A small crew including a 12 year old and a small dog headed up to Dirty Harry's Balcony via the Birdhouse Trail on Saturday. There's no Birdhouse Trail page on WTA for some reason, at least not that I could find, but you can find a map and description on AllTrails here: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/birdhouse-trail
It was a gorgeous day, and the trail was in great shape. This is not a very well-known trail, it seems, but at Exit 38, it's not much farther away from the city than the more popular trails along the I90 corridor.
We hit the trail at 11:52pm at 1,300 feet elevation by hopping over the guardrail just past the bridge and heading upstream. At the 1 mile marker there's a sign pointing to two different climbing routes - stay to the left at this fork. We didn't, but it wasn't a major problem as we were only able to go a very short distance in the wrong direction before hitting a dead end (the bottom of the climb route).
After doubling back and returning to the Birdhouse trail, we reached the Birdhouse lookout point at 2,300 feet at 1pm after hiking for about 1.7 miles. We stayed there and enjoyed the view for about 15 minutes before pressing on to Dirty Harry's Balcony.
The Birdhouse trail meets up with the main Dirty Harry's Balcony trail at around mile 2.7. We reached that juncture at around 1:20pm, and took a right at that spot to head toward the balcony rather than heading back down the old logging road, which we read was full of felled trees. About 100 yards or so after the fork there's a tree with a pink ribbon off to the right of the trail. This marker lets you know where to head to get to the balcony.
We got to the balcony at 2,500 feet and made some new friends at that beautiful spot. The view is beyond gorgeous, and the only thorn on the rose is the noise of cars driving along the I90 freeway, 1,200 feet below.
We began the return leg back down at 1:35pm and arrived back at our car at 2:52pm almost exactly 3 hours and 5.15 miles later. This is a wonderful trail, relatively light amount of traffic, in great condition that has two amazing view points. I actually like the Birdhouse view point better than the balcony view - it's a little lower down in elevation but there's much more room, so I highly recommend taking that route rather than the logging route indicated in the trail description, unless you want to do a loop and hit both.
Oh, and our little furry trail buddy Winston did great! It was his first time on the trails, and he was tugging hard on the leash the whole way and setting the pace on the return leg. Pretty impressive initial trek for the little pup.