One of the best things about hiking a familiar trail in the snow is that it doesn’t seem so familiar.
Such is the case with the Hugo Peak Trail in Pack Forest near Eatonville.
Here’s what it looks like most days:
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And here’s what it looks like this week:
Relatively easy to access from my house, the trail has served a workout hill for me in recent years. As a result I’ve come to feel as if I know every bend, root and rock along the 4-mile (round trip) trail. I’ve always enjoyed how much it can change throughout the year, but even in the winter I haven’t often encountered significant snow on the trail.
But during a Jan. 11 evening hike on the trail, Pack Forest was in rare form. With about six inches of snow on the ground the usually bland hike was a winter wonderland. It took a bit longer, of course, to make the hike up 1,000 feet to sign the summit register so we needed headlamps for the return trip.
On the way down we were given one last reward for our effort: A beautiful orange sunset.
If you go, take the 10 essentials and consider using trekking poles and micro-spikes. Visitors should be comfortable navigating in snow when the trail route isn’t always obvious.
DIRECTIONS: From state Route 512, take the Pacific Avenue (Route 7) exit and travel south for about 22 miles. Pack Forest will be on your left.