Olallie Mountain by Mount Catherine / 靠凱瑟琳山的歐拉里山

  • Reading time:3 mins read

People sometimes refer to Olallie Mountain as Radio Mountain. The radio facility is also visible from the freeway before Snoqualmie Pass. Its famous neighbors include Mount Catherine and Silver Peak.

Olallie Mountain up ahead
Olallie Mountain up 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

Hyak East to Iron Horse Trail

Both the off-ramp to Summit East and Hyak Drive were icy this morning. I parked just past the stop sign at the northern end of the lot. Then I put on microscopes, and then the pups and I went on Snoqualmie Drive.

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

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Through Ski Terrain

I changed into snowshoes and followed the tracks uphill to East Crossover. Then we hiked the road for a quarter of a mile. At the same time, we tried dodging the snowboarders. Later we went into the woods on old snowshoe tracks.

On the way up to Rockdale Lake, I made a great effort to avoid the cross-country skiers. So we went in and out of the woods. At the same time, we crossed over groomed trails (aka service roads) several times.

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One Step Closer to Olallie Mountain

Breaking trail on fresh powder was laborious. Plus, it took even longer when we needed to go around lots of trees. But at the same time, we managed to avoid crowds and the mundane road walk.

Later we went past Rockdale Lake and outside the ski area. Then we went on the trail at 3800′ at the base of Olallie Mountain. Two long switchbacks then put us at the 4200′ lookout with a couple of radio towers.

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Lookout by the Radio Tower

At 2 PM, the South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley to the west of Snoqualmie Pass was in the clouds. I wasn’t sure if they would break away soon. So in the meantime, we went to tag the summit.

We traversed south a short way on the north ridge. There were lots of down trees en route to the top. But the snow made going around the logs more efficiently.

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Olallie Mountain Summit

The summit was woodsy with virtually no views. The little visibility we had to the east was through a tiny opening. But it was even weaker when it began to flurry. We had glimpses of Rampart Ridge, Gold Creek Pond, and Keechelus Lake.

I couldn’t photograph much up top. So we left the summit after bumming around for half an hour. Soon, we were back down at the radio towers. As luck would have it, the mist in the valley had all faded.

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Outro

All the peaks in the valley, including Humpback Mountain, were visible. So I decided to hang around until sunset to enjoy the gorgeous weather in the vibrant evening colors.

The pups and I left after sunset at 5 PM. By then, the slopes were all clear of snow activities. So we hiked two hours back to the car in solitude.

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