Length: 22.1 miles (according to Garmin HCX)
Duration: 10.5 hours (7:30 am – 6:00 pm)
Elevation Gain: 4,565 ft (total), 5,583 ft max elevation, starting @ 3,058 ft
Location: Snoqualmie Pass
For our fifth hike of the 2014 summer (and bringing us to 72.5 total miles this season), we decided to tackle the part of the Pacific Crest Trail that starts at Snoqualmie Pass and heads north over the Kendall Katwalk. WTA reports it as 11 miles roundtrip to the Katwalk. We decided to push on through since the scenery was so spectacular. We made it around Joe Lake to the Huckelberry-Chikamin saddle. There were parts of the trail after Kendall Katwalk that were outstanding in terms of wildflowers, in particular, as the trail passes above Lake Alaska and Joe Lake.
The only downside is of this hike is the first few miles where you don’t escape the roar of I-90.
As to the “katwalk” it isn’t all that scary. It’s a short stretch (200/300 feet?). It’s wide enough to let people pass. And, in my opinion, it was no worse than sections of the trail north of it.
Format: [Family] Genus species (Common Name). Links are to WTU Image Collection, which I found useful for identifying a couple of plants that stumped me here. My standbys for plant identification are given in the post Mount Rainier National Park, Summerland – Panhandle Gap Hike.
[Apiaceae] Lomatium sp.
[Asteraceae] Agoseris aurantiaca (Orange agoseris)
[Asteraceae] Arnica lanceolata (Clasping Arnica)
[Asteraceae] Artemisia campestris (Field Sagewort, Field Wormwood)
[Asteraceae] Artemisia ludoviciana (White Sagebrush, Gray Sagewort)
[Asteraceae] Hieracium aurantiacum (Orange Hawkweed, Devil’s Paintbrush)
[Asteraceae] Luina hypoleuca (Silverback Luina, Littleleaf Luina)
[Asteraceae] Rainiera stricta (Syn: Luina stricta) (False Silverback)
[Caprifoliaceae] Sambucus racemosa (Red Elderberry)
[Caryophyllaceae] Silene parryi (Parry’s Silene, Parry’s Catchfly)
[Crassulaceae] Sedum oreganum (Oregon Stonecrop)
[Ericaceae] Pterospera andromeda (Pinedrops)
[Ericaceae] Vaccinium membranaceum (Black Huckleberry)
[Orobanchaceae] Pedicularis ornithorhyncha (Bird’s Beak Lousewort)
[Orobanchaceae] Pedicularis contorta (Coiled Lousewort)
[Orobanchaceae] Pedicularis racemosa (Sickletop Louseword)
[Polygonaceae] Polygonum davisiae (Davis’ Knotweed) syn. Polygonum newberryi (Newberry’s Knotweed)
[Pteridaceae] Cryptogramma acrostichoides (American Parsley Fern)
[Rosaceae] Luetkea pectinata (Patridgefoot)
[Rosaceae] Sanguisorba stipulata (Canadian Burnet, Sitka Burnet)
[Saxifragaceae] Micranthes ferruginea (Rusty Saxifrage)
Left: View from the Pacific Crest Trail near Joe Lake, looking toward Huckleberry Mountain (left in the photo) and Chikamin Peak; Right: View from Trail near Ridge Lake, looking north
Left: View of the steep ridges of the Cascades; Right: View south from the Pacific Crest Trail toward Mount Rainier, with Tinkham Peak in mid-ground of photo