Hike of the week: Des Moines Creek Trail

February 11, 2011 

Hike description: We generally define a hike as a wilderness experience - that is, being away from urban civilization.

The Des Moines Creek Trail provides a wilderness ambiance in town and a welcome respite when time is a consideration.

Following the creek for the whole two miles, this trail offers something special in the midst of urban development.

The creek, as most creeks are, is at the bottom of a ravine. This setting effectively dampens most of the noise of the surrounding residential/highway areas so that you can enjoy the burbling creek as you walk along.

Most, but not all of the noise is taken away. What does come through during your hike is the sound of jets overhead as they go in and out of nearby Sea-Tac airport.

The jet noise is not constant, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the sounds of nature in this ravine.

The trail is paved the whole way. Cyclists use the trail as well as the labyrinth of dirt paths up the hill to the right. Side trails go off in either direction into the residential areas.

It is not until the very end of the residential area that you notice houses perched above the creek.

Directions: Take Interstate 5 to Exit 151 (South 200th Street). Head west on South 200th Street, about a half mile, to 20th Avenue South.

Trailhead parking is at the bottom of the hill, on the left, across from Tyee Valley Golf Course.

A chain-link fence, with gate, marks the trailhead parking area.

Difficulty rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)

Miles round-trip: Two

Elevation: Minimal

Best time of year: Year-round

Map: None available

Pass: None needed

Also: Park rules are posted at the trailhead – faster-moving traffic is to yield to slower-moving traffic, pack out what you pack in to keep the path pristine.

A yellow line painted down the center of the path helps to control the weekend traffic on the trail.

If you venture off on the side trails, please remember to be respectful of private property in the residential neighborhoods.

More information: www.desmoineswa.gov/dept/parks_rec/parks/parks.html

Hike of the Week is presented by The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/Backpacking Committee.

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