Where do you go?

There are so many places to visit on the Mt. Baker-Snoqulamie National Forest — Big Four Ice Caves, Mountain Loop Highway, Granite Mountain lookout and more.

What are your favorite places to visit on the national forest? Let us know below.

65 responses to “Where do you go?

  1. ALL roads on ALL National Forests should remain open for public use. Every penny budgeted for decommissioning should be used for maintenance of existing roads.

    • you are so right on. WA State Salmon Recovery funds has spent nearly 1 billion in funds over the past 20 yrs digging up DNR and FS roads at an avg of $25,000 to 35,000 per mile. Just think what the roads would be like today if the roads had been upgraded and not dug up or put in storage.

      • If the WA State Salmon Recovery is a success why don’t we see an significant increase in the salmon population? We have spent a ton of money ripping out the roads or otherwise called “road restoration”. We have spent a ton of money trying to create salmon spawning habitat. You can’t blame logging anymore about the low salmon population because there hardly is any logging. So much of studies are based on habitat for reproduction there needs to be more on if these animals are getting the food they need. When we dragged the bottom of the Puget Sound we severely damaged the habitat for the shrimp a staple food of the salt water salmon. How come all the focus upstream and destroying public access?

  2. I drove up to the end of Illabot creek road for years after the forest service quit maintaining past the slide lake trail. Upper Falls lake had the best fishing and little people trafic, we need more roads open to spread the hikers out. There is no use visiting the forest if the entire city will be there!

    • You are right on with the comment of the less roads and trails the more people and less solitude. I too went up to the end of the Illabot road. There was great berry picking.

  3. Limiting access with only overpopulate the areas that remain open. Concentrating different users will further spark tensions. Roads that I regularly use include NF 11 near Baker Lake, NF17/18 on Cultus Mtn, NF 54 Stampede Pass, NF70/110 Naches Pass and NF 37 Baldy Pass.

    • Too many people in a confined area will damage the resource. We have lost 90% of our day hikes in the past 20 yrs. Population is aging. The economics mean to person earning a living. Who has the time or the money to take time off to go back packing. Further more in the North Cascades steep trails limit the ability of many to hike. 1 mile of flat or less than 200 ft elv gain is a lot different than 500 ft or more elv gain per mile. The North Cascades Outdoor Leadership School caters to 16 to 32 yr old folks. Road closures are not for the young, handicap or the elders.

  4. This is insanity. Budgeting to keep our roads maintained and opened should not even be questioned when our federal government wastes trillions on things like the phoney war on “terrorism.” Not to mention that the discussion should be steered toward printing our own money instead of using Federal Reserve notes! Where is Benjamin Bernanke in his helicopter, tossing money out? I don’t see him, do you??

    Just a few of the roads I enjoy using are:
    FS31
    FS3140
    FS2703
    FS2710
    FS2720
    FS2680
    FS2030
    FS2060
    FS6126
    FS41
    FS4160
    FS39
    FS36
    FS3065
    FS13
    FS16

    • And there is a room full of people in suits smoking cigars deciding where they want the next war to occur right? The bottom line is that we should not be funding whatsoever roads that are solely used for unprofitable timber sales. Recreation should continue to be supported but roads to trail heads are only a portion of the system. A large part of the roads are just switchbacks used to reach timber sales. With falling timber sales and a need to restore this environemnt for several reasons (watershed health, habitat restoration), we should stop subsidizing profitable timber companies, period.

      • If you study the facts there was no such thing as an un profitable timber sale in the Darrington or Mt Baker area, ever!!!

      • And with fuel and L&I insurance at $18 to 25 an hr there is no such thing as a rich logger either.

  5. Beckler River Road 65, and the spurs that branch off to Johnsons Ridge, Scorpion Mt., etc provide prime motorized access to bountiful huckleberry fields and amazing scenic vistas of the central and North Cascades. Last year the top of the Johnson Ridge was gated, I’m hoping for a seasonal hunting closure only – since the loss of these backcountry access roads on a permanent basis would be very very sad.

  6. Turning more roads into trails (i.e. stabilizing them hydrologically and preventing vehicle access) will spread the hikers out far better than increasing road miles! Many of the roads we now drive would make excellent trails–or new trails could be constructed from trunk roads to connect to current trailheads that are on roads in need of closure, for far less money than it costs to maintain an unstable road. An excellent example would be decommissioning the Green Mtn. Rd 2680 and rebuilding the trail from the Suiattle River Rd to connect with the current trail.

    I hike most along the Mt. Loop because it’s my neighborhood, but I would much rather drive a shorter distance and walk farther to get to the same places. I will likely support any and all road decommissioning that the FS proposes.

    • This idea sounds good at first, until you start to think about a wider variety of users than healthy and fit 18-60 year-olds. At some point we need to consider families with children in our equations.

