Change Peak IV / 變化峯之四

The ever-changing face of Change Peak
The ever-changing face of Change Peak

See more trip photos here.

Access: Hall Creek Trail
Round Trip: 10 miles
Elevation Range: 1240′-4320′
Gear: microspikes and snowshoes; ice axe packed but not used

While researching recent outings, I came upon an alternate, albeit longer, approach from Olallie State Park. Who knew all roads lead to Rome? In the past, we would enter from the Mount Washington Trailhead, so I thought today we’d try out a different approach.

Lonesome whistle blowin' 'cross the trestle, whooee
Lonesome whistle blowin’ ‘cross the trestle, whooee

See more trip photos here.

Shortly after leaving the gated entrance, we were greeted by the unexpected view of Hall Creek Trestle towering above. It quickly occurred to me that I had seen this trestle gazillion times heading west on I-90. I was completely unaware of it being part of the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail system until now.

Hall Creek drainage from Hall Creek Trestle
Hall Creek drainage from Hall Creek Trestle

See more trip photos here.

The trail made its way up to the trestle. We crossed to the west side and met two climbers preparing to climb “We Did Rock.” I had forgotten to load the GPS track onto my device, so we spent the next hour route finding on the inconspicuous trail before the Change Creek Trestle crossing for absolutely no reason.

Going way off route
Going way off route

See more trip photos here.

The climbers were gracious to let me use their phone. Otherwise, we would’ve had to go back to the car and look up info there. The actual trail was just a few hundred feet east of where we were earlier, grrr. Our late start plus the unplanned route finding put us an hour and a half closer to sunset time…awesome!

South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley
South Fork Snoqualmie River Valley

See more trip photos here.

The snow-free and scenic Change Creek Trail took us up through east of the MMM Ridge. At 2600′ trail began to work its way into the head of the basin from west of the ridge strewn with snow patches. I put on microspikes before crossing Change Creek at 2800′ where snow became slick.

Change Creek
Change Creek

See more trip photos here.

The remaining 3.2 miles of road walk to the top was slowgoing as fresh snow gradually deepened. The hike was more scenic compared with the basin between Change Peak and Mount Washington one drainage to the west. I switched to snowshoes at 2900′ when hiking in boots became somewhat arduous.

Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley
Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Valley

See more trip photos here.

We arrived on the summit 45 minutes before sunset. By then the wind speed had drastically increased to truly enjoy our stay. With the increasing clouds and the approaching rain system, the sky had also darkened significantly to provide any good lighting for better photos.

Mailbox Peak to Bandera Mountain
Mailbox Peak to Bandera Mountain

See more trip photos here.

We stayed out of the wind in the forest before the opening to the north of the summit and left at sunset time. With the decrease in elevation, flurries quickly turned into rain as we hiked a little over two hours in the dark back to the car.

Night watch
Night watch

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: