Copyrights @ Journal 2014 - Designed By Templateism - SEO Plugin by MyBloggerLab

Hiking Annette Lake Trail -- Snoqualmie Pass Region

Hiking Annette Lake Trail -- Snoqualmie Pass Region

Annette Lake was not a hike I had planned for in advance. In fact, I think we planned on potentially doing Wallace Falls, Twin Falls, or a completely different hike today. It IS Mother's Day however, so we weren't entirely sure how busy the trails would be. On one hand everyone could be at brunch having mimosas and celebrating with their mother, too busy to hike. On the other hand, this is the PNW so #1, of course mom is going to want to hike on HER day, it's in her blood. And #2, everyone around here is a transplant anyway so mom is probably 1000 miles away and you simply mailed her a Bath and Body Works gift card or something, right? I don't know. 

Since it's May, I knew we could start pushing east a bit more into the Cascades without fear of areas being closed due to snow, or trails being open but being too snow covered to hike without extra gear. So I scrolled over to the Snoqualmie Pass region on Alltrails and up popped Annette Lake. I have a rather sizeable saved list on AllTrails, and somehow this was not one of them. (Sidebar, AllTrails is great, but if you live in Washington, please support the Washington Trails Association, they do excellent work). 

After doing the extended Poo Poo Point trail hike the day before, I wasn't sure what kind of intensity I wanted in a hike. Mailbox Peak? Yeah no. But the pictures, and the stats just kind of hit right for me, so I showed my GF who agreed that it seemed fun and doable. And so we hopped in the car and drove East! And like countless amazing hikes in the region, it's right off of I-90. Like, almost right off of I-90. You get off on exit 47, onto National Forest Road 55, which merges into Asahel Curtis Road. This road takes you straight to the trailhead. 

Annette Lake Trailhead Sign
Sign at trailhead. Looked a bit sparse. A bit scant. A bit shortwinded. Not sure what's up with this..but it wasn't a great first impression. Thankfully first impressions aren't everything. Because it was a GREAT hike.

Poo Poo Point Trail -- Issaquah Alps

Poo Poo Point Trail -- Issaquah Alps

Poo Poo Point is the quintessential "I just moved to the Seattle area, where should I hike?" hike. It's probably the best closest-to-Seattle hike with some of the best views on a trail that close to the city. Downtown Seattle to the trailhead is only about 30 minutes. Are there better hikes a little further aways? Sure. But Poo Poo is pretty great too. 

Poo Poo Point Trailhead Sign
Trailhead sign at the start of the Chirico Trail


Poo Poo Point is on the western face of Tiger Mountain in the Issaquah Alps, the aptly named mountainous region in the Issaquah, WA area. What about Poo Poo Points name? 

The name Poo Poo has its roots in the logging steam whistles of the past. I do suppose Poo Poo could sound like a steam whistle in the greatest of onomatopoeias but Choo Choo works just as well....right? I mean trains make almost the same sound?? You do you, loggers.

Poo Poo Point has an added feature. People don't just hike it. They also jump off of it. And survive. It's a popular paragliding spot. If you're lucky enough you might see them in the air when you pull into the trailhead, or better yet, you might be able to catch them jumping off the point when you get up to the top!

Stop! Look Up! Do Not Cross if gliders are landing
Don't get hit by a landing glider! You can see this sign near the start of the Chirico trail. It is close to a landing field for the paragliders!


The first time we went it was early fall, kind of chilly, and off and on raining. Nevertheless, there were paragliders in the sky. More recently when we went, the weather was PERFECT. Not a glider in the sky. I'm not a paraglider, so I don't know specifics, but I totally would've preferred to paraglide in the beautiful weather, no?

Poo Poo Point in bad weather
Here's a view from the first time we went. You can't see much of anything! Still nice though.


There are a few ways to get to Poo Poo Point. There is a ''okay" sized parking lot off of Issaquah-Hobart Rd SE.

 On a beautiful day the parking lot WILL fill up and it gets rather cramped in there. There was traffic backing up into the road this last time I went. The plus side is, there are some porta potties at the parking lot for those with small bladders like myself. If you do start your hike from here, you will be taking the Chirico Trail up to the point. It is almost exactly 4 miles out and back and you'll gain about 1640 feet in just that short amount of time. For that reason, it's fairly exhausting. It's constant elevation gain for almost the entire trek up, so bring water and rest often if you aren't super in shape! You will be rewarded for your efforts. 

