Friday, June 29, 2012

Walks Hikes and Wanders #12: Squak Mountain

A note of explanation: this year, as in 2011, I plan to do at least 13 hikes over the course of the summer.  Because I had already called my walking adventures in 2012 "Walks, Hikes and Wanders," I'm continuing that title for my weekly hikes. I will also use the tag "weekly hike" so if you are interested, you can track down posts about both the 2011 and 2012 weekly hikes by searching for that tag.

Now, on to Weekly Hike #1...

On Friday, June 15—a beautiful day—Mr. D and I decided to do a new (to me) hike at Squak Mountain, in Issaquah. Squak Mountain is located in what is known as the "Issaquah Alps," which are, in reality, part of the foothills of the Cascade Range. (You may remember that last year we did weekly hikes at Tiger Mountain and Cougar Mountain, which are located on either side of Squak Mountain).

We started out on the May Valley Loop. At first the trail was gradual.

We crossed over a pretty little stream in the forest, walked through some beautiful second growth forest and even encountered some horses!

About a mile below the mountain top, the trail changes. Horses aren't allowed on this part of the trail (which meant we didn't have to keep an eye out for horse s**t), and instead of the more gradual grade that we had experienced thus far, the trail became very steep. This part of Squak Mountain used to belong to the prominent Seattle family, the Bullitts, and when they donated the land to the state in 1972, it was on the condition that it remain in it's natural state. The only thing on this part of the mountain that didn't seem very natural was this fenced in area at the top:

At least we knew exactly where we were located on the globe!

About a half-mile down the trail from the top was all that remains of the Bullitt's summer home, this huge, non-functioning stone fireplace.

This sunny clearing was a perfect spot to stop for lunch. Then we left this little bit of history behind and wended our way down the mountain to complete the first of the weekly hikes.

Since this hike, I've done two more, and I will try to post about those in the next few days. See you then!

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