Equestrian Issue

Glacier Peak Wilderness Largely Inaccessable to Stock

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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.

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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.

Section D over Labor Day Weekend

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By: cb97123
September 20th, 2018

I hiked from Highway 58 (Willamette Pass) to Highway 138 (North Crater Trailhead) utilizing the OST alternate north of Windigo Pass. The trail is in excellent shape with only sporadic logs across the trail that are easy to step over or around, a couple may be issues for Equestrians between Windigo and Maidu. The OST alternate is well signed and easy to navigate, even though it looks challenging on the maps. Lakes are down across the region, but water is available at all lakes/ponds on the OST alternate and at Maidu Lake (which I think is a better/easier water source than Six Horse Spring).

Endangered Species Detour passable by hikers but not equestrians

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By: David Harris
August 23rd, 2018

Despite April 2014 and May 2017 reports to the contrary, the endangered species detour at Mile 386 from Islip Saddle to South Fork Campground is readily passable by hikers. The trail is rocky, passes above some steep drop-offs, and has sections where scree has slid across the path, so those who are nervous about heights might not enjoy the trail, but it is still readily passable by average hikers and is a minor challenge compared to many other problems faced by through-hikers. The trail is presently impassible to equestrians because of a huge log on a very steep hillside that hikers must crawl under.

The Endangered Species Detour tours some splendid country, including Big Rock Creek and the Devil’s Punchbowl, but it so long and has so much elevation loss and gain that most hikers I’ve met are doing the road walk from Eagles Nest to Burkhart Campground.

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.

PCT out of Little Lasier horse camp going South

By: horsegal
June 19th, 2018

Going South on the PCT toward the summit after logging road approx 1/2 mile on thin trail with a drop on the left BIG tree apporx 3-4 ft around blocking trail. Gold Country Trails Council MAY get to it soon but beware as the trail is blocked to horses. Precarious and dangerous to try to go over as it is on a bend on a hill and a steep drop on one side.

Native Carpenter Bee Hive

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By: Linda Clark-O'Brien
May 23rd, 2018

About Half Mile 202. Large native Carpenter Bee hive on descent down from Fuller Ridge Trailhead closer Snow Creek faucet. Might not be good for any equestrian units. Bee hive has been there for many years. It’s on a section of trail on the side of the mountain with no where to go.