The 6.5-mile climb to South Bessemer Mountain follows a network of logging roads for a challenging—and lightly traveled—hike tk minutes from Seattle. The route begins with a gentle climb on a gated logging road. At mile 1.1, merge onto the unsigned CCC Trail and cross Big Blowout Creek. From here, the route switchbacks through young forest and passes a quarry. Just beyond the quarry, at the end of the next switchback, hikers can scramble down to the Big Blowout creekbed for a short, off-trail side trip to a 50-foot waterfall.
After backtracking to the logging road, head northeast to continue the climb on the steep and gravelly road. At mile 5.2, the road enters a young forest with views of Russian Butte and the Pratt River Valley. Catch your breath here and prepare for the last mile of the climb, which follows a run-down road covered with rocks and boulders.
Crest the 5,028-foot summit of South Bessemer at mile 6.5. Rising nearly a thousand feet higher than nearby Mt. Si, this peak offers far-reaching views of Seattle’s and Bellevue’s skyscrapers, Green Mountain, Rattlesnake, Cedar Butte, Mt. Washington and Mailbox. In the far distance, the snow-covered Cascade peaks—including Rainer—break up the skyline. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.
-Mapped by Nathan and Jeremy Barnes, hikingwithmybrother.com