Red Spot Trail(Trailhead coordinates [Cascade Link]: 42.86005 N, 72.09083 W)
- Distance from parking to summit:
- about 2.75 miles (6.4 km).
- Ascending time:
- About two hours and 10 minutes.
- Descending time:
- About one hour 10 minutes.
- Difficulty rating/rank:
- Crowd Factor:
- 3 (on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being near-continuous contact with others.) You will probably meet other people on the trail.
- From Casacade Link or Pumpelly Trail.
- Trail marker:
- A red spot.
- Average Grade:
- Steepest 660 yards: 27%
The Red Spot Trail leaves the Cascade Link in a hemlock grove only a few yards after the Birchtoft Trail where Cascade Link turns sharply to the right (much sooner than it appears on the map). The Red Spot Trail generally traverses the southeast slope of the mountain. The trail presents a good compromise between gaining altitude and letting you travel without becoming too breathless. It has many relatively level sections, though its worst drawbacks are probably that it passes through longer stretches of forest before presenting you with views of the surrounding landscape, and many sections of the trail are composed of smaller rocks that are more difficult to negotiate than those found on the other trails. Recrossing several of the streams you went over on the lower reaches of the Cascade Link, it eventually joins the Pumpelly Trail at the spine of the eastern ridge of the mountain. While it's perhaps a little more than half a mile longer than the White Dot Trail, the hiking time is not much more, and may be less for some people, because of the reduced steepness of the entire route and subsequently the reduced need to rest.
This is a pleasant, if undistinguished, trail.