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Best Access to Glacier Peak?


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I'm attempting glacier next weekend or the following. Waiting to see what the weather does. We're going to bike the 4 rd miles and hike/ski the rest as normal. We're planning on being in there for 3 days.


I'll post again when we get out and let you know how this works out.


I've been told that the biggest obstacle might be getting across Red Creek?


Anyone have anything to add?



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I did Kennedy ridge last year at the end of May. I biked in from Mt Loop Hwy and the hiked the rest. The first and last days are long. That ended up with three big road washouts and 11 miles ish of riding. Followed with the hike in to the Hot springs. That trail is washed out in several places and requred quite a bit of bushwacking to get past. On the way out getting around the washouts was a little mor erough but the long downhill was good.


If you go with the bike approach idea I found that crossing log jams and such was easier as a double carry. Drag the bike through and then go back and get the pack.


Sweet trip though. The warm muddy puddle that is whats left of Kennedy hot springs was worth exploring after that first day. :crazy:

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This may answer the question concerning getting across Red Creek.


May 25, 2007 by Craig Romano

North Fork Sauk River #649

The Glacier Peak Area | Link to this report

Okay, some good news here. The closure at Lost Creek on FR 49 is only 2.3 miles from the North Fork Sauk Trail. An easy mountain bike ride to the trailhead. The road leading to the washout has some rough spots, so you may want to park at the trailhead for Lost Creek Ridge and bike from there. The Mountain Loop Highway is in pretty bad shape-lots of potholes-plan on spending more time driving. The trail-is generally in good shape but you'll have to contend with a series of blowdowns; two in particular that are a pain in the butt to get around. Most of the windfall is in the first 1.5 miles. A new washout too at about 1.5 miles-about 100 feet wide, but not difficult to cross. Beyond the Pilot Ridge Trail junction-only one speed bump- a gigantic Douglas-fir lying in the trail requiring a little extra effort to get beyond it. I went as far as Red Creek which is cranking and would not be a good idea to cross. There is however a log jam slightly upstream that could probably be crossed carefully and with a prayer. Trail is snowfree and the river is quite spectacular right now.




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I'd call up the Darrington RD office and ask to speak to Dawn or Gary Paull. Dawn and Gary are both rangers out of the D'town office (though Gary has a fancy job and isn't always there), they know their district very well, and happen to live in Darrington.


With road work and such, conditions are changing constantly. If it hasn't been posted here before, there are no plans to open the Suattle or the White Chuck this season. The White Chuck is still in limbo and may be ultimately accessed via the Rat Trap Pass road from the Suiattle, with the lower WC closing or becoming a trail.


All in all, the FS, and the MBSNF are totally screwed right now for funding. I went to a deal last night with the MORA, NOCA, and ONP Supers and Norm Dicks. They talked about park storm damage and funding. The parks are totally getting what they need, and to their credit, getting it done quick. But after the presentations, there was Q and A and there were questions from the audience about FS funding, most notably from Joel Connely, cranky reporter from the P-I. Congressman Dicks and his colleague from WI who was also there, paid a bit of lip service, but it didn't sound like there was much being done to IMMEDIATELY address the huge funding problems currently facing the FS. Pres. Bush really likes the Parks and will sign anything that makes him look good on parks, but I got the impression that the Congressmen (both on the committee that make the budget reccomendations for Parks and the FS) were not at all prepared to deal with the looming, and not so sexy, issue of FS funding. Frustrating, to say the least. Normally Norm Dicks is Mr. Pork, and right now we need help in getting our FS lands the funding they need to maintain and care for their land, especially the Wilderness system.



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I've been reluctantly paying $65 for a NP/USFS combo pass every year now under the apparently misguided assumption that the funds generated were going to maintain trails and access to those trails. So where IS the money going? Down a rathole - jobs program for wannabe land enforcers. Screw this.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I climbed Glacier Peak on the weekend 6/2-3, 2007. I biked 2 miles to the trailhead and back. Yes, crossing Red Creek was the crux of the route. There is a huge and wide log above the bridge site, but it leads to a vertical and high cliff on the other side. On the way up, I was able to pass between the creek and the cliff (getting my feet wet) upstream to where I could safely climb the bank, but on the descent there was too much water. I hiked down the creek to where it splits. Still, crossing the main fork was a challenge. I crossed over a 10 inch wide log - scarry with my heavy pack.