      • I don’t know why this simple concept is so difficult to grasp: converting existing roads to trails INCREASES hiking opportunities, ESPECIALLY for those less fit! An example is the Suiattle Rd, a beautiful riverside and forest walk with minimal elevation gain. One needn’t walk to the END of a trail to have a wonderful recreational experience.

        Bicycling the Suiattle Rd last year, I met a family of 5 with children from 5 to 10 or so, apparently riding out from their “bike-camping” weekend at Downey Ck campground. They weren’t lycra-clad urbanites, but had improvised plastic buckets as bike panniers…and seemed to be having the time of their lives.

        I took my daughter up Mt. Pilchuck when she was 5 weeks old, and she hiked many of my favorite trails by the time she was 6–we just didn’t always go as far along the trail when she was a toddler. One learns to enjoy every step of the journey with a small child, and they can be entertained with rest stops along a river (carefully supervised, of course) as well as by a “destination” hike to a high mountain lake.

      • Thank you for your comment. Your point is well taken, that families can enjoy shorter hikes. It does not follow for me that closing roads miles from trailheads will make shorter hikes. They will get to walk a little ways along a road which is packed hard and wears your feet and legs out much faster than the softer and more varied terrain of a hiking trail. And your story about the family on Suiattle road sounds good, except that blocked or abandoned roads fill in with vegetation often within 10 years. What this means is that these opportunities will disappear because there will still be a budgetary problem with their maintenance. The trail maintenance budget has been steadily decreasing just as the road budget has.
        Volunteerism will be an ongoing feature to maintaining roads and trails for public use. While the WTA has done a yeoman’s job assisting the Forest Service on several wilderness area trails, most volunteers don’t have that much time or level of commitment to go for several days into the backcountry to work on a trail. Friends for Public Use has a dedicated group who can spend a day once in a while to clean and maintain ditches and culverts and thus keep roads open. They can do this because they can drive there and get to work and get something important accomplished in just one day.
        Closed roads are trouble spots (speaking of partiers and unauthorized quad use) and are unmaintained. These are the roads that, “crumble and fall off of the mountains,” and not the accessible, maintained roads.

    • Not all people can hike! While we were doing volunteer work on the Illabot Road, FSR #16 a man slowed down and asked what we were doing. I told him that we were volunteers cleaning ditches. I walked over & gave him a card and said we were always looking for volunteers. He pointed down and I realized he had a one leg with a prosthetic foot. He was seriously injured in Iraq but he still needed to come and be in the backcountry like so many of us. The Illabot was his favorite road with vistas looking over the trees. He thanked us and continued on his drive. We need to have access to people of all abilities!

    • If you turn roads into trails they will still require funding for maintenance. Not only are roads budget being cut so are the.trails.Roads do not make good trails because they are constructed differently. They have a hard surface making it tiresome to walk very far and when abandoned subject to cracking. You can see this on the Crystal Lake and Chockwich Falls trails which is an old road.

    • K Johnson, you are spot on. The Suiattle River Road is so fabulous simply because of it’s lack of easy access. I know of no better biking route than that one. Plans are to close it at mile post 6 next year and punch the road back in and reopen in 2015. That is going to turn Buck Creek into just another paid-fee, reservation required Forest Service campground like the ones on the Mountain Loop. And it’ll be gone forever. Nothing good should ever come easy and the family you describe gained so much more than just the beauty they discovered. The grew closer as a family, they profited from their ingenuity, and came to the realization that to be willing to work for something pays rewards. Isn’t that the sort of thing that visiting our wilderness areas should be all about?

  7. Closing roads into areas only makes it harder for Search and Rescue and puts the lives of not only rescuers but the subject as well.

    • Back in the 90s I fell and broke my leg while hiking on a forest road. The road was a popular destination for a lot of people. Because the road was gated I was up there 5 hours before emergency vehicles could get me out and by then it was an emergency. If the road were open we could have drove up and I would have been immediately to the hospital and no emergency vehicles would have been called. Seems nobody had a key to that gate.

  8. What will this look like in 20 years? A disaster if the road closers get their way. People need more recreational opportunities, not less. And we need limited logging and stewardship projects to provide habitat for animals and money to maintain the roads.

  9. My opinion? If multiple use of our forests is the goal, then we need to keep all the roads open. How can there be multiple use if there is limited access. Budget the money, spread out the users, keep the roads open.

  10. Limited places to a more limited user base means it will only be harder for individuals, families and others to experience the outdoors. If they don’t experience them then they won’t appreciate the importance of them. Closures are a bad thing. Limiting user groups is a bad thing. Spending money to enforce the closures is a costly thing.

