Trip Report: Bullitt Fireplace Trail (Squak Mountain)

My latest weekend adventure took me to Squak Mountain’s central peak via the Bullitt Fireplace trail. With 1,300 feet of gain over 4.6 miles and easy access within a mile of a bus from downtown Seattle, I was able to sleep in Saturday, have lunch on top of a snowy mountain and be back home in time for afternoon tea.

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The day started out with a significant sunbreak, but we could see clouds in all directions around us. It was cool outside, but not snow-cold. Nonetheless, I was certain we would see snow on this trip. One participant said it would rain at noon. I told her I thought that was great, because that meant we would see snow at the top. The weather did not disappoint. It snowed for nearly half the trip and rained a bit on the way down.

This trail is a comfortable moderate grade for most of it’s length. Even with snow, the steeper part on the approach to the fireplace was easy enough, even with a few participants admitting they were out of hiking shape (more reason to post these winter hikes to keep folks going outside during the off-season!).

I’m glad we saw the fireplace. It’s always a kick to see historic artifacts on hiking trails. It is a remnant of an old summer home on the mountain, which went largely unused and was eventually burned down by vandals. I walked close to this spot on previous trips but must have either just missed it or was not paying enough attention.

Driving Directions:

From Newport Way SW, just behind the Issaquah State Salmon Hatchery, turn onto Mountain Park Boulevard SW. Stay on it until you see Mountainside Dr. SW to your left. Turn onto Mountainside Dr. SW and drive to the first sharp curve. The trailhead is just off to the right, on a small spur road.

Taken from the WTA description: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/bullitt-fireplace

Transit Directions:

From downtown Seattle, Sound Transit bus number 554 can get you to Issaquah. From downtown Issaquah, it is about a 40 minute walk following the same route in the driving directions above.

Trail Map:

http://your.kingcounty.gov/ftp/gis/Web/VMC/recreation/BCT_CougarSquakTiger_brochure.pdf

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