Awesome hike today up to Mount Defiance today. It was raining at the trailhead and at ~4000 ft it was sleeting and at 4500 ft it was snow that was sticking. I turned around at 5200 ft. I wanted to go all the way up to the peak but it was snowing too much for me.
The access road from I-90 to the trail head was about 3 miles long and very rutty. There was some tree clearing action happening and a bunch of mud/rocks were washed onto the road in the rain. My car barely went over it on the way in and with the continued rain I was worried about getting back over it again on the way out, but i did make it. Just had to get some speed up.
There were only 3 other cars in the lot when I got there and three of us arrived at the same time and I scampered out ahead of everyone. That last car must've been the guys I saw leaving up at Mason lake. They'd spent the weekend at Thompson Lake. It must have been a very wet weekend for them. I was the first person they'd seen since Friday apparently (it was Sunday AM at the time).
Crossing the stream leading out of Mason Lake was tricky. It was very full and fast flowing. There were enough rocks poking out of the water to jump across though. Again, I was kind of worried about getting back over that on the way down because the rain really picked up but it was fine, there was really no change in the flow.
Once out of the trees and along the ridgeline toward the peak it really started snowing. You can see on the tracks below where I turned around.
I didn't see another soul until most of the way down. There were another 6 groups or so starting out just as I was ending.
Mason Lake was beautiful and there are so many trails leading to many different places from that one trailhead. It seems like a great place to explore. This is going to be a place to be next Summer!
Mount Defiance Hike (kml)
Stairs through the rock fields
The remnants of fall colours
For brief moments you could see far into the distance. But then the wind would blow and the view would cloud over.
Mason Lake again from a little higher
The trail spur to get off the ridgeline and start to the top of Mount Defiance.
Back toward Seattle