Klahane (Klahhane) Ridge via Switchback (Trail)

Today was a trip to a new area (to me) so I trusted Waze to get me there. Mistake. Apparently the “Switchback Trail” in the app was not the correct one. It wasn”t until I passed Olympia that I pulled over to check.


Four hours from the time I left home (5am) I found myself on a foggy, then cloudy drive up Hurricane Ridge Road. For a moment I thought my day was a bust … too much driving and not enough clearing. But one must always have hope ♡
There are three consecutive tunnels leading to the pullout trailhead for Switchback Trail. Coming through the last tunnel it was clearing out nicely up ahead. In recovery we always say: ” don’t quit before the miracle happens”.
I got my miracle.
My plan was to hike the Klahane Ridge from the Switchback Trail. I read a few days ago about a bear at the trailhead so I armed myself with bell, spray and air horn. The lot is fairly small, so get there early ! The trail is a series of steep switchbacks up to a junction. The switchbacks seem to be steeper the shorter they were. It is not a loop trail so keep in mind “what goes up, must come down”. You’ll pass through an eerily beautiful “Ghost Forest” and as the trail opens up the flowers are just beginning to pop. Lots of delicate glacier lillies and a few orange Indian Paintbrush. This trail will explode in a week or two.
A few muddy spots after a few water crossings early on. But the trail overall is in very good shape.I explored along Klahane Ridge toward Lake Angeles but a snowfield became my turn around point. I’ll definitely be back to explore.
I totally fell in love with this trail today. Here is my photo log.




4 Comments on “Klahane (Klahhane) Ridge via Switchback (Trail)

  1. On my list! Klahhane, with two “h”s, when the snow melts and the flowers bloom. Might have to camp though. Beautiful flower photos.

    • I imagine there are at least a few days worth of exploring to be had on those trails. Camping is probably the way to go ( maybe for me next time too, given the ridiculously long drive I took today 🙃)

  2. I’d love to hike at Rainier with you sometime this summer! I definitely get the sense that we both love the same things, from the grand sweeping views to the teensiest little wildflowers 🙂

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