October 11, 2015
While most folks hiking the Elk-Thurston trail stop at the summit of Elk Mountain (the first bump) to call for a day, mom and I figured we should continue to Mt. Thurston. The true summit of this mountain is actually forested but a few bumps along the ridge traverse offer some nice views.
Elk Mountain is such a small bump with only less than 50 m of prominence. That meant we’d have minimal elevation loss before going up towards Mt. Thurston. The trail was easy to follow but the further we went, the less well-maintained it got. After one or two bumps we took a wrong turn and lost the trail, but managed to correct ourselves without too much of a detour. Then it’s the final rise towards the true summit (and into the forest again).
For those feeling adventurous this trail actually continues on to the summit of Mt. Mercer further east along the ridge, but given the weather we didn’t feel like adding that to the agenda. Traversing back to Elk Mountain we managed to not lose the trail again. We even managed to bypass the summit of Elk Mountain so avoided that tiny bit of elevation regain. And then it’s the forested descent along the main trail – nothing worth noting except for it’s a bit tiring on the knees if you haven’t been out for a long while.
Overall this was rather an uneventful day, but a good family hiking objective nonetheless.