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Trip Report

Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) - Chinook Pass to Snoqualmie Pass, Mount Catherine — Saturday, Jun. 29, 2019

Mount Rainier Area

While the Pacific Crest Trail heading southbound at Snoqualmie Pass doesn't send you up into the clouds and the infamous Kendall Katwalk, it's pretty great in its own right. And right now, the flowers blooming under the chairlifts at the pass are spectacular -- I've never seen so many paintbrush in one area (and I've been on many wildflower-laden hikes).

We took the PCT southbound to Windy Pass (no obstacles aside from a bit of brushiness around the Rockdale Creek area). I love Ollalie Meadow (well any meadow honestly) and right now there's some great beargrass in bloom and the meadow is nice and lush. You also have some great views of Granite Mountain and the lookout.

At Windy Pass we headed down the hill to the junction with the Mt. Catherine trail. Since neither of us had hiked up Mt. Catherine and we wanted to add a bit of distance and elevation gain to our trip, adding on Catherine was the perfect idea. And it worked out well. A moderately steep climb brings you to the top of Catherine in no time with some unique 360 degree views -- great views across the valley toward Mt. Rainier, north looking at Red Mountain and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and east all the way to my beloved Stuart Range.

The hike back to Snoqualmie Pass was quick and in no time at all we were enjoying our obligatory ice cream treats from the Chevron at the pass (a tradition for summer Snoqualmie Pass hikes).

In total I recorded about 13 miles round-trip for this hike.

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