Memories from August 26
I camped last night just a short distance past I90 at Snoqualmie Pass. So close in fact that when the trail angel who said they were going to make pancakes this morning didn’t appear to be stirring in their tent, I walked back to the Summit Pancake House. The most important thing I did during that time was that instead of hiking the PCT proper out of Snoqualmie, I was going to take an alternate route which goes by the Goldmyer Hotsprings which I’d heard about but never visited. Notably, the shortest way to get to the hot springs is a 4.5 mile hike but that’s only when the road is open and the caretaker implied it wasn’t. Also, the alternate route is shorter and has less climbing. As I discovered, though, it was pretty rocky in sections and going was slow. While I passed a bunch of day hikers, looked like they were all going up to one of the lakes which are in the first three miles of the nine or ten miles which may currently be the shortest public route to the hot springs. The funny thing about a pool of hot water is that it only feels great but only until you begin to over heat and then you want nothing more than to get out. So, despite my initial visions of potentially luxuriating all day in ease and comfort, I eventually hiked on. The trail after the hot springs follows the Snoqualmie river, which was very clear and clean, down a valley with high rock walls. I haven’t been in one like it since the Sierra. There were a number of blueberry and huckleberry bushes but I didn’t do much beyond grabbing the berries which were so well positioned that I could pick them without breaking stride. I camped a few miles before the end of the valley in an area covered with low, green berry plants and shorter pine trees with a nearby meadow and plenty of water. What a great day.
Snow Lake (not the only Snow Lake in WA) was the first body of water I happened across in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
The lakes, the foot traffic dies off and the trail gets rougher. There was a temporary sign about trail damage but fortunately nothing was completely blocked or washed out. There is a shrub which adds some red coloring to the otherwise green-grey color scheme. It might be the huckleberry’s fall color but I didn’t look too closely.
Crazy log bridge. You have to jump down to the first log. The Goldmyer Hotsprings website warns that the trail strenuous but they really weren’t kidding. It turns out there are other trails to get there, this is the back entrance.
The Goldmyer Hotsprings. There are three pools, the uppermost of which is a cave which goes back 30ft or so. It’s technically on private property which allows the nonprofit group which owns it to keep the area in a natural state, and provide a few amenities like the simple cabana from which I took this picture.
The Snoqualmie River is very clear.
This looks like it was once a piped spring and something has gone wrong.
I never expected to see a shower just sitting next to the trail if I hadn’t just had a bath, I might have used it.
The valley walls of the afternoon’s hike.
The most impressively obstructive deadfall I’ve seen and at this point, I’ve seen a few.
Valley walls by sunset.