  11. I enjoy Glacier Peak, Henry M. Jackson and Wild Sky Wilderness Areas best! (and this is just MBS – I have other favorites in OK-WEN and Colville NF!) I was lucky to hike a trail this past weekend that rolled through 2 Wilderness Areas – Wild Sky, and Henry M!

    Closed roads and longer approaches limit what people will experience in the wild. There are only so many times someone will hike a closed road and enjoy it, and there’s a limit to how often someone will set out specifically to hike 11 + miles through a forest. People want to get out to high country for climbing, fishing, backpacking, seeing meadows, rocky summits, and the flora and fauna that live in the high country.

    I don’t mind an occasional road walk or a long hike in on a forested trail, but to spend each weekend doing that..? No. I love trees too, but I’d eventually want to see other terrain within a reasonable length of time.

    It is suggested that people could take multiple days to approach the mountains.But I wouldn’t be able to do that often enough. As it is now, I can visit the same places several times a year because I enjoy seeing them in different weather, different seasons, and I enjoy seeing the changes made by Mother Nature – rockfall changing a summit profile, or a fire changing vegetation, for example.

    As it is, most people who advocate for wildlands do it out of love of hiking up into mountains. Trails through trees are merely a corridor to a lot of people, and road walks and long forested trails aren’t going to retain much public interest in advocacy.

    • You are right on. I have my favorite places to go in the high country. The flowers in bloom change every few weeks from spring to fall. I do not have the time or the stamina to hike long distances on a road. Many places I enjoyed in the 80′s are no longer accessible to me. I miss them greatly.

  12. The problem is that there is not enough funds to maintain the trails already. There are many roads that have gone to trails, they are not maintained, they are brushy, and the FS mode of operation is to put in waterbars every few hundred ft. making it difficult to walk, bike or ride a horse. We have lost 90% of our day hikes due to road closures over the past 20 yrs.

  13. I used to enjoy just driving up a road to see what was there. Most FS roads are too brushy or pot holed to do that in a reasonable amount of time now. Cool views have grown in because timber harvesting is so minor. Good berry fields are greatly reduced because there is no longer harvesting and burning. Most private and state road systems are gated; national forest roads are essential for getting out into the woods.

    We should be keeping all roads, though may be seasonally closing some of them. Funding? Start managing those thickets of second growth timber. We need wood, we need jobs and we need a vibrant economy. We should be using our sustainable natural resources in a multiple use manner. “the greatest good, to the greatest number in the longest term” Check out Canada where they take pride in their natural resources and economy. Conservation is wise use not “preservation” and pretending we don’t need wood.

    Some seasonal road closures would allow for hiking roads when high country is under snow and save wear and tear on wet road surfacing. Wise use, not single use.

    • Good statement. Today we visited with the local sheriff. Topic was target practice in gravel pits. As they close more roads down more people crammed into a smaller space is causing conflict and harm to the resource. Some houses are receiving bullets down and river’s end and 4th of July weekend Kurt had a horse shot in the shoulder up at Christian Camp he had to put down. One of his best. So Sad.

  14. Please forgive me for writing such a long comment but I care sincerely about this issue and as a scientist and member of Darrington’s community, have many things to say. First of all, I am deeply encouraged to see such a great reaction and discussion about these roads. I, like many people, value our environment very much. As a Biochemist, I also appreciate the understanding of ecological systems. I use a mountain bike to get around on all the roads. They are truly an immensely enjoyable treasure but as long as we solely address aesthetic matters, the importance of these roads is debatable and subject to opinion. Though I love them for their beauty as well, we must not fail to address that they also serve extremely important environmental and social functions. Granted that they serve many functions and are not just there to be “pretty”, we must consider them more seriously. These forest roads help regulate water flow and therefore erosion which effectively preserves the health of our rivers and fish. Water flow rate also directly influences the soil chemistry on the mountains and nutrient transport through the ecosystem. If we are to consider fires and rescues, these roads are incredibly significant in providing necessary access to minimize response time and the cost associated with a fire or rescue operation. In addition, forest management is made possible by the existence of these roads. Last summer, I had the opportunity to speak with an individual from the University of Washington who was doing research on clear-cut forest areas and increases in deer population associated with those areas. We have countless credible scientists who are suggesting that forest management similar to if not exactly like Native American strategies are the most efficient ways to obtain productive forests. For instance, Canada has employed controlled forest burnings. Regardless of the management strategy, these roads make such operations possible. It would be difficult to speak on any specific environmental implications that would result from the decay of these roads in much length on this blog. The other factor to consider is that these roads are a priceless historical monument. They have deep social meaning to the society that built them, worked on them, and spent decades preserving them. Simply “shutting them down” – by the very organization being paid to maintain them – is not only going to result in unforeseen environmental consequences, it is a spit in the face to all those who made these roads possible. These roads comprise an amazingly elaborate network that permits us to access our land and its contents. I believe that the systematic elimination of access, whether deliberate or not, is an absolutely preposterous act and is a repugnant disgrace against the inhabitants of the land. Economically speaking, when the economy went into a recession, logging operations were suppressed, so it is understandable that funds toward the maintenance of these roads would diminished. However, it is no excuse that the Forest Service does not maintain the very fundamental infrastructure within their jurisdiction. What, then, is the Forest Service for? Get out of your gas guzzlers and get your hands dirty! I did! And if I am paying approximately 9.234% of my entire paycheck to Federal taxes, I would expect more out of a Federal organization. I am grateful for the volunteer efforts set out by organizations like FFPU but the Forest Service should be ashamed of themselves to only help out when “things get too big to do by hand”. That being said, we as a community not only would like but we demand that these roads be preserved. If we did not have limitations on space, I would speak more to scientific issues. Nonetheless, I strongly feel that this needs to be addressed more seriously because it is imperative that we consider these roads as not solely an aesthetic pleasure or luxury but an integral constituent of our environment and society which behooves us to preserve their existence and function.

