Grand Ridge Park
Aug 01, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Grand Ridge Park
- Region: Issaquah Alps
- Agency: King County Parks
- Trails: Grand Ridge (#TIGER)
- Avg Rating: 3.33
- Why You Should Go Now
- Wildflowers blooming
- Ripe berries
- Be Aware Of
We started our hike by rallying at the north end of the Grand Ridge Trail at 5:30 am, or what some affectionately refer to as the butt crack of dawn. At that time of day the trailhead is pretty hard to see because the Issaquah-Fall City Road winds through dense forest through there and the sign for the trailhead is parallel to the roadway and tucked back to the edge of the tree line on the south side of the road and it is not so conveniently colored very dark blue.
I passed it three times. The good news is that I doubt any of you drive a vehicle any bigger than mine (suburban), so even if you pass the trailhead, oh say...three times...like I did, don't panic, because you can safely turn around on the roadway in several places.
At this end of the trail there are two fairly generous gravel turnouts just east of the trailhead. The eastern most one on the north side of the road is deep enough that if you do angled back-in parking, you can fit five or six full-size vehicles. Plus then when you're back to your rig at the end of your hike, you're ready to just pull out onto the road and go. Easy-peasy.
The trail itself is absolutely gorgeous. Really easy on the knees, meticulously groomed, well marked and defined, and free of tripping hazards for us more clumsy hikers. We hadn't gotten too far into our hike when we came across a trail hogging snail that had decided to move his house. We asked to see his trip permit, but he was slow to respond.
There were a few mosquitos out already but they weren't a bother, but they might really get buzzing by midday, so you should probably pack some bug repellent just in case.
The only other thing to be aware of on this trail is that it is also a mountain bike trail, so keep your eye out for cyclists coming from either direction.
There's a ton of really beautiful forest flora to get familiar with and the dense canopy of evergreens gives this trail a nice shady atmosphere that would be sure to cool on a hot summer day. The boardwalk winds through what looks like a peat bog and is a great feature to the trail that showcases the skills and hardwork of the WTA work parties and volunteers that poured their hearts and sweat into creating this trail.
I personally loved quick elevation changes of about 600'; up and down, then switchbacks, then boardwalks and bridges...it made me feel like I was going over hill and dell to grandmother's house. Complete with scrumptious muffins this morning!
I can't promise you muffins when you decide to hike this trail, but what I can promise is that this trail is sure to please even without muffins! Happy hiking!