Little Lundin Peak

John was free for an after work hike. He suggested Red Pass and up to Little Lundin Peak if we had time. We were both able to get out of town earlier than usual and met at High Point at 3:00 pm. We headed east exiting at Snoqualmie Pass. A minute later we were in the Pacific Crest Trail parking lot. It was more than half full. Within a few minutes we were on the trail at about 3:35 pm. We took the less traveled and shorter Commonwealth Creek Trail. The conditions were just about perfect. Low 60s temperature and no wind. John set the pace and we climbed up to the basin. I had not taken the short trail over to the falls though I had heard it on every trip. Well worth it.

The flat section went quickly. Still plenty of water in the creek. The rock hop was easy enough though I had to be careful not to dunk my boots. I have been seeing a lot of fresh mushrooms the past few weeks. Lots of them on this trip. Some small and some very large. We passed by the trail up to the PCT and crossed the creek for the last time. Now the trail gets down to business. A steep climb up to the pond in the upper basin. After hiking up in forest we had some view out. Guye Peak was right to the south. It was mostly sunny but there were clouds up higher too. In the open we saw Indian paintbrush and penstemon still in bloom. We even saw a few harebells.

We reached the basin and continued up to the pass. The trail crosses a talus field on the slopes of Red Mountain with views down to the pond. Here we passed a woman hiking down. She was the only person we saw on the trip. That climb up is a little longer than I remembered it. I hiked up to Red Pass two years earlier. Before that it was 2004. That was the last time I had been to Little Lundin Peak. For a trail I have done many times that was a long 13 year gap. Approaching the ridge top we could hear the wind blowing hard. It was probably in the high 50s and warm in the sunshine. A cold wind might shorten our time up high.

We stopped where we reached the ridge. To the north Thompson was in the clouds. Big Snow Mountain was too. We could see a little but not the peaks. A few minutes later we reached Red Pass. It was 5:25 pm. We took about 1:50 coming up. We had a food and water break watching the wind howl through the pass. Wind was blowing by Little Lundin right above us. We debated turning around or continuing up. He had seen some ripe berries coming up. They are often better higher up. We decided to start up and see of the mountain was blocking the wind. In fact is was.

The wind was blowing over and around the peak but the trail was in the lee and it was calm. The steep route slowed us down but it only took 16 minutes to reach the top. Mt. Rainier was now clear at the top. Right below it was Guye Peak. We could see the PCT over near the top of Kendall Peak. Red Mountain was mostly out of the clouds too. Warm in the sun with pretty good views. There was a sea of clouds to the south.  Our time on top was short. We hoped to get down before sunset. The drop to the pass took much longer than the ascent. The berries were ripe and sweet. On the way down some clouds blew through below us and a Brocken spectre formed. It was faint but it was there. Photos turned out okay. Only the third time I have seen one. It is a circular rainbow on the top of clouds. You have to be above to see it.

At the pass we changed into dry shirts and headed down. Where the trail wasn't rocky and rough we made good time. Unfortunately, a lot of the trail is rocky and rough. Overall, we made good time coming down and I had fewer photo stops. We made it back to the parking lot at 7:50 pm. Still half an hour of daylight left.

This was as fun after work hike. Soon the days will be short enough that headlamps will come out on our mid week hikes. For now we can still drive to the Cascade Crest, hike, and get down before dark. Tuesday we considered the trip but it was in the high 70s at the pass. Dropping 15 degrees made it much easier and more fun on Thursday. We had almost total solitude though there were quite a few cars in the lot. A little different route and destination helped. The clouds added to the scenery. Only the peaks to the north were lost due to clouds. Throw in the berries and it was an excellent hike. My main annual hiking goal is to get in at least 600 miles. This trip puts me within 7 miles with over four months left in the year. It was already been a very good hiking year.

Mess Of Mushrooms
Neat Mushroom
White Mushroom
Bright Fungus
Guye Peak
Looking Up
Indian Paintbrush
Kendall Peak
Red Pond
John and Ridge
Little Lundin
Nearing Ridge Top
Mt. Thompson
PCT Marker
Mt. Rainier & Guye Pk
Natural Effects
Lundin Peaks
Kendall Peak Again
Clouds Blow By
Red Mountain
Brocken Spectre
Red Mt. Again
Pond Guye
Last Look At Lundin
Last Mushrooms
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2019