Steep, loose rock sections. Expect washouts and tough footing.
To get to the Tahoma Creek trailhead, first park by the gate on Westside Road
and run north along it for about 20 minutes (about 1 mile). If you make a sharp left turn and start switchbacking wildly, you have gone too far. Tahoma Creek trail is marked only as unmaintained and leaves from the east side of the road, leading northwest up the creek. This waterway has been gouged out by repeated floods and normal meltwater flow from the glaciers above. Because of the floods, the path changes frequently so follow cairns and small flags. There may be washouts and downed trees to negotiate.
The trail stays on the north bank of the creek and there are views of Rainier far above. Emerald Ridge to the north becomes more pronounced the higher you ascend. Just as the trail nears its end at a junction with the Wonderland Trail
, it steepens considerably. The highlight for many folks is crossing Tahoma Creek via a swaying, bouncing suspension bridge just to the right a few feet along the Wonderland Trail
to the southeast. This spindly feeling bridge is 165 feet above the creek and can be a challenge for those who dislike heights.
Bugs. Mountain goats.