Washington Hikes: Talus Loop Trail

IMG_4262_LUCiDThe stars finally aligned again last weekend and we were able to head outdoors to enjoy some more trail time Saturday morning.

We had a few other plans Saturday afternoon so we decided to stick with a reasonable morning hike near Snoqualmie and North Bend, which is only about an hour drive from our home. Although sunrise is currently at 5:30 a.m.—with first light quite a bit earlier than that—the Mount Teneriffe trailhead where we wanted to begin didn’t open until 7 a.m.

We ended up taking our time getting ready and didn’t hit the trail until closer to 8 a.m. There were already several dozen cars in the lot and quite a few people setting off to summit Mount Teneriffe.

Having already hiked Mount Si and Teneriffe Falls, we decided to piece together several smaller trails to construct our hike. The map at the trailhead was incredibly helpful with more detail than anything we were finding online, so I’m sharing a picture Brian took on his phone in case others find it useful as well!

We started out on the Mount Teneriffe trail, continuing past the branch that takes you to Teneriffe Falls, and entering a nice flat stretch of trail through the woods and alongside several smaller waterfalls. There were a few others on the trail at that point, but once we reached the Spring Trail and took the upper leg of the Talus Loop Trail toward Mount Si we were on our own. This is clearly a less traveled path—we didn’t encounter a single person, and it appeared we were the first people on that stretch of trail that morning.

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The northern loop offers a nice, uphill climb through the woods—Brian’s app said we experienced about 1,200 feet of elevation gain—that encompasses both wooded and rocky terrain. We wound our way up the side of the mountain until we reached one large section of rock that provided a wide-open view of the surrounding area.

It probably explained this somewhere on the Washington Trails Association website, but for whatever reason hadn’t expected the clearing to be quite so large or to offer such great views. We ended up staying a while to take some pictures and enjoy the beautiful weather.

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After our short break we met up with the Mount Si trail and headed back downhill until we reached the Roaring Creek trail, which we used to cut back over to the Mount Teneriffe trail, making a nice loop.

While both the Mount Si and Mount Teneriffe trails are very popular and busy, we only encountered one person on the Roaring Creek trail, much like the Talus Loop trail. It was nice having the woods all to ourselves and feeling like we could take our time and talk without interrupting anyone else’s experience.

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Overall our hike ended up being just under 6 miles and took us about three hours to complete. It was a really nice option if you’re looking for a reasonable workout and great views, and prefer to avoid the traffic of the busier trails.

While most of the hike is through the forest and less weather dependent, I would recommend going on a clear day if you plan to do the upper loop of the Talus Loop given the amazing viewpoint over the valley.

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