July 31, 2011

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On 7/30/2011, I attempted to hike from Steven’s Pass to Snoqualmie Pass. I spent the first hour of the trip looking for the trail head. Found the registration booth on the North side of the highway when the trail I wanted was on the South side. Once on trail, crested the first major ridge and headed down the backside still in the ski area. Snow was minimal.

Part way down the back side and heading east, I checked my map, I then double checked my GPS. Both my map and GPS had the trail almost half a mile to the South of me. Neither showed the trail I was on to exist. I then hiked back up to the ridge and headed South only to not find the trail (there is something there that has rocks that make a path, but it isn’t the trail), just dirt roads under the power lines which weren’t on the maps. I spent 2.5 hours searching for the trail under the power lines. Once I found it, again my map and my GPS had the trail some 200 feet away from my location.

I followed the trail through the woods and it turned into a snow field. All snow and trees. It would have been perfect for snow shoeing. So, I chose to turn around.

Following the trail out, I found it on the North side of the power lines. It had the first sign on trail that I’d seen that day. Following it up to the top of the ridge (where the chair lifts are at for Steven’s) I discovered this was the first trail I was on earlier when my map and my GPS told me the trail was half a mile to the South of me.

My GPS is very accurate in telling me my location, just the map on the GPS was incorrect. My paper map I was using, I’d downloaded and printed that day from the PCTA website. [Editors note: The PCTA website does not have maps to download and print. Not sure what is being referred to here.]

General opinion about hiking the trail right now, wait 2-3 weeks. Trail isn’t well marked, my maps were incorrect, but the biggest issue is there is too much snow. So, much that it is a guessing game when hiking out there.

Within the first mile of the trip I’d passed ~12 hikers in different groups coming down. They’d all said they’d gone to Lake Josephine, none of them had heard of Lake Susan Jane. My guess is, they all wen’t to Susan Jane thinking it was Josephine. Any case, they all stated the same, past the lake was all snow and boulders.