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Super Bowl Hike - Mt Walker - Kitsap Peninsula

This is my annual Super Bowl Sunday Hike.

Super Summit Sunday. There will be rushing and passing and total gain of over 2000 ft. Better than the Super Bowl, But we are eagerly anticipating the Dinner Bowl.

Traction devices for your  feet are MANDATORY on this hike.  You must bring along Yak Trax or something similar to put on your feet in the event that we encounter snowy, icy conditions.

NO Children under the age of 16.

Please read all the info I have in the Pages section of this site and come prepared. You are responsible for your own safety , but your preparedness affects the entire group.

Please be aware that at this time of year, especially, that inclement weather, dangerous road conditions and illness may cancel or postpone this event.  Please be sure to check this site before leaving to attend for any last minute updates.

I did this hike last year on a beautiful, sunny, brisk Super Bowl Sunday and I was about the only one on it.  If you don't want to be inside eating BBQ chicken wings and tacos watching the mayhem, then join me for some exercise and great views.  This is a fairly steep hike, but only 2 miles up on a nicely groomed trail.  At this time of the year the road to the top is closed to automobile traffice and we will be able to walk back down this way which adds about a mile.  So estimate is about a 5 Mile RT hike.

Mount Walker (#894)
Olympics -- East
Hovering over the glacial trough known as Hood Canal, MountWalkeris the easternmost peak in the Olympic Mountains. From its two summits you can gaze out over the Puget lowlands to the Seattle skyline and beyond. Or cast your eyes westward on the jagged Buckhorn Wilderness peaks, including mighty MountConstance.

Washington's state flower, the coast rhododendron, grows in profusion along the steep dry slopes of MountWalker. For much of the year the rhodies merely add a layer of dark green to the forest understory. But come late spring this hardy shrub calls for attention as it begins to blossom, speckling the surrounding firs and hemlocks with rosy-purple bouquets. By June, vibrant violet bell-shaped blossoms ring throughout the emerald forest. MountWalkeris one of the best places in the state to witness this floral show.

But if you can't come for the blossoms, MountWalkermakes for a great winter hike. With the summit road closed, you won't have to worry about sharing those far-fetched Puget Sound views with very many people. The trail is hiker only; it's short but steep, well maintained and well traveled.

Immediately begin climbing through a tunnel of rhodies under a uniform canopy of second-growth cedar and hemlock. Look up occasionally to see if you can locate any of the old wire and insulators that once serviced a fire tower on the summit. After about 1.5 miles small ledges begin to break the monotony of the forest and tease with limited views.

The grade eases slightly, and after 2 miles and 2000 feet of climbing you emerge at the North Summit viewpoint. Views are limited here. They're much better at the South Summit, reached by walking the graveled Summit Road for 0.5 mile and then following a small trail to the breathtaking panorama of Puget Sound. Stare straight down to Dabob Bay and the Toanodos Peninsula. Behind, Green and GoldMountains rise on the Kitsap Peninsula. MountRainier adds a snowy backdrop. And if you're here in June, the whole scene will be framed with fragrant purple boughs.

For a variation on the return, if the road is closed (winter) consider descending on it. It loops 4 miles around the mountain, offering more sweeping views of the surrounding territory.
Driving Directions:

From Quilcene drive US 101 south for 5 miles. (From Shelton follow US 101 north for 47 miles.) Just north of milepost 300, turn left (east) onto Mount Walker Road (Forest Service 2730) and proceed 0.25 mile to the trailhead. When the road is closed, park at the gate.

Statistics
Roundtrip 5.0 miles Elevation Gain 2000 ft Highest Point 2804 ft
Features
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Summits
Wildlife
Dogs are required to be leashed on this hike (no retractible leashes or leashes longer than 6 ft). If you decide you want to unleash your dog, it must be under voice control, stay on the trail, and away from leashed dogs. Give your self and dog adequate space from others. Please respect other hikers on the trail and restrain your dog when approaching or being approached by others. This will be the first meeting for many of the dogs, so let them get acquainted slowly as we walk. It takes time to form a pack. Not all dogs want to be greeted exuberantly, so take care and precaution. Also, dog waste needs to be buried (6 inches) or carried. Leaving along the trail to be picked up later is an eyesore for others , even in a bag,(especially with the number in our group) and is sometimes forgotten on the way out.

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  • Kathy L.

    Another great Super Bowl Sunday hiking up Mt Walker made all the better by getting home in time to watch the Seahawks put it away. Pristine trail, great views and killer workout. My legs are starting to tighten up.

    February 3, 2014

  • Gretchen

    Lovely trail, good company, and all varieties of weather, except rain! The dogs had a blast. Going home and watching the last half of the game was the cherry on top of a perfect day.

    February 3, 2014

    • Vanessa

      All points seconded!

      February 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just received notification of this hike this morning. Wish I had known earlier so I could prepare and attend. Hope you all have a fabulous hike!

    February 2, 2014

    • Kathy L.

      Christine, check you email settings. Reminders go out a week before and a day before each meet up, but you control how and when you receive them

      February 3, 2014

  • Kathy L.

    If we get the 8:50 ferry out of Edmonds, that should put us at the trailhead at about 10:30. Does that work for everybody? Let me know if you are coming to Edmonds for the ferry or driving around. Those taking the ferry should meet at Edmonds PCC at 8:30. My cell #[masked]-2952. Not sure if I will have service at trailhead or not.

    January 31, 2014

    • Kathy L.

      See you there. If your car is there we will continue up after you. The road should be gated and the trail head is about 1/4 mile up the road. I plan to take the trail up and maybe come back down down the road

      February 1, 2014

    • Vanessa

      That's a plan. I'll text if anything changes.

      February 2, 2014

  • Bec L.

    Kathy, how hard n long is this? I saw the time but wonder if all of it is spent on the trail?

    January 27, 2014

    • Kathy L.

      Bec, this is a fairly steep hike. The path is nice but we are gaining a fair bit of elevation in the process. 2000 ft in just 2 miles. Hike will probably take 4-5 hrs.

      January 27, 2014

    • Bec L.

      Thank you and as you probably assumed, still too much for me... Thanks for letting me know so I don't try and then hold you up! Have a great time! Maybe next year....

      January 27, 2014

  • Vanessa

    Kathy: I mapped the drive around south end of the peninsula and it is technically less than 2 hours for me. How long is the drive to TH from Kingston? I'm trying to plan which way to go. Thanks.

    January 27, 2014

    • Kathy L.

      I believe it takes an hour or just over an hour once off of the ferry in Kingston. So total an hour and three quarters travel time from Edmonds not factoring in ferry wait time.

      January 27, 2014

    • Vanessa

      I'll talk to Dan, but driving around seems like the way to go. What time are you planning o n arriving at TH? Given that we usually lag behind (Dan is slow uphill and I creep nervously downhill), would you like us to make a start and presumably catch us up? Of course, the game start time will be motivating...

      January 27, 2014

  • Vanessa

    Kathy, may I carpool with you on this one?

    January 13, 2014

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