Surprise, surprise! Mt Teneriffe is a tough training hill with perks!
Long after you’ve tired of Mt Si you still need a good, challenging training hill near town. Teneriffe offers more advanced hikers a good chance to huff up a slope without the crowds that Mt Si bears. If you want a different kind of challenge that isn’t the ‘same ole,’ Teneriffe-Kamikaze will give it to you. Prepare for a little of everything on this trail: road grade, switchbacks and even some straight up that borders on a scramble. The DNR has recently overhauled the trail and it is in good condition. Traction footgear is recommended year round.
The trailhead begins at a school bus turnaround (note: no giant parking lot) and cuts across the mountain on an old gravel road, past some bike trails. Crossing over a small stream or two you’ll reach a split in the road after about a mile. Turn right here and begin up the gentle portion of the path. The road splits again with a sign marked “Teneriffe Falls”. Turn right to stay on the main trail, and head up a gentle incline before getting seriously into switchbacks. Kamakaze is a fitting name for this section. It entertains tight, rocky switchbacks which can be slick and challenging to navigate in snowy conditions. The trail roughly follows a creek on your left and Kamakaze Falls is nearby, but not visible in all its glory unless you go off trail (please don’t). If you are not up for the full hike, the waterfall area is a decent stopping point. Past the falls, continue on for the rigors of the climb and the best of the exercise. Enjoy the back and forth for an hour or more (likely more), then you’ll find some good bits where the trail forgets switchbacks and goes vertical, giving you a good challenge physically and most likely requiring you use your hands here or there.
Continue on through the steep forest until you reach the ridge crest and follow it across a bit of open talus and through the last few trees to the summit, and the view it offers. Beware that the trail is quite nondescript above the treeline. Note your location for good reentry to the trail below the trees. Even if the views elude you on your hiking day, you have gone up over 3700 vertical feet in 3.7 miles. And it’s close enough to town that you can be back in plenty of time for dinner. Note that since this is a small parking area, there are not restrooms or amenities at the trail head. Be prepared to pack everything out.
Length: 3.7 Miles one way
Variety: out and back
Elevation Gain: 3750 feet
Trail Open To: Hikers, Dogs
Facilities at Trailhead: None
Maps: Maps: Green Trails Mount Si #174 and Bandera #206 or 206S side A