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Mount Si

At: Washington, United States
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About: Mount Si (pronounced sigh) is a small mountain in the U.S. state of Washington. Although just 4167 feet high, it lies on the western margin of the Cascade Range just above the coastal plains around Puget Sound, and towers over the nearby town of North Bend. The mountain was named after local homesteader Josiah "Uncle Si" Merritt. It was made famous in the show Twin Peaks, which was filmed in North Bend. Only about a 45-minute drive from Seattle, the mountain is a favorite outdoor destination for Puget Sound locals. On most summer days one can count numerous hikers on the trail to the summit. Mount Si gets between 80,000-100,000 hikers annually. The trail climbs 3,200 ft (3,500 ft including the "Haystack") in about 4 miles, making it an ideal conditioning trip, and it is open during the winter and spring when most of the Cascades are snowed in. Hikers wanting extra exercise will carry up jugs of water in backpacks, then empty them at the top so as to reduce knee stress on the walk down. The trail only goes as far as the summit ridge at the base of the "Haystack". The ascent of the Haystack to the actual summit is a short but somewhat exposed scramble and not recommended in wet or snowy conditions. Oceanic Plate Volcano Mt. Si is a remnant of an oceanic plate volcano and the rocks are highly metamorphosed. In local native legend Mount Si figures prominently in a Prometheus story from the Snoqualmie tribe. According to the story, recorded by Ella Clark in 1953, it is the dead body of Snoqualm, the moon. Snoqualm had ordered that a rope of cedar bark be stretched between the earth and the sky. But Fox and Blue Jay went up the rope and stole the sun from Snoqualm. Snoqualm chased them down the cedar rope, but it broke and he fell to his death. Fox then let the sun free in the sky and gave fire to the people. A face like Snoqualm's is visible on the rocks near the summit.


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