Mount Teneriffe

Trail Highlights:Panoramic and mountain views
Round-trip Distance:13.25 miles / 21.30 km
Location:Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area,
Snoqualmie Pass / Snoqualmie Valley, Washington Central Cascades

Ancestral lands of the Snoqualmie
Directions:
  • From east- and westbound Interstate 90, take Exit 32
  • From Exit 32, turn left from eastbound/right from westbound onto 436th Ave. SE and proceed 0.50 miles/0.80 km
  • Turn left onto SE North Bend Way and proceed 0.30 miles/0.50 km
  • Turn left on SE Mt. Si Road and proceed 2.90 miles/4.70 km
  • Turn left into parking lot, indicated by a small sign

  • The parking lot is gated and closed to use every evening at different times throughout the year. Be sure to note the posted closing time before your hike and return to the trailhead before the gate is closed.
    Required Pass:Discover Pass or equivalent for state recreation sites
    Additional Trail Info:Washington Trails Association
    Washington Department of Natural Resources

    Uh-oh! Please check back later or use this site's Contact form to let HesperosFlown.com know this link is broken.A panoramic view awaits atop Mount Teneriffe, but that vista is hard earned.  The trail climbs moderately to steeply throughout most of its distance.  It begins gently enough, surrounded by pleasant, even if relatively young second-growth forest, but soon begins its persistent ascent.  At about 4.20 miles/6.70 km from the trailhead, it reaches the ridge between q̓əlbc̓/Mount Si and Mount Teneriffe just beneath Blowdown Mountain, where it flattens briefly before resuming its climb to West Teneriffe, the next minor peak along the ridge.  From there, it drops through close, gloomy new forest before rising again to the open sky of the true summit. Views sprawl in all directions: the Middle and South Fork Snoqualmie valleys directly below, the Salish Sea and Olympic Mountains to the west, Mt. Rainier to the south, and a host of other Cascade Mountains to the east and north.

    At 0.90 miles/1.40 km from the trailhead, the Teneriffe Falls Trail branches right, marked by a large sign.  In spring and early summer when waterfall is flowing (it reduces to a trickle after the early season snowmelt), it is a worthy, even if lengthy detour of approximately 1.90 miles/3.10 km one way from the main trail. However, the Teneriffe Falls Connector Trail between the Teneriffe Falls Trail and the Mount Teneriffe Trail saves about 0.70 miles/1.10 km on the return from the falls by connecting to the main trail farther up the mountainside. Even if you choose to skip the falls, the connector trail also provides opportunity to vary the route to the summit while adding only an additional 0.60 miles/1.00 km to the total distance. All trail junctions are well marked.

    Along the main trail, signs mark junctions with the Roaring Creek Trail and Talus Loop, which offer other route options, including connections to Mount Si and even Little Si farther west. For more information on the trail network, check out the Washington Department of Natural Resources’ Mount Si NRCA Trail Map.

    Although you will encounter other hikers along the trail, its round-trip distance and challenging pitch keep many at bay, especially past the cut-off to Teneriffe Falls. Adding to the relative solitude, the trail is mostly shielded from freeway noise, unlike many other trails along the Interstate 90 corridor. Despite its impressive finale, few views punctuate its lengthy woodland traverse as forest reclaims the sky from past clear-cut logging. Instead, rushing streams, calling birds, and a wide assortment of scattered wildflowers add interest to the arduous trek. Although the trail’s tread is generally smooth, there are sections of loose rock, especially where the grade is steep, and the summit block’s final ascent is a bit of a scramble. Be prepared with your traction gear of choice. At the peak, use caution when moving about, as a sheer drop plunges within steps of its eastern edge. The task attained, enjoy the soaring views and see how many natural and human landscape features you can identify in every direction.

