Went on a short day hike today in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, WA. - Edgar Rock
Coming from Naches, WA you can access the trailhead off of HWY 410, making a left at the sight for "Lost Creek Village". The first part of the road is paved, but then turns to gravel and groomed dirt. If you have a 4-wheel drive you are fine no matter what, but if you don't then just be wary if you are venturing after a recent downpour.
About a mile before Lost Creek Village you will see a trail sign for "Lost Creek Trail #964." I parked on the side of the road there to access the trail, but be sure to check in with the Naches Ranger District Office to verify that parking there is still permissible whenever you get around to this hike someday.
The way to Edgar Rock is a gentle, but always inclined, series of switchbacks. The only place you are likely to get lost is shortly after the start where the trail forks. Look for the "trail" sign on a tree to point the way, but you'll bear right at the fork. There will be one on a tree to your left before you reach the fork, and if you turn the right way you'll see another (see image below) on a tree on your left shortly after.
Hitting it in May, just after a mild rain the day before, was fantastic. The tourist season has not quite arrived, so I had the trail to myself. Wildflowers were in bloom and the damp earth smell was intoxicating (if you like that sort of thing...ahem). And the sounds of birds and the creek nearby... made it a perfect, peaceful oasis, both in sights and in sounds - https://soundcloud.com/forestshadows/edgar-rock-trail-sounds
Most of the trail is shaded by firs and pine trees, and in spring finery - a vibrant green. The end of the trail gives you a lovely view of the Naches River sinuously making its way through the valley below. The surrounding mountains are covered in a carpet of fir trees - a delicious view to sit and drink in. Today was breezing and encouraged some pondering while sitting on the rock formations (the result of an ancient volcano I read). Not that I need much encouragement to ponder...
About a 2 hour round trip, give or take...depending on how often you stop for photos and how long you linger at the top. The wind sang up there: https://soundcloud.com/forestshadows/edgar-rock-summit-sounds
On the way up or down you might catch sight of two-boulders holding up a tree...or is it a tree holding up the boulders? Now, I probably wouldn't have paid much mind to this or even noticed it if I hadn't read about the phenomena in a few blogs about this hike. When I saw it I thought it a great metaphorical, tangible image of friendship. The tree and boulders aren't all that similar, they serve very different roles in the forest, and their chemical make up is vastly different. Yet, by each holding up the other, they remain strong together, and survive on the precarious hillside. They exist symbiotically, and isn't that just the nature of our truest friendships? We differ so greatly from those we love deeply, but by strengthening them and they strengthening us, we can survive on any precarious hillside too...and vibrantly.
Anyways, this is a great little hike to explore, and you might just find some metaphors.
*For an alternate trail review: http://visitrainier.com/edgar-rock-2/
**p.s. the rock was named for John Edgar - an army scout who met some Native American scouts near the rock in the early 1850s and was able to warn his lieutenant of coming danger and a potential battle. Today the rock stands as a monument to Edgar who was one of the first pioneers of the west.