60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Seattle - Including Bellevue, Everett, and Tacoma
by Andrew Weber and Bryce Stevens (Menasha Ridge Press)
© 2016 Andrew Weber and Bryce Stevens/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
It was a pretty hot day -- at least down in the Puget Sound. Up in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness it was a good 10-15F degrees cooler, but still pretty warm. I sweated buckets getting up to Bare Mountain Peak, but the views (and the satisfaction) was worth it! The trail guide is spot on, so don't deviate from it. Minor notes: There is no bridge at the part of the trail map which indicates "falls" and "pools in creek", and the water was pretty swift due to snow melt run-off. You can still hop-skip across using exposed rocks, and an old tree or two, but be careful. I managed to get my boots wet on the way back from slipping off of one of the rocks coming back across. Also, there were still spots of snow very near the peak of Bare Mountain, but easily navigable -- just be careful with your footing. All-in-all, one of my favorite hikes in the entire Pacific Northwest for the sheer beauty and isolation. No very many people get out that way...
Everything in the trail guide is accurate and well described so heed any warnings or advice the author has given! The only thing I would contribute to the review is extra emphasis on the part about being remotely located due to the long, back road drive.
This area puts you well outside of cell phone range so come prepared for any inconvenience, big or small. On my way to the trailhead, I happened to run into a family who had been out camping the night before and when getting ready to leave they discovered their car battery had died. Had I not conveniently crossed their path they could have had a 20 mile walk back to North Bend! Luckily I had jumper cables so we were all able to continue about our day with minimal interruption.
My next observation regarding the remote location was finding that only one other vehicle was parked at the trailhead and the information board didn't contain anything really useful other than the name of the trail. There were instructions for completing a trail registration crookedly duct taped to the board, but no blank registration forms to complete...or for that matter, a place to deposit one if they had been available. It seemed like the last time anyone had been there to update the board may have been 2006 as a hand-written trail report from that year was laying on the ground.
If you are prepared and the remote location doesn't discourage or intimidate you, then you definitely will not be disappointed with this hike. The views are incredible, the scenery breathtaking and you and the little Hummingbirds will likely be the only ones there.
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