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Hi, new here. Fairly new at climbing too.


What's more of a hassle, Lost Creek Ridge down to Kennedy H.S., find a log-jam to cross the White Chuck and up to to the PCT to the traditional climbing route, or....N Fk Sauk to PCT and do Kennedy route (I don't know that route - I'm new at climbing, did the traditional route once, years ago, never have done the Kennedy route).


Both approaches have ugly water crossings - but the White Chuck at Kennedy has consistently had good-sized logjams since the floods of 2003; I understand that Red Creek usually does not have a good crossing (as indicated in an above post - I'm not good at 10 inch log crossings).


Thanks for responses.





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  • 2 months later...

This might help some:



North Fork Sauk River #649,Pilot Ridge #652,Pacific Crest (Glacier Peak) #2000

Aug 01, 2007 by Ed and Tom

My son and I decided to make Pilot Ridge, PCT and the Sauk River trail our yearly outing and enjoyed the solitude and great views.

We arrived at the Lost Creek bridge closure at noon and were on the trail following lunch. Walking in 2 1/2 miles via the road to the Sloan Creek campground went quickly as did the next 2 miles on Trail #649 to the crossing of the Sauk River via logs and the start up Trail #652 to Pilot Ridge. Drinking lots of water at the Sauk River and also along the first two thousand feet is most important as it is dry on Pilot Ridge till you arrive at Blue Lakes.


We chose to set up camp at the top of Pilot Ridge having arrived around 7 PM. Good views in all directions.


We broke camp at 7:30 AM the following morning beating the heat of the day to Blue Lakes. We had lunch rehydrated at the upper lake and then scrambled up Trail 652A and over the pass to Trail 650 dropping down to Dishpan Gap. We took the PCT 2000 north Indian Pass and then on the camp at Reflection Pond.


We awoke late and hiked on up PCT past White Pass and then started dropping down on Trail 649 where there were some blow-downs and trail overgrowth. Red Creek was also a log crossing. Arrived back at truck at 6 PM.


Reported problems: Blow-down, Bugs!



Printed from Washington Trails Association online at www.wta.org.


And this is a little more current:


Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:35 am Glacier Peak 8/18 - 8/20 (F is for failure)





Wet wet. Foggy. Foggy. First summit attempt. Not impressed with visibility. Would have summited despite partners unprepared overconfident disco.

649 TH to White Pass.

White Pass to White Chuckity Chuck.

White Chuck glacier to halfway up the Cool Glacier to "Dude my cramps arn't staying on, I'm heading back" to severe disappointment with ill prepared hiking partner....to trudge back to car from Cool Glacier... to get home at midnight....

to trip report.


Private trailwork company hired to 649 has done an incredible job. Trail is flat, fare, and funderful. Good amount of bear (5!) at the PCT intersection with 649.


White chuck glacier is shriveled to a thumbnail. I think its all those cars.





Edited by Dan_Miller
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Trail to PCT is in reasonable shape. Some blowdown and one annoying boulder-hopping creek crossing and that's about it. Mostly clear after Mackinaw Shelter. A crew had successfuly cleared the blowdown along the Pilot Ridge trail and was making good progress removing the logs lying across the NF Sauk Trail while we were up on Glacier the first week in Aug...not sure how much farther they got since then as one of the guys apparently blew his knee out trying to lift a log (they gave me a ride back to the car on my way out).

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I've been reluctantly paying $65 for a NP/USFS combo pass every year now under the apparently misguided assumption that the funds generated were going to maintain trails and access to those trails. So where IS the money going? Down a rathole - jobs program for wannabe land enforcers. Screw this.




It's $80/year now. They raised the rate by order of the federal government.


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The warm muddy puddle that is whats left of Kennedy hot springs was worth exploring after that first day. :crazy:


So the hot springs are pooling somewhere else, or the same location? I was there last year and saw a mineral seep on the raw slope and assumed the location of the springs was wasted down river, and all that is left is a seep from the hill. I guess I didn't investigate enough, because I didn't find anything that resembled the old hot springs in a pool, just tons and tons of boulders everywhere.



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