In preparation for the Enchantments trip coming up later in the summer, I decided to do a little training by tackling Kendall Katwalk. My co-worker and told me that this was one of her favorite hikes in Washington. She described it as “prehistoric, like a dinosaur was going to jump out at me around the next corner!” How could you not? I was able to gather some friends that were training for a summit of Rainier that summer to join me so I hit the trail in good company.
The trail was beautiful, well maintained. There were a few small water falls and creeks, open meadows and old-growth forests. And then there was the Katwalk itself. It’s not as precarious as some the photos make it look, but it doesn’t make the scenery around it any less stunning.
The Katwalk sits on a portion of the PCT in the Alpine lakes wilderness and was fairly populated. We did this hike in the middle of July so it was hot, but there was still a decent amount of snow. We got just past Kendall peak and had to stop for the rest of the trail was still buried. We stopped to lunch, have a beer (or two) snap some pics, then headed back down. It was a long hike, but it was a trail that changed every mile, which I loved. There is always a new view to see as you go. I highly recommend it if you’re feeling ambitious and have a nice day to get outside.
Some of the nitty gritty:
Length: 11mi round trip
Highest Point: 5400ft
Location: Snoqualmie Pass
Passes Required: Northwest Forest Pass
Directions (via WTA):
From Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 52 – “West Summit”. At the end of the ramp, turn left under the freeway onto Alpental Rd. In just 0.1 mile, take the first right, unmarked but featuring a sign in Forest Service brown announcing the need for a parking pass. In another 0.1 mile, the road splits. To the right is the main parking lot, large enough for over 50 vehicles. To the left is the stock (horse trailer) lot, and overflow parking. Both have vault toilets.
Visit WTA for more details information and don’t forget, read the trip reports!
Grab a friend and get outside.