Forum Index > Trip Reports > North Fork Sauk River Tree Giants - Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
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lcometto
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 10:06 am 
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Tucked away in the Glacier Peak Wilderness section of Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the North Fork Sauk River Trail passes through true Cascadian old-growth wilderness for its first 2-3 miles. Given that the area receives substantial snowfall in the winter, itís amazing that the trees here have time and ability to grow as big as they do.

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
North Fork Sauk River -Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
North Fork Sauk River -Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Further north, titanic western red cedars - some of the largest in the Cascades - grow in the Harold Engles Memorial Cedars Grove. One of the largest trees along the primitive trail is over 14 feet in diameter (below), rivaling even some of the redwood trees of northern California. The entire grove is dedicated to the late Harold Engles, a Forest Service District Ranger who committed considerable effort to protecting these trees from logging and removal. His work now allows giant tree enthusiasts the opportunity to step back to a time when the forest had laid undisturbed for centuries.

This is part of a larger report on giant tree hikes in Washington State found here: http://www.lucascometto.com/cascadia-washington Hope you find it useful!

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

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iron
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 1:18 pm 
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awesome shots.

is the road drivable to the TH?

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lcometto
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 1:22 pm 
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Thanks, iron! The road is in fairly good shape but I would take a high-clearance car. There is one small section a few miles from the trailhead that is washed out and looks like you are crossing a stream bed but it's not (at least now) underwater.

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Sky Hiker
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 5:06 am 
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Part of it is because they are cedar and fir. A hemlock will typically not get that big without center rot and eventually toppling over.
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cascadetraverser
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 6:15 am 
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Are there any campsites before the shelter??
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lcometto
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 7:28 am 
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No official camspites before the Mackinaw Shelter that I saw, cascadetraverser.

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GaliWalker
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Have camera will use
PostThu Dec 06, 2018 10:08 am 
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Awesome trees, and some nice pictures (including the ones on your linked page). up.gif

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
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lcometto
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 10:27 am 
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Thanks, GaliWalker! I appreciate the kind words.

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Schroder
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 10:56 am 
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That's a really nice grove through there. There are a lot of giants also up the side of Sloan Peak.
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iron
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 10:56 am 
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Schroder wrote:
That's a really nice grove through there. There are a lot of giants also up the side of Sloan Peak.

and cedar basin

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

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lcometto
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 11:32 am 
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Oh shoot, I need to make my way up Sloan Peak and Cedar Basin. I appreciate the tips, folks!

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Schroder
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PostThu Dec 06, 2018 11:38 am 
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The largest ones I've seen are on the side of Long Mountain just west of Silverton. You have to get permission to get back there because it's all private land along the highway.
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lookout bob
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PostFri Dec 07, 2018 2:21 pm 
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I did some work on the Sauk Falls trail last season.  I had time to go up to look at the Engles grove and it is magnificent.  So glad those trees were spared.  I'm pretty sure there will be more WTA work parties next summer on both the Sauk Falls trail and the Engles grove trails.  Please make time to go up and see the trees there....it's like being in church....( not that I do church very much but it is a place for reverence.....) cool.gif

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Anne Elk
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PostMon Dec 10, 2018 3:56 am 
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Wonderful photos - and thanks for the links to the other big tree areas.  I've spent a lot of time on Mt. Loop trails, but have never been in the Glacier Peak Wilderness and had no idea these big trees were in there.  Guess I don't know enough of the history of the area  as it's surprising that they somehow escaped the saw.

The pics are a reminder of my favorite passage at the beginning of Phil Woodhouse's book on Monte Cristo that's so evocative of the old growth rainforest:

Quote:
In the mid-1800's, what is now western Washington was virtually an untouched region.  Like a dark green carpet, the virgin forests blanketed the lowlands and extended up deep valleys into the Casacade Mountains, unbroken except for the meager clearings made by man.  The fir, hemlock, cedar and spruce comprising the forests grew to enormous size, causing a pioneer to exclaim: "The bodies of the trees are so large that one cannot see more than a hundred yards in any direction."

In fact, they towered more than 200 feet skyward and stood so close together very little light filtered to the forest floor - - a world of dank twilight and perpetual gloom. This, combined with the characteristic gray weather of the Puget Sound region, instilled a sensation of awe and fear in the hardiest settlers and adventurers who dared to enter this uncharted land in Washington Territory.


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lcometto
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PostMon Dec 10, 2018 7:21 am 
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Anne, I love that quote. How wonderful it could have been to have seen all that un-logged land so many years ago.

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