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
- Distance: 10.8
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.
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.
Location: 47.4985511, -121.7109594
Turn right, heading north up the trail. Note: Do not turn left; this portion of the trail is closed.
Location: 47.5013152, -121.7087317
Pass a lovely two-stage cascade.
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).
Location: 47.5014529, -121.7062855
Take a snack break on this small bluff; the large boulders double as seats.
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.
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.
Location: 47.5040405, -121.7043114
The extreme grade of the trail.
Location: 47.5087658, -121.6952991
Looking down over the summit slope to the valley below