A Katwalk. The trail name has always intrigued us but in the past it was just a little too far (12 miles RT) for us to do in a day hike. Well, not any more.
So Kendall Katwalk was our final training hike in the NW. It is located on the PCT and starts at Snoqualmie Pass. That would be much easier and shorter to access than the recent Teanaway hikes.
We left around 8 and made it to the trail head by 9am. There were a couple of other people who were just heading out also. Boots on, grab the poles and we were off.
The trail was in the forest and started a moderate climb. It would be about 2 3/4 miles until the trail for Commenwealth Basin junction and the start of a long steady switch back up Kendall Peak. The trail was pretty smooth, just a few rocks and roots so I started with a fast pace. We passed a couple of backpackers both going and coming and just within a hour we were at the junction. We'll need a slower pace for Whitney.
The trail now starts a very long and steady switchback. I didn't find it too bad and soon we were near the top and the views were opening out to Red top and Commonweath Basin. The forest opened up and we were walking through Kendall Gardens with lovely wildflowers of paintbrush, lupine, valerian and aster. The day was also warming up.
About 11:30 we reached the start of the Katwalk. We decided to lunch. The Katwalk itself was kinda disappointing. It is pretty amazing to see the trail blasted out of rock and the views were stunning. But it was very short. We took many pictures and then decided to continue on across heather fields and talus rocks to the next ridge. By this time it was 1pm and we had probably gone about 6-7 miles. Time to head back.
My muscles stiffened a bit with the downhill and it was so hot. The upper part of the trail is exposed and it was great to reach the forest. We pass the junction and started noticing the area near the pass. At first we thought we were looking at parking lot at the pass but realized it was really fully stopped traffic on I-90. Another accident. That was the second Friday in a row. We asked a hiker on the way up and the accident had occured 12 miles east of the pass. They were only let one lane through while they investigated the accident. We were glad we going west.
Shortly before 4pm, we reached the parking lot. It felt great to get the boots off. We headed for North Bend for a couple of burgers at Scotty and home.
Mileage: 14 miles Elevation: 2700ft Time: 7 hours