Seattle, WA: Mount Teneriffe via Kamikaze Trail

You'll gain 3,700 feet of elevation in 3.4 miles--and pass a spectacular waterfall--on this stiff ascent of Mount Teneriffe, a 4,788-foot peak less than an hour from Seattle.
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You'll gain 3,700 feet of elevation in 3.4 miles--and pass a spectacular waterfall--on this stiff ascent of Mount Teneriffe, a 4,788-foot peak less than an hour from Seattle.

This challenging trek follows the unofficial Kamikaze Trail to the top of Mount Teneriffe, one of the lesser-known neighbors of Mount Si. The steep and unmaintained trail cuts more than 7 miles off the traditional 14-mile route that climbs a decommissioned logging road. From the school bus turnaround, follow the logging road past overgrown water towers and a few abandoned spur roads. Roughly one mile later, veer right on a path that crosses a talus field and a few small streams before connecting with another trail at Kamikaze Creek.
From here, the route steeply ascends the creek drainage, passing progressively more dramatic cascades before culminating at the 150-foot Kamikaze Falls at mile 2.4. Stop and take in the magnitude of this waterfall, a veil of water crashing down rocky outcroppings (especially stunning during the spring melt). Next, prepare for the relentless climb that traces a boot path barely scraped into the side of the mountain (you won't find any switchbacks). The trail weaves around the occasional boulder and ascends through stands of cedars and firs.
After 3.4 miles, crest the summit and soak up the views. You'll spy the haystack of Mount Si just to the west and neighboring Green Mountain to the northeast. Mailbox Peak and McClellan Butte rise to the east. On clear days, Glacier Peak, Mount Baker and Mount Rainier appear in the distance. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.
Note: This steep and rough route is best suited for experienced hikers. Hiking poles are a necessity, especially on the descent. A handful of routes to Kamikaze Falls have been closed by the Department of Natural Resources due to environmental damage. Volunteers are in the process of building a more sustainable trail to Kamikaze Falls.
-Mapped by Nathan and Jeremy Barnes, hikingwithmybrother.com

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 10.8

Waypoints

TEN001

Location: 47.4858962, -121.7002666

The unofficial Kamikaze Trail begins at the school bus turnaround on Mount Si Road. Walk past the blue gate and follow the logging road past overgrown water towers and a few abandoned spur roads.

TEN002

Location: 47.4945016, -121.7066181

Turn right (south) at 3-way junction. Note: This route is slightly longer, but it bypasses the old trail that the Department of Natural Resources closed due to heavy erosion.

TEN003

Location: 47.4985511, -121.7109594

Turn right, heading north up the trail. Note: Do not turn left; this portion of the trail is closed.

TEN004

Location: 47.5013152, -121.7087317

Pass a lovely two-stage cascade.

TEN005

Location: 47.5016631, -121.7081094

Kamikaze Falls: Stop and take in the magnitude of this 150-foot waterfall, a veil of water crashing down rocky outcroppings (especially stunning during the spring melt).

TEN006

Location: 47.5014529, -121.7062855

Take a snack break on this small bluff; the large boulders double as seats.

TEN007

Location: 47.5088237, -121.6952991

Mount Teneriffe (4,788 ft.): You'll spy the haystack of Mount Si just to the west and neighboring Green Mountain to the northeast. Mailbox Peak and McClellan Butte rise to the east. On good days, Glacier Peak, Mount Baker and Mount Rainier appear in the distance. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.

Kamikaze Falls

Location: 47.5018371, -121.7083025

The base of Kamikaze Falls.

Top of Kamikaze Falls

Location: 47.502098, -121.7078733

This point can be reached by bushwhacking. Use extreme caution.

Steep Grade

Location: 47.5040405, -121.7043114

The extreme grade of the trail.

Mount Teneriffe

Location: 47.5087658, -121.6952991

Looking down over the summit slope to the valley below