Length: ~15 miles, roundtrip
Elevation: ~5900 feet
Summit: 7,960 feet
NW Forest Pass required
Mt. Daniel, at 7960 feet, is the highest point in King County and, for the most part, a pretty easy climb. After doing a dayhike to Peggy’s Pond the week before, Aaron and I decided to bag this peak the next weekend.
We arrived at the trailhead on Saturday to a balmy 96 degrees and a cloud of mosquitos. Luckily, the trees provided some relief from the sun and constantly moving seemed to keep the mosquitos at bay. We made the hike from the parking lot to our campsite at Peggy’s Pond in about 3 hours.
While setting up camp, we were swarmed by no less than 12 million voracious mosquitos intent on draining us of our blood. I took a quick dip in Peggy’s Pond (actually a decent alpine lake, filled with trout, and, while chilly, not soul-freezingly cold). We ate dinner as it grew dark, snapped a few pics of the sunset, and watched the uber-bright near-full moon rise over Cathedral Rock.
We awoke at 6 am the next morning and set off on our ascent of Daniel’s summit at 7. We took many breaks to admire the sunrise and the surrounding views as we made our way up the SE Ridge. The trail was pretty easy to follow and if we happened to lose the footpath, we just aimed up the ridge and picked up the trail again.
After 3 hours of climbing, with the occasional scramble, we finally reached the summit. The summit register was signed and I cracked open my celebratory and customary PBR. After about half an hour, we started our descent. Going down was much faster due to the aid of gravity and a few choice snowfield glissades!