  15. I use the Clear Creek Road, out of Darrington, to go rock climbing in the Exfoliation Dome and Three Oclock Rock areas many times each year, as do many others.

  16. I use Clear Creek Road, Glacier creek road, Middle Fork Snoqualmie road, and the FS portion of Mountain Loop Hwy regularly to access rock and alpine climbing terrain in the area.

    Closure of these roads would make access much more difficult and the approach much longer. Objectives in these areas would become less desirable and less feasible to do in a limited amount of time (such as a weekend for those of us with “regular” jobs)

  17. Suiattle River Road, Rat Trap Pass, SR 25, Coal Lake Road to Independence and North Lakes, Monte Cristo Road to Gothic Basin trail

  18. growing up we used to camp at Buck Creek campgound just outside of Darrington, about three years ago there was massive damage to the road that leads to this camp ground, my family and I are wondering when will this road be opened again, we have so many memories there and I want to make new memories with my son. But, am unable to because of the road closure. We drive up there every month to see if any improvement to the road has been made and every time we seem to be disappointed. Any Idea on when any improvement is going to be made?

    • Brandie – it was in 2006, more than 3 years ago! The Suiattle River Road is slated for repair this summer and next; I think the completion time-frame is fall, 2014, barring an unusual circumstance – which regarding this particular project, “unusual” is usual ;). I’m excited about it, and will be glad to have my old friend, the Suiattle road back.

      Opposers of the repair of this road indicate that a walk-in camping trip to Buck Creek is better than car-camping. Brandie, can you share why your family does not care to walk or bike in? I’m interested in what you have to say about that.

  19. decommissioning roads is not logical or good sense. If money is so short in supply, use it more wisely than destruction. decommissioning is decommissioning a little at a time to communities like Darrington, killing them off like the frog in the beaker. decommissioning does not reduce people use, it just redirects them to other areas making them more crowded. decommissioning is depressing, discouraging, and destroys confidence in our government services. And in addition, walking a grown over gravel road is not as adventuresome as walking a trail, a tread that weaves between the trees and obstacles and over the streams. The difference in quality of time is huge. Let’s stop decommissioning now!!

    • You need to ask the FS about the current decommissioning of the 2510/2511 road off of Suiattle and is access to the back side of Prairie and White Chuck. Great huckleberry picking and views. Not one public meeting with the Darrington Roads Group.https://www.fbo.gov Synopsis:
      Added: Jul 22, 2013 1:41 pm Modified: Aug 06, 2013 2:39 pmTrack Changes
      PROJECT DESCRIPTION
      Road 2511 Decommissioning Project -FSR 2511 MP 0.00 – 0.753 Decommissioning – This project includes but is not limited to removal of all culverts and the construction of drainage features for the purposes of placing this road into Decommission status. The Contractor shall furnish all labor, materials, equipment, tools, transportation and supplies, and perform all work required according to the drawings and specifications of the contract. The Contractor shall assume all risk, loss, damage, or expense arising out of prosecution of the work, except as otherwise provided in the contract.

