Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Region
by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2014 Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
The FS road to the trail head has 3 washouts that are risky. Half a mile from the trailhead a landslide has placed large trees and boulders in the way and the water is running 8-10 inches deep. Past the trail head and up .5 miles a very large swift water crossing with floating wet logs. The mountain slide has carved out tons of yards of dirt rocks and boulders. The water is 18-20 inches and fast moving. The logs placed for crossing are floating and very slick. two hiking poles or remove your boots and wade. Snow started around 3200 feet and the trail was gone.
I only took this trail as far as Mason Lake, not to Mount Defiance, and it was mostly straight up (or straight down). It was mid-August and there were still some wildflowers around, and though thunderstorms threatened, we made it through mostly raindrop-free. There are beautiful views of Mount Rainier from the top, and a birds-eye view of I-90. It's a good day hike from Seattle, very easily accessible from the freeway, though make sure you're in shape or prepared to be sore the next day. There were a lot of people on the trail, most of them were planning on camping at Mason Lake or further in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
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