Another options is to do Poo Poo Point via the High School Trail. 

 There is a small gravel parking lot here that can fit MAYBE 6 cars. This was full when we got here. We ended up parking on the street , which was thankfully available. You briefly enter the hike on the Rainier Trail which splits off onto the High School Trail. The High School Trail then eventually links up to the Poo Poo Point trail which you can take to the top. This hike is significantly longer at around 6.6 miles, and does have a slight bit more elevation gain, nearly 1800, but it's definitely more gradual than the Chirico Trail. We did this trail on out second visit. I much preferred it as there was more to see on the way up. I will mostly chronicle this trail, since it was there was more to see, and it was a MUCH nicer day!

issaquah alps trail sign
At the alternate trailhead, explaining the trails of the Issaquah Alps

Herb Robert -- Stinky Bob
Stinky Bob, or herb Robert, or whatever you want to call this. It's all over. Considered a noxious weed, but hey, it looks cool.

Holly on the trail
Holy Holly!

race through the issaquah alps
Apparently we came on a day there was a trail running race through the Issaquah Alps trails. Good for them!

High School trail Poo Poo Point
The beginning journey to Poo Poo on the High School Trail portion. This portion of the trail is very easy. Scenic. Pretty forests.

Two Trees Holding Hands
These two trees were holding limbs. Holding on for dear life hoping to not be eroded.

Stream on the High School Poo Poo Point trail
A nice little stream, it flows under the trail with the assistance of a metal pipe.

On a water pipe
What's the source of this anyway? Should I drink it? Maybe with a lifestraw.

Open air on the trail
Bring your hat! The trail opens up as you come towards the meeting point of the High School Trail and Poo Poo Point trail.

Poo Poo Point Trail Sign
Let's goooooo

Poo Poo Point Trail
The Trail continues back into the forest. This time an even more concentrated intense green.

Snail On the trail
Wildlife? Yeah we got it. There's a snail on the trail! There was a slug on the trail too, but it seemed someone stepped on it. I'll spare you the image on that one.

A bridge in the woods
A bridge crossing? Gladly

Waterfall on the trail
A little waterfall on the trail too! Water features, you won't find THIS on the Chirico trail!

Wilting Trillium
This trillium is doing its best

flower field
A big field of flowers as we're nearing the top

bathrooms at the top
Hey look! Bathrooms at the top! Convenient!

Poo Poo Point Vista
It was a great day to make it to the top! Stunning Lake Sammamish and even the skyline of Bellevue is clear as day. No that's not Seattle, if you squint hard enough, you can see a small part of Seattle from up here

Mt baker from Poo Poo Point
Hey! You can see Mt Baker from here! Incredible!

You can see the Olympic MOuntains
Wait, you can see the Olympic Mountains too?! Super awesome!

Well I guess that must be it. What a cool hike and so many great views! Wait, what? There's more? Oh.

From the top of Poo Poo Point you can continue on DOWN a small portion of the Chirico trail, even if you came up the other way. It leads to the South Launch Pad area where paragliders can take off. From there you can see...

Mt Rainier from south launch pad poo poo point
Mt. Rainier! A perfect view point. And an excellent area to lay in the grass and have a water and snack break, as we did. Don't skip coming over here to see this viewpoint! It's awesome!

mt rainier poo poo
Thank you for not killing us today!

Hillside views
The surrounding hillside is gorgeous too.

Ah the sporing stage of a dandelion. Urge to kick...high. And so I did. Gotta spread those spores. Dandelions are good.

lovely place
The second time coming here during good weather was like night and day. I see why this is such a popular hike now. Awesome views, beautiful area!

Creeping barberry
Now that I'm not killing myself uphill I can relax and check out the flowers on the way back down. I'm not sure what this guy is but kind of looks like a creeping barberry.

western trillium
This western trillium is doing well!

Bleeding hearts
Be still my beating heart, it's bleeding hearts!

Fiddleheads. So many fiddleheads.

water under the bridge
Well this hike is now water under the bridge. But what a great day it was!

Formula Brewing

I always see this place right off of I-90 while we're driving around to other hikes in the area, because there are SO MANY great hikes right off of I-90. We finally decided to jump in and try it after the hike. Parking was a bit silly, but we managed.

formula brewing
We had a lager or two

outside the brewery
Sat outside in the beating sun

dog at brewery
And watched dogs do dog things until it was time to leave

I highly recommend this hike to anyone. I'll leave you with some toilet humor. "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie". Incredible.