Distance: 7.5 mi.
Elevation Gain: 2400 ft.
We don’t often go hiking on a weekday, but we decided to head up Park Butte after work on a Wednesday. We started hiking right at 5 PM and headed west, then northwest along the Pacific NW trail. We arrived at the junction with the Scott Paul Trail at 6 PM and turned left, slowly climbing up the plateau above Pocket Lake.
We hit snow at about 4800 feet and it was intermittent the rest of the way, making it a bit challenging to follow the trail at times. We did have other tracks to follow. We reached the summit at 6:45 PM. There was a brief scrambly bit, but it was luckily snow-free on the final ridge.
Unfortunately we got socked in just as we were reaching the high point and had zero views. There was a couple hanging out in the lookout tower, planning to sleep there, and another couple camped just below. We saw others climbing toward the summit on our way back, undoubtedly hoping that the lookout tower was empty.
We retraced our steps to return, although we accidentally went too far skier’s left (west) at 5000 feet and ended up traversing over some bushy terrain to find our way back to our original track. It helped to have a GPS for this trip while there was still snow cover.
We made it out at 8:45 PM and drove back to Seattle. Hooray for a successful after-work peak!
(Download the free Gaia GPS app on your phone to view tracks and then get a Gaia GPS membership if you want offline access. Discount below!)
Recommended brew: Boundary Bay Scotch Ale
- Day pack
- Trail runners
- Trekking poles