4th of July Pass via Thunder Creek, June 11, 2016

Thunder Creek

Thunder Creek Trailhead

Another day, another beautiful hike…even in the rain.

Stats: If you go all the way to the pass 11.2 miles (we did about 9ish), 2400 feet elevation gain.

I believe no pass required – but you may want to double-check.

For driving info and more trail info see: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/fourth-of-july-pass

So I set out with my favorite hiking group again. Yes, the 40+ meetup. First, you go through what looks like a very nice place to car camp to get to the trailhead. The campground is called Colonial Creek Campground. I checked to see how much/if you need reservations. The answer is $16 per night and it is first come first serve. If you want to backpack, the trail we took leads to campsites near the pass, these need permits. If you camp, bring lots of bug spray it is next to the creek which is really more of a river than a creek. This campground is not far from several trails which can be explored, including Diablo lake (see my first posting).

The trails sets out gently for the first two miles along the creek. There are some massive trees in here as well as some berry bushes which I believe are salmon berries. Enjoy the flat while you can…because soon you will be going up, up, up.

You will cross a bridge over the swiftly moving creek, and continue 1/3 mile to the trail to the pass (on the left).

From here you start the big climb, gaining 2000 feet in 2 miles. While the views were obstructed due to the rain, I was grateful for the mist to keep me cool. The trail itself is very nice. It is mostly soft underfoot, all of the blow downs were cleared. There were a few stream crossings but nothing major. Just a lot of up. We decided to end our trip at the campsites at the top since most of the trip reports indicated this is where the best views are. Unfortunately those same clouds that were keeping us cool on the way up were obstructing our view at the top. Also, the mosquitoes were out at the campsites and it got very cold once we stopped. Don’t forget bug spray and layers.

That’s not all folks…

If you are still reading….Cascadian Farm was on the way back home. Organic Ice Cream. yum.