The Ascent


Amber Jurgensen photo

The firm and well-pounded Cathedral Pass Trail brought us gradually up 1400 feet elevation in 2.5 mile, reaching a well-marked junction with the Trail Creek Trail. Roughly 0.5 miles beyond the junction, at no place in particular, is a wide spot in the trail where an abandoned side trail diverges. If you miss it, and continue on to where the trail takes some minor switchbacks and cuts across the top of Trail Creek, then you have gone too far. That's exactly what I did. I had been given some incorrect information, so I marched along, expecting to see a major landmark first — and then I would start watching carefully. Bad idea. When things just didn't look right, there was a little backtracking to do. Then, there it was, more or less.

Compared to Trail Creek, the Cathedral Pass Trail, the rebuilt Crest Trail, or any other trail in the area... it was pretty clear why this steep and rough piece of old trail (gaining 900 feet in roughly a mile over loose rocky tread) was quickly forgotten.