Everything about this run was the perfect way to kick off summer. Paige and I had the afternoon off from work and Justin played hooky by ditching school at the lunch hour. When Paige hopped into our Subaru at the Park & Ride it felt like we were venturing to the mountains for a vacation. I suppose that's what it was - an 8 hour vacay on the east side of the cascades.
Our original plan was to run the Cle Elum Ridge. This should have been an easy bulls-eye since there is a website dedicated to a race on the ridge with directions and a detailed map, but three city kids and a stack of printed out maps were hopeless in the hills. That was aside the point anyway since our goal was to get a good sweat with decent elevation gain. When we realized a couple hours into the drive that we couldn't find the trail head we hopped out, laced up, and found the closest single track that went up.
We trotted up trail #1363 - we found out later we were less than a mile from the Cle Elum ridge trail - but it's really all the same with similar views. We started around 1800ft and climbed another 3,000ft in 6 miles. The steepest part was in the beginning and we all were choking out our conversation with cotton mouth until we found peace with the dust. You can see in the above right picture that the soil smoothed out eventually.
Less than three miles into the trail we started catching vistas of the cascade range beyond a sea of green forest. I was practically glowing in the actualization that we were smack in the middle of wilderness on a work day. Conversation between the three of us dwindled and we all reveled in our surroundings.
Justin and Paige took a dip in the river post run, but I was far too wimpy to get in myself. We made a quick stop for ice cream in the town of Roslyn where we met Justin's dad who was on a work project in the same neck of the woods. When we finally hit I-90 to head home we were stopped on the highway in a line of cars for construction. We knew we had about a half hour to kill and it was already past 8pm. Hunger was lurking and we were smart to pack food and our cooking stove. We whipped out the stove on the side of the highway and fired up a bundle of portabello-swiss sausage with some spring vegetable quinoa. Dinner was markedly satisfying on the side of the highway.
I would recommend doing this run in the morning when it's cool. I also recommend checking the traffic cams and construction schedule before you go as well.
Taneum Ridge: Trail #1363
Distance: 16 miles
Elevation Gain: ~3500ft
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.