Hike Review

Peyton Whalen, Reporter

The woods will shape your thought. They will instill adventure and wonder into your soul. They are lovely and mysterious. They will lead you to live a more positive lifestyle and will change the way you view the world while enjoying the camaraderie of your friends

As Henry David Thoreau said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

In an effort to help you enjoy hiking, here are a few hikes that could get you started.

Hike, think and adventure.

 

Mount Si, North Bend

This beautiful hike includes old growth Douglas-firs, small brooks and a panorama of the entire North Bend area and beyond once at the top.

However, this hike is not for the faint of heart. With a roundtrip of 8.0 miles and a 3,150 foot elevation gain, this hike is tolling on the calves while trekking uphill and the downhill push is strenuous on the knees. Despite this, the site at the summit is worth the pain.

Once at the top, the trail breaks into a small but open field with incredible views. This is the summit basin. The actual summit, Haystack Rock, is just above. It is a scramble to get to the top but is a fun feat and worth the view.

Being located near SnoqualmiePass in the North Bend area, the UpperSnoqualmieValley and the Puget Sound basin are viewable from the summit of MountSi.

Beyond this, you can view the world unfold into a series of infinite blue-grey ridges and crests illuminated by the sun.

Standing atop the summit, I gained a feeling of meaningfulness and carried it with me back down the mountain. It was as if the world unfurling beneath me helped me to finally understand something greater than myself.

This experience was only possible because it was a clear day. If it’s overcast, the view will most likely be fogged over and therefore you won’t be able to live the moment to its entirety.

If you possess a spirit of adventure and endurance, this is the hike for you.

 

Rattlesnake Ledge, Snoqualmie Pass

This is a short hike with a rewarding outcome. With a roundtrip of 4.0 miles, this is a simple trek for hikers of all experience levels.

Starting off at RattlesnakeLake the approaching trek upwards looks steep and intimidating; however, the elevation gain of 1,160 feet is steady and if taken at an appropriate pace, the hike will in actuality fly by.

The pathway follows a series of switchbacks through herds of tall and tranquil trees.

Once the top is reached, though, the scenery shifts abruptly.

Views of the Cedar River watershed, ChesterMorseLake and the massive MountSi suddenly burst forth.

Atop this ridge, great pictures can be taken to document the feat of reaching the top of Rattlesnake Ledge.

If the view and workout simply isn’t enough once Rattlesnake Ledge is reached, a path continues upwards and after a few miles will lead to EastPeak.

Once reached, the view will be very rewarding if it is a clear, sunny day.

 

Poo Poo Point, Tiger Mountain

Yes, go ahead and laugh. However, the views once atop this point will leave you awe-struck.

Named after the sounds that used to be made by the steam whistles of signaling loggers, this vista is more peaceful nowadays.

With a roundtrip of 7.4 miles, the hike sounds scarier than it is. While the 3.7 mile climb to the point contains many switchbacks, the descent is gradual and oftentimes you will find yourself hiking downhill while heading nearer to Poo Poo Point. This gives your legs a rest and will allow for a more enjoyable hike.

At the point itself, the trees open to an immense clearing with a large drop-off. From this clearing, there are views of the IssaquahValley, LakeSammamish and the Bellevue skyline. Mount Baker can even be viewable on clear days.

This point is also a popular spot for paragliders being that there is a launch pad right at the top of the point.

Go grab a group of friends and enjoy what this world has to offer. The camaraderie and memories shared through hiking are unlike any other experience, not to mention that it’s a great way to get fit.