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Hiking Dirty Harry's Balcony Trail


Hey kids, want to come to Dirty Harry's Balcony? With a name like that who couldn't resist this hike? Honestly, the name is what first intrigued me. Heck of a name there. I'm trying to think like...was the movie Dirty Harry shot around here? Did Clint Eastwood climb this mountain and we were trying to thank him? No, Harry was simply a man who logged the area back in the day and had a questionable background. Questionable enough, to earn him the Dirty Harry moniker. Thanks for not logging the entire thing, Harry, your balcony and peak is a place of beauty! 

Dirty Harry's Balcony is a shorter but beautiful-still hike of the full Dirty Harry's Peak. The most commonly hiked path is Dirty Harry's Balcony via Birdhouse Trail which is what we did today. It's been a long week at work, so this was a perfect hike. Not too long or grueling, but awesome views to soak in. You're looking at less than 5 miles, maybe 4.5 out and back, and almost 1300 feet of elevation gain. Nothing terrible right? 

Dirty Harry Peak and Balcony trail sign

This is yet another awesome hike right off of I-90 and easily accessible from Seattle and surrounding communities.  It's only a 40-45 minute drive from Seattle. Yay! It's a super popular hike, but there's actually several climbing areas as well, if you're into that! We saw dudes at the trailhead unpacking all of their climbing gear from their trunk, so it's definitely a thing.

I was worried because on our drive in it was cloudy and foggy, despite forecasts saying it was going to be sunny for the day. Wouldn't you know it as we're driving through North Bend the weather really starts to clear up. It was meant to be. 

At the trailhead there are bathrooms, so fret not. While your partner, or friends use the toilet, use that time to put your discover pass in your window. You'll need it here. 

trailhead bathrooms
I wouldn't lie to you

 Beyond the trailhead the trail starts as a small wooded section, very flat, relatively wide. After only a short time, you exit the wooded area and have to walk on a paved roadway. Follow the road across the bridge that crosses the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. After the bridge, there is a sign that takes you back on the 'trail' and back into the forest. 

Dirty Harry's Balcony Trail start
Flat forested start

South Fork of the Snoqualmie River
River from the bridge!

Back on the trail
Re-entering the forest!

Dirty Harry
Slightly rocky on the trail with mild elevation increase

Dirty harrys balcony trail
A lot going on here! Beautiful trail

Rocks on the dirty harry balcony trail
There's a lot of cool rocks on the trail. I guess that's why people also enjoy climbing here

Dirty Harrys Balcony Trail

Rocks on the dirty harrys balcony trail
Some beautiful rock formations to walk by on the trail, huh?

Trees and rocks on dirty harrys balcony
So much to see and we haven't even got to the viewpoints yet!

Dirty Harry's Peak Trail Sign
In case you forgot where we were

Mountain Views
Finally some cool mountains views start to spring up

Sun Slab Vista Dirty Harry
The first climbing sign we came across

Sun Slab Climbing area
Looking towards the climbing area.

felled tree dirty harry
Oh no! The trail is blocked! Just kidding, the trail is behind us. This is a little "Rest Stop" area.

dirty harry balcony
Cool rocks though!

Dirty harry trail
Getting closer to the balcony!

Mountain view from dirty harry
Good mountain views on the way up!

Dirty Harry balcony
We haven't reached the top balcony yet, but LOOK AT THESE VIEWS. Amazing!

Dirty Harrys Balcony
On the climb up. Awesome views. You can actually see the Olympic Mountains from this spot on a clear day.

You can see their snow tipped points in the background!

mountainside views
These views just keep getting better!

logs holding up the mountain
Thank you logs for holding up the trail. Getting higher now! Things definitely started to look different as we got higher, more alpine looking.

Dirty Harrys
That's not the trail! Don't go that way! It looks cool though!

dirty harrys balcony sign
There we go. At this point we can continue on to the balcony or head up to Dirty Harry's Peak. I'm not up for something grueling so BALCONY it is!

alien map in tree bark
Almost. So close to the balcony. But first. Alien maps in tree bark??? This was too cool to not take a pic of. Dead bark laying on the side of the trail looks...well..alien.

I-90 over harrys balcony
Now we're talking. We made it. How cool is that view? Sure hearing traffic noise of I-90 is a little 'unromantic' of nature but it makes for awesome picture taking.

Awesome mountains
Such great sights from such moderate heights. Amazing

Huge rock dirty harrys balcony
This rock was too cool to ignore

Birdhouse on dirty harrys balcony trail
I'm blind apparently, but my keen eye'd GF saw this birdhouse in between the trees. Neat! I'm sure the Pacific Wrens that are abundant enjoyed it

net winged beetle
She also noticed this little dude. A net winged beetled. Take time to notice the small things, people!

stream on the trail
A stream on the trail. didn't get its pic on the way up!

More of the snoqualmie river
More views of the Snoqualmie River before we left. It was actually decently deep in this specific area. Maybe you could even jump in on a warm day??

Snoqualmie Ice Cream

While heading down the trail I was getting fairly hungry, even after eating a tiny energy bar (heh). I got a sudden craving for Ice Cream. Haven't had it in a while. It's a beautiful warm day. Now it has to happen. Everyone from Seattle knows about Molly Moons Ice Cream. What they may not know is Snoqualmie Ice Cream provides them with the ice-cream base materials to make their branded ice cream. I figured since we had to drive past Snoqualmie on our way back to Seattle, why not hit them up instead?! 

boba ice crea snoqualmie
My GF got an interesting cone. Similar to a brown sugar boba milk tea. I got banana cream pie. It was all pretty good!

That was one heck of a hunch and a craving. Because that very night, the building that Snoqualmie Ice Cream is in, sustained significant fire damage. The bakery and other businesses connected are pretty much gone. The ice cream shop suffered only smoke and water damage. Pretty wild. Good thing we got to try it when we did. 

Big Block Brewing

We could have done the economical thing and went to Snoqualmie Falls Brewing which was in walking distance of Snoqualmie Ice Cream. For some reason we didn't. We continued down I-90 and got off near Lake Sammamish and went to Big Block Brewing. We knew nothing about it, it just...had a better rating. Not sure why I care sometimes, but sometimes I do. Ultimately, it wasn't bad. I learned that Big Block is automotive related, something I have zero interest in. Oh well. They play it up well, though. The bathrooms are even garage like with lockers, etc. There's also an AMR EMS outpost right next to them so if you collapse and fall on your face from drinking too much, the medics are right next store!

Beers at Big Block
She got a barrel aged stout, I got an imperial IPA. A very classic rendition of an imperial IPA or double west coast IPA. The traditional high IBUs supported with a strong malt backbone. It was pretty good.

They claimed to have regular food trucks, but there were none there at the time. We went home and got some Thai food, and I stuffed my face with yellow curry. Goodnight.


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