Little Saint Helens 06-06-2023

Approaching the flat forested summit.

I have been eyeing this peak for a couple of years now, as it’s on the Harvey Manning List of 18 peaks in the I90 area. I planned This set of three peaks for a long Zone 2 workout with Glenn Curtis and Kleon Aleksandros to get us all in hiking and climbing shape.

These peaks are not all that inspiring as they are all flat or round-topped, logged-off hills accessible by decommissioned forest service roads, but they are part of this crazy route known as the Harvey Manning Challenge, which is on my bucket list. It is a hike through 18 peaks bordering the South and North of I90, intended to be climbed in a single push with no motorized assistance permitted.

The List of Peaks

Views on the drive up.

We started at the Hansen Creek Trailhead. The road up is rough, and when we arrived at the trailhead, we encountered what appeared to be a hobo camp complete with a large military-style tent, some trashy cars, and questionable people with a large dog. The ground was littered with spent brass casings from the yahoos who like to shoot firearms in the area, which is prohibited. I think this area is being converted for mountain biking and seems much better suited for than vs. hiking. In my research, this area does not appear to see much traffic, and Harris Lake, 18 miles round trip, does not seem worth the effort.

Finally, things get more interesting. The trail becomes more tame as we wind our way up the mountain.

We arrived at what we thought was the summit to the North but is merely a broad clearing with old logging remnants and good views of I90 and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Finally, things get interesting – on our way to the true summit.

After some dense bushwhacking, we arrive at the true summit. Amazing views!

After reaching the true summit, we dropped back to the decommissioned road and hiked south to some great views of Mount Rainier. From here, we bushwhacked down a ridge to another forest service road. The temperature was rising, and we were feeling the heat. Rather than push on, we opted to make our way back to the trailhead and save the other two peaks for another day.

Glenn’s first bushwhack!

Parting shots as we made our way back to the 4Runner.

Glenn and Kleon got to experience their first post-hike Popeyes!

Video flythrough of the route.

As always, thanks for #HikingWithHadland!

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