Lime Kiln

I joined Kim and Jon for a favorite close in hike. It had been just over three years since my last visit to the Lime Kiln, on a trip with Kim and Jon. With the Alaskan Way Viaduct closed for two weeks, a lane closed on I-5 in North Everett, and some race closing Highway 410 for part of the morning, a simple drive to Granite Falls seemed a good bet. We had a not too early meeting and drove out to the trailhead just outside Granite Falls. It was 9:25 am when we hit the trail. I usually hike this trail on damp days in the spring time. I seldom see more than three or four cars at the lot in the morning. This day the main lot was nearly full. I guess it has become more popular. This is a good trail for kids as there is only 600' of elevation gain. It is about seven miles to the end and back. The day was sunny and warming quickly.

The route is a combination of trail, old roads, and finally the route of the old railroad to Monte Cristo. We heard a lot of birds in the trees, especially in the first mile. Since we had all day and a short drive home we went slow and looked for photo opportunities. There are quite a few spring wildflowers in bloom. Surprisingly, some seem to be very late. A few skunk cabbage are just beginning to leaf out.  We saw a whole lot of bleeding hearts but no trillium and just a couple yellow violets in bloom. Lots of varied colors spring beauty and many varieties of ferns. It is a very green trail. Each time we stopped another couple groups passed us by. Lots of families with small kids as we expected.

There are a few muddy spots but the trail was drier than usual. Lots of folks stopped to see the lime kiln. Having seen it many times we slogged on by. It was 12:30 pm when we reached the river access near the end of the trail. A new record slow speed but very enjoyable. I was afraid that the river level would be high enough to cover most of the rocky "beach". Not a concern. The water was pretty low. Everyone had space to enjoy the SF Stillaguamish River. We had a long lunch. It was 1:20 pm when we packed up to head back.

Kim and Jon turned right and went back the way we came. I turned left and quickly reached the site of the old railroad bridge. I continued around the loop back to where the loop starts. I expected to meet then there. They were tied up in a great photo find and I figured I missed them. I headed down the trail to catch up. At the grotto site I still had not found them. Hmmm... Go back or head on? I waited 10 minutes and continued on. At the Lime Kiln I waited and soon another hiker came by to say they were back at the junction. Oh well... Off I went to find them. A classic miscommunication. Not a particular problem on a single trail. Soon we were back together. I managed to get in an extra mile of hiking.

When we reached the spot where we leave the railroad grade and climb back up it was noticeably hot. This time of year a sunny 75 degrees feels hot. We made it back to the trailhead to find even more cars now. The lower lot was almost full and cars were parked along the dirt road. By far the most cars I have ever seen at the Lime Kiln trailhead. This was a fun day on the trail. I had an easy 8 miles on Saturday and another easy 8 miles on Sunday. It's about time to start hitting some snow scrambles in the Teanaway as the roads are melting out fast. So far this spring I've had a number of good wildflower hikes. Lime Kiln did not disappoint.

Maidenhair Ferns
Ferns Close Up
Closer Look
Buttercup Like
Thimbleberry Flower
Bleeding Hearts
Green Grade
Kim Sighting
Fern Unfurling
Skunk Cabbage
Thimbleberry II
Sun On Moss
Lime Kiln Posers
Another Kiln Angle
Spring Beauty
Bent Stalk
View To River
False Lily Of The Valley
False Lily Flower
Garter Snake
More Bleeding Hearts
Down By The River
Placid Water
Old Bridge Parts?
Bypass Trail
Light On Fern
Almost Back
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2016