Day 7: Issaquah, Squack Mountain

Day 7For my first full day in Seattle, I decided to find a local mountain and try to reach the top. I ended up deciding on Squack Mountain in the nearby city of Issaquah.

My bike route was quite scenic, but a little complicated. The Bellevue area is severely lacking in bicycle infrastructure, and anywhere beyond there is not much better.  The trails are poorly marked in many areas, so I frequently found myself doing double-takes and opening up my phone to check the map.

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Eventually, however, I did get to Issaquah, and after a rest stop at the scenic Lake Sammamish, I was ready to hit the mountain. I took the West Side Trail at Squack Mountain and it was wonderful! The trail was completely empty, and about fifteen minutes into my hike, the sound of the highway below was already inaudible and I enjoyed pure serenity in the wilderness. After three miles of hiking, I made it to the top – only to find a cellphone tower surrounded by trees. Disappointingly, there was absolutely no view. The 6-mile hike was still well worth it for the exercise and the peace along the way though.

After a nice cold milkshake, I headed back to Bellevue using the same route I came on, feeling a little bit more comfortable with it the second time. My round-trip cycling route total was 40km, plus a 9km hike!

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