Trip Report    

Day Hike - Snoquera Palisades

The Return of Carpool Shuffle- A Dance of Reducing Our Carbon Footprint. A trip leader reflects on her planning and activities mid 2023 encouraging others to take the "extra step" post-pandemic and walk the talk of Leave No Trace.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • It is obvious, some trailheads are filled before you arrive, some are so small you cannot find them and yet others you are stopped and inching toward the gate for up to two hours prior to your arrival. Which was the case on our hike to Palisades.

    Part of being a good leader is reflecting on your trips and what you could improve. One area for me that clearly stood out, post-pandemic, is reducing my carbon footprint. Idling at a gate or driving with a caravan of cars isn't a plausible or sustainable solution for the future.


    This year I've worked harder at finding points of entry that would require riders to meet me at a location that would be accessible to most everyone from all points north and south with plenty of asphalt not in use or a warning tow sign on every post nearby. 

    Since I live in Puyallup, 410 Hwy and 161 Hwy were my targeted areas. Specifically, Enumclaw or Eatonville were areas I scoped out for new possibilities for meet and greet, relatively free of break-in. Schools and visitor centers were sought out first. 

    • Eatonville-Eatonville Visitor Center has 3 hr parking. We met there and dispersed cars to street parking away from businesses that could have their business impacted.
    • Eatonville-Eatonville Elementary School during summer break.
    • Enumclaw-The USFS office in Enumclaw remains a very helpful option. There was word at one time government would close the office. The office remains open off and on through-out the week but parking is always available.

Today we parked at USFS in Enumclaw and carpooled to the trailhead. There is limited parking at the trailhead that is tucked in the woods off Hwy 410. Google Maps always is helpful to guide me in.

What a beautiful trail! I'm sure many groups take care of it, Snoqualmie Fire Lookout Association, Washington Trails Association, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance are a few that I know of!


The creek crossing is in good shape easy to either walk through or on top of the rocks. We loved the new bridge, WTA by the looks of it and the creeky stairs are in excellent shape with the handrail very stable! Sweeping views are spectacular of Suntop Fire Lookout, Skookum Falls, White River and Crystal Mountain from North to South.

There are two obstacles with 2 logs across and on top of each other, we all went free style for the double vault. The others were easy step overs.

10 miles out and back with 2300' elevation gain right on 410!

Use caution while driving 410. There are quite a number of elk heads and tails poking out here and there heading in to and out of Greenwater :)

Clearly reducing your carbon footprint has a benefit to the planet but not only that, I discovered people that live and commute in those areas also appreciated my attempt to consolidate and render down the number of vehicles we brought to trailheads. For example my last trip report posted on WTA had several people comment on it positively.

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As Rainier struggles with car numbers at the gate and proposes adopting a new timed entry reducing access and equity to the park, my goal and motivation has improved greatly in becoming less of the problem and more of the the solution until a decision can be made.

My next move is to work with some businesses to reflect on their views of towing by perhaps having them become more relaxed about parking or give us special permission to park for the day; becoming a part of the solution to reduce our carbon footprint. It could be a win/win for everyone, if we all tried to help by dispersing ourselves and vehicles then doing business with locals when we can.

Doing the Carpool Shuffle does take time and energy. I started here then updated my profile to include which city I lived in making it easier for others to reach out as well changing the talk to a walk, one step at a time!

Please comment if you have good places that welcome carpooling.