Scorpion Mountain Hike, July 2017

Scorpion Mountain
Date: July 4, 2017
Difficulty: 6 out of 10
Distance: 8 miles / 12.9 Kilometers round-trip
Elevation Gain: 2,650 feet / 808 meters
Time: 5 to 6 hours
Location: Near Skykomish, Washington
Users Group: Hikers & Dogs Only
Permits: Northwest Forest Pass Required
Trail Conditions: Dry to a few snow patches on summit
Hiking With: Linna Freeman, Rick Freeman, Matt Kerby, Craig Schilling, Tao Song & Macho

For our July 4th celebration we started our day hiking a new trail off of highway 2 near Skykomish, Washington. I usually hike the I-90 hikes out of Seattle, but when I invite my wife I know it’s a pre-requisite to come up with a new hike to entice her to come out. Scorpion Mountain was a new hike for us and we were blessed with a sunny warm July 4th without the crowd. We invited our good friends Matt Kerby, Craig Schilling and Tao Song to share this quiet beautiful hike.

This is not your typical off the exit I-90 hike, it takes some driving time and effort. After getting off of highway 2, you have 7 miles of a narrow paved road onto a narrower overgrown dirt-road for another 6 miles up the mountain. We only had two groups ahead of us when we started, but managed to pass them to have full access to the summit to ourselves. This hike has a gain of 2,500 feet, but after reaching the Sunrise Mountain you descend over 200 feet to only ascend again to summit Scorpion…making this trek a bit more difficult.

Before reaching the summit of glacier lilies and a couple of large mounds of snow you get to hike through a mature forest and alpine meadows. You have a 360 view on top with Glacier Peak, Spire, El Capitan and the top of Rainier showing.

Linna and I ended our hike with some delicious Korean BBQ at Blue Ginger in Bellevue, Washington.

Granite Mountain Sunrise Hike, May 2017

Granite Mountain
Date: May 27, 2017
Difficulty: 7 out of 10
Distance: 8.6 miles / 13.8 Kilometers round-trip
Elevation Gain: 3,800 feet / 1,158 meters
Time: 5 to 6 hours
Location: Exit 47, I-90
Users Group: Hikers & Dogs Only
Permits: Northwest Forest Pass Required
Trail Conditions: Dry to Snow Packed
Hiking With: Mike Curry, Linna Freeman, Matt Kerby, Craig Schilling, Tao Song & Macho

Seven of us decided that getting up at 1:00 a.m. to summit Granite Mountain to see the sunrise would be worth it…and we were right. Our group consisted of Mike Curry, Matt Kerby, Craig Schilling, Tao Song and my wife Linna Freeman. This will be the first sunrise hike for most of us and probably the earliest start for a hike too.

I am not sure how we decided on Granite Mountain for a sunrise hike, but we all knew they would be a lot of snow on top left over from a very wet/snowy winter. After reading the WTA trip reports, the avalanche conditions were minimal and post holing wasn’t an issue. We had to be a bit more cautious on the snow when it started to open up on top, there were numerous foot trails going in different directions, but I have been up Granite so many times I had a good feel for our direction to the summit.

Matt Kerby reached the summit in time to snap some beautiful sunrise pictures, some of the photos posted will be his art. There were many groups coming up as we were descending and by the time we got back to the parking lot it was nearly full.
Craig and Tao invited us back to their house for breakfast. Of course when we got back home Linna and I took a long nap.

Mt. Baker Trip, March 2017

Six of us spent a 3 day weekend in Glacier, Washington enjoying the Mt. Baker area and the vast open country for snowshoeing.

Grand Lake Loop Hike, August 2015

Grand Lake Loop
Date: August 1, 2015
Difficulty: 7 out of 10
Distance: 9.1 Miles / 14.6 Kilometers Roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet / 792 Meters
Time: 4 to 5 hours
Location: Near Hurricane Ridge in Washington
Users Group: Hikers Only
Permits: National Forest Pass
Trail Conditions: Dry
Hiking With: Linna Freeman, Maxime Tissier, Tao Song, Craig, Eric & Emelie Espling

This is an epic hike that should be done yearly.

Ozette Triangle Hike, July 2015

Ozette Triangle
Date: July 31, 2015
Difficulty: 3 out of 10
Distance: 9.4 Miles / 15 Kilometers Roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 300 feet / 91 Meters
Time: 4 to 5 hours
Location: Near Lake Ozette, Washington
Users Group: Hikers Only
Permits: National Forest Pass
Trail Conditions: Dry
Hiking With: Linna Freeman, Tao Song, Craig, Andrew & TC Patterson, Maxime Tissier, Emelie & Eric Espling

The Ozette Triangle www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/lake-ozette hike was my first Olympic coastal hike and it was awe-inspiring. I had the pleasure to share this hike with my wife Linna, Max Tessier, Tao Song, Craig, TC & Andrew Patterson and Emelie & Eric Espling.

This is actually a fairly easy hike, but when you combine all three legs to make it a loop/triangle you will definitely feel your legs spent some energy, especially hiking along the rocky sandy beach. The first 3.3 mile leg is trekking through thick forest on board walk over the tiny Ozette river, you can tell that there has been some trail work done recently…many of the cedar planked boards have been replaced with synthetic ones.

Once you hit the beautiful Cape Alava, you head south for 3.1 miles on a rough and rocky shoreline. You will notice tiny offshore islands and wildlife. We could hear the sea lions barking and one that probably quit barking a week or two ago…for it was laying on the beach bloated with no head. We purposely started in the afternoon to make sure we had low tide to enjoy our beach adventure.

At the end of the beach scramble you hit Sand Point at 6.3 miles, you then complete your triangle with another 3 mile boardwalk trek back to the car. This is a beautiful coastal hike at low tide, but it takes a good couple of hours of driving on twisting and winding roads to get to it.