      PROJECT LOCATION
      From Darrington, WA, proceed Northerly on State Route 530 approximately 7.5 miles to the junction of Forest Road 26, Suiattle, on the right. Proceed Easterly on Road 26 for 10 miles to the junction of Forest Road 25 on the right. Proceed Southerly on Road 25 for 0.9 miles to the junction of Forest Road 2510 MP 0.0 on the right. Proceed 0.61 miles on Road 2510 to intersection of Road 2511 where the decommissioining project begins in Township 32 N, Range 11 E, Section 7 (North half).
      A District map showing the road system is available for viewing at the district office./index?s=opportunity&mode=form&

      Solicitation Number:
      AG-05M6-S-13-0030
      Notice Type:
      Solicitation
      Synopsis:
      Added: Jul 22, 2013 1:33 pm Modified: Aug 05, 2013 5:28 pmTrack Changes
      PROJECT DESCRIPTION
      Road 2510 Storage and Rock Development Project – FSR 2510 MP 2.90 – 4.341 Storage – FSR 2510 at MP 2.9 Rock Development – This project includes, but is not limited to, removal of all culverts and the construction of drainage features for the purposes of placing the road into storage. In addition Rock will need to be developed, sorted, and separated at the MP 2.9 pit for use on this project.

      The Contractor shall furnish all labor, materials, equipment, tools, transportation and supplies, and perform all work required according to the drawings and specifications of the contract. The Contractor shall assume all risk, loss, damage, or expense arising out of prosecution of the work, except as otherwise provided in the contract.

      PROJECT LOCATION
      From Darrington, WA, proceed Northerly on State Route 530 approximately 7.5 miles to the junction of Forest Road 26, Suiattle, on the right. Proceed Easterly on Road 26 for 10 miles to the junction of Forest Road 25 on the right. Proceed Southerly on Road 25 for 0.9 miles to the junction of Forest Road 2510 MP 0.0 on the right. Proceed on Road 2510 for 2.94 miles to the project location for Road 2510 storage project. Township 32 N, Range 11 E, Section 17. A District map showing the road system is available for viewing at the district office.

  20. We need to make tough choices. This can’t be an all or nothing thing. The days of the timber highways and giveaways to build the roads are over. Places like Darrington and Skykomish need critical core forest and even community access roads restored. But total road miles must be reduced – from an ecological and financial reality standpoint. We are still making dumb choices in my opinion in places like Evergreen Mountain where the road will fail again badly and should not have been built in the first place. Lets use our scarce resources wisely and learn from our mistakes. Some roads like on Mineral Butte should be turned into trails.

    • We are only harvesting timber on 2% of the land base. When the ROD came out for current forest plan only 10% of the land base was multiple use. The rest of the land base is locked up in wilderness and roadless areas. So just exactly are we to have day hikes and motorized recreation such as driving for pleasure to see the scenery and wildlife. Quit the all logging is bad mantra, enough already. We need young succsessional forest to provide forage for the critters.

  21. I strongly feel that conservation and preservation should always come before recreation. This is because I view conservation and preservation as being essential for providing the necessary natural resources and healthy ecosystems needed to sustain a high quality of life for humans, plants and animals; while I currently see humans as guests in these wild lands and view recreation as a extra gift that is provided to us by the forest. When considering the use of our wild lands we must take into account the physical abilities of every citizen using these lands; but more importantly we must realize the significance of these lands in providing for future generations so that they are able to experience the same resources and recreational activities that make our lives so great today. After reading about the proposed closing of 75% of the FS roads in the MBSNF, I pulled out my atlas and began observing those 2500 miles of roads. I blatantly realized the amount of these roads that do no lead to any trails, are already closed, the number of FS roads not even in National Forest land, and also hiking destinations with two or more FS roads leading to them. I decided to focus on my personal favorite area within the MBSNF, the highway 2 corridor, while reviewing and developing some quick info to spread on this page.
    First, I noticed that of 40 plus FS roads that can be accessed along the highway 2 corridor, that only 23 were listed on the FS website under the “road status” page. I counted 17 other FS roads that were not on the webpage, but zig- zaged for countless miles through the landscape surrounding highway 2. I am assuming that many of these are old logging roads that receive very little use and are probably not maintained or already closed.
    Secondly, I noticed a fair amount of hiking destinations along the highway 2 corridor with two or more access points. One being Eagle Lake, just north of Mt. Baring, that can be accessed via the Barclay Creek FS road 6024 and also Eagle Creek FR 6517 off of the Beckler River Road (FR 65). Another being Deception Lakes south of Stevens Pass along the PCT, which can be accessed from Highway 2 at the deception creek trailhead, the Tonga ridge trailhead about 5 miles up FR 6830 and then again about 10 miles up FR 6830, and also from the surprise creek trailhead which totals 4 different trailheads that allow access to the Deception Lakes area.
    Thirdly, I noticed a few FS roads that begin outside of the National Forest but are still designated as FR because they eventually move into the National Forest. The main example of this being the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road that runs for miles as a designated Forest service road before actually entering the National Forest just before the Pratt River Junction roughly 7 miles from the beginning of the road. Why is the Forest service required to maintain a road before it runs into the National Forest?
    I do not know specifics on road repairs but according to the MBSNF website, “Last year we had $688,000 to pay for maintenance, this year we expect $200,000”, this year being 2013/2014. How does the FS plan to pay for the Suiattle repairs with this budget? They must be receiving funding from outside sources and if this is so, I would hope that these organizations would provide future funding towards more economically sensible road maintenance? Why pay so much to keep one road open to vehicle use when hundreds of others are threatened? As said by others I feel that this road would make a perfect horse and mountain bike trail and this would help to keep the possible wildest wilderness area in the state wild and remote so that it can home animals such as moose and wolverines, which have been reported in this area over the past year.
    I also feel that it would make sense to only blockade closed FR instead of gating them so that incase of emergency rescues and fires, the roads could still possible be manageably accessed without a key. Closed FR could also be turned into trails for hikers and horses in high use areas such as the Middle fork Snoqualmie, since it is most likely being paved this area will undoubtedly receive more use and if the closed roads in the river valley become designated trails it would greatly help to spread out the users.
    I am a 23 year old concerned hiker that has had three knee surgeries and am entirely for allowing everyone to have equal access and recreational opportunities. However, I put the forests and future generations needs before mine and would be fine in closing many of the currently less used FR, and see it healthy for the forest that eroding roads on unstable hillsides be properly decommissioned over the future years. Based on my above observations, I see it as unnecessary for the Forest service to close a great deal of roads leading to hiking destinations due to the amount of already closed or not maintained roads and due hiking destinations with 2 or more access roads that could afford to lose at least one of these roads. Please give me any feedback on any errors or contradictions within my post, I will much appreciate it so that I may become more properly informed about the issues that lie ahead.

