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May Valley Loop

Issaquah Alps

Location

Issaquah Alps -- Squak Mountain
View map below

Length

6.6 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1684 ft.
Highest Point: 2024 ft.

Rating

2.96 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2018
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

This forested park, a wilderness with glimpses of Issaquah below, has miles of winding trails alongside bubbling creeks and narrow ravines. There are several trail loop options on this 2,024-foot-high mountain. With multi-use trails and a natural area, hikers have plenty to explore in this quiet sanctuary outside of Issaquah.

For those visiting for the first time, or those looking for a new way to experience this side of the mountain, try the May Valley Loop, which climbs through the lush forest on the south side of the mountain to Central Peak, then back down to the Squak Mountain State Park trailhead. 

From the trailhead, head up the main road, then turn left onto the May Valley Loop trail, a few hundred feet from the trailhead. Continue on this trail, veering left at a T intersection a half mile after you turned off the old road. Another half mile along, stay left and continue to climb. 

A half mile beyond that, arrive at a junction. A trail branches off to the right here, which you can take to shorten this loop. It will reconnect with the Squak Mountain service road, which you can follow back to the parking area. 

To continue the longer loop, stay straight at this intersection. Hike for about 1 mile, then arrive at a 4 way intersection. Here, turn right onto the Bullitt Fireplace trail. Stay on this trail as it passes the fireplace, then continues around and up to the summit of Squak Mountain. 

At the summit, hop onto the South Access Road and hike downhill. At a switchback, veer off the road onto trail, which you will stay on for a quarter-mile. At a 'T' intersection, turn left and hike another quarter mile to an intersection with the May Valley Loop trail. 

Stay on this trail, turning either left or right at another T intersection (they reconnect). You will wind back up on a trail that connects to the access road. Walk around a locked gate and stay on the road all the way back to the trailhead. 

WTA Pro Tip: The park features a self-guided interpretive walk along the .3-mile Pretzel Tree Trail adjacent to the main trailhead. The trail is perfect for young kids, illustrating the importance of the creatures living in an ecosystem through Field Mouse's adventure on his search for the Pretzel Tree.

 

May Valley Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4819, -122.0542 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Issaquah Alps -- Squak Mountain

Washington State Parks

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/thumbnailAndmaps/8600342.pdf

National Geographic Issaquah Alps Mount Si 824

Buy the Green Trails Cougar Mountain No. 203S map

Getting There

Driving directions

The park is located just south of Issaquah. Exit I-90 at Exit 15 and turning southbound on Issaquah-Renton Road, drive 4 miles, then turn left on the May Valley Road.  Drive 2.5 miles to the Squak Mountain State Park parking lot (21500 May Valley Road) on the left.

Another alternative for those coming from Issaquah and east: Go south on Front Street through downtown Issaquah (changes to Issaquah-Hobart Road) for about five miles. Turn right (west) on to SE May Valley Road. The trailhead parking is on right after around 1.5 miles.

Take Transit

Take the bus to the trailhead!

For the 2019 hiking season, Trailhead Direct is providing transit service from the Seattle area to popular trails in the area. 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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May Valley Loop

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