Prospect - West Peak Loop
needed a quick hike and to be back home by around noon. It was overcast
and a big cooler than usual. I decided t head up to Grand Prospect. I
was a little slow getting going and was on the road at 6:52 am. I
headed east past Highway 18 and then up to the Snoqualmie Point
Trailhead. At 7:30 am the roadside parking was already filling up on
both sides. I passed cars and saw that the gate to the park and the
trailhead were both still gated. I had not seen that on early trips in
the summer. The sign says "Gate Closes At Dusk" but not when it opens.
I parked near the old trail start at the gated road part way down the
hill. On the way up it was light rain off and on. In the brushy
sections the brush was soaking wet. So were my pants soon enough.
It was in the low 60s width very high humidity.
I passed 7 people on the way to Grand Prospect. Four were going up and
three coming down. There was a sign at the bottom says that parts of
three bike trails were closed as of May 16, 2022. I would
later find out what that was about. The last half mile to Grand
Prospect was in the clouds. At GP I had zero visibility. I could not
see out to peaks nor down to North Bend. On the way up I decided to
head up West Rattlesnake Mountain to make the trip a little longer.
With starting down the road it was 4.15 miles to GP. I continued on the
RMT to where it meets the road between West and East Peaks. I turned
right and followed the road up to the top of West Peak. I still had
only a hundred feet or so of visibility. The light rain had at least
stopped. At the top it was clear that things had changed since my last
visit on 09-16-21. Many of the trees are no longer standing.
Quite a few of the trees at the summit have recently been cut down.
Similar to the cutting on Tiger Mountain but so far some trees are
still standing. I continued down the road to where the bicycle trail
crosses it. I turned left and went to the viewpoint in the big clearcut
from a decade earlier. I went a bit farther and turned around and went
back to the road. The trail on the other side of the road was closed
with orange plastic netting. One of the trails mentioned at the bottom.
I needed a little extra mileage to round this trip up to 11 miles so I
headed back up the road to the summit. I quickly turned around and
headed back down. The smell of freshly cut trees was very strong. Like
walking through a lumber mill.
With the trails closed I followed the road. At the switchback the old
quarry was been cleared out and is now a logging landing. Lots of logs
piled up waiting to be trucked away. Also piles up gravel for logging
spur roads. As I headed down th road I saw fresh logging on both sides.
Farther down it was most of the way uphill to near the summit.
Downhill, it goes quite a ways in one spot. The fairly new bike trails
have been clear cut in places. The trails will have to be
rebuilt when logging is done. Those trails are closed for the medium
term. The road is closed on weekdays but open on weekends. I had no
problem cutting through the short distance back to the RMT below Grand
Prospect. I had 7 miles down now with just under 4 miles to
go. Heading down I saw more than half a dozen groups hiking up but it
was far from crowded.
After crossing the creek on the bridge I started looking carefully for
saprophytes. I did not see any on the way up but have seen them there
in previous years. At a slower pace I started to see them. They were
all the same variety. They looked like Indian Pipe but were more light
yellow than bright white. I ended up seeing some fairly big patches. I
finally saw some bikes at the junction by Stan's Overlook. I hiked the
short trail to the overlook. The bike trail to the summit goes for a
mile or so then is closed down when it nears the logging. The
Rattlesnake Mountain Trail (RMT)
remains open from Snoqualmie Point to Rattlesnake Lake at the other end.
I reached the bottom just after 11:30 am. I went to the parking lot and
found the gate was open and the lot was about 80% full. There were a
dozen or so open parking spots. I went over to Snoqualmie Point park to
get in just a little more mileage. Now, I just had a short downhill
walk along the road to my car. As usual this time of day on a weekend,
the road was filled with cars on both sides all the way down to the
highway interchange. My gas tank was very low when I started out and
the low level icon came on about 5 miles from my neighborhood gas
This trip turned out pretty well. The trail was not very crowded. I had
some light rain but never pulled out the umbrella I was
carrying. My pants did get wet from the brush but they dried off along
the way. I had a chance to check out clear cut logging I did not know
was underway. Tiger and Rattlesnake will have views for a decade or so
before the trees grow back. I was back at my car at 11:36 am and home
by 12:20 pm. A little later than I planned but not much. I did push an
8 mile 2200' gain trip to Grand Prospect up to an 11 mile 2800' gain
hike over West Peak. I definitely did not overheat on this gray summer
Click on thumbnails to get
Grand Prospect View
Cloudy Ridge Road
Logs & Tower
Logging Down Slope
Near The Bottom