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