Thursday, March 7, 2024

Madrone Crest from Chuckanut

Huckleberry viewpoint

 I never know how to pronounce the name of this hike. Some people always go with "Madrona" rather than the way it's spelled, "Madrone." In any event, eight of us Senior Trailblazers started out at the North Chuckanut trailhead and went up the Hemlock trail until we got to the turnoff for Huckleberry Point. Although we had a bit of snow two days ago, the higher we climbed, the more snow we ran into, even today. It was still quite cool, but the skies were almost completely clear, meaning overnight it turned cold.

Persis and Kim on the trail

As usual, Persis was hiking in her skirt, with long woolies underneath to help keep her warm. We hiked the entire length of the Huckleberry trail, and then joined the Salal trail that would take us to Madrone Crest.

On our way, enjoying the white stuff

As we climbed, it got snowier and more slow going, but the main trail was pretty clear, as you can see here. We meandered upwards until we got to the Crest.

Our lunch spot

We were happy to sit for awhile and have a nice lunch, considering that there was no wind and plenty of places to sit and enjoy a break from hiking. We had a little sun now and then, but with all the snow it was never exactly warm.  In that container in John's hand, he had chocolate-covered blueberries and tasty cookies, which I availed myself of. Most of us tried the blueberries, which are incredibly addictive!

Sterling and rider

We ran into a horse and rider on our way back. I didn't notice if it's a girl or a boy, but the rider is definitely female. She showed us that Sterling was wearing what looked like leather boots, which she said gives the horse more grip and comfort than regular shoes. She even had spikes if needed to add to the leather "sandals." A beautiful horse and very friendly, too. Beth had made the comment earlier that she had never seen any horses on these trails, and just like magic, Sterling appeared.

Snow decorations

We do live in a beautiful part of the country, and we are so lucky to have places within a short distance to hike in during the winter months. We go up to the High Country during the summer, but there's something awfully nice about just getting in our cars and being a short drive away from home, rather than more than an hour's drive each way.

Beth at trail junctions

Our leader today, Beth, took us up the Huckleberry trail and back down via the Salal and Lower Salal to our parking lot. We covered somewhere around seven and eight miles in total, and around 1,700 feet up and down. Not an easy hike, but certainly doable for all of us today. Since I was hurting last Tuesday from an easier hike, I took some ibuprofen before starting today, and it turned out just fine. I feel like I could go even farther if necessary. But I'm certainly glad to be sitting in a comfy chair right now, with my feet up, with nowhere I need to go. Satisfied and happy for the moment, with a smile and a glass of wine to enjoy.



  1. I don't remember you ever running into a horse on any of your hikes. That was an exciting event. I also don't remember anyone hiking in a long skirt. You have had some interesting hikes this year. :)

  2. Terrific photos DJan they look amazing blown up on my Galaxy tablet. Not sure why but the horse one almost made me chuckle, what an excellent pic! It sure does amaze me how you do these 8 Mile Adventures

  3. When trail and weather conditions are good hiking is much easier.

  4. I love the names of the trails there. Chuckanut is a favourite but add Madrone and Huckleberry. Who isn’t intrigued by the Hemlock trail? The names prepare one for the beauty ahead. Well done, Jan.

  5. Imagine having lunch in the snow! Well, it worked for you.

  6. Interesting about madrona vs madrone. Growing up in Seattle with a couple of madrone trees in our yard, we called them madrona. But after a college tree identification course, I discovered they're madrone. Reading a bit more, it appears madrona is used in areas north of the Siskiyou Mountains. Canadians call it arbutus, which is the Latin name. Just a few factoids inspired by your writing. :-)

  7. I was surprised to see a horse on those trails... not sure why, guess I thought they might be too steep or slippery. But I guess not. And I'd never heard of those specialized horse shoes. Enjoy your comfy chair and wine. You earned it.

  8. Sounds like a great challenging hike! You've go so many interesting places to choose from.

  9. Our fearless Trailblazer leader Pat used to tell me that the east coast folks call them Madrone and the PNW folks call them Madrona. It would be interesting to find out where the person was from that named that trail. #trailtrivia ~Kimberly


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