Tonga Ridge & Mt Sawyer (Sep 14, 2019)

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mt_sawyer_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Skykomish, USGS Scenic
Area: Skykomish, WA
Reference: Day Hiking Central Cascades
Stats: 5.95mi, 1772' gain (round trip)

Steve was getting over a cold so while we wanted to get out...we didn't want anything major. In was expected to move in later in the day so a full day trip was out (unless we were OK getting wet). So, I thought about Mt Sawyer. I knew Steve hadn't been there before and I suspected fall color would be starting. I also knew the area would be good for huckleberries so it wasn't hard to talk Steve into this trip. He's up for just about anything as long as it is something new for him.

We got a somewhat early start and enjoyed just being out seeing the fall color. The abundance of mushrooms all over the place was kinda nuts. I'm not good with mushroom ID so I always wonder what good edibles we spot along the way but leave behind because we just don't know what they are.

The trail is pretty flat-ish as it follows the ridge. Some ups, some downs, but nothing major. We reached the junction with the trail that heads up Mt Sawyer at about 2.2mi from the car. From here the trail is steeper but still not bad. The trail goes through meadow after meadow filled with huckleberry bushes. I was surprised that this late in the season there were still lots of prime ripe huckleberries. We made a note to stop on the hike back down to pick away and it was worth it!

We got to the top with perfect timing. We had lots of views (thankfully the clouds weren't low enough to block views). We dropped our packs and hand a nice lunch at the top all by ourselves. Some clouds did try to move in and we did get a short squall of rain but nothing too bad. As planned, on the way down, we picked out hearts away in the huckleberry bushes!
Tonga Ridge & Mt Sawyer Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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