11.7 mi rt
max: ~1900 ft
gain: a few ups and downs, probably 1200 ft gain overall
gpx track, use at your own risk: Chucky
Arcadia wanted to do some miles, when asked how much she said 10-12. As this was her first big hike day I didn’t want to kill her so I chose a walk with little gain but where we could stretch our legs. There are so many trails in the Chuckanuts and many different trail access points. This is a partial map image just to give you an idea:
The white boot shape is the loop we did today. I wanted to park at the end of Cleator Road but the upper gate was closed so we parked down at the access point for the Middle Ridge trail (N48 40.243 W122 28.345). This is a trail I use now and then so I may have talked about it before but today we used it to access the Upper Ridge trail. Following the MRT for 0.9 mi will bring you to a junction, going right will take you along the URT for 2.6 mi to the viewpoint at the end of Cleator Road. The trail then starts to go downhill and the junction for the new Rock Trail will be shortly after you start downhill, N48 39.166 W122 28.074 With over 100 stairs, the Rock Trail connects the viewpoint at the end of Cleator with Lost Lake. I remember years ago standing at lost lake thinking that I would like to try to cross-country up to the ridge trail…now I don’t have to.
At the end of the Rock Trail a choice needs to made…right around the lake counter-clockwise (and beyond) or left where you can still go to and around the lake or head north on the Lost Lake Trail. Today we went left and went around the lake to the picnic point and had lunch.
After food and drink was had we headed back the way we came to the junction with the Lost Lake Trail and headed north. I knew we had to get out before dark because we were parked behind a gate and frankly, I think the Rangers are tired of telling me to not do that.
I thought that we would have to skip the Lost Lake Raptor Ridge connector but we decided that we had enough time so we headed on up to Raptor Ridge for just a brief moment then dropped down a hundred feet or so and took the Raptor Ridge Hemlock connector down the Hemlock. Once at Hemlock we went up the road heading to the Salal Trail. We took the Salal back to where it crosses the Lost Lake Trail and back up onto the Ridge Trail. From there it was just a matter of following the Ridge Trail back to the truck.
It was a great day spent walking with a friend. While it wasn’t sunny, neither did it rain. I am loving my new mountaineering boots with 3/4 shank. These give me the support my foot needs right now and allows me to get out. Yes, they are heavy (about 2 lbs per boot) but they are great. And my first pair of La Sportiva’s.