Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hiking Souixon Trail in Washington

Over the weekend we did a backpack trip with a bunch of other teenage boys. We hiked the Souixon Peak trail, and did almost 23 miles in the 3 days / 2 nights.

Souixon Peak is south of Mt St Helens, just below and east of Yale and Swift reservoirs.

Everyone was eager to leave the vehicles.

The countryside and woods were beautiful.

We were in timber the entire hike.

Most of the trail followed the Souixon creek or Chinoon creek.

The water was beautiful, but no evidence of fish...

At the big falls, we crossed the river on a natural bridge.

Only one boy fell in, and he was wading the river instead of on the log.

Our first camp was at 3400 feet, 8.4 miles later.

It was a dry camp along an unusable road, but was nice and open.

Even after a day of tough hiking, the boys were ready to explore and push logs.

We needed more help with this one...

We climbed the closest peak, and placed a solar LED lamp on top. You can see camp at the clearing in the background.

The camp was a great place to experience the boys with the fine art of food prep. The 2nd day's breakfast was crossoints rolled around sausage links.

We put a layer of wood down in the pot to keep the rolls from frying, then covered the pan on the propane stove to bake them. This first batch didn't bake as well, but no one complained...

We used higher heat on the second batch - and you can see they turned out perfect.

The boys were so eager to eat them they never noticed the camp spices...

They sure turned out good, though.

The second day some of us decided to hike the extra 1-2 miles to get to Souixon Peak.

We quickly ran into snow, and ended up abandoning the trail for the last 100 yard scramble up the hillside.

Once on top of the ridge-back, it was a fun but spooky hike to the summit.

A great hike! Now, we had the tedious job of hiking back to camp, and catching up with the other group on the 8.4 miles down from camp.

Oh well - being on the summit was well worth the sweat.

The cool, cloudy weather was perfect for hiking, but obscured the great views of Mt St Helens, Adams, and Rainier.

Here St Helens peaks out.

The hike back down was long, but at least it was down-hill.

We all enjoyed soaking our feet in the cold water at the log-bridge.

Some boys got a bit nervous on the return crossing...

The second night we camped within a half-mile of the cars.

Everyone was happy to have the work done, and we enjoyed that last night on the mountain.

The last morning broke with clear skys and sun!

A quick hike to the cars and we were done.

Sore and stiff (at least the adults), but smiling.

A great hike and highly recommended.