The Pacific Northwest is full of Mount Washingtons. I spent time on the Snoqualmie area’s Mount Washington last weekend. With all the road training I’ve been doing the past few months, I was really itching for some climbing, technical trails, views, and quiet. This run did not disappoint!
I headed up to the mountains early with Lars and Michael. We started at the Homestead Valley trailhead (Discover Pass required) on exit 38 off I-90. A very short climb on a spur trail brought us up to the John Wayne Trail. The trail up Mount Washington isn’t marked, but is only about a quarter mile after turning right onto the JWT. It’s marked by what’s described as a cairn, but is really just an oddly placed pile of rocks.
It was a very straightforward climb, with all the terrains you’re used to seeing on the west side of the pass (but it was nice to see ALL of them on one trail). There were very few people. It was about four miles to the summit, which is absolutely gorgeous. On the back side, about 50 feet from the summit, are amazing views south, towards Mount Rainier. The summit looks north, towards Si and Teneriffe. We could also see Mount Baker and Glacier Peak in the distance, it was such a clear day.
For the route down, we took the Great Wall Trail, which was mostly old logging road that goes along a ridge, with more amazing views and total quiet. We encountered a few more folks – way less than I expected given that, upon our return, there were the most cars I’ve ever seen at the trailhead. This is a quiet gem and I plan on going back frequently.