Total Ascent: 1200ft
Highest Point: 5480ft
Total Distance: 5.5 miles
Location: N 47° 40.0080, W 121° 13.4700
Required Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
We recently had a chance check out Tonga Ridge, one of the most popular ridge hikes along Highway 2. With long views and a gentle grade, it’s easy to see why Tonga Ridge attracts so many hikers, and now that we near the end of summer, the trail is likely to see more traffic than usual as huckleberry pickers flock to the slopes of Mt. Sawyer to harvest this year’s crop.
This is a great all-season trail that we recommend every hiker. Whether you’re looking for a snowshoe, springtime wildflowers, summer berry picking or autumn colors, Tonga Ridge delivers. The trail is also fairly easy and should be approachable for hikers of all ages and experience, which tends to draw in the crowds. You can expect to share the trail with a lot of other folks on this popular hike, and the limited parking at the trailhead can be challenge on a crowded day. If at all possible, try to hit Tonga Ridge on a weekday when traffic will be lighter.
There's a lot more to Tonga Ridge, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington. You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support hikingwithmybrother.com and the work we do by picking up a copy!
To get there, take Highway 2 out past Skykomish just beyond milepost 50. Take a right onto FR 68, also known as the Foss River Road. Continue for about three-and-a-half miles to a junction, taking a left onto FR 6830 and following it for almost seven miles to the signed 310 spur. Head right onto the spur and drive a little over a mile to the end of the road and the trailhead. -Nathan
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