McDonald Mountain (Trip Report)

Enumclaw, King County, WA: Weather-wise it was one hell of a weekend here in the great Northwest. The air was stiff with cold, but the usual sky blanket of gray had been swapped for one of bright, glorious blue.

Might as well go climb a hill, no? 

Oh boy, logging roads!


I honestly had no idea this was a legitimate hike until after I got back and read some trip reports. 

My adventure began when I had nothing better to do and noticed a couple of lonely radio towers up on Ol’McDonald’s tree covered slopes.

I found a wide spot to park along some country backroad near the hill and started into the woods. It looked like Mad Max out there! 

Dead cars, mud pits and auto parts littered the sparse woodland; clearly these woods had been a braffing course until fairly recently. 

I headed up through this mess, managing to find a rough hewn trail leading up a hogsback that put me on an old logging landing topped with a decaying slash pile. 

This was a great place to perch and take in the views before I began to navigate the maze of snow covered logging roads to the top. 

Not unlike my hairline.


No sign of other humans, aside from a weathered pair of tire tracks cast in the snow, indicated that anyone was out there but me. 

I was by no means alone though; deer, coyote, bobcat and various birds and rodents were abundant, their presence betrayed by tracks pressed into the snowy white. 

The road led up to sort of a plateau at the 2100′ level, where it intersected a well stamped trail of human tracks coming in from the north. 

I thought it’d be a good idea to follow them up. 

Better logging roads!


Slowly but surely the multitude of human tracks began to dwindle until only the tracks of one intrepid snowshoer remained… 

I followed those bold prints before I headed straight up for the ridge. I met up with the tracks again at the radio tower after a brushy ridge walk. 

The road continued along south of the small facility. Delightful, untrammled snow covered the path. 

Earlier in the day from down below, I had taken mental note of a clearcut some distance away from the tower and sure enough this road led right to it. 

The views from the clearcut, and from points along the ridgewalk were fantastic on this freezing, sunshine day. 

Heading out mostly the way I came in, I took a short side trip to the lower antenna array to catch the last rays of light. 

The upside is a wide open view.

I didn’t see anyone this time around, so sadly there isn’t any juicy trail gossip to report. 

Snowshoes were very handy today, and a total lack of boot prints at the top spoke about that. 

Looking at a map, I couldn’t help but notice a few interesting things in the area. One of which is another radio tower further along the ridge but…

There seems to be a lot of private property out in these parts, so know before you go!



While I can’t actually vouch for these, since I came up another way, I’d say WTA is good for it: 

Take the Kent-Kangley road east from Covington. Stay on it past Route 169. Six miles beyond that intersection the road will arrive at a sign saying that the road will end in two miles. Just beyond that sign you will see a blue DNR gate. Park here. There is very minimal space for parking cars here, maybe 5 or 6 cars worth on the side of the road.


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