Summiting the Si

Summer is FINALLY here in the state of Washington which means…it’s hiking season once again and this girl is over the moon ecstatic. To start off this summer, my friend Sydney and I chose to hike a mountain that rises sharply above the Snoqualmie River valley with views of the Cascades, Mt. Rainier, and Seattle in the far distance. Mount Si is a 4-mile hike full of steep switchbacks, has an elevation gain of  of 3150 feet (topping off at 3900 ft.), and at the end has a couple large rock formations.

Mount Si is a fairly common hike for many people within the city and can attracts anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 visitors each year*. What was the most interesting part of this hike were the amount of trail runners running UP and down this trail. I struggled WALKING up this trail and couldn’t even imagine running 4-mile up the side of a mountain.

The first mile wasn’t extremely rough, but not an “easy” start to a trail. When I passed the mile marker, I was already feeling the burn in my calves and quads but was determined to push on. At about the 2 mile marker, there’s a location called Snag Flats, which is the location of an old wild fire that hit this Douglas fir filled area. Good thing about this location is that it’s a bit flat so it allowed for a little break in the climb.

Pushing on upwards for another 2 miles, the last of which was upward HELL, until finally reaching the summit’s basin, also known as the scramble. The scramble changes in terrain from the rest of the hike ,which is all trees/shrubs, to boulders/loose rocks. I say summit’s basin because the actually summit is a HUGE rock formation about 400ft above the basin, known as the Haystack, that requires a little bit of  rock climbing. We ended up forgoing this climb as our legs were already screaming at me and let’s be honest, the view was amazing where we were and didn’t really want to exert any more energy. After sitting at the top basking in the sun with a light breeze for nearly 2 hours, we decided it was time to venture back down the mountain. It was an amazing first summer hike to start the season and I’m ready to hit the trails again.

*Washington Trails Association

2 thoughts on “Summiting the Si

  1. Forrest says:

    People say the view from the top of the Haystack isn’t really much different from the view you enjoy at the summit basin. But it’s a somewhat dangerous scramble. You probably noticed those rocks are a bit loose, they can get dislodged and come down at you. Especially if there are other people above.

    I did Mount Si on Thanksgiving Day, and the parking lot was crowded! It was a prerequisite for a climbing class (which I didn’t get into!), to get from the trailhead to the summit basin in two hours. I was sore the next day…!

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