Like so many days before, my buddy and I attended to other commitments on a sunny day only to find ourselves hiking on the following, very cloudy day. Our path to the clouds this morning was the Beckler Peak Trail just east of Skykomish, WA off of Highway 2. The forest road is very narrow and the seemingly new parking area and privy are pretty small so arrive early.
The first and last pictures below the map show the parking area on our arrival and departure. There would really only be room for about 15 well parked cars. We left my buddy's house at 5:15 AM and were on the trail right at 7 AM. We were surprised to find another car there before ours, but we'd later meet two ladies who had camped on top the night before.
I could type up a paragraph describing the trail, but luckily a ranger already did that for me (5th picture below the map).
Like the ranger's description says, the trail has two primary sections. The first is along old logging road and the second is in old growth forest. The trail pretty much climbs from the very beginning though the more difficult climbing is in the forest. The set of photos below are really nothing special. I'm only posting them to give others an idea of what to expect.
The following pictures are from the section of trail in the forest. The trail is in really great shape. It isn't rocky and today it wasn't muddy. It's just slightly steep climbing. I wish I had something else to say about it but it's just your standard switch-backing trail. We did encounter just a very small bit of snow that I expect will be gone from the trail completely very soon. It's not enough to be an impediment to any hiker. The last two pictures below were actually taken on the way down when the sun was really trying hard to break through the clouds.
We reached the summit after just 1 hour 53 minutes of hiking. We felt pretty good about our time considering it was 3.7 miles and almost 2300 feet of climbing from the car. At the summit we met a pair of adventurous older ladies who had camped there the night before. Of course they described to us how beautiful the views had been with clear skies the previous evening.
Since it wasn't even 9 AM and we pretty much had the summit to ourselves, we decided to stick around for a while and see if some of the clouds would burn off. They were super thick through the valley over Highway 2 and they didn't seem intent on moving. I did my best to get a bit of an east-south-west panorama (last 6 photos in the set below). I didn't even bother taking photos to the north because the views were just completely socked in. Supposedly this is a great place to see Glacier Peak but we'll have to wait for another time.
We waited for about 80 minutes at the top before deciding to head back down. Only as we were packing up did we see any other hikers which was really nice. This hike really was fantastic except for the clouds. The trail is in good shape and the climbing isn't too rough. It only took us 1 hour 20 minutes to get from summit to car. This is definitely on our list of hikes to return to on a sunny day.
Below this last set of photos are a couple of quick videos I grabbed. The talus slope was impressively huge.