Hey Spontaneous. I really didn't mean to erase the scheduled hike prior to this one. I am really hoping that someone will see this hiking event in time before they hit the bed.
What to bring:
$20 gas money
Map: Green Trail # 210 Liberty
Extra T-shirt and socks
Plastic bag for your shoes
Sense of humor
Roundtrip 6.5 miles Elevation Gain 1089 ft Highest Point 5489 ft
May encounter mountains bikes
Northwest Forest Pass required
In spring and early summer, the flowers are so profuse and beautiful that you would think that a gardener had planted them. And because this area is usually clear of snow long before many others in the region, hikers can attain Teanaway Ridge and views of the Stuart Range and Mount Rainier while much of the Cascades is still snowed in. Alas, so can motorbikes, so go mid-week if you'd like some quiet.
Begin hiking in trees, which gradually thin out into low shrubs such as serviceberry and ceonothus. The trail switchbacks through scree and flower fields, gaining about 600' to a four-way trail junction at Iron Bear Pass at 1.8 miles. Here the views of the Mount Rainier and the Stuart Range open up and miles of ridgetop rambling lie ahead.
Go left (east) to walk along Teanaway Ridge or go right to a delightful 5489' high point (about 6.5 miles) and a great spot for lunch (going straight takes you down to a road). Flower displays are constantly changing and are a mixture of east and west side flora. At the pass in a dry south-facing slope there is often a field of pink bitterroot of Lewisia rediva, growing in the rocks and scree, like tiny water lilies with no visible leaves or stems.
Do note that this trail has no water. Be sure to bring plenty with you.
From I-90 take exit 85. Go left and then right to enter US 970- and US 97 for 19.3 miles. Go left on FR 9714 for 2.7 miles to the end and trailhead #1351.