Poo Poo Point Hike Report
OK, let's first start with why Poo Poo Point has such a memorable name. According to one of the hiking guidebooks written by the late hiking and environmental advocate Harvey Manning, the name comes from the logging industry about a century ago.
Loggers used whistles to communicate from the logging tower operator to the workers down the hill. According to the Issaquah Historical Society, the whistle would be a signal that two logs were tied to a cable, ready to be towed.
So there you have it. If you had some other more juvenile idea in mind as to the origins of the name, well that's you.
Poo Poo Point is just outside Issaquah, WA., and is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Seattle area. This means that if you want a parking spot at the trailhead, get there early! It's also where paragliders and hang-gliders take off from. Not during the winter, but in the summer months they are almost constant and a lot of fun to watch.
I arrived at the Chirico Trail trailhead at 8 am, crossed the field where the gliders land, and started the ascent. The Chirico trail is only 3.8 miles, roundtrip, so it's short enough to do and get back in time for lunch if you start early enough. You're going to gain 1,760 feet in 1.9 miles and get to a total elevation of 1,850 feet.
The trail is very well maintained, although there are a couple of locations where folks have created a shortcut. Please don't use these as they cause erosion of the trail which is bad for everyone.
About halfway up, the lengths of trail that were covered in snow/ice pack started to get longer and slippery so I took a break and strapped on my crampons. I strongly recommend bringing crampons for any hike in the mountains between November and April.
I took my time on the hike, filming segments for Amputee Outdoors, so I didn't reach the summit until about 11:30 am. Once there I was pleased to find Mt. Baker to the north was not just visible, but clearly so.
I set up my hammock, got out my flask of hot chocolate (always tastes better when it's been snowing), and my lunch.
Relaxing there for about an hour I watched other hikers come and go, all marveling at the view.
The weather started to change around 12:30 pm so I packed up and started down the hill. Good thing too as the clouds moved in and it started snowing. I saw a lot of slide tracks on the trail where folks without crampons had slipped and slid down the hill. Hopefully, they didn't injure themselves.
Poo Poo Point is hikable just about all year round, but only if you have the right gear. If you plan on going up there this winter, please make sure to have crampons and later in the winter, snow shoes.
See you out there!