Kim and I headed
out to a close in hike with no snow. I chose an area neither of had
hiked before. Taylor Mountain is just south of Rattlesnake Mountain and
north of Highway 18. It has been largely logged and new trails are
added to a series of old logging roads. The trailhead we used is fairly
new. From I-90 we drove Highway 18 south about seven miles to the first
exit marked Issaquah-Hobart Road. We turned left and very quickly took
another left into the parking lot. We didn't get an early start and it
was already 11:30 when we arrived. There were more horse trailers than
just cars in the lot.
Armed with a map from the internet we headed out on the Holder Ridge
Trail. It starts in forest near Holder Creek and then begins to climb
into a clear cut. Views open up to the south. There was still a few
flowers hanging on including pearly everlasting. For the first time in
weeks I saw colors, not just gray sky and white snow. One especially
larch tree was bright orange with most leaves still on the tree. The
route made a few gentle switchbacks before turning a corner and
beginning to descend.
We dropped back into trees and had an easy creek crossing at the bottom
of the valley. We had a quick lunch. A second group of horses passed on
by. From here it was an easy uphill climb to our turn around point at
the junction with the Holder Knob Trail. We went all of about 1 1/2
miles in over two hours as there was plenty to enjoy and photograph.
Coming back we made better time.
Just before reaching the trailhead we took a short side trail over to
Holder Creek. The creek bed is much larger than the current stream
flow. It must be a torrent when at high water. We found the bridge over
the creek and there is a sign stating the trail is closed to all
traffic from October 15 to April 15. That precludes a nice winter loop
up Holder Ridge and down Holder Creek. Still, there are a
number of trails we did not get to. Several other loops will work in
Now that I've see a little of the area I will be back for a longer trip
this winter. It's nice to find another low elevation trail system to
hike on dirt when snow covers the high country. Horse riders, and
mountian bikers have discovered this area and hikers will in time. In
the mean time some solitude can still be found.