February 11, 2010

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The PCT detour around Glacier Peak is well below any standard. Me and my friend have hiked all of Oregon and now all of Washington and this was the worst section by far. We hiked the detour 2, 3 and 4 Aug 09. The combination of steep inclines, POOR trail condition (narrow, rocky, overgrown), and difficult to find or follow at crucial times, make a tough section needlessly dangerous as well. From the White River trail head to the Chiwawa River Road was the worst section of the detour and the Napeequa River was the worst part of that section. The river may have been unusually high when we went through causing some additional sloughs to form, making finding the right crossing point difficult. Not sure we found it as once across, we searched much of the morning looking for the trail through chest high stinging grasses, dense brush, etc. No markers, no tape, no anything. Unless you find a big tree across the Chiwawa River, you will not be able to cross it. It is too deep and too swift, at least when we were there. Before the trip I called the forest service and they were unanimous in urging hikers NOT to take the PCT because of the Suiattle River. Through hikers have had to take the detour for approximately 7 years now, it is time the detour gets the needed maintenance if they aren’t going to fix the old PCT route.

February 9, 2010

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All of the bridges that were destroyed in flood events over the last several years in the Glacier Peak Wilderness have been reconstructed. The Suiattle River bridge site has been moved about 3 miles west of its original location. Trail connecting all of these bridges has not yet been constructed. The PCT has not been thoroughly maintained for several years due to lack of access. Trail crews will be on the ground all summer with hopes to bring the Trail up to standard before the season is over. Therefore, the reroute is still in effect for the 2011 hiking season, with hopes of opening the original route soon. The Forest Service will continue to log out the Temporary Detour throughout the closure period and was able to brush particularly bad sections in 2009.
The trails along the detour route are not constructed and maintained to the same high standard as the PCT. Users can expect high fords until mid August, and trail sections that are steep, rough, brushy, and difficult to follow. These trails require a higher skill level for hikers.
Stock users are advised to trailer between Steven