May 13, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
The weather was beautiful and the trail was clear and in great condition all the way up to the Grand Prospect lookout (about 4 miles in) with a few small patches of snow on the trail in the last half mile or so. Fantastic views of Mt Si and Little Si from here on a clear sunny day!
The trail past Grand Prospect looks rather daunting (there's a bunch of snow on the trail and downed branches), but it's actually just about a 0.2 mile patch that clears up as you get into denser tree cover. The trail was completely snow free and great for another mile or so after that; just a few avoidable mudholes here and there.
The last mile to East Peak, however, is completely covered in packed snow (I estimate about 5-10 inches), but it's been fairly heavily traversed and so it's easy to follow the trail and not too difficult to hike. We didn't have any special equipment (poles, boot spikes) and did just fine. And it was very warm: only put on my fleece at East Peak when we sat in the shade for a bit to rest and snack.
We only encountered two other groups the entire way there: one from behind when we stopped to see the views at Grand Prospect, and a couple at East Peak who hiked from the other end of the trail. Quite a bit more on the way back, but the parking lot was by no means full by the time we got back around 12.30pm. The sun was bearing down quite a bit by then though so we were glad to be ending and not starting. Definitely recommend getting an early start.