Mount Townsend — Saturday, Jul. 23, 2011
Type of HikeDay hike
SnowSnowfields to cross - could be difficult
Evidently everyone in Western Washington has been waiting for Mount Townsend to melt out. Well, it is still not snow-free, but close enough. What a spectacular day to enjoy the wildflowers, the views, the alpine tundra. The road to the upper trailhead is just fine. We were early enough (8:20 ish) to secure a space in the parking area, but by the time we left the cars were lined up far down the road. On the hike out, I counted the number of people I passed from the time we left our lunch spot on the summit to the time we returned to the car: 175 hikers! You will encounter some patches of snow through Camp Windy, but the trail was easy to follow. It was pretty well packed down, slushy and slick in spots once the sun warmed it up. Once you leave the Camp Windy area, it's snow free except for a minor patch on the last switchback just before the trail turns up toward the summit ridge. The wildflower show is great and looks like it will get even better. I was thrilled by the chocolate lilies, which I usually manage to walk right by. A special note to the person who had the nerve to write in the trail register "whoever maintains this trail is doing a poor job." Hey dude, that would be YOU, yes YOU are responsible for this trail and either sign up for a WTA work party or write them a big fat check. Sheesh.