Washington

Glacier Peak Wilderness Largely Inaccessable to Stock

Sections:
By: Michael Hanley
March 4th, 2019

The Pacific Crest Trail in the Glacier Peak Wilderness is largely inaccessible to equestrian use due to significant numbers of large fallen logs.

The PCT between the junction of the North Fork Sauk Trail (approximately Halfmile 2502) and the Suiattle River Trail (approximately Halfmile 2540) is blocked by numerous down trees, washouts, and narrow sections of tread. Long distance riders are advised to trailer around these obstacles.

Logs some as large as 6 feet in diameter make the trail impassable to equine north of Sitkum Creek and on the climb up towards Vista Ridge (~2534). There are no convenient ways to get around these obstacles. The PCTA is working to reopen this area to equestrian users but it will not be accessible to stock in 2019.

Section K, WA, Steven’s Pass to Grizzly Peak. Smithbrook rd t.h.

Sections:
By: Cassie
February 4th, 2019

Equestrian:
4 significant trees down. First is right out of Smithbrook RD th, ~ 3’ diameter, no passage. Ride the road to the hairpin turn instead to join trail.

2nd tree: right before Janus. 3-4 ft diameter but easily navigated.

3rd tree: After lake Janus. Heading up slope to pass. Not as big as the first two, but too big for my single person saw, and more difficult to bypass.

4th tree: Right before grizzly Peak. It’s actually one tree that split in half, and both halves are over the trail. Very tricky to get around. Needs a bigger cross cut then I have to get it out. It’s passable, but you better have a horse that trusts you, and steps where you tell it to.

Also, shortly after Smithbrooke joins the PCT north, the hundred foot of trail that goes across the avalanche chute is narrow and crumbling, watch the edge.

No snow as of August 1, 2018, and not much water except at Lakes and one or two stream crossings. Mostly dry.

Collapsing tread in Goat Rocks along Knife’s Edge (impassable for equestrians)

Sections: /
July 17th, 2018

The Pacific Crest Trail at the top of the Goat Rocks Wilderness may be dangerous and is impassable for stock travel. The problems are not new. The trail across the Packwood Glacier, the Knife’s Edge and past Rooster’s Comb can be steep and narrow and it passes by steep cliffs. Tragically, stock have fallen off the edge in the past.

Historically, it’s been a very hard portion of trail to keep passable for stock. Substantial work was done in 2013 to improve the Packwood Glacier portion but dangers remain, especially near Rooster’s Comb. Many horseback riders and stock trains report that they won’t even attempt this portion and instead trailer around it.

N. Fork Sauk Trail closure during summer 2018

Sections: /
March 16th, 2018

An important side trail to the PCT, the N. Fork Sauk Trail, will be closed from August 8 – 15, 2018 while explosives are used for trail maintenance. This is in Glacier Peak Wilderness. There will be rolling closures of the PCT around mile 2502-2503 as well during that period to allow for the actual blasting. Forest Service staff will be on site to manage the safety of hikers and restrict passage for short periods (rarely more than one hour) while the actual blasting is taking place.

Documents

many trees down

Sections: /
By: Gary Pegg
September 11th, 2017

I was forced to turn around on my thru ride just north of Sitkum Creek and the north Whitechuck trail junction by several massive windfalls. Other windfalls block any possible go arounds both up and down hill from the trees across the trail. These are large trees, 36 to 60 inch in diameter on a steep hillside that on foot I repeatedly slipped and fell while trying to locate a way to get the horse around. I do not believe it is possible to get a horse through this area.

overgrown trail and tree down

Sections:
By: Julie Watkins-Jarvies
August 14th, 2017

Just came through Section K and while overgrowth in WA is expected, miles 2508-2510 is in desperate shape. It looks like fallen tree has diverted the creek down the PCT. With no natural outlet it’s become a swamp. Popping out on the Milk Creek “valley trail” is extremely overgrown with washed out portions on slipping banks. There is also a dangerous tree to get over along the way. Precarious at best! There are two FS crews in the area.