1760 feet elevation gain
I’ve never been a fan of especially steep trails. Given the choice between a long trail with a moderate incline or a short steep trail, I’ll take the long trail any day. Give me all the switchbacks, please and thank you!
Thus I found myself at the Chirico Trailhead on Wednesday morning, attempting the trail for the very first time. I’ve been to Poo Poo Point on multiple occasions previously, but I’d always taken the longer route starting from Issaquah High School. I didn’t have time for a long hike today and wanted a good workout before beginning my workday, so I decided to give the Chirico Trail a try.
I arrived at the parking lot at 6:45 am which is located next to a paraglider school. There were no paragliders out this morning but lots of other folks were on the trail. I was surprised by how popular this trail is on a weekday. I passed scores of other hikers, trail runners, and backpackers in training huffing up and down the hill. The parking lot was almost completely full when I left at 9:15 am.
I’m training for a backpacking trip and carried a 27 lb backpack today. The trail is as steep as advertised and within a few minutes sweat was pouring down my face. It’s a nice, well- maintained and well-used trail, with lots of steps and switchbacks built in.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I look a few minutes to admire the stunning view of Mt. Rainier from the overlook near the top. I’ve never been to this spot before since I’ve always previously approached the summit from the other side. Wow!
When I made it back to the bottom I was exhausted but satisfied. I definitely got the workout I was looking for and still made it to work on time. No wonder this trail is so popular- I’ll definitely be back.