Lingering Trail - TMT Loop

Kim was free for a hike. The day before we drove to Ellensburg then up onto Table Mountain for a memorial for our friend Kirsten. After much of the day in the car we wanted to sleep in and have a short drive. We kicked around a number of ideas and finally settled on a forest walk on Tiger Mountain. The summits are closed for logging so perhaps the other trails would be less crowded. We arrived at High Point at about 11:30 am and headed up. The Lingering Trail had some fresh Indian Pipe on my mid week after work hike. We went that way. The  big bunch of bright white saprophytes were still there. In addition Kim noticed several more smaller patches of them. These had just come up in the past few days. I can always use a few more photos. I do not see them very often.

We continued up the Lingering Trail to the Tiger Mountain Trail (TMT). We headed up the TMT to see the other patches of Indian Pipe. Some were not there but the big one was and a few newer ones too. More photos. We then continued up to Ruth's Cove and just beyond. That would be the highest point of the day. So far we saw some folks off and on. Not that many. It remained that way all day. Definitely not crowded. After a food and water break we headed back down the TMT. The new trail segment over to Murat's Bridge is unofficially done. The ends have been completed. Where we started on it there is no sign at all. At the bridge end there is a sign stating it is closed and will be opened this summer. Oops. The bridge had a little sunshine on it. Almost all of the trip is in forest and shade. With the temperature now up to about 80 degrees were were pleased with the cool forest.

The TMT winds in and out of creek valleys. The first two after Murat's Bridge also had bridges. We saw old growth devil's club growing in the creek bed. Twenty feet tall and already with red berries. The creek was small but without the bridge the devil's club would be impassable. The trail goes from forest with  green ground cover to darker forest with no ground cover at all. At the latter spots we started to see more saprophytes. First one then another. At that point, I complained that I had not seen candy stick in years. Bingo! Kim then pointed out the candy stick. First a couple then more up the slope. Then a grouping of nine of them. We saw coral root and several others for which I do not recall the names. Last, were more big bunches of Indian pipe. Probably the largest and most varied display of saprophytes I have ever seen. Who knew that Tiger Mountain had the best display to be found?

We climbed up to within a few hundred feet of our earlier high point and then the trail began the descent to the main High Point parking lot near Tradition Lake. We saw one couple each carrying a small child and a few other folks along the TMT. We also had long breaks of total solitude. Kim's knee was acting up a bit so when we reached the parking lot I dropped my back and zipped on back to the car back near the interchange. The lot was a bout half empty at about 4:00 pm. Maybe the closed summits are keeping some of the crowds away.

This hike proved to be just what we were looking for. After a long day with 260+ miles of driving on Saturday we had a slow hike to no destination. The cool forest was the point. The terrific saprophyte display was just an unexpected bonus. For the day I hiked 6.35 miles with about 1500' of elevation gain.

Many Indian Pipe
Closer Look
Small Bunch
Lit Up
Sunny Forest
Next Indian Pipe Spot
Really White
Big Bunch
Damp Fungus
Spring Beauty
Devil's Club
Candy Stick
Candy Stick 2
Two Of Them
More Saprophytes
Bunch Of Indian Pipe
Old TMT Marker
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2021