“While not offering great picturesque views, this loop offers a great four-mile hike with many challenges.”
— Adam Hill
An easy to reach trailhead from the urban center of Seattle/Bellevue, this four mile hike that has a 1200 feet elevation gain and is a great challenge for a weekend day trip. While this does not offer the panoramic views other hikes might, this hike is a great challenge and crosses a multitude of terrain; wooden foot bridges over swamp, steep switchbacks, and large glacial erratics.
Need to Know
Wooden walkways may be slippery in the winter. Be sure to bring bug repellent in the summer due to stagnant ponds.
Starting at the Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail
, head up the path for 0.5 mile where the trail diverges. You can go right or left but I recommend heading right/east on Gombu Wilderness Cliffs Trail
as it is a bit steeper and best to complete early in the hike. Shortly you'll come to the Squak Mountain Connector
and you'll want to continue left/north, staying on Gombu Wilderness Cliffs Trail
Continue up the trail along many switchbacks until you get to another fork with the Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail
. A quick jaunt to the right/east will take you to Wilderness Peak; jot down an entry into the ledger before heading back to the fork where you'll continue straight/west down the Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail
. This trail offers a more gentle descent. After about 0.75 mile, you'll reach the short section where this ties into the Long View Peak Trail
and Shy Bear Trail
. Continue on the Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail
There are multiple crossings of the small creek along the trail, mostly via planks sawn from the trees felled nearby; be careful as these are often slippery. The hike is complete once you reach the original fork and head back down the trail to the parking lot.
Flora & Fauna
Douglas firs, western red cedars, big-leaf maples, and western hemlock are the majority of trees. Oregon grape and sword ferns make up the under story.
History & Background
Along the trail you can see evidence of former logging operations with large old-grown firs that have been felled with springboard notches still in the stumps.