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    The trail begins in second-growth forest, evidenced by small, uniformly sized, closely spaced trees studded with the stubs of branches recently shed as they burgeoned upward. Nevertheless, it has the character of mature forest in most places, with well developed communities of understory and middlestory plant species. Mount Teneriffe Trail, July 02, 2023.
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    The woodland wayside is sprinkled with a surprising variety of spring and summer wildflowers, including, first column from left, dwarf brambles (Rubus lasiococcus) (top), ocean spray (Holodiscus discolor) (center), and red elderberries (Sambucus racemosa) (bottom); second column, thimbleberries (R. parviflorus) (top), Siberian springbeauties (Claytonia sibirica) (center), and stinky Bobs, or, herb-Roberts (Geranium robertianum) (bottom); third column, broadleaf lupines (Lupinus latifolius) (top), star-flowered false Solomon’s seals (Maianthemum stellatum) (center), and purple foxgloves (Digitalis pupurea) (bottom); fourth column, buttercups (Ranunculus sp.) (top), common self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) (center), and American twinflowers (Linnaea borealis) (bottom); fifth column, coastal brookfoams (Boykinia occidentalis) (top), Pacific bleeding hearts (Dicentra formosa) (center), and sylvan goatsbeards (Aruncus sylvester) (bottom); sixth column, common beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax) (top), western starflowers (Lysimachia latifolia) (center), and Pacific coralroot orchids (Corallorhiza mertensiana) (bottom); seventh column, pioneer violets (Viola glabella) (top), Sitka valerians (Valeriana sitchensis) (center), and salmonberries (R. spectabilis) (bottom); and, eighth column, Cooley’s hedge-nettles (Stachys colleyae) (top), largeleaf avens (Geum macrophyllum) (center), and fool’s-huckleberries (Rhododendron menziesii) (bottom). Mount Teneriffe Trail, June 16, 2014 and July 02, 2023.
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    At approximately 4.20miles/6.70 km, the trail mercifully flattens as it traverses the ridge between Blowdown Mountain and Mount Teneriffe before resuming its rigorous climb. In contrast with the pleasant lowland woods, the forest here was recently logged, resulting in patchy openings to the sky with glimpses of the surrounding peaks.
    Mount Teneriffe Trail, July 02, 2023.
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    Near the summit, the woodland reduces to a bristle of young forest recovering from past logging in the harsh environment of high altitude. Mount Teneriffe Trail, June 16, 2014.
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    The trail ends with a short scramble up Mount Teneriffe’s stony summit block. Use care at the peak, as falls off its exposed eastern face could be disastrous. Mount Teneriffe Trail, June 16, 2014 and July 02, 2023.
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    A 360-degree view encircles the summit. Mount Si‘s notched peak perches at the end of the mountain ridge extending west from Mount Teneriffe. North Bend, Washington stretches below. The lake on the distant left is Rattlesnake Lake pooling at the base of Rattlesnake Ledge on Rattlesnake Mountain. The Salish Sea’s silver sliver lies just beneath the horizon, punctuated by the skyscrapers of Seattle, Washington. Beyond, the Olympic Mountains merge with the clouds. Mount Teneriffe Trail, July 02, 2023.
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    Northeast, the ridge stretches on from Mount Teneriffe’s peak to Green Mountain on the left. To the north, east, and south, more Cascade Mountains continue beyond sight. Mount Teneriffe Trail, July 02, 2023.
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    On a clear day, Mt. Rainier is an imposing presence at the summit and in peekaboo glimpses along the trail.
    Mount Teneriffe Trail, July 02, 2023.
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    Even on the stony summit, look for — and be careful not to trample — curious alpine wildflowers, including cliff paintbrushes (Castilleja rupicola) (here, emerging from a carpet of common juniper, Juniperus communis) (left), Davidson’s beardtongues (Penstemon davidsonii) (upper center), spreading phlox (Phlox diffusa) (lower center), and common harebells (Campanula rotundifolia) (right). Mount Teneriffe Trail, June 16, 2014 and July 02, 2023.

    © 2023-2024 Anthony Colburn. Images may not be used or reproduced in any form without express written consent.

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