Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Mount Tahoma Trails Association: The Yurt

The Yurt


Yurts, fire lookouts, state park run cabins... I want to experience them all! Growing up in Southern California my entire life, none of these things existed down there. Yurts and fire lookouts were mythical places to me in far away lands. Then I moved to Washington almost 3 years ago and there's no turning back. This amazing state offers yurts, fire lookouts, wooden cabins, and so much more! It is also very affordable to stay in these places and not break the bank. So when a friend booked a yurt for the weekend 5 miles deep in the woods, of course I couldn't turn down the opportunity to stay in another magical place!

So the planning got going...

Mount Tahoma Trails Association

Mount Tahoma Trails Association manages 4 different huts in the area and all are open to the public during the day and permits are needed if you plan to stay overnight in them:

Permits

Because the winter weekend dates are in such high demand, Mt Tahoma Trails Association holds a raffle event at REI before the snow season starts to raffle off the most sought after weekend dates (late December - March seem to be the most popular weekend dates). After the event, they open up the online reservations to the public to book. Most weekday dates are left open and not in high demand, so if you have weekdays off, it's a great opportunity to snag a permit!

We were surprised when we logged on that there were still weekend dates available, so Sarina snagged the 1st weekend of December. We were shocked at how easy it was to get permits. But then realized those dates were not in high demand because there wasn't really much snow, and people enjoy going to these huts when there is a ton of snow. Oh well, we still had an awesome time!

Permit needed for parking: Sno-Park Permit. Since we were parking at trailhead for 2 days, we had to get the annual permit. It's either $20/day for a Sno-Park Day Pass or $40 for a Sno-Park Season Pass. Cody and I picked our permit up from the Alderwood REI. 

Our Yurt Adventure

As the dates soon approached, our group of friends were getting excited for the weekend getaway. The week before, the group started planning out our meals, going through our gear list, seeing what was needed and what was not (no tent or sleeping pad needed, less weight! Score!)

We decided on a group pasta dinner for Saturday night and a pancake breakfast. We coordinated who was bringing what. To say the least, we decided to luxury camp this weekend and brought a whole loaf of garlic bread and 2 jars of pasta sauce lol. 

Sarina and Amanda 
Approaching The Yurt

Saturday December 1, 2018

Cody and I left Lynnwood around 6:45 AM Saturday morning, stopped at a Subway in Tacoma to pick up sandwiches for lunch, and met our friends at the Upper Sno-Park parking lot by 9:30-10 AM. 

We geared up, and started our 5 mile road walk by 10:15 AM. We noticed a sign for Lower Yurt Trail but didn't take it and walked the entirety of the road to The Yurt. Cody and I later found out that the Lower Yurt Trail is actually a pretty flat hiking trail that leads you to the same place as the road, just less hilly. Noted for next time. Road walking was kinda boring with minimal snow on the ground. We reach The Yurt around 12:45 PM and all settled down at the table with our lunches. 

After lunch and a nap, we all lazed around The Yurt, coloring, taking photos, eating the bin of candy that was there, and just enjoying the warmth of being inside. 

The Yurt came fully equipped! More equipped than we expected. It had 2 bunk beds and 2 futons that sleep up to a total of 6 people. The kitchen came stocked with every sized pan and pot you can imagine, plates, bowls, cups, and utensils too! The stove ran on gas so we didn't have to bring our own pocket stoves. The oven doesn't work though, only the stove top. There was collected rain water and snow water reserved for us to use by the keepers of the hut. There were dominoes, coloring books, puzzles, all sorts of things for entertaining! They even had spare rain boots of all sizes and slippers for us to wear around the yurt. Also, the pit toilet was the cleanest pit toilet I had ever experienced! 
Cody is so happy to have made it to The Yurt!
The fully equipped kitchen!
The bunk beds 
As darkness fell upon us, and after a round of dominoes, we made dinner and relaxed for the night. The garlic bread was probably the biggest hit of the night. Since we didn't have an oven to toast it in, we toasted the loaf on a pan and it came out perfectly! 

Sarina and I tried to get some night shots of the yurt, but they weren't turning out due to the clouds in the sky so we called it a night. 

Sunday December 2, 2018

We all woke up around 7:30 AM, made some pancakes and hash browns, packed up, and hit the trail back to our cars by 9:45 AM. The hike back was uneventful. We past about 4 people hiking to Bruni's Snow Bowl. We ran into some of the volunteers who maintain the huts at the trailhead. They were heading up for the day in their trucks to do a lil more work before more snow fell. 

Overall, it was a blast staying at The Yurt for a night! Now I want to stay at the other 3 huts and see which one I like the most! 

Until next time Mount Tahoma Trails Association!
Cody and me!
Inside of the Yurt
Different angle of the yurt
Cody with Griffin Mountain behind him 
Group pic!
Homeward bound




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