2018/4/9 – McDonald Mountain / 麥當勞山

Radio lookout ahead
Radio lookout ahead

Photos from this trip can be found here.

“April showers bring May flowers,” so they say, as more rain is heading our way rest of this week. On the spur of the moment I decided to take advantage of today’s partly sunny weather, for an afternoon hike to this new destination close to home. Two other cars parked by the blue DNR gate when pup and I arrived close to noon.

Trail intercepted several small streams in lower elevations, and after two long switchbacks it came out onto a service road, which lead all the way to the lookout site. Cedar River Valley slowly came into view at 2,100′, with Rattlesnake Ledge in the foreground and Mount Si Range in the backdrop.

View from radio lookout
View from radio lookout

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Roads were completely bare until full snow appeared a mile before the borrow pit. I put on snowshoes at 3,100′ and continued on to the 3,280′ lookout site for a pit stop. Expansive views of the Green River Valley from the lookout, albeit hazy. We backtracked a few hundred feet to the junction and followed the largely snow free trail along south side of the ridge crest.

A strategically placed wooden bench at the first clearing made another perfect pit stop to take in views of Mount Rainier and the Green River Valley below. Right around the road bend from the bench, the trail ended and we came out onto a service road. We began hiking on the north side of the ridge crest from here.

Northwest view
Northwest view

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Following the road for a few hundred feet until snow reappeared, I put snowshoes back on and kept them on for the rest of the hike to the top. North side of the ridge was much colder being almost entirely in the shade, not much to see other than a couple of small overlooks into the valley.

My suspicion of this being yet another woodsy summit ended up being true. Even so, the only opening out into Green River Valley was wide enough to provide expansive views from the Olympic Peninsula all the way down to White River Valley and beyond. Unfortunately, Mount Rainier and peaks within the MRNP boundaries were nowhere to be seen.

Thanks for another safe outing
Thanks for another safe outing

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Afternoon temperature rose to the low to mid 60s, warmest day of the week. On the way down, we were able to move much quicker with making just a few photo stops and made it back to the car at sunset time.

Access: Kent Kangley Road
Gear: snowshoes

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