Forum Index > Trail Talk > Middle Fork road plowed today? How much snow is on it?
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blendergasket
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PostSat Feb 09, 2019 4:38 pm 
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Hi! I really need to get out on a hike tomorrow and I'd love to make it out to the snoqualmie middle fork area. Any idea if the middle fork road is plowed? If not, how much snow is on it?

I'd prefer to go out to the Olympics but I doubt there are many flattish trails close to 101. If I am wrong please feel free to correct me.

Thanks in advance for the intel!

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
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Secret Agent Man
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PostSat Feb 09, 2019 5:56 pm 
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There’s supposed to be more snow later in the day tomorrow so even if it is plowed - and I’d be surprised if it was - it likely won’t be by the time you’re trying to get out.
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Brushwork
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PostSat Feb 09, 2019 6:43 pm 
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I don't know about now, but it was driveable and well travelled on Wednesday.  Compact snow and ice so slow driving(slick).  I went slow and used 4 WD. Not a lot of new snow from last Sunday's event ( an inch?)  which was odd given that North Bend had a lot.   The road was well sanded by the houses.   

My guess would be, that the road is drivable with good traction.

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Brushwork
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PostSat Feb 09, 2019 6:46 pm 
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By good traction, I mean if you have a vehicle that handles snow...

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RandyHiker
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PostSat Feb 09, 2019 7:28 pm 
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I suspect any plowing out the Middle Fork road ends where it stops being a "county road" and becomes a "forest service" road.  Which is a bit before the Mailbox peak parking lot.

Even that seems unlikely to be plowed given the scant snow removal equipment owned by King County.
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gb
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PostSat Feb 09, 2019 7:31 pm 
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Best guess is that it got about the same amount of new snow as Snoqualmie Pass which was 10". However, this is low density snow and not as tough to drive as heavy wet snow. I am sure it has been driven today.
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blendergasket
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PostSat Feb 09, 2019 8:39 pm 
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Thanks a lot for the info. I understand it's gonna be snowing late afternoon. Maybe I'll hit Tiger instead... or maybe I'll head up the Middle Fork anyways!

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
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puzzlr
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PostSun Feb 10, 2019 1:47 pm 
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King County officially took over maintenance of the Middle Fork road in Dec 2018 after 4 years of construction activity by the Federal Highway Administration. The agreement calls for them (not USFS) to maintain the road all the way to the Middle Fork trailhead and campground where the paving ends.

The stated King County policy was to not plow the road past Valley Camp (or maybe Mailbox Peak parking a little farther). But after snow events in early January and the recent Feb 4 snow the road was plowed. I asked about it after the January plowing. They said:

"The division supervisor confirmed a truck and driver was dispatched to the SE Middle Fork Road on Monday January 7th to clear wind storm debris off the road. A technique for some drivers is to use the snow plow to quickly move small branches and debris off onto the shoulder to make the road passable. Snow apparently was also on the road during the time of the clearing. The driver used the parking lot at the Middle Fork Trailhead as a turn-around location. Currently this is no change in policy with plowing the SE Middle Fork Rd."

I'll second what Brushwork said -- with snow on the road it's easy to let your speed drift up too high on the long straightaways then suddenly you have to navigate a curve. After one tense moment where I was thankful for anti-lock braking I kept my speed way down.

These photos were taken 02/05, before the most recent snow.

Mailbox parking
Mailbox parking
TANW1 cliffs
TANW1 cliffs
USFS boundary - snow tunnel
USFS boundary - snow tunnel
Big Leaf Maple
Big Leaf Maple
Dingford falls
Dingford falls

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Feb 10, 2019 2:01 pm 
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Awesome photos!
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blendergasket
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PostMon Feb 11, 2019 12:53 am 
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Thanks all for the info! I got up there with no issues. As mentioned, clear to the valley camp and then hard packed snow, easy to drive on in my AWD Astro, but it could be a different monster if we have freezing rain.

Thanks for all the info!

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
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Brushwork
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PostMon Feb 11, 2019 10:03 am 
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Good to hear, thankyou for the report !!!

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puzzlr
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PostWed Feb 13, 2019 12:20 pm 
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4 adults, young child rescued after getting trapped in snow along North Bend trail


After visiting Goldmyer this group nearly made it out during the snowstorm on Monday. They got to within 1/2 mile of the end of the paved road and the Taylor River bridge. Fortunately they were prepared to spend the night in the truck.

There were enough clues in the photos to let me identify the spot, so for this thread that means the two snow cats plowed the road past the Taylor River bridge and just past the gravel pit at the top of Hell Hill. The Goldmyer access report for Feb 13 says "There is currently roughly 2 feet of snow on the road and 3 feet on the property."

[Edit] I just realized that maybe they didn't plow the road but just drove up through the snow to rescue the family. One of the photos taken about half way up the valley looks like a plow is functioning. And the other photo with the 35MPH sign in it is way down just before the couplet split where the road is always plowed.

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Brushwork
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PostWed Feb 13, 2019 12:30 pm 
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Thank you for posting this Puzzler.

Sometimes, it's not a good idea to be driving up there.   Good they were able to get out...!

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flatsqwerl
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PostWed Feb 13, 2019 12:51 pm 
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time to lay a ski track up the road...
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rossb
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PostThu Feb 14, 2019 3:56 pm 
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Kind of a shame they don't just gate it down below, or at a couple levels, like the Mountain Loop. I get that doing so is a challenge, since some years they wouldn't even bother with the gate. But it costs money to plow, and it is really nice to have an area where everyone can play in the snow. I think the Middle Fork would make a mighty nice cross country ski/snowshoe route, even it would be rare. I guess part of the challenge would be deciding where to close it. Maybe Granite Creek, since it would be fairly easy to both plow out the parking lot, and for the plows to turn around.
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Middle Fork road plowed today? How much snow is on it?
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