Spring time. For the Seattle mountain runner, it means we can start venturing further and further up I-90 to “the good stuff.” Don’t get me wrong: It’s amazing to have access to the Issaquah Alps all winter, but the melting snow provides access to some amazing trails.
I’d recently been doing some exploring around Mt Si and, as is often the case, got lost a couple of times… and ended up finding some great, unexpected trails. The first was the “Old Big Si” trail connecting the Little Si trailhead to “Big” Si (or… just plain old Mt Si). The next was an unnamed, unmarked trail connecting the Talus Loop trail on Si over to the Teneriffe Road.
One of the reasons I’ve avoided Si is feeling that I couldn’t run far enough without running repeats – and I don’t think many non-pros feel like running Si repeats. It was time to take these connector trails and see what kind of long trail run can be strung together in good ol’ North Bend, Washington.
Grab yourself the Green Trails Maps
. Also, wear your big boy shoes, cause we’re climbing today. We started at the Little Si trailhead, climbing and descending Little Si, Climbing and descending Mount Si, then climbing and descending Mount Teneriffe. In bullet points (elevation):
- Little Si trailhead (500 ft)
- Kept on the Little Si Trail to the summit (1576 ft)
- Descended on the Little Si Trail until the Boulder Garden Loop Trail, where we turned left
- Followed that trail until a left onto the unmaintained Old Big Si trail… got our hands on the ground, as this one goes straight up to Mount Si (3900 ft)
- After the summit, flew down the Mount Si Trail a couple of miles to a left on the Talus Loop Trail
- After about three quarter miles there is an unmarked, but clear trail that continues on to the left… it’s almost straight (I didn’t even notice leaving the main trail the first time I left it)… it crosses a small creek before arriving at Mount Teneriffe Road
- Mount Teneriffe Road Trail goes up, up, up (summit 4788 ft). We turned around at about 3500 ft. Took the road down about another quarter mile past where we started up Mount Teneriffe Road Trail to another unmarked trail on the right side of the road. That took us back to the bottom half of the Talus Loop Trail
- Headed back to the bottom of the Mount Si Trail. From the trailhead, we ran on the shoulder of the Mt Si Rd (flat!) back to the Little Si trailhead.
I was lucky enough to have a buddy (Dave
) willing to try the new route with me. I think neither of us were disappointed. Weather was less than ideal, but better than it could have been. The Little Si had the best visibility, which wasn’t saying much.
The climb up to Old Bi Si is nothing short of ridiculous. No switchback – just straight up. This has to be good training for… something? After what felt like days, we got to the top. There were some cool looking, but brutal, stretches of trail.
Nothing to see at this summit – but the view can be great on the right day.
The descent off of Si is probably my favorite run in the area. There are stretches where you can jump and feel like you float 20 feet forward before you hit the ground. Nothing compares! I always enjoy it.
The unmarked trail should really be on the maps. It’s short – but beautiful. Flat, fast, soft, green.
Teneriffe is a tough climb, but most is probably runnable (if barely). We turned around at about 3500 ft, as the snow was a bit thick to effectively keep moving. It was still great to run in some snow, as we didn’t get much at the low elevations this year.
I got to give my new Pearl Izumi M2s a good test on the way down (they passed):