Last Chance Promontory-Green Mountain
May 25, 2008
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Green Mountain
- Region: Snoqualmie Pass -- North Bend Area
- Agency: Department of Natural Resources
- Avg Rating: 4.25
- Be Aware Of
- Clogged drainage
- Water on trail
- Snow on trail
The Last Chance Promontory on Green Mountain is a great North Bend-area hiking destination which few people know about. The route to the Promontory is shown on the Mt Si Green Trails Map. The out-of print Footsore guidebook for the area discusses the hike; I don't know if any new guidebooks mention it. While crowds flock to Mt Si and even Teneriffe, the trails around Green Mountain remain quiet and untrampled.
The first portion of the hike follows the west end of the CCC road/trail. Just finding the gate where the CCC road starts is tricky. To get there, drive on Mt. Si Road past the bus turnaround which serves as the trailhead to Mt. Teneriffe. The road turns to dirt and climbs steeply up the hillside to a private subdivision. Ignore the wide driveway leading into the subdivision, and instead take a minor-looking road veering right. If all goes well, you will reach a DNR gate. Parking is extremely limited there, and you may have to park at the bus turnaround trailhead and hike back to this point.
The CCC Road climbs a hillside, gaining 400 feet before topping out and a broad plateau covered with small, recently-logged trees. Ignoring many minor side roads, continue following the CCC road across the plateau. At one point, the road approaches the edge of the plateau and you get a peek down into the valley of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Stay left where a major road branches off down the hill (this leads to private land). The CCC Road is infrequently driven after this point, becoming grassier and more pleasant to hike on.
About 2.6 miles from the trailhead gate is another major junction. The CCC Road heads right; take the left branching road which is marked by an ancient rusting gate. Just a short hike up the hill, the main road veers left to access a borrow pit; head straight ahead onto a grassy, narrow old road, never driven on anymore. This is the start of the Green Mountain road/trail.
This road/trail soon starts to climb the steep flanks of Green Mountain, passing some great vista spots overlooking the Mid Fork valley. Some heroic volunteer has done sporadic maintenance on the road in past years, and for the most part the way is clear of downed trees. Now if that same volunteer would dig some drain dips, that would be really great--there's way too much water running down the roadbed.
At 2400' the road/trail crosses Brawling Creek, an huge rush of water right now with all the melting snow. Below the road, the creek races down the slope on a steep rock slab. Watch your step when you cross the creek, you don't want to get washed down that waterfall. The road switchbacks a couple more times to gain altitude, then traverses east to the first of the two Promontories at 3000' elevation. Expect to cross some deep snowdrifts here for the next few weeks. The first Promontory is at the base of a slabby cliff of granite. The second, about a quarter mile farther, overlooks a talus slope. Both Promontories offer a tremendous view over the Mid-Fork valley, taking in the Russian Buttes, Mailbox Peak, and Mt Garfield. At least that is what you are supposed to see; when I hiked it May 25th; the view was completely socked in by fog.