Thursday, September 8, 2011
Well, the kids went back to school this week. So, on September 1st we did our last hike before school started to Tonga Ridge off of Highway 2. This is the hike we were planning to do at the beginning of the summer, but got snowed out. So we tried again last Thursday and there was no snow in sight.
This hike is 6 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1200 feet. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to complete.
A forest pass is required and there is no outhouse at the trailhead so you might want to stop at the Skykomish ranger station first.
There were a few blowdowns at the beginning of the hike that were easy to get around.
You also will hike along a path filled on both sides with wildflowers. We could hear the hum of the bees the rest of the way. No stings though.
There are many paths you can turn off of on the left that will take you to other lookout points. We turned off of the path and had great views of the mountains to the south.
Tonga Ridge is hikeable by most ages. The trail is well maintained but can be quite narrow in some places with steep edges.
I have read trip reports telling of bug issues, but we had no trouble while we were there. I did have a battery powered bug repellant fan that may have helped. However, the only bugs we saw were the bees.
To get here drive Highway 2 east 1.8 miles past Skykomish and take a right on Foss River Road no. 68. (you will be driving on a gravel road the rest of the way to the trailhead) After about 2.5 miles turn left on road no. 6830. Drive another 7 miles and turn right on road no. 310. Go another 1.5 miles to the road's end at the trailhead. This is not much of a parking lot just basically the end of the road.