  22. I really want the Suiattle river road open, I want to be able to hike to Chelan when my girls get a little bigger. I cant decide which roads I like best, we use all the main ones all summer long. Would hate to just have 25% left with 100% of all the use. Would over run the 25%. Not a great time. Would be horrible!

  23. I use the Suiattle rd, North Fork Sauk rd, Illabott rd, Whitechuck rd. I have never understood why the road to Kennedy Hot Springs was never repaired. This provides some of the best trail access in our area. I think we should shut down all roads and just stay home and stare at our Ipads and tv’s. Honestly I think we should work hard to keep roads open, once they are closed they are gone. We are better people for spending time in our mountains and sharing that with others.

  24. Preserve the road access to all established recreation sites. Make sure that all unauthorized recreation sites either become sanctioned or are blocked off for access. Stop funding and maintaining roads used for logging purposes as this should be paid for by the logging company, not the tax payer. Decomission any roads that do not contribute to recreation, habitat restoration, or active and future logging uses. We shold not subsidize offroad vehicle use and underused segments. I am all for being able to reach the trail head (or at least close to it), but only if thre is clear demand for this.

    • There need to be some places where a person can experience solitude. Those in the city may be okay with the crowds in the woods, but those of us in the country appreciate quiet and solitude

  25. I strongly feel that conservation and preservation should always come before recreation. This is because I view conservation and preservation as being essential for providing the necessary natural resources and healthy ecosystems needed to sustain a high quality of life for humans, plants and animals; while I currently see humans as guests in these wild lands and view recreation as a extra gift that is provided to us by the forest. When considering the use of our wild lands we must take into account the physical abilities of every citizen using these lands; but more importantly we must realize the significance of these lands in providing for future generations so that they are able to experience the same resources and recreational activities that make our lives so great today. After reading about the proposed closing of 75% of the FS roads in the MBSNF, I pulled out my atlas and began observing those 2500 miles of roads. I blatantly realized the amount of these roads that do no lead to any trails, are already closed, the number of FS roads not even in National Forest land, and also hiking destinations with two or more FS roads leading to them. I decided to focus on my personal favorite area within the MBSNF, the highway 2 corridor, while reviewing and developing some quick info to spread on this page.
    First, I noticed that of 40 plus FS roads that can be accessed along the highway 2 corridor, that only 23 were listed on the FS website under the “road status” page. I counted 17 other FS roads that were not on the webpage, but zig- zaged for countless miles through the landscape surrounding highway 2. I am assuming that many of these are old logging roads that receive very little use and are probably not maintained or already closed.
    Secondly, I noticed a fair amount of hiking destinations along the highway 2 corridor with two or more access points. One being Eagle Lake, just north of Mt. Baring, that can be accessed via the Barclay Creek FS road 6024 and also Eagle Creek FR 6517 off of the Beckler River Road (FR 65). Another being Deception Lakes south of Stevens Pass along the PCT, which can be accessed from Highway 2 at the deception creek trailhead, the Tonga ridge trailhead about 5 miles up FR 6830 and then again about 10 miles up FR 6830, and also from the surprise creek trailhead which totals 4 different trailheads that allow access to the Deception Lakes area.
    As said by others I feel that the Suiattle River road would make a perfect horse and mountain bike trail and this would help to keep the possible wildest wilderness area in the state wild and remote so that it can home animals such as moose and wolverines, which have been reported in this area over the past year. I would much rather see the 5 million dollars budgeted towards this road be used towards its proper decommissioning and maintenance towards a wider array of roads throughout the MBSNF, but it may be to late for this already.
    I also feel that it would make sense to only blockade closed FR instead of gating them so that incase of emergency rescues and fires, the roads could still possible be manageably accessed without a key. Closed FR could also be turned into trails for hikers and horses in high use areas such as the Middle fork Snoqualmie, since it is most likely being paved this area will undoubtedly receive more use and if the closed roads in the river valley become designated trails it would greatly help to spread out the users.
    I am a 23 year old concerned hiker that has had three knee surgeries and am entirely for allowing everyone to have equal access and recreational opportunities. However, I put the forests and future generations needs before mine and would be fine in closing many of the currently less used FR, and see it healthy for the forest that eroding roads on unstable hillsides be properly decommissioned over the future years. Based on my above observations, I see it as unnecessary for the Forest service to close a great deal of roads leading to hiking destinations due to the amount of already closed or not maintained roads and due hiking destinations with 2 or more access roads that could afford to lose at least one of these roads. Please give me any feedback on any errors or contradictions within my post, I will much appreciate it so that I may become more properly informed about the issues that lie ahead.

