Ascent of Redmond High Point on 2015-09-05

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, September 5, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Redmond High Point
    Elevation:585 ft / 178 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Redmond Watershed is a huge (800 acre) forested city park, not contiguous with the bulk of incorporated Redmond, but part of the city nevertheless. An overgrown forest spot on the south edge of the watershed is the high point of the park and the city.

The entrance to the watershed park is off Novelty Hill Road at 218th Ave NE--turn north on the narrow driveway to a pleasant parking area with restrooms, nature loop trails, and information boards. No passes or fees required. There are many trails in the park, all open to hikers and some open to mountain bikers and/or equestrians. You can pick up a map at a kiosk, or navigate using the helpful little maps present at every trail junction.

The high point is off of the hiking-only Silers Mill Trail. To reach it, hike north from the parking area on the Trillium Connector, follow the wide and ugly power line swath east on the Powerline Trail, which ducks into the woods a few times. Then hike north on the Pipeline Trail for 0.4 miles to a "bike baffle" at the entrance to the Silers Mill Trail on the right. Take this trail, going generally east for about 0.4 miles in deep forest. You pass a bench on the right.

At a point where the Silers Mill Trail turns sharply left (north), there is a faint trail to the right, actually on old railroad grade now totally overgrown. Take this path south until you can see a clearing ahead, which is private houses outside the park.

The high point is somewhere in the rugged second-growth forest, likely on the west side of the RR grade and north of a ditch marking the park boundary. The terrain is very brushy, with ferns, deadfall, thorn bushes, and rough footing. I thrashed around a bit, tagging obvious high spots, and called it good. The high spot will vary depending on if you view rotting logs as soil yet or not.

The King County GIS data with LIDAR contours indicates three areas, but the area is very flat and quite impenetrable due to vegetation, so you can muck around in there to satisfy yourself.

On my trip here, I used my mountain bike from the parking lot to the start of the Silers Mill Trail, where I locked my bike to the baffle fence. This saved a bit of time. If you have extra time, there are many more trails to hike in this vast park--lots of mileage but not much elevation gain or scenic views, just deep forest with occasional wetlands.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:175 ft / 53 m
    Total Elevation Loss:175 ft / 53 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:145 ft / 44 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 115 ft / 35 m; Extra: 30 ft / 9m
    Loss on way in:30 ft / 9 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Route:Silers Mill Tr
    Start Trailhead:Redmond Watershed Parking  470 ft / 143 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:145 ft / 44 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 115 ft / 35 m; Extra: 30 ft / 9m
    Gain on way out:30 ft / 9 m
    Distance:1.7 mi / 2.7 km
    Route:Silers Mill Tr
    End Trailhead:Redmond Watershed Parking  470 ft / 143 m

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