Olallie Mountain by Mount Catherine and Silver Peak via Hyak / 歐拉里山

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Olallie Mountain by Mount Catherine and Silver Peak perches above Interstate 90. Hyak Ski Area by Mount Hyak is one of the several ways to the peak. Meanwhile, the radio tower on top is visible from the freeway west of Snoqualmie Pass.

Olallie Mountain ahead
Olallie Mountain ahead

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Olallie Mountain at a Glance

Access: Snoqualmie Drive (NF-9070-110)
Round Trip: 8 miles
Elevation Range: 2600′-4440′
Gear: microspikes, snowshoes
GPS Trackavailable
Dog-Friendly: yes

Summit East (Hyak Ski Area) to Iron Horse Trail

The off-ramp to Summit East and Hyak Drive was icy this morning. I parked past the stop sign at the north end of the lot and put on microspikes. Soon, the pups and I started walking on Snoqualmie Drive.

We meandered through the neighborhood to the third switchback. Then we went around the base of Creek Run and headed over to Iron Horse Trail at the powerline. Shortly, I spotted old snowshoe tracks.

The power struggle
The power struggle

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Through the Ski Terrain

I changed into snowshoes and followed the tracks uphill to East Crossover. Then we walked the road for a quarter of a mile while dodging the snowboarders. We later went into the woods on more old snowshoe tracks.

On the way up to Rockdale Lake, I tried hard to avoid the cross-country skiers. So the dogs and I went in and out of the trees. We crossed groomed trails (aka service roads) several times during this.

It goes on and on
It goes on and on

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One Step Closer to Olallie Mountain

Carving out a trail through fresh powder was very tiring. It also took much longer as it was necessary to go around the dense trees. I don’t know how we did it, but we figured out ways to avoid crowds and the mundane road walk.

Soon, we went past Rockdale Lake outside the ski area without any more activities. We went on the trail at 3800′ below Olallie Mountain. Then after two long switchbacks, we reached the 4200′ lookout adorned with towers.

South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley from the lookout
South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley from the lookout

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Radio Tower Overlook to the Summit and Back

At 2 PM, South Fork Snoqualmie River west of Snoqualmie Pass was still in the clouds. Unsure if they’d dissipate soon, we went up to the summit. A short way on the north ridge through down trees soon put us at the top.

The woodsy summit offered limited east views as it began to flurry. I peeked at Rampart Ridge, Gold Creek Pond, and Keechelus Lake but couldn’t take decent photos. So we left after half an hour and soon returned to the towers.

Rampart Ridge in the mists
Rampart Ridge in the mists

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Leaving Olallie Mountain

As luck would have it, the valley mists faded when we returned. All the peaks, including Humpback Mountain, were visible. So we hung around until sunset to enjoy the gorgeous weather in the vibrant evening colors.

When we left at five after sunset, the ski slopes were clear of snow activities. What a difference the few hours had made as we enjoyed the sounds of birds chirping. Then it was a two-hour walk in solitude back to the car.

A quiet evening post-Olallie Mountain
A quiet evening post-Olallie Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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