CHS 2 Hike

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 2 Hike - Pacific Crest Trail: Snoqualmie Pass to Windy Pass

CHS hike on the Pacific Crest Trail - Snoqualmie Pass to Windy Pass to Mount Catherine. CHS hike led at a CHS 2 pace (2 -2.5 mph)

Info
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  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 15.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft
  • Pace: 2.0-3.0 mph

Let's meet at the trailhead at 8am. We will start hiking at 8:10am. Drive on I-90 to Snoqualmie Pass and take exit 52. Turn south towards the main ski area of the pass, then make a right onto a dirt road leading to the furthest-west parking lot. Look for a sign marking the Pacific Crest Trail and park nearby.

This out-and-back hike follows the Pacific Crest Trail south out of Snoqualmie Pass to lovely Olallie Meadow, a place to see native carnivorous sundew plants, and on to Windy Pass. While we are on the PCT, the trail has moderate elevation gain and loss. At Windy Pass, we will leave the PCT to climb Mount Catherine! 

Where can you find unobstructed views of Mount Rainier and the mountains of Snoqualmie Pass, see rare butterfly species, and go berry-picking, all in return for a modest 1330-foot elevation gain? Mount Catherine, of course! This off-the-beaten-path summit hike is one of the most rewarding climbs along the southern wall of Snoqualmie Pass. When you reach the top, from left to right, Mount Rainier, Tinkham Peak, and Silver Peak dominate the view. To the east, in the distance, is Mount Stuart. North of you lie Chair Peak, Kaleetan Peak, Red Mountain, and Snoqualmie Mountain. To the northwest, if you squint, you can make out the fire lookout atop Granite Mountain. And to the southeast is glorious blue Keechelus Lake.

Note: There will be opportunities to filter water along the way. This trail is in great shape. There is a cable to assist with the last 20 feet of ascending Mount Catherine. This final 20 feet is a completely optional part of the hike.

Route/Place

Pacific Crest Trail: Snoqualmie Pass to Windy Pass


Roster
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
Trip Reports