I just love the name of this mountain: SQUAK! Sounds like a bird, huh? Apparently, it came from the sound of the Southern Lushootseed name for the mountain. Who knew?
Anyways, I had been wanting to hike the Phils Trail-Thrush Gap Loop trail for a while, but I still haven't finished the whole loop. Me and another gal from my meetup group started out after work and made out way up the mountain. It was definitely not a walk in the park! This trail kicked my butt!
We passed over creeks and went up, up and up! It seemed like there was not flat part of the trail. There were a couple of trail intersections, but it was fairly easy to follow. We wanted to at least get up to the top of the mountain before 7 pm, our turn around time, so we kicked it into high gear!
We got to the Bullitt Gorge Trail in pretty good time, so we continued up it. According to the signage at the trail intersection, the area near the top of the mountain was originally owned by the Bullitt family, who had built a lodge at the top. When they gave their land to the state to make it a park, they wanted it to stay as pristine as possible, so only hikers are allowed on the top portion of Squak.
Eventually, the trail leveled out and we hiked through a swamp. We were a little off on our map location, but we eventually found the remains of the lodge, which are the foundation and a fireplace.
The fireplace was absolutely beautiful! I so would love to have one like that in my house.. sigh, someday. While we snacked and rested near the fireplace, another large group came hiking up the hill. They were also a meetup group! Fancy that, huh?
We took their pictures, and they took ours, then we headed back down the hill. We made really good time because we got back to our cars before it got dark out.
Overall, I would say this was a really fun hike that was definitely a workout! I still have the other half of the trail to finish, but I think I will save it for a weekend so I don't have to rush through it.
Total time: 3 hours
Distance: 5 miles
Passes: Discover Pass required
Location: 13201 Squak Mountain Rd SE, Issaquah, WA
Thanks for stopping by!