Mount Washington – Mosquito Hell

OK, so I use the Washington Trails Association website a lot to research my hikes and I read the latest reviews to see how the conditions were. When people commented that there were “bugs on the trail”, that was the BIGGEST understatement of the year! But, let me start at the beginning….

We decided to start this hike earlier than usual due to a heat wave heading in, so we left the city by 6:45am. Finding the trail was a little tricky as the directions said to turn right after crossing the Snoqualmie river which I’m still wondering if we did? It was confusing…or maybe it was just too early for me to be following directions? At any rate, we finally figured out where we needed to be and proceeded to put boots on and get strapped up.

The trail begins with a quick, steep climb up and then pops you out on to the Iron Horse Trail which is big, and wide and gravel. We trekked along that for a bit then (thanks to another blogger’s picture) found the Mt. Washington trail head to jump on (no signs).

I really enjoyed this trail for the first three miles. The switchbacks didn’t really feel like switchbacks and the terrain changed a lot which kept my mind from focusing on my burning legs. Despite the quick elevation gain, I wasn’t completely worn out by the third mile.

I also really liked that this trail was less populated than others which allowed Ginger another off-leash experience. She’s getting much better on the tails, staying close and not bothering people as they pass.

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This is a rock wall that has been used for climbing. There are already (and forgive my non-correct words) clips in the rock for locking into.

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Up and on it goes….a pretty dense trail that curved a lot, so you never quite knew what was around the next bend.

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A couple of miles into the hike, I caught up to Tiffany looking at a split in the trail trying to figure out which route to take. I said: “Shouldn’t we just follow the sign?” Tiff: “What sign?” Me: “The sign right in front of you.” This is her look of shame.

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This hike definitely had beautiful lookouts along the way and with the quick elevation, it was always breathtaking.

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This was about the halfway point. From this spot on, there were millions of mosquitoes and the terrain got rockier and steeper.

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But, there were still beautiful views.

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I wanted to believe so badly that this was the summit as I was dying by this point. I had been bitten to death and I couldn’t catch my breath without being attacked.

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But, alas, the trail kept going, and it began to make a really long climb up.

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But finally, the summit arrived!! I was hoping for for more sun so that all the mountains would be visible, but the clouds overruled. The view was still wonderful though.

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We stayed just long enough to snap some pictures, but didn’t dare pull out our lunches because the bugs were definitely on the hunt. As soon as we had a few photos, we booked it back out.

I was bummed not to be able to lounge at the top, enjoying the view and my accomplishment, but there was just no option to do that.

The hike down was just as tough as all the loose rocks kept me on edge making sure my footing was secure. The last thing I wanted to do was take another spill and have a painful hike down.

Overall, I’m so proud of myself for finishing this hike because in all honesty, at one point on the trail I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to. It was exhausting and seemed longer than the 4 miles it claimed to be. However, it’s over now and I can check this one off my list!

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One thought on “Mount Washington – Mosquito Hell

  1. Ugh, seems like it’s going to be a high bug year – that’s what we get for the almost non-existant bugs last summer. 😦 I still haven’t been up Mount Washington, something always gets in the way when I plan to go!

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