“A wonderful route with amazing 360 views, wildflowers and very few runners.
— Gerhard Holtzendorf
Views · Wildflowers
This often overlooked run is a great 6.5-mile out-and-back to "Little St. Helens." The undemanding terrain is surrounded by a new-growth forest, frequent views, and seasonal wildflowers. The majority of the run follows old logging roads that have been converted into singletrack as part of the South Fork Snoqualmie Riding Area. Because the trail network is still young you're not likely to have too much company (for now).
Mountain bikers are common in either direction along most of these trails. Be alert and aware for descending traffic.
Begin at the trailhead and start up the Hansen Ridge Trail
. Runers will complete about half of this road-to-singletrack converted trail before splitting off onto the Carter Creek Trail
higher up on the ridge (marked Harris Lake Trail).
Continue along the Carter Creek Trail
for about a third-of-a-mile until the switchbacks level off and the trail turns to the south (right). Turn to the left instead, and cross over a nondescript berm onto the decommissioned NF 810
road. Follow the road around the ridge for short distance, until the gradual climb leads to a saddle. Runers may wish to turn around here, as the actual summit ahead is a clump of trees that is hard to get to.
Either way, enjoy the expansive views before heading back to the trailhead the way you came. Alternatively, to make the run more of a loop, it's possible to follow the rest of the Hansen Ridge Trail
to the south where it ends on the Hansen Ridge Road Connector
that will also lead back to the parking area.