Dec 31, 2010
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Mount Zion
- Region: Olympics -- East
- Trails: Mount Zion (#836)
- Avg Rating: 3.56
- Be Aware Of
- Snow on trail
We met up in Silverdale at 0800, climbed into my Jeep and Kevin’s big Ford, and headed west. The Ford has the ground clearance we might need in case the snow was too deep, so I was glad to have it along as we struggled up Forest Service Road 28. Another vehicle had traveled the road at some time during the week and left some deep ruts; at times it felt like I was on a slot-car track. I had some trouble getting the Grand Cherokee parked in the freshies at the trailhead without getting stuck, but a lot of back & forth and we were parked.
The trail starts across the road from the parking area so I plodded over through the deep snow and scouted ahead before we geared up. The trail itself looked almost bare for as far up as I could see. That’s weird; two feet or more of snow on the road, almost none on the trail. Greg and I donned our microspikes. Dustin was going to leave his snowshoes in the Jeep, but I advised against it since the snow would likely get very deep near the exposed top. I was wrong….again. The snow along the trail never got very deep, certainly not deep enough to need snowshoes, and on the summit the snow was deep but firm enough to walk without falling through.
We started hiking right at 1000 and made the summit at noon, where we spent an hour and a half eating, sightseeing, and making ham radio calls. We were able to raise our friend in Bremerton using simplex on VHF Common (146.520) and on the Bremerton repeater. There are spectacular views to the north, and we had the clear skies to see all the way to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We started back down and made it back to the trucks in only an hour. We had dinner at the Olympic Timber House on Highway 101 in Quilcene, then back to Silverdale.
This is a fantastic hike for the short days of winter, although I really want to come back when the Rhoddies are blooming next summer. It’s not a long hike at about two miles, but it’s steep in places.