In a word, Tronsen Ridge is dynamic. It’s a place that evolves with each new season, showcasing the variance of Washington state as few trails can. Hike here in June and you’ll be met with bouquets of wildflowers dominating it’s many meadows. Come October, long after the flowers have died off, and you’ll find yourself bound-in by walls of golden larches. Winter offers something altogether different -- an austere, muffled environment with views of the western and eastern faces of the state.
From the southern parking lot near the Mount Lillian trailhead, the trail begins along a Jeep path through an old burn zone. You’ll hike a short while through bleached and creaking trees until you reach the official signage for the ridge trail.
From here the trail drops, winding in and out of patchwork meadows, pine groves and basalt spires. This is the pattern for the trail, but it doesn’t get old.
The trail dips and climbs on your journey northward, at times offering you views east into the endless steppes of eastern Washington and at other times back west to the jagged granite of the Stuart range or the crown of Rainier.
Take your time enjoying both the distant views and the ones at arm’s reach, as each are equally breathtaking depending on when you come.
The trail is often quite exposed and the sun will certainly catch up with you in the summer. Naturally, bring plenty of sun protection and water.