Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Karma via Lopez Right-of-Way and Pipeline

Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 40 min

Karma is a short, forgiving trail that makes for a great stroll for hikers, and is a good training ground for new bikers. With its gentle slope and banked corners, I often see families on this trail with kids getting their first introduction to mountain biking.

An autumn walk through Karma

Karma is easily accessed from the north boundary of Galbraith Mountain. I often start out from Lopez Right-of-Way off of Yew Street. There's no parking on Lopez Right-of-Way but it's a convenient walk from my home.

This unlabeled entryway into Galbraith is on the east side of Yew Street, in between Alvarado Street and San Juan Boulevard. The start of the trail is marked by a large squared-off power pole. A metal gate put up by Puget Sound Energy discourages vehicles from going through the right-of-way.

Raney enters Galbraith through the Lopez Right-of-Way gate
Lopez Right-of-Way follows the powerline and before long intersects with the northern end of Pipeline Trail. It's a quick entry point into Galbraith if you're coming from Yew Street, although for much of the year it's muddy and has puddles to be skirted.
Galbraith's puddles: irresistible to Raney

Partway into the trail a hilly scramble up through the blackberries leads to a rocky viewpoint looking back at the Lopez housing development across Yew Street. My girls have labeled this "George Washington Rock"... in their eyes it's a suitable place for looking off into the distance and striking heroic poses.

Raney looks out from "George Washington Rock"
Here are some shots of Lopez Right-of-Way in different seasons:

Wintery walk through Lopez

Lopez Right-of-Way in the spring

Turning right on Pipeline, we're on the thoroughfare that slices southward right across Galbrath mountain, all the way to Samish Way. (You can also access Pipeline from the end of Alvarado Street - which avoids some of the muddiness of Lopez Right-of-Way.)

Lopez Right-of-Way meets Pipeline Trail

Walking up Pipeline toward Karma

We're not going that far today, though - about a quarter-mile up Pipeline we take the Karma trail off to the left. This wraps back around and eventually turns into Lopez Right-of-Way. 

Karma trail

Even in winter, Karma makes for a great walk for the whole family

I've walked this loop dozens of times over the past few years. It's an easy route from Yew Street for having Raney off-leash for a good half-hour walk.

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