8 miles round-trip / 3150′ elevation gain
With a forecast of abundant sunshine on the last official day of summer, my husband and I planned a day hike to Mount Si. At the beginning of the summer I was concerned Mount Si would be too challenging for my hiking abilities, but now I had gained the confidence I needed to reach the summit. We woke up extra early to ensure we had a parking spot at the trail-head with hopes of having the trail mostly to ourselves. We arrived at the parking lot around 8:00 am, and to our surprise it was still mostly empty.
As I try to describe the four mile ascent to the top of Mount Si, all I can think of is up, up, up! The first two miles begin with a slow, easy climb switching back and forth through the thick, old growth forest. As we made our way into the last two miles, the pathway became more steep with shorter switchbacks still climbing up through the forest. It had been a good decision to start our day early because only a handful of hikers interrupted the peacefulness of the empty, quiet trail. Once we finally reached the last few steps of the trail, endless 360° views finally came into sight. The cities of Seattle and Bellevue seemed to be tiny mirages in the far distance to the west of Mount Si. Several hikers were scattered about the summit in different locations, each one taking in the views in their own way. Some hikers rest atop rocks enjoying the conversations of their fellow comrades and new friends, while others take delight in solitude.
A sign warning about the dangers of the Haystack scramble to the true summit let us know that we had not made it to the top. Feeling content with my decision to stay and enjoy my idea of the mountain summit, my husband decided to make the scramble to the tip top. I enjoyed the moments alone watching the persistent birds and squirrels as they hassled day hikers for their lunches.
Regrouped and reenergized, my husband and I began our descent, our sore legs thankful to be trekking downhill. As more and more hikers poured onto the trail, we were once again reminded of why we had started our journey so early in the morning. Finally back at the parking lot, I felt a sense of accomplishment after completing a hike I once believed to be too difficult for my abilities. It may be the end of the summer, but the fall will bring new adventures.