June Gloom

It’s the middle of June: it’s raining and cold. The NPR station has a report about the famous June Gloom in Seattle. Time to head east and ride on the dry side of the Cascades. With the Devil’s Big Loop WA endurance ride coming up, I figured a bit of reconnaissance would be useful, too. The plan was to hike up Tronsen Meadow trail, then work my way to Squilchuck and back along the Liberty-Beehive Road.

Tronsen / Devil's Gulch forest service map.

Tronsen / Devil’s Gulch forest service map.

The Tronsen Meadow trail is quite pleasant in the beginning.

Tronsen Meadow trail.

Tronsen Meadow trail.

And then there’s a lot of pushing and puffing. Good way to warm up on a cold and cloudy day.

This was probably the worst part of Tronsen Meadow trail - it never looks bad in pictures...

This was probably the worst part of Tronsen Meadow trail – it never looks bad in pictures…

The weather turned from cold and cloudy to rain and graupel. I thought I had escaped the Seattle weather [-:

Graupel (small hail) started to come down. Chilly air, but not ice cold.

Graupel (small hail) started to come down. Chilly air, but not ice cold.

The Upper Naneum trail is super cool and offers amazing views (on a clear day). And: it connects to Tronsen Ridge trail – which I didn’t appreciate before. I was thinking this might be just the ticket for a better version of the Devil’s Big Loop ride coming up this weekend.

The views were severely limited.

The views were severely limited.

While gloomy today, there were a lot of flowers out. June Bloom!

June bloom #1

June bloom #1

June bloom #2

June bloom #2

I figured I better ride the Mount Lillian trail, too – only one tiny patch of snow was left and the trees had already been cleared by chain saws.

View from Mount Lillian.

View from Mount Lillian.

View along Mount Lillian.

View along Mount Lillian.

June bloom #3

June bloom #3

There are some impressive rock slides along the Liberty Beehive road.
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I explored a couple new routes at the far end: Squilchuck trail to Pipeline trail (overlooking the Mission Ridge ski area), and then the Beehive trail connecting to the Devil’s Spur trail. All trails were a complete delight – but there’s a big chunk of dirt and paved road between the Beehive and Devil’s Spur trail that was a bit boring.

Squilchuck trail.

Squilchuck trail.

Devil's Spur trail.

Devil’s Spur trail.

Devil's Spur trail.

Devil’s Spur trail.

The ride finished by going back along the Beehive road in cold and rainy weather – then taking Tronsen Meadow trail down. One word: “wow”. Great ride, even with the weather the way it was.

Stats: 40 miles, 8000 ft. el., 8:30 hours, GPX track

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2 Responses to June Gloom

  1. Martin, read it, looks like some pretty nice singletrack, but hail? wow.

    LB

    • 2wheeltrails says:

      The weather was surprising, but manageable with a light rain jacket. The lower trails are getting dusty, while the top is just drying out. So many places for us to ride when you visit.

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