  26. I strongly feel that conservation and preservation should always come before recreation. This is because I view conservation and preservation as being essential for providing the necessary natural resources and healthy ecosystems needed to sustain a high quality of life for humans, plants and animals; while I currently see humans as guests in these wild lands and view recreation as a extra gift that is provided to us by the forest. When considering the use of our wild lands we must take into account the physical abilities of every citizen using these lands; but more importantly we must realize the significance of these lands in providing for future generations so that they are able to experience the same resources and recreational activities that make our lives so great today. After reading about the proposed closing of 75% of the FS roads in the MBSNF, I pulled out my atlas and began observing those 2500 miles of roads. I blatantly realized the amount of these roads that do no lead to any trails, are already closed, the number of FS roads not even in National Forest land, and also hiking destinations with two or more FS roads leading to them. I decided to focus on my personal favorite area within the MBSNF, the highway 2 corridor, while reviewing and developing some quick info to spread on this page.
    First, I noticed that of 40 plus FS roads that can be accessed along the highway 2 corridor, that only 23 were listed on the FS website under the “road status” page. I counted 17 other FS roads that were not on the webpage, but zig- zaged for countless miles through the landscape surrounding highway 2. I am assuming that many of these are old logging roads that receive very little use and are probably not maintained or already closed.
    Secondly, I noticed a fair amount of hiking destinations along the highway 2 corridor with two or more access points. One being Eagle Lake, just north of Mt. Baring, that can be accessed via the Barclay Creek FS road 6024 and also Eagle Creek FR 6517 off of the Beckler River Road (FR 65). Another being Deception Lakes south of Stevens Pass along the PCT, which can be accessed from Highway 2 at the deception creek trailhead, the Tonga ridge trailhead about 5 miles up FR 6830 and then again about 10 miles up FR 6830, and also from the surprise creek trailhead which totals 4 different trailheads that allow access to the Deception Lakes area.

    As said by others I feel that the Suiattle River road would make a perfect horse and mountain bike trail and this would help to keep the possible wildest wilderness area in the state wild and remote so that it can home animals such as moose and wolverines, which have been reported in this area over the past year. I would much rather see the 5 million dollars budgeted towards this road be used towards its proper decommissioning and maintenance towards a wider array of roads throughout the MBSNF, but it may be to late for this already.
    I am a 23 year old concerned hiker that has had three knee surgeries and am entirely for allowing everyone to have equal access and recreational opportunities. However, I put the forests and future generations needs before mine and would be fine in closing many of the currently less used FR, and see it healthy for the forest that eroding roads on unstable hillsides be properly decommissioned over the future years. Based on my above observations, I see it as unnecessary for the Forest service to close a great deal of roads leading to hiking destinations due to the amount of already closed or not maintained roads and due hiking destinations with 2 or more access roads that could afford to lose at least one of these roads. Please give me any feedback on any errors or contradictions within my post, I will much appreciate it so that I may become more properly informed about the issues that lie ahead.

