This Sunday: Alumni Hike with Tom Hinckley!

This Sunday, July 14, Professor Emeritus Tom Hinckley will be leading a group hike to discover some secret treasures on the east side of Squak Mountain in the Issaquah Alps. So if you’d like to get out and celebrate the sunshine, strap on your boots and come out and join him!

Tom Hinckley

A spring ski trip to Shrode Lake in Prince William Sound effectively captures the exact OPPOSITE of your potential visual experiences this coming Sunday, says Hinckley. To be a real hiker, one must love the extremes!

The plan is to hike the Sycamore Access Trail to the East Ridge Trail. From there, depending on interest and ability, they will either trek just beyond the summit of Southeast Peak—to see a very large old-growth tree on an unofficial and recently developed trail, about 1,500 feet in elevation gain—or up to Thrush Gap and then Phil’s Creek Trail, down to the Eastside Trail and back to Thrush Gap via the Gap Connector. You’ll experience a wide diversity of stand histories and compositions, as well as some interesting and infrequently used trails. Elevation gain using this latter route is closer to 2,000 feet, and there’s even an opportunity, if energy and time allow, to head another 500 feet to the top.

“This is a gem for forest and understory lovers,” says Hinckley. “It’s close to Seattle but not like the West Tiger III or Mount Si trails with regard to numbers, it gives a great workout, and it will rekindle memories of Dave Scott or Reini Stettler or Linda Brubaker from our school training.”

Hikers should meet at noon in the Issaquah High School parking lot. Hinckley recommends carpooling since there is limiting parking at the trailhead, and you’ll have to bring your own water and provisions. Students, faculty and staff are also invited, and if you’re interested in joining, please email Hinckley ( to maximize car space and make sure he’s expecting you!

Also, hold October 5 and 6 open for a Methow Valley hike to see the subalpine larches!

Photo © Tom Hinckley