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Smithbrook

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There are 116 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Smithbrook — Nov 15, 2013 — Woodicker & Co
Snowshoe/XC Ski
Issues: Snow on trail | Road to trailhead inaccessible
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Fresh snow at Stevens Pass, so we decided to do our first snowshoe on Smithbrook Rd. Road to the tra...
Fresh snow at Stevens Pass, so we decided to do our first snowshoe on Smithbrook Rd. Road to the trailhead is impassable, so we parked at the entrance & headed out. It was lightly snowing, and there was a decent 4-6inches of compact snow on the road for the first mile. Past that point it was 6 inches of powder all the way to the trail head. We didn't see another soul the whole time, and made it up & back before the big snow storm hit. Good times.
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Smithbrook — Nov 11, 2013 — Tired Feet
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail | Snow on trail | Avalanche danger
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As we approached the pass we could see Mt. Lichtenburg and blue sky and figured it would be a gorgeo...
As we approached the pass we could see Mt. Lichtenburg and blue sky and figured it would be a gorgeous day for a snowshoe......however once over the top and headed up Smithbrook road the fog rolled in and the views disappeared :-(. Still great to be out in the mountains though.

 We walked up Smithbrook road in hiking boots, no need for snowshoes and headed toward the lake on trail 1590 following the previous posters tracks. Once we reached the point where he had ended his snowshoe and had to break our own trail the going got tough. Soft wet snow had us sinking to our knees with nearly every step and occasionally to our hips even with snowshoes, and with every step we had to lift the 5 pounds of snow on top of the snowshoes, 'oh goody we said...resistance training too!'

We did make it all the way to Lake Valhalla (or at least the GPS said we were standing overlooking it but never did see it for the fog, visibility was only about 100 feet and we were standing on a ridgeline at 5200 feet, with the lake at 4800), but there was a sense of accomplishment or perhaps foolhardiness as on the way back we realized that the heavy snow falling off of the trees was dangerous, it packed a punch when it came down, there were a lot of impressive craters where it had hit and we were glad not to be hit by some of the larger 'splats' Bring your hardhats.

Be forwarned, there is not enough snow yet for the usual snowshoe route which heads cross country over what is described as 'a gentle slope' so for now you need to follow the trail which results in a 9 mile snowshoe with 2000 feet of elevation gain by the time you make Lake Valhalla.
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Smithbrook, Lake Valhalla Snowshoe — Nov 09, 2013 — mbravenboer
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail
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This was our first snowshoe trip this winter (also our first snowshoeing in Washington). We were pla...
This was our first snowshoe trip this winter (also our first snowshoeing in Washington). We were planning to go to Lake Valhalla and perhaps Mount Mc Causland, but we actually didn't get further than somewhere halfway between Union Gap and Lake Valhalla. To our surprise nobody had been here yet after the first snow. The problem was that the snow was much deeper than we expected. There is probably more than 40 inches of snow there already. It basically hadn't compacted at all. I've got pretty long legs, but regularly found myself knee-deep in the snow. Due to the deep snow this was very slow going and exhausting. We decided to return when it got pretty cloudy and we were both too tired anyway.

The good news is that if somebody ends up going before the next major snow fall, then there is a pretty good trail upto halfway the PCT stretch to Lake Valhalla.

Smith Brook road was easy, we did that with our hiking boots. We benefited from a blue sky in the early morning (started at 7am). On the road back, we ran into about 10 snowmobiles, all friendly people who passed us carefully (somebody should design more quiet snowmobiles though!). We also met a friendly lady who was cross-country skiing on the Smith Brook road. This was the only non-snowmobile person we met.

There are a few more pictures on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/[…]/
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Lake Valhalla, Smithbrook — Oct 29, 2013 — Whidbey Walker
Day hike
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Three members of the Whidbey Hiking Group hiked to Lake Valhalla via the Smithbrook Trail on this ...
  Three members of the Whidbey Hiking Group hiked to Lake Valhalla via the Smithbrook Trail on this beautiful Tuesday.
  The approach road (6700 Smithbrook Rd.) was on the rough and rugged side but only 3 miles to the trailhead from Highway 2.
  The Smithbrook trail was in great shape and in one mile we intersected with the PCT and turned left towards Lake Valhalla. The next two miles were mostly wooded with filtered sun coming trough the trees and two or three places with nice vistas in full sunshine.
  Some snow patches remained here and there but very little on any part of the trail.
  The Lake was beautiful and this time of the year the bugs are history.
  Our lunch spot was a beautiful, sandy beach in full sunshine. Very nice.
  We explored the PCT as it circled the lake counter clockwise but stopped when it left the lake towards Stevens Pass.
  We only saw 4 other hikers the entire day.
  We estimated our mileage at 7 for the day and maybe 1,200 fee of elevation gain.
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Smithbrook — Oct 13, 2013 — parisrobin
Day hike
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The turnoff (Smithbrook Rd) from Hwy2 is east of Yodelin Pl. Compared to Snow Lake, this hike to Lak...
The turnoff (Smithbrook Rd) from Hwy2 is east of Yodelin Pl. Compared to Snow Lake, this hike to Lake Valhalla on the Smithbrook Trail seemed easier to me (not rocky nor rooty). The muddy sections were mostly frozen or semi-frozen, which was helpful and perhaps another reason why it is a good idea to get an early start. Timing is everything: starting at 10:30am and 34 degrees we periodically broke out of the cold forest to experience 10-25 degree increases in temperature and enjoyed lunch on the beach at the peak hour for the best rays. There is scant snow; nothing to deter one, though an occasional special effect. The water is so crystal clear! And there are many ways to photograph water and reflections here. My one disappointment was not to have climbed Mt. McCausland which stands next to the lake all red, dry, and sunwashed (also not rocky). We met a female hiker coming down it accompanied by a dog sporting paniers; she estimated it took 30-40 minutes to go up McCausland. After much online reading I still am not sure if I had Jim Hill Mountain or Big Jim Mountain in my viewfinder as I hiked back. Please see attached photo and let me know. Other benefits: good signage, very quiet, rustic privy near lake, and funny birds.
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Location
Smithbrook (#1590)
Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - East

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