    • I appreciate your thoughtful comments, however their are some areas where you might have room for more knowledge of conservation or preservation and how they affect wildlife and rural communities.
      My observation is that most people on this blog believe in conservation of opportunities and resources for future generations. Preservation on the other hand tends to mean, “Hands off,” and this leads to problems for conservation. Most of our older forests are not healthy. I hike throughout the Darrington area and close observation shows the tops blown out of the trees, a black blight that splits the bark, and a variety of bug life (looper moth larvae, wood eating beetles, etc.) creating stands of dead trees which are ripe for a fire. These old and diseased forests are no longer storing carbon, but they are releasing it.
      Young forests are carbon storing forests.
      We have mismanaged our forests for decades so that now habitat for deer and other wildlife that enjoy open spaces that grow forage plants can hardly be found in the national forest.
      Sustainable management of the national forest would provide better habitat, healthier forests, carbon storing, and healthier roads which would also maintain our recreational opportunities into the future.
      We don’t need to expand the wilderness indefinitely because that would continue our decaying forest problem. We need to manage our public lands so that all users and the forest itself can be healthier and happier in the future.
      Lastly, what is consistently left out of the equation is the health of rural communities that border these lands. No one expects logging to return to the days of massive clear cuts, but logging can be practiced sustainably, and this would provide the funding to maintain the roads for recreational users while providing local jobs and a healthy rural community, which in turn provides the supporting infrastructure for people who drive out from the cities to be in the great outdoors.
      I believe that we can all win, and at no single groups expense.

      • Good comments. The timber pays for the road always. The loggers that harvest timber on FS lands are small businesses not rich corporations. Rich corporations own their own lands. There are many areas of old growth in our forests that are dying. Trees do not live forever. And the
        wildlands are “not” untrammeled by man. The aboriginal natives have used fire across the landscape to create openings for promoting their plants and berries and creating forage for wildlife. There is evidence of their presence across the landscape in the mtns.

      • When it comes to looking at a USFS map to see where forest roads are it is very misleading because a number of the roads on the map have already been decommissioned. An example is the Darrington District map which came out in 2005 so it is 7 years old. Another thing to consider is there are diverse user groups for our forest roads. Not all trails are USFS trails. Some of our best trails in my opinion are the trails to climbing routes and kept up by the climbers and other users. Many of these trails are on what may appear as a worthless road to nowhere. An example is the White Chuck Ridge Road, #2435 which is an amazing drive that people of all abilities can enjoy as well as a climbing route and one of the most breathtaking hikes in the MBSNF! You wont see these trailheads marked on the maps but they are very worthy popular destinations! Many of these trails are found on the higher elevation roads. Some people talk about since there is no money for roads turn them into trails. Well there is no money to speak of either to maintain USFS trails. To maintain a trail runs about $1,600.00 per mile in wilderness and non-wild trails are about $1,200.00. They cost more to maintain than roads which run about $500.00 to $1,000.00 and is not done every year. For the Darrington District a lot of road work is done by FFPU volunteers helping to stretch the budget. Instead of closing our public access I would suggest we encourage more volunteer partnership contributions with the USFS.

        On Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 11:54 AM, Sustainable Roads wrote:

        > ** > Shari commented: “Good comments. The timber pays for the road always. > The loggers that harvest timber on FS lands are small businesses not rich > corporations. Rich corporations own their own lands. There are many areas > of old growth in our forests that are dying. Trees do ” >

    • Please get out the map look up roadless areas on the mt baker/snoqualmie usfs site and the wa roadless area map on the roadless area site. Over 90% of the land is already in wilderness, roadless area or national park. We are only allowed to do thinning on less than 2% of the total land base on the forest. The roads currently occupy less than 10% of the land base on the forest. Put I suppose there or those who want it all locked up and people do not go there. If you spend time in the forest and off the trails cross country and I mean days, weeks, months you will come to know what wildlife is there and what wildlife is not. Our deer population has taken a dive from seeing herds of up to 30 along the mtn loop to rarely seeing even one deer since the clear cuts have grown up to a closed canopy with no forage.

  27. My family esp. likes Skyline Divide, Twin Lakes, Excelsior Ridge, Schriebers and Morovitz Meadows and Sauk Mountain.

  28. Let’s keep the discussion on target. I would like to get to areas served by the Canyon Creek Road. Please fix it and keep it maintained.

  29. I enjoy any and all parts of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest that have not been seriously degraded by human activity. The natural features of the North Cascades are unbeatable. There are many forest roads, though, that unfortunately are detrimental to the forest’s ecology and scenery, and I would prefer they be decommissioned at the earliest opportunity.

  30. Thankyou for keeping as many roads open as possible, and avoid wasting dollars on “decommissioning’ roads.

    I use FS 65 6530 6554 FS 68 FS 63 FS 4060 FS 4063 FS 4065 6700 6704 6705

    Would love to explore suiattle river rd 26: any roads/trails w/ views of “Glacier Peak”

  31. 4096 4080 4096 4020 4021 4030 4032 4063: I have not had a chance yet to complete these hikes/trails that are reachable from these roads.

    I appreciate your consideration, and would like to help in anyway before the snow comes and its too difficult to get very far.

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