Little Bandera Hike before school starts

The views from the top...if it wasn't raining you could see Rainier right there!
The views from the top…if it wasn’t raining you could see Rainier right there!

  I know I said I wasn’t going to organize any more hikes, but I organized one more to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of our MBA program!  Also, I got married over the weekend, so a gentle, relaxing hike was in order.

  I decided on the Little Bandera Mountain hike, which was vaunted by Seattle Times as one of the 10 best hikes around Washington by Karen Daubert from the Washington Trails Association.  I’ve done several others on her list and was not disappointed.  This was apparently one of the best near Seattle (on the I-90 strip), so there were pretty high expectations.

  It did not disappoint.  We pulled off of Exit 45 and immediately got onto this really pitted gravel road that would bottom out a low-clearance vehicle.  In my Tacoma we did the 3.8 mile stretch of washboard road like a champ, but I ended up spilling some of my McDonald’s coffee.  Luckily, the heroic efforts of my truck-mates saved the day with some emergency napkin triage.  

  The hike itself was really, really easy on the first 2 miles or so, and then the last 1.5 miles was…pretty steep. 

Mikey's expression says it all
Mikey’s expression says it all

  So…yeah pretty steep moves, and with the steady rain and wind it felt a little like the Mist Trail in Yosemite Valley.  Fun!

If you see this, you're near the top
If you see this, you’re near the top

  We got to do some nice scrambling around on the rocks to get to our destination…a little more than necessary because we did get lost for a couple of minutes until we relocated the trail.  The top was just a clearing with a small cluster of trees lining the trail, but the views were indeed fantastic.  Would probably be amazing on a clear day!

  We celebrated with the traditional drinking of beers.  This was a great hike, I agree with the rated “medium hard” difficulty from WTA.  Not crowded at all, compared to the other hikes I’ve done on I-90.  I will be back!

Look at the smiles! It's because they're on their way down :D
Look at the smiles! It’s because they’re on their way down 😀

  To find out more about the hike, visit the Washington Trails Association page!

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