Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Buckhorn Wilderness Loop

Experience the dry side of the Olympic Mountains, visit the crash site of a 1952 B-17 bomber, and climb a few viewful peaks along the way. This route has amazing views, surprisingly runnable sections of trail, and an excellent cross-country route from Tull Canyon to Silver Lake that ties the whole loop together.

Distance: 26-ish miles if you skip Buckhorn Mountain, which you shouldn't, and 27-or-so if you don't.

Elevation Gain: Approximately 8,500' without Buckhorn Mountain and 9,400' with.

Maps and More:

Overview Map:

Overview map at the trailhead

Looking west from Marmot Pass

Buckhorn Mountain on the right

Looking west during the descent off Buckhorn Mountain

Looking back at Buckhorn Mountain

Looking down towards Silver Lake along the high route

Looking back towards Hawk Peak along the high route

Descend this talus field towards Silver Lake

North from Mount Townsend

Looking north with Dirty Face Ridge barely above the clouds

Monday, May 18, 2015

Snoqualmie Divide Loop

Cross the divide between the South and Middle Forks of the Snoqualmie River two times as you explore abandoned trails, visit a huge cirque, and perhaps climb a few peaks along the way. Traveling the loop counter-clockwise will maximize your scenery, giving you views into the Middle Fork and beyond as you descend from Red Pass and a look up at the Rock Creek cirque and its impressive waterfall as you climb to Snow Lake.

Distance: A minimum of 17.5 miles for just doing the loop and as much as 22 miles if you include all the optional side trips.

Elevation Gain: At least 6,840' of gain for the loop itself and as much as 11,500 with all the optional side trips.

Maps and More:
Overview Map:

Looking down to the abandoned Cascade Crest Trail from Red Pass

Looking back at the gully descending from Red Pass

Looking back at the gully again from a little farther out

Looking towards the Middle Fork from a short ways below Red Pass 

The Middle Fork with Mount Garfield on the horizon, from the climb up the Rock Creek Trail

More information:
A detailed Washington Trails Association description of the loop

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Putrid Pete's Peak (3P) Loop

A deceptively difficult loop that combines one of I-90's most popular trails with one of its least, making an easy cross-country trip across Banana Ridge along the way.

Distance: 9 miles (or so) if you skip the side trips, approaching 11 miles if you add on trips to Defiance and Little Bandera.

Elevation Gain: 4,340' at a minimum for the loop itself and around 5,800' if you do both side trips.

Maps and More:

Overview Map:

Trailhead: https://goo.gl/maps/gRgKu