Roads to Trails Northwest Washington
by Washington Trails Association (The Mountaineers Books)
© Washington Trails Association/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
Heading east from Seattle on I-90, Mt. Washington is one of the prominent peaks as you begin the drive up to Snoqualmie Pass. I have often viewed this peak which sits on the south side of I-90, almost directly south of Mailbox Peak, when headed up toward Snoqualmie pass or to other hikes. One of the identifying features of this peak is the zigzag of logging roads on the northwest face. Finally getting the chance drove to exit 38 and parked at the Twin Falls/Iron Horse trail Forest Service parking area.
Hike up the trail and then west on the Iron Horse trail. Follow a subtle cut in the brush which is the trail up Mt. Washington. The first part of this hike is pleasant walk on trail. Enjoy this section of trail because afterward, the rest of the trail is a logging road which leads, not surprisingly, through clear cut thrash. Stay on the logging road until the last .25 mile which leads to the summit. Views from the summit are nice (Snoqualmie Valley, Cedar River Water Shed, Mt. Rainier, etc).
Mt. Washington appears to hold great potential for a pretty and interesting hike, however I found the route I hiked to be completely disappointing. I’m not a big fan of walking on old gravel logging roads which seemed to be about 75% of this hike.
May 21. 06
Trail in good condition . Snow , on trail but not under canopy, easily traversed without snowshoes, above 3600 ft .
Route is totally unmarked, needed map(206s) and altimeter to get us to the top with only two wrong paths taken.
First 3 miles are steepest and most tricky to navigate . after that you are in more level open country with views.
Best place for lunch is 100 or more yards before the summit on a rock overlooking Chester Morse Lake.
The weather tower ot the top is a real eyesore and to be avoided.
Good alternative to Mt Si , if the crowds get to you - only 3 other groups on the mountain and those on the lower elevations. BTW, summit is at 4400 not 4800 ft as both the map and the trail guide claim, so elevation gain is 3200 as opposed to the more heroic 3600 that they'd have you believe
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