Upon seeing pictures of this post you might think I ran up Mt. Washington in June, but in fact, it was the middle of January and the weather report showed a whopping 70F in North Bend, WA , the closest town to the Mt Washington trail head. When its 70F in Washington you better get your ass out the door and into the mountains cause it won't last for long!
Oh man, it was pure awesome getting into the mountains in January and feeling like my face was acquiring a sunburn. It was also a Monday and I was not scheduled to work along with a couple other co-workers so we did what all co-workers do at a running store on their days off: Go running.
I love being along the I-90 corridor where there are endless peaks with different distances and elevation gain. I have lived in Seattle my whole life and I still get excited looking at a map and deciding which trail I'm going to knock of the list for the season. Mt Washington was the perfect match for the three of us. The trail is just shy of 9 miles with 3200 ft of elevation gain. I knew my climbing legs would be rusty so I didn't want to take something on that was too ambitious and this was a good gateway into spring training for mountain running.
The Mt Washington trail is surprisingly versatile unlike some of the other trails in the Snoqualmie National Forest. There are open areas with ridge vistas and other stretches of well shaded forest. Mt Rainier is only visible once you reach the top which is greatly rewarding. It was quite the treat seeing a stunning mountain peak out of the trees. The top not only had a view of Rainier but was supplemented by two gorgeous mountain lakes far below. We lounged for a bit to eat snacks and catch a January tan.
Mt Washington: Exit 38 from I-90
Distance: 9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3250 ft
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.