Equestrian Issue

Glacier Peak Wilderness Largely Inaccessable to Stock

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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.

Trail wiped out by loose rock slide at mile 495.1

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By: Ilja Friedel
October 27th, 2021

Erosion caused by the Lake fire has completely buried the trail around Guthook mile 495.1 above Upper Shake Campground. The current length is about a quarter mile length with loose, deep moving rocks on a steep downhill section of the trail. Less secure hikers should consider walking the ridge dirt road from mile 492.9 (water guzzler) to mile 495.4 (campground junction with burned trail marker). The coming rains will probably make the slide even worse. There is also a lot of young poodledog bush in this particular area (especially mile 492.9).

Equestrian obstacles in the Mount Hood region

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By: Leif
September 10th, 2021

PCTA Mount Hood Chapter logouts and efforts by all have greatly improved the trail after significant windstorm damage around Mt Hood. The section near Buck Peak, (TR#615 – 3/4 mile South, to 3 miles North) has not been cleared. It’s not as bad as the other areas were, but still not passible for stock.

The areas around the Zigzag Canyon and Little Zigzag Canyon are not yet to the point where they are stock friendly. Getting in and out of these two canyons requires some tricky equestrian skills to get up and down the steep backs and around the rocks.

Kennedy Creek in Glacier Peak Wilderness (Halfmile 2512)

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By: Michael DeCramer
July 16th, 2021

The former bridge over Kennedy Creek at mile 2512 in the Glacier Peak Wilderness has fully washed away. It had been damaged for many years.

This happened sometime in the winter or spring of 2021.

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.

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:

Trees down section C

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By: Pearl
April 8th, 2021

Large tree down blocking trail at PCT mile 287.11 using mileage from Halfmile’s PCT app. About 1.2 miles west of unpaved Coxey truck traill. Hikers are having to scramble up hillside around some rocks to bypass. Steep drop off below the trail. Horses would not be able to get around this obstruction.

Another tree down at mile 287.08 but this can be stepped over by humans and horses.

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.