Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests, Cle Elum Ranger District -- Snoqualmie Pass
6.0 miles RT / 2270 gain / 4470 total elevation
This is a wonderful early season hike. Hiked in a group of 7 Mountaineers. Getting to the trail head was not as tricky as mentioned but you do have to pay attention. It was a Thursday and we arrived at the trail head about 9am, there were no other cars. During the hike we only encountered a handful of other hikers (part of another group).
Our leader, Gordie Swartzman, is a Naturalist with the personality and enthusiasm for his passion that was downright infectious. Wildflowers were abundant and we stopped many times along the way as he identified and discussed the various species. The closer we got to the top the more there seemed to be. Each trip out I try to learn (and retain) the name of at least one more wildflower.
The trail itself is in great condition, passing through tree-canopied forest to open ridges with wide-ranging views that include Little Kachess Lake. It's a good workout and felt as though we were continually going uphill. We reached the top, had lunch and explored. The views are breathtaking with Cle Elum Lake and the Mount Stuart mountain range in the distance.
During our descent we could hear thunder and in the distance an amazing display of ominous clouds and two streams of rain. Thankfully it didn't reach us. We were back at the trail head by 4:30pm.
This is a hike I'll definitely do again. I hear the wildflowers are at their height and even more abundant in June.
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