Mt. Si - North Bend Miles: 8 Gain: 3100' GT Mt Si# 174
GT Bandera. #206
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 February 2

I don't think it's possible to convince yourself that there is really any aesthetic value to a trip up Mt. Si.  Few other hikes can be as far removed from a wilderness experience as this one.  The parking lot is about as big as I've ever seen for a trailhead, complete with leave no valuables in your car warning signs. Even on a Tuesday in February there were 20 or so cars in the lot. 

The trail itself is wide, hyper-maintained and well graded, so much so that most of the way it's not necessary even glance at your feet.  Which might be OK if there were views out over Alpine vistas to distract, but you are totally in the trees until the 3.5 mile mark and by then you're likely too deep in a zen like trance from putting on foot in front of the other for an hour and a half to notice.

A quick scramble up some rocks and you can play around a couple pointed outcrops on the way to the benches below Haystack.  The views on a clear day from here are pretty nice.  Seattle, Bellevue and Puget Sound to the west and Snoqualmie Pass to the east.

I followed another hiker down the old trail from the benches. I always thought it started at about 3 miles but there is a spur leading down the shoulder about 1/4 mile from the benches. Makes for a shorter more direct path and picks up the main trail at the end of a switchback. The old trail continues to the west, heading toward Little Si, where the main trail cuts back east. Hard to describe exactly where as there aren't any landmarks I remember nearby.

No Si is not an inspiring hike, but it is a good one when conditions are poor or you just need some exercise without a bunch the route finding or deep snow.  It's also quick.  A half day gets you 3000'+ of gain and roughly 8 miles rt.  Takes the same amount of time for me up or down.

February 14
Nothing new to report, same old Si.  I did find and use the old trail today.  Probably shortens the distance but not the time as it's quite a bit steeper going that way than remaining on the main trail.  I took it from about the 2.5 mile mark to a spot 1/4 mile below the benches, crossing the main trail two or three times along the way. Only saw two other people on the old trail whereas there were many on the main trail.  Scrambled part way up the Haystack gully, but didn't like the feeling of the wet rock in my heavy boots so I'll have to save that one for later.

Drive I-90 to North bend.  Take North Bend Way (main street through town) East to the Mt Si Road and go north.  Trailhead with very large parking on is on the left.
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