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“While not great picturesque view, this loop offers a great four-mile run with many challenges.”
— Adam Hill
An easy to reach trailhead from the urban center of Seattle/Bellevue, this four mile run that has a 1200' elevation gain is a great challenge for a weekend day trip. While this does not offer the panoramic views other runs might, this run is a great challenge over 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 and be sure to bring bug repellent in the summer due to stagnant ponds.
Starting at the Jim Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trailhead, head up the path for 1/2 mile where the trail diverges. You can go right or left, I recommend heading right/east as the Wilderness Cliffs Trail is steeper and best to complete early in the run. Shortly you'll come to the Squak Mountain Connector
and you'll want to continue left/north.
Continue up the trail through many switchbacks until you get to another fork, a quick jaunt to the right/east to Wilderness Peak and jot down an entry into the ledger and back to the fork where you'll continue straight/west down the Wilderness Creek Trail. This trail offers a more gentle descent. After about 3/4 mile, you'll reach the short section where this ties into the Long View Peak Trail
and Shy Bear Trail
. Continue on the Wilderness Creek Trail.
There are multiple crossings of the small creek along the trail, mostly from planks sawn from the trees felled nearby. Be careful as these are often slippery. The run is complete once you reach the original fork and continue 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.