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Bullitt Fireplace Trail

Issaquah Alps

Location

Issaquah Alps -- Squak Mountain
View map below

Length

4.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1100 ft.
Highest Point: 1830 ft.

Rating

3.00 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Hike a two-mile forest trail on the north side of Squak Mountain to reach the site of a former cabin owned by the Bullitt family. Only the massive fireplace and the foundation remain today. Optionally, extend your hike to Central Peak, the highest point on Squak Mountain (no view,) and make it an interesting loop by returning via the Old Griz and East Side Trails.

From the trailhead, the Bullitt Fireplace Trail heads steadily uphill. Along the way you will pass signed junctions with several other trails. Stay on the Bullitt Fireplace Trail and it will take you to the cabin site.

Enjoy the forest here, not just the trees but all the moss and ferns too. In spring and early summer be alert for a few wildflowers.

In just under two miles the fireplace looms up about 50 feet off the trail on the right. Nearby, a rustic picnic table is available in case you want to sit for a few minutes.You can, of course, return to the trailhead the way you came. Or, for a more interesting but longer and more strenuous option see below.

Extending Your Hike

This option will add 1.5 miles to your round trip, with an extra 250 feet or so of elevation gain.

Continue on the Bullitt Fireplace Trail another 0.3 miles beyond the fireplace and reach a junction with the Central Peak Trail, where you turn right. In an additional 0.3 miles, with about 200 feet of elevation gain, reach the 2024-foot "summit" of Central Peak.

The fenced summit area is occupied by communication towers, and an official benchmark is installed just outside the fence on the south side. There is no view here. There often is a portable toilet available.

To continue, head back down the Central Peak Trail the way you came. In less than 0.1 mile, turn right on the Old Griz Trail (Most likely named after an old miner. There are no grizzly bears in the park.)

The next 0.4 miles of the Old Griz Trail pass through some of the most beautiful forest you will see on Squak Mountain. Take time to enjoy it. The light is best in the early morning when the sun comes through the trees at a very low angle.

Pass a junction with Phils Creek Trail (this is the Green Trails map spelling. The park folks prefer "Phil's," with an apostrophe.) Continue another 0.3 miles on the Old Griz Trail to reach a T-junction with the East Side Trail, where you turn left.

The East Side Trail offers a fairly level traverse for 0.8 miles, then rejoins the Bullitt Fireplace Trail at a junction you will recognize from your incoming hike. Follow the Bullitt Fireplace Trail a mile back to your trailhead.

Historical Note: Charles Stimson "Stim" Bullitt (d. 2009,) who had the cabin built in 1952 as a weekend retreat, was an avid outdoorsman and an active climber well into his 80s. The Bullitt family owned and managed Seattle's KING radio and TV stations, and had extensive real estate holdings that included 590 acres here on Squak Mountain. The cabin was not used often and it fell into disrepair. It was vandalized repeatedly, and eventually it burned. Later, the Bullitt family donated the land to the state to form the nucleus of Squak Mountain State Park.

 

Bullitt Fireplace Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5211, -122.0560 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Issaquah Alps -- Squak Mountain

Bullitt Fireplace (#)

Washington State Parks

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Guidebooks & Maps

King County Parks PDF Map: https://bit.ly/2QtetqD

Getting There

Driving Directions

From I-90 (Exit 17) in Issaquah, head south on Front Street through the picturesque old part of town. At the traffic light at Sunset Way, turn right. In 0.2 miles cross SE Newport Way, then bear left onto Mountain Park Blvd SW. This street changes direction abruptly several times. In about 0.7 miles bear left onto Mountainside Dr SW. In about 0.3 miles, where the street makes a very sharp turn to the left, pull into the small parking area on the right. There is room for about six cars here. As of summer 2017 both shoulders of Mountainside Dr are being widened, and this may provide additional parking options.

There is no posted Discover Pass requirement at the trailhead, and it is not clear exactly where the city street shoulders end and the park property begins. But why tempt fate? If you have a Discover Pass, it would be good to display it.

The Bullitt Fireplace Trail is open to hikers only. Sorry, no bikes or horses. Dogs must be on a leash.

Official park hours are summer, 6:30 AM - dusk; winter, 8 AM - dusk.

A picnic table and a portable toilet are available at the trailhead. Because of former mining activities there is no potable water in the park, so be sure to bring water.

Take Transit

If you are travelling by bus, the options are not the best. King County Metro routes 271 and 554 have weekday service to downtown Issaquah, but that's over a mile from the trailhead and 600 feet lower. The Trailhead Direct weekend shuttle, initiated in the summer of 2017, unfortunately does not go to this trailhead, but it does stop at Margaret's Way. Check this site for the most up-to-date info.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Bullitt Fireplace Trail

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