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Gold Creek Trail - Green Mountain Vista (Kitsap County, WA) November 27, 2010

posted Nov 28, 2010, 9:43 AM by Gregory Hunt   [ updated Jan 1, 2011, 9:53 AM ]

Roundtrip=5mi/Trailhead=639/Elevation gain=1000ft/Highest Point 1639ft/DNR Recreational Map http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Publications/eng_rms_green_08_full.pdf

Directions: From Bremerton follow Kitsap Way (State Route 310) for 3 miles to Kitsap Lake. Turn left on Northlake Way, proceeding for 1 mile. Turn left onto the Seabeck Highway and follow it for 3 miles. Then turn left on Holly Road, proceeding for 3 miles. Turn left (south) onto Tahuya Lake Road and in 1.25 miles bear left onto Gold Creek Road. The trailhead is in 2 miles on your left. Privy available.

This is a great Saturday afternoon hike to get the blood going. Nick and I hiked to the top of Green Mountain earlier this year and intended this hike to take us to the old tin mine located on Gold Mountain. We took a wrong turn however, and ended at the top of Green Mountain. If you look at the first slide in the slideshow, you'll see the red highlighted path we took on the DNR Trail Map. With a round trip of about 5 miles and elevation gain of 1,000 feet, it was just enough to settle the turkey. Even this time of year the hike isn't too messy or cold. Just make sure to wear waterproof boots!

On the Gold Creek Trail, begin your hike in a recently cut area. Forested Green Mountain looms in front of you. In 0.4 mile enter cool forest along chattering Gold Creek. A few minutes later, cross the creek on a good bridge, then turn left at a junction. Shortly after, encounter another junction-on the left is the Plummer Trail, your return route. Hang a right, staying on the Gold Creek Trail.

Through a leathery dark-green understory of salal, bearberry, madrona, and rhododendron (visit in mid-May for the floral show), begin climbing. At 1 mile the trail splits (not shown on map). Either way works-they meet again soon enough. Limited views of the Olympics tease through the trees. At 1.5 miles reach a junction. The left (signed for Green Mountain Camp) is your return route. Continue right and in 0.25 mile come to another junction. Take the trail right, signed "Vista."Follow it past the summit parking lot (only open weekends in the summer), and in 0.4 mile reach the summit.

Find a few picnic tables and a rocky overlook. The once-sweeping vista of the Olympics is being crowded out by new growth. (Call in the loggers! It is a working forest.) Views eastward over Bremerton, Puget Sound, and out to the Cascades remain decent though. The real treat, however, is the view. To the far right of the panorama (last slide of the webshow) you can see our next hike, Gold Mountain. Really.