Leave it to Collin and Megan to find the off the beaten track trails. Change Creek is a trail. It shows up on the trail maps and my Strava tracked it:
But neither Alltrails nor WTA website have any information about it, so I can’t tell you what someone else would rate it. Let me take the initiative: this trail is now rated HARD.
It isn’t easy to find. In fact, I’m not sure I’d find it again. But if you must, from Seattle take exit 38 off I-90. Take a right (you’ll be on the SE Homestead Valley Road) and look for a parking lot. It’s not very well marked. Or not at all marked and it doesn’t look much like a parking lot. But if you see a large area where you can leave a car, that could be it.
The parking lot is on the left, the trail starts on the right. You’ll have to look hard, but it’s just to the right side of Change Creek.
The initial part of the trail is the connector trail between the parking lot and the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. The John Wayne Pioneer Trail is fantastic. Not so much for hiking, but for off road biking. I wouldn’t call it mountain biking, because it’s a nice, wide, railroad grade trail, but it isn’t paved. It’s gravel and so it requires some fat tires. I did one ride on it last year and had so much fun! I’m hoping to go back there, with my bike, soon.
Once we got to the John Wayne trail, we took a left and walked over the bridge. Then, somehow, we found the start of the Change Creek trail. How? I have no idea. Apparently, Megan and Collin have been there before.
The climb to the top was exhausting. This hike had the elevation gain of 1828 ft, which doesn’t seem that much, but it was all mostly during the first one mile! It was also rainy, but as long as we kept moving, it didn’t seem too cold. Here I am, pretty soaked, but still happy I made it out of the house on this wet, wet day.
There were a few nice spots along the way. The first one was Hall Point, with some amazing views.
The entire day was a classic Pacific NW spring day. It rained one minute and then the sun tried to peek out the next.
At about 850 m (according to Strava. Is Strava a European company?), or around 2790 ft., we started to see snow. We kept on for a while and got to J’s Landing and then went on a little farther.
At this point there was more and more snow on the ground and the trail got steep again (it did level out for a while, before J’s Landing, which was nice for a change), so we decided to turn around.
The sun was starting to come out and blue skies appeared. We dried off. But not for very long! By the time we got back to the car, it was pouring again.
All in all, it was a good hike. It was good to get out of the house and remember that when you live in this part of the world, you really can’t afford to always wait for the ideal weather conditions.
- YTD Hiking Miles: 19.2
- YTD Biking Miles: 139.3