A couple of clear, cold days and my sister’s day off created perfect opportunity to rendezvous at Mary’s Peak. We met at Conners’ Camp around 7:30; we were the first two cars in the parking lot. Temperatures in the valley on the way were around 21-24 F – cold, but due to the recent dry days icy roads were limited to pockets of damp low-ground air. A full moon was setting and slipping in / out of the fog, and sunrise behind the Cascade foothills remarkable. Valleys, even Willamette, were filled low fog.
Both my sister and I remarked at the odd character of Mary’s Peak forests – they seem very farmed and almost sterile – few birds, rodents and no visible larger mammals, yet we did see at least 1 well-worn deer track. Here is my last Mary’s Peak post
Together we started at Conners’ Camp and up the East Ridge around the south side of the meadow and then up the gravel road to the communications tower defiled summit. Then back down the North Ridge trail to the Tie trail and back to the parking lot. My sister took off, and I went back up the same way and then rambled around the upper more exposed areas.
Trail conditions were perfect. We saw our first humans 1/2 way down – my first non-snow day at Mary’s Peak without cars in parking lot and several other hikers. There were 2 dogs 2 humans and 5 cars in the lot when we returned the first time, and 7 cars the second.
The earlier morning times were spectacular with the valley fog and the yellow colors.
As the sun rose and burnt off some fog, the cascades came better into view. We could see Mt Adams, St Helens and the OR cascades down to Bachelor.
Best part of hike, spending time with great people who share a passion for the woods.