Monday, June 29, 2015

Exploring Squak Mountain

Living in Seattle there is access to an incredible amount of trails. I have gotten really comfortable running at Cougar Mountain and can easily run there by myself for hours-- but unfortunately I have not ventured off Cougar too much in the past year. I have been to Tiger Mountain a few times, and made my way up a trail on Squak just once. While Cougar feels safe and easy, Tiger and Squak feel big and intimidating. I needed someone with an adventurous spirit to explore with! Enter my friend Belia. She was game for a new adventure so we made a plan to check out the trails on Squak together.

We headed over to the new trailhead for the recently-opened Margaret's Way trail on Saturday morning. The parking lot is a decent size and we were surprised to see only one other car there when we arrived. The only trail off of this parking lot is the new Margaret's Way trail and it's almost a three mile climb up on to Squak from there-- so not an easy stroll! Once you get up closer to the top of the mountain there is access to many other trails, however. It took us about an hour just to climb this section.

Belia and I in front of the Bullitt Fireplace on Squak.

Once at the top we made our way around a four mile loop, not exactly sure what trails we were going to take before heading in to it. Luckily I brought a map (and if you forget yours at home, there was a stash of them at the trailhead). Belia and I were mostly clear on where we were/where we were heading at the top of Squak. There were a few intersections where we headed off saying "well, I think this is right!" and luckily it worked out perfectly. We intended to do 10 miles total and that is exactly what my Garmin read when we got back to the trailhead.

Garmin results of the route.

The running was pretty evenly balanced with hiking and we ended up with almost 3,200 feet of elevation gain over the 10 miles. No joke! 

Elevation profile of the run. 

I really liked the trails on Squak. Most of the trails were nicely groomed, a few spots were a bit overgrown, but nothing bad. All of the trails were very runnable, or rather, they are if you aren't slowed to a walk by the elevation gain! 

Definitely looking forward to exploring more of Squak Mountain! 

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