Sunrise Squak Mt. Loop

A rainy weekend in the forecast and I need to get going on my taxes. I had time for a morning hike on Saturday. I could not decide on where to go. Farther west looked to be drier. On the drive I decided to pass on Cougar Mountain and head for Squak Mountain. I arrived at the Sunrise Place trailhead at 8:28 am. I was on the trail at 8:32 am. It was overcast but not raining. I quickly noticed many bleeding hearts linking the trail. Lots of leaves but no flowers yet. I was not planning on writing a trip report for Squak but I soon noticed the wildflowers. Not a lot of them but several differnt types. I saw some very small pink flowers, yellow violets, and trilllium in bloom. I'm not sure if I just took more photos than I thought of if I was just slow today. At one mile I thought I was moving at about 2.7 mph. It turned out to be 2.2 mph. Oh well, I was still moving.

The overcast really brought out the green colors. With leaves opening along with grass and moss I had a lot to enjoy and photograph. A main reason I chose this trip instead of Cougar Mountain is that it allows for more elevation gain. Even with a short time to hike I wanted at least 2300' of gain or more. I saw one person then a runner and a couple groups heading down. Never crowded but I did see folks every now and then. I picked up me speed a little but the last half mile below Central Peak is the steepest of the day. I was happy to reach the road. A few minutes later I was at the summit towers. I was going to stop for a food break but there were other folks there. It was only 9:58 am so I did not need the stop. So far I had hiked just about 3 miles gaining about 2100'.

I continued over the top and dropped down the north side. I passed the Old Griz Trail and continued dropping. At the next junction I turned left and headed uphill. This brought me to the fireplace that was once inside the Bullitt family cabin. To get in a little more distance elevation I headed down to the junction where the Bullitt Gorge Trail comes up from the State Park Trailhead at the south end of the mountain. I thin retraced my steps up, down, and up again to the Old Griz Trail just below the top of Central Peak. Now it was half a mile of downhill to Phil's Creek Trail. Lots of moss and greenery on this trail. I passed Phil's Creek Trail and continued down to the Eastside Trail. We did that trail on a headlamp hike a month earlier. I turned right on the Eastside Trail. This would bring me back to the trail I came up in the morning. There are several trees down on this trail. I had to crawl under and pull myself over the largest ones. It was not that difficult. On the earlier trip we noticed an obvious trail going off to the right. We were pretty sure we knew where it came out.

I had a little extra time so I figured it was time to check out a new trail. It is narrow and minimal. It is not a real built trail. I followed it through some really mossy forest and came out right where I thought I would. This detour added another 220' of elevation gain. Now I just had to climb up from Thrush Gap to the high point and then down to the trailhead. I had about 2.5 miles to go. I made much better time on the smoother downhill. I also had some more photo stops. I have seen salmonberry leaves the past few weeks but no flowers. Now I started seeing flowers. In the last mile I kept looking at all the bleeding heart plants. Low and behold, I found one plant that was starting to bloom. The first bleeding heart flower of the year. I reached my car at 12:09 pm. I took 3:37 to hike just over 8 miles with 2900' of elevation gain.

I was home early to tackle other objectives. This trip was better than I was expecting. Not only did int not rain, I had some sunshine on the way down. I did see other people but not that many. Lots of solitude on a not heavily used route. I did not expect to see anything that would allow enough photos for a trip report. The lighting, all the fresh green, and the limited but good showing of blooming flowers was a real plus. I am looking forward to getting up into the mountains as the snow melts. I am also hoping for gas at under $4.75 per gallon. When the Ukraine ware ends I might get that. In the short term this was another close in hike that allowed me to get in mileage and elevation gain without a long drive. It turned out to be a very good morning in the mountains.

Turkeytail Fungus
Pale Flowers
Yellow Violet
Green Border
Mossy Everything
Into The Clouds
Folks On Summit
Bullitt Fireplace
More Mossy Trees
Old Griz Trail
Mossy Arbor
Narrow Brown Line
Old Road?
Sunlit Greenery
Salmonberry Flower
Log Over Trail
Very Mossy Rock
Sunshine On Rock
Sunshine On Trail
3 Person Bridge
More Moss
Bleeding Hearts
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2022