World, the picture above is my crazy, highly inappropriate, awesome cousin, Tom. We’ve been hiking and adventuring together since we were kids. You’re gonna see that face (that only a mother could love 😆) quite a bit on this blog. Sorry-not-sorry. That’s because he’s a great hiker, friend, source of humor and he has ALL the cool gadgets. Just take a look at us on this recent trip to Si. We know how to have fun!
This particular trip started with an early morning drive South to hop on I-90 toward North Bend. You can see the mountain in its entirety right from town, which is hard to imagine while looking at it that it would even remotely resemble a cakewalk. It’s true. It’s not.
Despite the intimidation factor, we headed for the trailhead that was just out of city limits. The trail begins at the very foot of the mountain, which I always delight in the thought of climbing every inch of these stone giants. Extra traction was needed right away due to the icy conditions, but at no point did we need snow shoes (this was late December).
This 8 mile round tripper has a whopping 3,150 feet of elevation gain, so you can imagine those 4 miles up were all business. We lost count of the switchbacks pretty quickly. Definitely a calf burner! We shared the route with lots of trail runners, and I’m sure that is why. This trail is perfect for conditioning training. However, it’s lack of views on the way up made the journey less to be desired.
It wasn’t until we were yards from the summit that the world below opened up and it was gorgeous. A great spot to stop for lunch before exploring the peak. We only stayed a few minutes to grab some photos, but we had our hearts set on the true summit- “The Haystack.”
It’s a quick scramble up to the “good enough” summit where you gain another great view. Here, we ran into some hungry gray Jays that will eat right out of your hands. Or off your head, in my case. It’s fun to play with them for the great photo ops, but really they are pests of the mountains and shouldn’t be fed. I just couldn’t resist!Next, we backtracked to a side trail to attempt the true summit, which is The Haystack I mentioned, but the snow was too soft and conditions were unsafe. So we left it for another day. A couple of guys with climbing gear turned back as well. It just wasn’t worth an injury.Overall, my verdict on this hike is that it’s a great one if you’re training for other intense hikes, it’s dead of winter and you just have to get out, or you’re going solo and prefer a well trafficked trail. Also, who doesn’t love bagging another mountain peak?!?! Not too shabby!
Find more info on this hike here: