Biking to a Hike
Yesterday, I wanted to take a hike, but had no access to my car.
No problem! With Earth Day coming up and Green Festival just passed, I thought it might be fun to try doing a day hike without burning a drop of gas.
I chose Cougar Mountain, hiking from the Red Mountain trailhead. I biked the whole way from Seattle, and it was a great ride: the I-90 trail is fantastic, and there are pleasant bike lanes and wide shoulders almost all the way to Newcastle and the Red Mountain trailhead. All in all, it was about a 2 hour ride to the trailhead, including a couple wrong turns along the way.
The hike was lovely--lots of wildflowers are now in bloom, including trillium, evergreen violet and red-flowering currant. I'd forgotten that Cougar is so vast that even on a Sunday, you can have moments of solitude, especially on the Wildside and De Leo Wall Trails. Read more about my trip in this trip report.
All told, my carbon-free hiking adventure took about 6 hours and it felt great (although the last bike uphill on Martin Luther King Jr., Way in Seattle definitely made me aware of my quads!). It was a great way to get out and hike without putting any CO2 in the atmosphere. You could also combine this bike trip with a bus ride for one of the legs, since all buses in the region have bike racks. From downtown Seattle, you can take the Sound Transit 550 bus to the South Bellevue Park & Ride, then connect to the M240, which will get you as far as Coal Creek Parkway and 119th, about 2 miles short of the trailhead.
Before you head out, get copies two handy maps: King County's helpful map of Cougar Mountain and the King County Bike Map. For more ideas on hikes you can get to by bus, check this great site.
More on reducing carbon emissions on the way to the trailhead
Andrew Engelson on Apr 15, 2008 01:32 PM