Sunset Way To Poo Poo Point

With the coronavirus picking up steam I have been in the house most of the week. I needed to get in a Saturday morning hike. It was 33 degrees in North Seattle in the morning. I debated where to have some solitude and some views. I chose a busy place via a not so busy trail. Well, I got half of it correct. I reached the Sunset Way trailhead just off I-90 at 8:30 am. Another group was getting ready to go. At 8:36 am I was on my way. I seldom write a trip report for Tiger mountain hikes but with snow the previous day and with a desire to use my new phone camera I was ready to make a number of photo stops. Driving into Issaquah I could see that the snow level was below Poo Poo Point. I would have about half on dirt and the upper half on fresh snow.

I started just ahead of the other group and never saw them again. It was mostly overcast with some sun shining through. I quickly climbed up to the plateau. From the bench and viewpoint I could see fresh snow atop Squak Mountain. I continued on via the Wetlands Trail to Round Lake. The lake was lower than when I went by a few weeks ago. Still much higher than summer. The road section had a few really big puddles. Big enough for a boot path to climb above several. At the tower I turned left and reached the Section Line - Poo Poo Point Trails junction. I went right on the Poo Poo route. This old road turned trail climbs at as steady though not steep grade. I soon saw two women ahead of me. I was hiking a little faster but taking photo stops so I stayed behind them. I did see one patch of purple flowers alongside the trail. I'm not sure what they were. They turned out to be the only flowers I saw all day. In a few weeks there will be yellow violets and bleeding hearts but none are out yet.

The women stopped and I went on by. I did not see them again either. I began to see fresh snow alongside the trail below 1000'. At the big bridge the trail was partly snow covered and the bridge was completely white. A runner went by going up. I saw two more runners up to the railroad grade. Those five people were all I saw below Poo Poo Point. The trail leaves the old road and becomes much steeper. It was a little slick but not too bad. The steep straight up old trail soon turns to switchbacks. It became more slick but I did not bother to stop and put on microspikes. The trees up higher were really plastered with fresh snow. It was not at all deep but it was a real winter wonderland. At the four way junction with the railroad grade I turned right. It is half a mile to Poo Poo Point. Flat, down, up, and down once again. The last downhill was much steeper and borderline microspikes terrain. I slipped and slid a a bit but with poles I remained vertical.

At the bottom of the drop I reached the final short road section. Lots of bare deciduous trees along here. They were really snow plastered. I made slow progress with many photo stops. I also saw a pileated woodpecker in a tree near the trail. For the only time this day I wished I had the big zoom lens on my point and shoot camera. I managed some small blurry photos. A few minutes later I arrived at Poo Poo Point. The Chirico Trail is a much shorter way to get there and I knew there were be a number of folks who took the shortest route up. I arrived at 10:30 am. I had hiked 4.50 miles up in 1:54. Not a great time but with the snow and photos it was not bad either. 2-3 inches of snow from yesterday covered everything. Not a blade of green grass or astroturf to be seen. I could see the snow lines on Squak and Cougar Mountains. Though the sky was mostly white visibility was very good. No big mountains in site but all the lowlands and smaller peaks were.

I went up to the high point for photos. Soon another hiker arrived and volunteered to take my photo. A rare shot of me taken with my camera. His friends also arrived. It felt to be right around 32 degrees with just a gentle breeze. Still pretty chilly when you are not moving. I hung around until 10:45 am and then headed back. On the first road section I saw the woodpecker once again. my photos turned out just as bad as the earlier ones. One strike against the cellphone camera. The white balance was excellent though for snow. Very few corrections needed.

It was still late morning and I was hiking down a little used trail. Or so I expected. Not this day. I started running into groups of 3-6 often. I did not keep count but I think I passed or was passed by about 45-50 hikers. Easily four times the most folks I have ever seen on this route. Maybe the lack of parking for the Chirico and High School Trails have people starting at High Point now. I stepped will off the trail many times on my way down. I had expected to see few folks on this corona virus timed hike but found a lot of others. I made it back to the Sunset Trailhead at 12:34 pm. I took 1:49 coming down.

The scenery was really nice. I enjoy spring hikes on this route for the wildflowers. After a recent snow is another time this close in route on trail and old roads really looks good. After the unexpected crowd I stayed home on Sunday. I have no desire to get the virus. I am glad I had one good hike this weekend.

Mossy Green Trees
Green Arch
Round Lake
Poo Poo Point Trail
Tiny Purple Flower
Snow Begins
Snowy Hillside
Mossy Trees & Snow
Bright Branches
Weaving Trail
Snowier Trail
Seriously Flocked
Looking Up
Bright White
Hikers Below
Snowy Old Road
Pileated Woodpecker
Nearing The Point
Poo Poo Point
Picnic Table
Squak Mountain
View To The NW
Pretty As A Picture
Me At The Point
Metal Sign
Heading Down
Heading Back Up
Big Bridge
Round Lake Again
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2020