15. The lot was mostly empty at that time. Skies were mostly cloudy with a few sun breaks.
The first 2/3 of the trail, maybe 3/4 consists of relentless switchbacks through the forest. It nice becuase its shaded and cool when you're getting your ass kicked by the trail but its rather monotonous (especially on the way down). The trail is 4 miles, 3800ft so its a good workout.
There are a few breaks in the trees where you get views like this:
About 2/3 to 3/4 of the way you get into meadows. The wildflowers are still out but on their very last leg:
BUT, I wasn't too sad about the wildflowers as my favorite hiking treats are making an appearance. At this point about 1 out of 10 bushes were ripe with the vast majority still a couple weeks out. If you are looking for ripe berries the lower elevation bushes, right as you break out into the meadows, are your best bet right now.
Fall colors are starting to appear already
Once you get to the meadows the views are georgeous... or so we heard. We mostly saw fog. From trail descriptions you should be able to see great views of mountains all around, especially glacier peak but no luck for us. I can't wait to do this hike again on a clear day.
Here's my dog Grace checking out the view while I chow on some berries (more likely she heard a squirrel somewhere):
Here (from left to right) are my wife's friend Jen, my wife Mindy, and my dog on the required summit shot.
The low clouds did lead to some interesting photos so I'll shut up and let the pictures tell the story:
We started down at around 6:45 and made it down all but the last 1/2 mile or so before needing to break out the headlamps. Be warned the downhill can be brutal on your knees. Oh, one more thing... 0 bugs, other than bees we didn't even see an insect
tmatlack, she is a kerry blue terrier - Airedale is probably the closest breed in temperment etc. Kerries are a little smaller than Airedales. She loves hiking. I wrote more about her in the "tips for dogs on the trail" thread in Trail Talk.
1k, Yeah I think that was the best shot of the bunch as well
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