Summit a snowy mountain, take in 360 degree views, and eat delicious Mexican food.
Hex Mountain is a beautiful, snow covered hike in the winter, so you’ll need snowshoes to have enough traction to make it to the top. You’re gonna want to make it to the top.
Head to REI in Bellevue or Seattle to rent snowshoes, or call in advance to reserve them. They almost never have a shortage (Seattle has +300 pairs!). Your rental will cost you $26 and provide you 3 days - so you have a day to pick them up, and an extra day to drop them off, too. Trekking poles, which are highly recommended for snowshoeing, should be about $10.
Note: if you’ve already rented snowshoes before, and enjoy it (which you should), consider buying your snowshoes instead. By this time of year, you can snag a shiny pair of MSR (top brand) snowshoes for $60-$100, which is basically the equivalent of renting 3 times.
Pack your backpack with:
-Plenty of snacks and water, as snowshoeing burns way more calories than hiking, and you’ll need some grub to stay warm and energized. I love packing jerky, granola, dried apricots, energy bars, and a thermos of hot cocoa.
-Layers: gloves, jacket and multiple warm layers, a beanie, snow or weather-proof hiking boots, and preferably waterproof pants like ski pants - though warm athletic bottoms will be fine otherwise
Lastly, Hex Mountain is a generally low avalanche risk zone, but it’s important to always check the reports the day before and morning of for a low likelihood, to make sure it’s safe for you to go. Check here ( https://www.nwac.us/avalanche-forecast/current/cascade-west-snoqualmie-pass/ ).
Leave Seattle for Hex Mountain around 7am, and enter Hex Mountain Trailhead or simply type coordinates into Google Maps: 47.2850, -121.0914. It will takes about an hour to reach the trailhead. Take Exit 80 off of I-90, drive north on Bullfrog Road, and turn right on SR 903 (Salmond La Sac Road) at the roundabout. After 9 miles, park at the junction with Forest Road 116. To catch the trailhead, walk north on Salmon la Sac Rd past Timber Cove Rd on your left, and cross Newport Creek. FR 116 will be the next road on your right, featuring a yellow gate. This is your starting point!
The entire hike is 7 miles roundtrip, with a gain of 2600 feet to the summit at 5034 feet.
Begin your ascent past the closed gate, and as you climb, ignore any options that branch off. After 1.7 miles, you’ll take a sharp right for trail #1343, the Hex Mountain trail, which is clearly marked with a wooden sign. The trail narrows here onto a spine of a ridge through the forest - be careful and watch your footing.
You’ll eventually head to your right and travel up the steep knob of the summit. If you’re terrified of heights, you might not want to continue at this point! If you’re a thrillseeker, prepare to be in your element.
On a clear day, you’ll soak in views of Rainier as well as other peaks. Take in the views and your accomplishment, grab a bite to eat, and then retrace your steps back to the trailhead and your car.
On your way back to the main highway, stop for a hearty bite to eat at Roslyn Mexican Grill. It’s a warm, authentic spot that focuses on ‘pre-Hispanic cuisine’, which is made up of the ingredients consumed by people across Mexico and Central America before takeovers led to fusion and new dishes. There are small plates as well as more familiar dishes that use lots of traditional ingredients, and a few tasty vegetarian options. The barbacoa burrito is grilled to order and after a day in the snow, hits every spot.
Relax, eat up, and then head home.
They will e-mail you.