Little Si was our last hike of 2017 and a perfect bookend to a year of hiking that officially commenced with our summit of its big brother, Mount Si.
We were planning to ring in the new year in Falls City so we packed everything up for our overnight and arrived at the Little Si trailhead around 9:30 a.m. The overflow parking lot was already filling up and there were quite a few people on the trail, but after the initial elevation gain the trail evened out and everyone dispersed, hiking at their own pace.
We passed over and along several streams as we wound our way through the mossy woods. The forest got denser as we made our way toward the summit, and although there were a couple of minor trees down, overall the trail was in good condition and free from obstacles and water.
There were a couple of girls hiking behind us, and we couldn’t seem to get far enough ahead of them to escape their endless, unnecessarily loud chatter. It also seemed like every time we slowed down, they slowed down as well– there was no escape!
I suppose I’ve become one of those old, cranky hikers who gets too easily annoyed with fellow hikers being extremely loud on the trail, but I’ve noticed on hikes where people are being loud–either talking and laughing or playing loud music–that we see less wildlife and that I find it harder to clear my mind, which are some of my favorite things about hiking.
I would never say anything to these fellow hikers who are simply out enjoying themselves as well. It just reminded me why we typically like to arrive early in the morning before things get busy!
We didn’t have any trouble making it to the summit. After coming out from the tree cover we made our way to a clear rocky space and enjoyed awesome views of nearby Mount Si and the surrounding area.
There were quite a few people already there and on a nearby outcropping, having a snack, taking pictures, or sitting and enjoying the view. It was sunny and clear but chilly and windy, and I was glad I had packed my gloves.
We took some pictures, wandered around the summit, and then headed back down to investigate the Boulder Garden Loop trail.
Half a mile from the trailhead, we decided to veer off and take the Boulder Garden Loop, which added 1.5 miles to the overall hike. Little did we know this short loop also added about 400 feet of elevation gain in the first half of the loop when you take it heading back toward the trailhead!
If you’re not interested in the extra leg workout, make sure to catch the loop on your way up Mt. Si, catching it right after you hit the trail so you’re dealing with a steep descent instead.
There was quite a bit of water on the trail during our ascent but once we reached the boulder garden, things leveled out and dried up. We were surrounded by tons of huge mossy boulders, which helped me take my mind off my legs. The hike back down to the Little Si trail was lovely and wooded.
After 5.6 miles and 1,696-foot elevation gain, including the Boulder Garden loop trail, we felt pretty good about spending the rest of our day and evening celebrating New Year’s Eve.
We kicked things off by heading to Snoquamie Brewery for a sampler that appropriately featured the tasty ‘Little Si Kolsch!’ It was the perfect end to a wonderful hike, and set the stage for an awesome evening ringing in the new year.
Cheers to new hikes and new adventures in 2018!