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HILL’S HILLS: My 7 favorite local hills

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on Aug. 1, 2010 at 11:44 am |
August 1, 2010 11:44 am

I love hills, and not just the ones I’m related to.

For some reason I’ve always found the challenge of going uphill invigorating, even if I’m not always that good at it. I like bike rides and hikes to be uphill and when I run I prefer to go up.

That’s not to say I’m particularly good at this (although I don’t get passed very often) I just get more enjoyment out of it.

As promised in this morning’s package on hills, here are Hill’s hills. My favorite hills in (or close to) the South Sound area.

  • Fruitland Hill: This hill out of the Puyallup Valley isn’t the toughest around, but my buddies I ride with inevitably climb this road every Saturday. And every Saturday my friend Russ Meyers beats me to the top. On the rare occasion when I stay on his back tire all the way up, I know I’m in pretty good shape.
  • The Northern Loop: This hike on the northern side of the park has some of the steepest stretches of trail in Mount Rainier National Park. It’s also one of the most secluded hikes at Rainier.
  • Mount St. Helens: As far as day hikes go, this might be my favorite. When I can, I like to see how fast I can get up and down. I’m not blazing fast, but I’ve broken the 5-hour mark a couple of times. But nothing beats the view from the crater rim on a clear day.
  • Vassault: It hurts every time, but ever since I was a kid I’ve loved the Sound to Narrows race. I’m more of a plodder than a real runner and have never broken 50 minutes in the 12-kilometer race. But I always feel I’ve accomplished something if I can finish under an hour.
  • Eagle Peak: Every step of this hike is uphill. It’s not the most challenging uphill hike, but I love it because it starts at Longmire making it easy to access and it has great views.
  • Mailbox Peak: A good challenge with 4,000 feet of climbing in about 2.9 miles.
  • Mount Rainier: I know, three Rainier references on the same list, but it’s my list so I can do whatever I want. Climbing this mountain remains my favorite uphill experience. It’s a challenge even if you are fit. Unfortunately for me, my wife and made a deal after my first summit. I get to climb it once and then never again.
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