Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail
4-6 miles roundtrip
At a glance: Easy, mostly flat hike great for beginners or those seeking a less strenuous hike. Follows river with deep forest meanderings.
What's included: Pick-up from hotel/home/airbnb and transport to trailhead, trailhead permit and passes, lunch, snacks, equipment, and drop-off back to home base. $199/person.
Crossing the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River on a bridge constructed by volunteers and the Forest Service, hikers are safely delivered to the other side of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Before the early nineties, access to this side of the river required a ford that was dangerous even in low water.
Once across the bridge, we turn left to head upstream deep into the quiet forest. The silence is broken only by the murmuring river, the whispering of wind through the trees, or birdsong from the fish-eating birds that live in the area.
The trail weaves in and out of the forest, passing under overhanging cliffs and offering views across the river of jagged Garfield Mountain. Continue under a craggy wall dubbed Stegosaurus Butte at 0.75 miles. Soon after the Butte the trail widens, thanks to an old railroad path. This is your only hint of the area's history of logging - the railway was used to pull logs out after timber harvests.
Continue on, crossing many creek drainages that keep the trail wet much of the year. The trail stays close to the river, at points even threatening to slump into the water due to repeated flooding that erodes the banks of the river. At a little more than three miles, the trail has been rerouted further back through the forest. This repair was made by WTA, after the flooding river completely washed away the trail in this area.