Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hike #5: Bullett Chimney Trail

There are just an embarrassment of trails within just an hour of Seattle.  Some sport spectacular views, others old growth forests, others waters gushing with salmon or still as a fairy-tale mirror.  Some are just trails where you walk around and enjoy being outside.

Such was the case with Bullett Chimney Trail, or, I should say, the Squak Mountain trail system.  Squak Mountain is near Cougar and Tiger Mountains, both of which sport harder and easier hikes than Squak, and both of which offer more majestic experiences.  But, on the other hand, Squak Mountain boasts the fact that it's basically empty, or at least was on my wintry preamble.  It's the kind of alone-in-the-woods feeling I haven't gotten in a near-Seattle hike (the closest I have come was camping in the Olympics, but even that wasn't this empty and it was much further away from Seattle).

We originally set off to see the Bullett Chimney, which was... pretty much just a chimney.  I'm not really sure what I expected but when guidebooks say 'ruins' I get a certain Indiana Jones ideal in mind, and it's not quite that exciting.  The trail was so short and relatively simple that we decided to walk around some more to see if there were any other good bits to highlight the trail.  The Central Peak sounded promising, but there's not really a view and at the top there's some kind of microwave tower facility, which you can't get near (and I'm not sure you'd want to...).

The trails are very clear and we were able to get back to the parking lot by completely new routes, so check in the plus column for variety of walk.

This is a simple, well-maintained hike that's not too strenuous.  It isn't spectacular but it's a good place to try trail running or bring a dog or do some meditative thinking, or just to experience a greater isolation than most of the more well-trod paths without having to get too remote.

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