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Grand Ridge
Mountain/Rock

Grand Ridge

 
Grand Ridge

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 47.54961°N / 121.9627°W

Object Title: Grand Ridge

County: King

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 1422 ft / 433 m

 

Page By: Redwic

Created/Edited: Mar 18, 2009 / Mar 15, 2012

Object ID: 498935

Hits: 4520 

Page Score: 78.27%  - 9 Votes 

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Overview

 
Grand Ridge
Forested Slopes

Grand Ridge is a commonly hiked, seldom summited, and often forgotten, highpoint located within the Issaquah Alps area of Washington State. The reasons for this neglect by hikers is two-fold. First, Grand Ridge, at only 1422' elevation, is one of the smallest "highpoints" within the Issaquah Alps. Second, Grand Ridge is located on the north side of I-90, rather than the south side where more-popular hiking destinations Cougar Mountain, Tiger Mountain State Forest, Squak Mountain, and Taylor Mountain are located.
 
Grand Ridge Summit
Grand Ridge Summit

Unfortunately, most of the western side of Grand Ridge is either developed or planned for urban development in a community known as "Issaquah Highlands". Fortunately, however, as a part of a "4-to-1 agreement" started in the 1990s, four acres of King County park land is created for every one acre allowed for urban development in the "Issaquah Highlands". The result of this agreement was approximately 1,400 acres of land being donated as park land, now known as Grand Ridge Park.

Although Grand Ridge Park protects much of the upper elevations of the mountain, the summit was not originally protected by park land. Eventually, however, 475 acres of Mitchell Hill Connector Forest was established, connecting Grand Ridge Park to 1,000+ acres of DNR land to the east. The Mitchell Hill Connector Forest is where the summit of Grand Ridge is actually located. The summit has no far-ranging views, but is surrounded by a traditional lowland Northwest forest.

Trailheads, Summit Route

 
Grand Ridge Map
Route Map

The majority of the summit route follows the Grand Ridge Trail, a north-south YDS Class 1 trail traversing the western slopes of the mountain. There are three main trailheads for Grand Ridge Trail:
1) High Point Trailhead, located at the southeastern base of Grand Ridge. Starting at this location would mark the longest summit route, at approximately 8.0 miles roundtrip from this trailhead.

2) Coal Mine Trailhead, located at the southwestern base of Grand Ridge. This trailhead is actually an intersection of two trails: Issaquah-To-High Point Trail and Grand Ridge Trail. The summit route would be approximately 6.0 miles roundtrip from this trailhead.

3) Grand Ridge Drive Trailhead, located approximately halfway along the summit route. The summit route would be approximately 4.0 miles roundtrip from this trailhead.
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Grand Ridge Trail
Grand Ridge Trail


After the Grand Ridge Drive Trailhead/intersection, heading north along the Grand Ridge Trail, reference the following important areas:
1) Within the first mile of trail north of Grand Ridge Drive, the Grand Ridge Trail is intersected by an unmarked trail to the right (east). Keep following Grand Ridge Trail north; the other trail leads to a road intersection (SE 63rd St & 280th Dr SE) on the southern slopes of the mountain.

2) After approximately 0.3 miles further, 940' elevation, the main trail encounters a "Y" intersection. The Grand Ridge Trail heads to the right of the "Y" intersection; keep following the Grand Ridge Trail.
NOTE: The left trail leads northwest of the mountain slopes.

3) After approximately 0.3 miles further, 1000' elevation, the Grand Ridge Trail is intersected by an unmarked trail to the right (east). Turn onto this trail and follow it until the summit (1422' elevation) is reached.
NOTE: Private residences are located south and east of the summit area. Keep following the trail until the highest point is reached. It is possible to form a small trail "loop" to/from the summit.

Getting There

HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD:


1) Follow I-90 until Exit 20 ("High Point Way").
2) Head north on High Point Way, just beyond the I-90 intersection.
3) The gravel parking lot for High Point Trailhead is immediately located on the left (west) side of the road.

COAL MINE TRAILHEAD:


1) Follow I-90 until Exit 18 (Sunset Way, Highlands).
2) Head north along Highlands.
3) Turn right at NE Federal Drive (lighted intersection), which turns into NE Park Drive.
4) Follow NE Park Drive until Central Park (right/south side of road).
5) Park at the Central Park parking lot, then hike south along a trail for 0.5 miles until the Coal Mine Trailhead.

GRAND RIDGE DRIVE TRAILHEAD:


1) Follow I-90 until Exit 18 (Sunset Way, Highlands).
2) Head north along Highlands.
3) Turn right at NE Federal Drive (lighted intersection), which turns into NE Park Drive.
4) Follow NE Park Drive until it ends at the intersection with 30th Ave NE.
5) Turn right on 30th Ave NE.
6) Turn left on NE Harrison DRIVE (NOT Street, which is one block sooner).
7) At the intersection with Grand Ridge Drive (private road/community), park along NE Harrison Drive and walk 0.2 miles southeast to the trailhead.

Red Tape

Beginning during 2011, parking areas and trailheads within and for the Issaquah Alps region require a Discover Pass to be in each vehicle during the visit. Failure to have a Discover Pass visible within a parked vehicle at these locations can result in a substantial fine. For more information regarding the Discover Pass, please visit the official website.

In addition to hikers, trails within Grand Ridge Park and Mitchell Hill Connector Forest are commonly used by mountain bikers and equestrians.

Do not trespass onto the private residences located near the summit. Use hiker courtesy and try not to cause major disturbances.

There is an unmarked, unofficial trailhead located at the road intersection of SE 63rd St & 280th Dr SE. However, the road becomes a private road (i.e. NO TRESPASSING) beyond this location further up the mountain.

Camping

No camping is allowed in Grand Ridge Park or Mitchell Hill Connector Forest.

Images