|Peak Summited||2020 Mount Ellinor|
|Type of Hike||Day hike|
|Road Conditions||Road suitable for all vehicles|
|Bug Status||Bugs were not too bad|
|Snow Conditions||Snow free|
|Trail Conditions||Trail in good condition|
This hike was a blast, although if you would have asked me if I was having fun in the last mile, I probably would have told you something different. I started my hike around 9:00am and the parking lot was already full (it was a Sunday morning after all). It was also a beautiful day with very few clouds and I was excited to get started. The lower half of this hike is through the forest, and it starts to get steeper when you reach the upper trailhead. But the fun really begins when you get out of the trees.
When you get out of the trees you will be treated to an overlook view of Lake Cushman. It was a very clear day and I could see Mount Rainier and a few other peaks as well. At this point in my hike I thought I was doing pretty well. I had cell phone service (thanks Verizon) and text my fiance, “I'm almost at the top.. I think?” I was in fact wrong. While I was only a mile away from the peak, the trail was about to get much steeper and much harder. I made my way through the boulder field, which happens to have nice stone stairs cut out if you look hard enough, and to the “Staircase to heaven”… or the staircase from hell, depending on how you want to look at it. For me, this was the hardest part of the hike. I took about 15 stairs at a time and then stopped for a short 30ish second break. How many stairs were there you ask? Too many. Too many to count. I did make it to the top and was congratulated by hikers on their way down.
After a few more steep switchbacks and a lot of hikers telling me I was “so close” I finally made it to the top. There I was greeted by a baby mountain goat and it's mom. Everyone at the summit made sure to give them both plenty of space. The chipmunks however, do not know what personal space is and will climb around you, on you, over you…
Coming back down was a little tricky. Hiking poles would be smart – I did not bring any and made it down fine, but my feet did slide more than I would have liked.
The entire trail was in great shape! Overall this hike was great and I will do it again… as soon as I forget about those stairs.