Starting about 8am, I went up Hamilton via the scenic route and down the N side via Don's Cutoff. It was a vey nice day, so even early on the parking lot was 3/4 full. As a result, I expected to see more folks on the trail but that was not the case - more than usual but no hoards.
Trail is completely clear of snow to the summit and almost all clear down the N ridge to the big saddle (there is one short, steep snow-covered section that suggests caution). From the big saddle, I had an interesting view of Hamilton and Hood.
After a short hike down the fire road and before in comes to the first turn, you reach Don's Cutoff.
I've enthused about this trail before because it lets you replace a kinda dull hike down an old road with one on a nice trail through the woods. . The trail is well built with steps and a little retaining wall.
You come out on the straight part of the old road that leads directly down to the main Hamilton trail. At least this part of the road is flat, shaded, and near the creek. When I got back to the parking lot around noon it was over-flowing, with two WA state park rangers directing traffic and managing parking spots. It reminded me why I like getting going early.
This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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