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Trail Report: A relatively mellow hike with good views and close proximity to Snoqualmie Pass. In spite of the record warm October temperatures fall colors are really starting to pop.
About half a mile into this hike, within the first wooded section, came across a black bear and her cub about 25 years upslope of the trail. She popped up a bit, enough to have a look at me, and then dropped right back down into the berry bushes. Both seemed preoccupied with their pre-hibernation foraging.
The forested stroll takes about 2 miles heading south before turning west and gaining the foot of the ridge. This section lasts about half a mile and is spotted with ground cover clearings full of fall color. The ridge opens up to reveal a mildly steep ascent to Silver Peak to the north. Expect a few hand holds heading up and perhaps one descending. Views at the summit are surprisingly rewarding, Mt. Rainier looked spectacular in the distance.
Bugs are done for the season. Not much in the way of water sources so you'll be carrying what you need.
The drive up FR-9070 was mellow all the way up to the parking spot for Mt. Catherine. It's just a little way past that point to the trailhead for Silver Peak, but that short section of road seemed really rocky. High clearance vehicles are recommended or just park at the Mt. Catherine trailhead and walk up to the start for Silver Peak.
~5.6 miles out-and-back, ~2,100 ft of climb, peak elevation 5,605 ft.
Here's some additional background on Silver Peak.