By: Matthew Riggen, USFS, Darrington Ranger District, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
June 27th, 2016
Major access trail for ingress/egress to the PCT, the North Fork Sauk trail # 649, will be CLOSED between mile 5 at Mackinaw Shelter camp and the Junction with the Pacific Crest Trail beginning July 27, 2016. The trail will re-open the morning of August 4, 2016.
This closure is necessary for safety reasons. PCT trail work including the use of dynamite will be taking place.
Failure to obey these closures could result in serious injury and will cause significant delays in completion of the trail repairs.
Contact the Darrington Ranger District at 360-436-1155 for further information.
By: O.d. Coyote PCT '75
August 28th, 2015
There IS a way to take local and Amtrak buses from the town of Darrington WA at 7:47 am (30 miles west of the Suiattle River trailhead) to the town of Chelan (at 2:28 pm that afternoon). Then to High Bridge, on the PCT north of the closure, by 3pm the next day. Just thought I’d throw this out there, in case anyone is hung up on the west side of the mountains south of the closure point and needs an easy way to continue. So long as Rainy Pass Hwy 20 is closed, Darrington to Chelan is not easily hitched. To wit, using actual weekday schedule times:
Communitytransit bus 230 goes from Darrington to Smokey Pt. Transit Center;
communitytransit bus 202 goes from Smokey Pt to Everett Transit Center,
near the Amtrak Station; 9:00am-9:44am
Amtrak Thruway bus 8848 goes from Everett Amtrak Station to Wenatchee Amtrak Station; 10:10am-12:55pm
linktransit bus 21 goes from Wenatchee’s Columbia Station (near Amtrak Station) to Chelan; 1:30pm-2:28pm
Next day, From Chelan, take the Lady of the Lake boat to Stehekin (8:30am-12:30pm), and the Red Bus to High Bridge (2pm-3pm). The Lady Express isn’t running any more this season.
Good luck to all and maybe the predicted rains this weekend will knock the fires down.
September 17th, 2014
I just hiked through Glacier Peak Wilderness and there were several downed trees on the trail. They made for difficult passing on the trail. Some downed trees were difficult to climb over, some trees had re-routes into wilderness vegetation, and some trees were too big to climb over so had to crawl under trees to pass trail.
August 12th, 2014
A friend and I walked from Rainy Pass to Stevens Pass from August 2 through the 8th. The trail was generally easy to follow, and snow was not a problem with only a few patches in the high passes. The periodic brushy conditions between Stehekin and Red Pass were much more troublesome, sometimes being shoulder high on 6 foot men. There were also quite a few windfalls, up to 6 feet in diameter, with lots of water on, or crossing, the trail. All in all the wildflowers in full bloom and the amazing vistas made up for the trail conditions.
By: Jes Shap
July 11th, 2014
7/8/14 Stevens Pass
Everything within about 8 miles of the pass is snow free. Mosquitoes abound. Lake Janus thawed, trout are biting. Peach and Pear Lakes still snowed in. Trail easier to follow here.
7/7/14 Grizzly Peak area
Mostly snow, some sections very steep and difficult to cross in slick afternoon slush. Would recommend crossing in the morning with traction devices. That applies to most of this section. GPS required for navigation. Experienced my first fall-through since leaving Canada: fell six feet into a cavern made by a stream running under the snowfield that could not be seen from the surface. Not fun. I was not injured and none of my gear got wet, but that was just luck.
7/6 Red Pass to Pear Lake
Almost entirely under snow, steep and rocky. GPS and ice ax very helpful.
7/5/14 Kennedy Ridge to Red Pass
Snow free trail below 4,000′.
The climb up is long and all on snow. Tricky stream crossings where steep snow banks give way to wide streams. Staying on the trail is not really necessary once you’re above treeline if you can understand where the trail is taking you but otherwise will require good map reading skills or just GPS to follow.
The camp, toilet and bridge at Kennedy Hot Spring has been decimated. I was told today that it was wiped out by an avalanche. Additionally, the hot spring is small, mucky, and just lukewarm (maybe 90°F) so in essence it is unsoakable. Don’t go down here for a soak. The White Chuck Road is the better of the two routes if you do go, although the switchbacks at the bottom have fallen into the river. Look for the new route marked with pink flagging tape. The Kennedy Ridge Trail, north of here, also leads down to the Spring, but it’s rife with down trees.
7/4/14 Mica Lake/Kennedy Ridge Area. Fully on snow. Trail difficult to follow through sparse trees, GPS will greatly speed vegetation here.
7/3/14 Suiattle River to Dolly Vista Camp. Dry and well maintained trail until the last few miles before Dolly Vista. Stream crossings high, expect wet feet multiple times. Up to three miles between water sources
7/2/14 Sitting Bull to Suiattle River
Almost all snow. Keep your ice ax in hand. Traction devices helpful in the morning, gaiters in the afternoon when your steps will occasionally punch through the thinning snow or slush may fly up into your boots if you like to slide down the steeps like me.
7/2/14 Suiattle River
Vista Creek bridge is out, log crossing upstream. Watch out for rusty cable running through the bushes at waist height on the east side of Vista Creek if you cross the log to take the Old PCT shortcut.
The “Old PCT” near the Suiattle River is in decent condition with quite a few down trees. Will be passable for a couple more years at least. Log over Suiattle River is there but no trail for half a mile on either side.
7/1/14 High Bridge to Sitting Bull Basin
Snow starts at 4,000 before reaching the Basin. Basin snow is thinning and provides a fall-through hazard. GPS required when crossing broad open areas like these in order to find the trail on the other side.
6/31/14 Stehekin River and Agnes Creek
These river valleys are deep, low, drier and filled with mosquitoes. Up to three miles between water sources. Good trail, no snow, more people. Eat Koochen at the Stehekin Bakery, you will not regret it, and Friday is all you can eat bbq at The Ranch.
By: Bob Woods
July 11th, 2014
From Stevens Pass, it is still recommended to trailer stock north to the Buck Creek Trailhead thus avoiding the Glacier Peak Wilderness. The area hasn’t seen maintenance in over a decade due to flooding and access issues. This will be a major focus area for maintenance in 2015 once access is restored.
Buck Creek Trail #1513 (9.5 miles) to Buck Creek Pass (where it becomes Buck Creek Pass Trail #789). The trail is in decent condition. Respect private property at Trinity by staying on the trail as you pass through.
Buck Creek Pass Trail #789 (5 miles) to the PCT. The trail is rough in places.
Everett, Wash., Aug. 26, 2013—Heavy construction will close Suiattle River Road 11.5 miles east of Highway 530 Sept. 6 through Oct. 10 to pedestrians, equestrians, bicyclists and vehicles on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. After Oct. 10 the road will reopen to foot traffic, but remain closed to vehicles.
This closure blocks access to the Pacific Crest Trail from the Suiattle River Trail, Miners Ridge Trail to Image Lake and Downey Creek Trail. Check road and trail conditions or call Darrington Ranger District for more information at 360-436-1155.
By: Jack Haskel
January 18th, 2013
The foot-log across South Fork Agnes Creek, near Hemlock, is broken and closed. PCT travelers can ford the creek if conditions allow. During high water, travelers can detour around the ford by hiking the South Fork Agnes Trail to Suiattle Pass. If the creek is low enough, staying on the PCT is the best option. The South Fork Agnes Trail has rotten boardwalks that are OK for hikers but not safe for stock. Hikers report that this alternate trail is brushy, in disrepair and hazardous. Stock users should use the ford next to the collapsed log and use the PCT if they can.