Sunday, January 25, 2015

Squak Mountain - Bullit Fireplace Trail

Border Collies Tim and Hank Ready to Hike the Squak Mountain Trail
Recently I took a hike with my dogs to Squak Mountain.  Squak Mtn is 2,024 feet tall and is one of several peaks in the cascade foothills known as Issaquah Alps.  The Squak Mountain natural area has 13 miles of hiking trails.  So where is Squak Mountain?  If you are unfamiliar with the area, here is a map.

The parking lot is a paved dead end street to the side of Mountainside Drive.  Since Squak Mountain is a Washington State Park, a Discover Pass is needed for day use and parking.

Squak Mountainside Drive Trail Head Parking Area 
The Bullitt Fireplace trail head provides an entry point to the trail system on the north side of Squak Mountain.  The approximate round trip mileage of our hike to the Bullitt Fireplace is 4 miles with about 1100 ft elev. gain
Bullitt Fireplace Trail Trailhead Sign
The original 594 acre portion of the park around the summit of the central peak was donated to the state by the Bullitt family.  Subsequently additional land was acquired making the current total size of the park 1,545 acres.
Squak Mountain State Park Natural Area Sign

The 13 miles of trails loop through the park with multiple junctions including a connector trail to Cougar Mountain.  Fortunately there are trail signs to help guide the way, but I recommend having a map along, too.
Squak Mountain Trail Signs

The trail has a variety of sights to enjoy including this interesting nurse log.

Nurse Log on Squak Mountain

Although I didn't test my cell phone reception while on the trail, I'm guessing it was 4 bars since this collection of radio towers is at the summit of Squak Mountain.

Radio Towers at the Top of Squak Mountain

The trail's namesake Bullitt Fireplace is what remains of the Bullitt family summer cabin.

Bullitt Fireplace
Posing the two border collies for a good photo op is always a challenge, but this one wasn't half-bad.
Border Collies Tim and Hank at the Bullitt Fireplace - Squak Mountain, WA
Beyond the fireplace on our way back to the trail head there are great views of Lake Sammamish and beyond.
View of Lake Sammamish from Squak Moutain
On the way down, we stopped to read some of the interpretive signs that are placed along the trail.
Interpretive Sign on the Squak Mountain Trail
This was a really easy hike with a wide trail and gradual elevation gain making it suitable for hiking with children, older dogs or anyone who is not physically ready for a more difficult hike.

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