2023 Hart’s Pass Road construction closures

By: Rosemary
July 14th, 2023

Contractors will be resuming work at Hart’s Pass Trailhead in early July, as soon as snow conditions allow. This will involve hauling gravel in full size dump trucks, some with “pup” trailers. There will be approximately 60 loads of gravel being transported. The Hart’s Pass Road NFS#5400 will be gated and closed to recreational vehicles from July 24 through July 28 (Monday – Friday), between 0700 – 1700 daily, to allow for heavy equipment and large trucks to haul the necessary loads of gravel for the project. The gate will be opened at the end of each work day for recreational vehicles. Foot traffic is possible, and hikers should be alert to heavy equipment and stay off to the side to allow it to pass. Visitors should plan their travel accordingly.

The work is part on an ongoing trailhead improvement project that began in September, 2022. The project is funded by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office and is expanding and improving the parking areas at the main Hart’s Pass trailhead. The improvements will ensure safer stock loading and staging areas, including room for stock trucks. The project will also include additional parking spaces and edge barriers for safety, along with two new toilets located at upper and lower parking areas. The trailheads will make it easier for visitors to park safely and enjoy a hike in the area or a picnic or just a scenic stop on a drive. The project is expected to be complete by the end of summer 2023.

Food storage lockers at Harts Pass for PCT users

By: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
June 22nd, 2022

In the fall of 2021, the Methow Valley Ranger District installed two permanent bear boxes for food storage near the Hart’s Pass Guard Station. The bear-proof boxes are located where the PCT crosses Forest Service Road 5400-700, about 100 feet down the 700 road from the Hart’s Pass Guard Station Cabin. The boxes are highly visible and easy to locate from the PCT. Proper food storage for bears at the trailhead and on the trails helps avoid conflicts, and keeps bears alive! Please use bear proof containers or hang food 12 feet high and 6 feet away from trees.

Glacier Peak Wilderness Largely Inaccessable to Stock

By: Michael Hanley
December 22nd, 2021

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 Baekos Creek (approximately Halfmile 2509) 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.

Kennedy Creek in Glacier Peak Wilderness (Halfmile 2512)

By: Michael DeCramer
July 16th, 2021

The former bridge over Kennedy Creek at mile 2512 in the Glacier Peak Wilderness has fully washed away. There are no plans to replace it.

Trail users may find crossing Kennedy Creek without a bridge to be difficult. The creek can rise dramatically during periods of high snow melt and following storms. Kennedy Creek is also generally opaque from glacial sediment which can add to the challenge of fording this stream. It is not possible to know whether the large log upstream that has been used in the past will be there in the future.

Please use caution and locate a safe crossing or turn back if the water is too high. Learn more about stream crossing safety while hiking and backpacking.

Photo of the former bridge:

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

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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.