Forum Index > Trip Reports > North Fork Sauk River - April 12, 2019
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jdk610
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PostSun Apr 14, 2019 3:54 pm 
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I'd always thought of the North Fork Sauk River trail as "the way to White Pass/Pilot Ridge/Glacier Peak." But this outing reminded me that it's a gorgeous trail in its own right. There are huge old growth cedars right from the start and - at least this time of year - there is plenty of solitude.
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Road condition: The road to the trailhead (NF 49) is in reasonable condition - a couple washouts in the usual places and some larger potholes that made me glad for moderately high clearance (Subaru Outback). But I bet a sedan could make it if you're careful.
Trail condition: There are approx 10 blow-downs across the trail. Some are easy step-overs, while a couple are more significant and take a few minutes to crawl around. All are passable. The trail was largely snow-free until around 3000 ft, including the backcountry campsites and toilet at 4.75 miles. I was surprised to see that Mackinaw Shelter at approx 6.5 miles has been torn down and is now just a pile of lumber. I guess I haven't been up this drainage in a couple years, so maybe that's old news.
Beyond the (former) shelter, the trail starts to climb more steeply and crosses a snow-covered slope that looked ripe for postholing. I'm sure someone more determined could press on further, but I was content to turn around there. This resulted in approx 13 snow-free miles of river valley wandering, which isn't too bad for mid April.

The log crossing to the Pilot Ridge trail... solid but slick.
The log crossing to the Pilot Ridge trail... solid but slick.
Sunlight warming one of the last patches of snow on the North Fork Sauk River trail.
Sunlight warming one of the last patches of snow on the North Fork Sauk River trail.
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Schroder
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PostSun Apr 14, 2019 4:20 pm 
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up.gif That's a great stretch of trail any time of year.

You need to use the 'Img' button to insert a photo in your text.

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jdk610
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PostSun Apr 14, 2019 4:23 pm 
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Thanks Shroder! Problem fixed. smile.gif
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fourteen410
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PostSun Apr 14, 2019 9:36 pm 
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Wow, the Mackinaw Shelter finally came down. Thanks for the info!
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Foist
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 9:50 pm 
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Yeah I did not know that about the shelter either.
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Jordan
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PostTue Apr 16, 2019 3:22 am 
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Love that hike.  Ya the shelter was down last year, when I came through, in august 2018.

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Slugman
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PostTue Apr 16, 2019 3:48 am 
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I went up yesterday (Monday) in my camper van. The road is a potholed annoyance, with a few minor washouts as well, but still drivable. I tried to drive to the end of FS 49 but was stopped by snow.

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"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more..."  Childe Harold
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BeardoMcGrath
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PostTue Apr 16, 2019 12:55 pm 
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Slugman wrote:
I went up yesterday (Monday) in my camper van. The road is a potholed annoyance, with a few minor washouts as well, but still drivable. I tried to drive to the end of FS 49 but was stopped by snow.

How far beyond the N. Fk. Sauk jct were you able to drive? Thinking about car camping up that way this weekend and curious which dispersed sites will be accessible (as there a few good ones beyond that jct)
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Slugman
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PostTue Apr 16, 2019 2:27 pm 
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About a mile, maybe bit more. Once the road climbs to 2300 ft it starts getting snowy.

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"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more..."  Childe Harold
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BeardoMcGrath
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PostTue Apr 23, 2019 4:33 pm 
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Headed this way last weekend. Road still snowy above the switchbacks, but should melt out in a week or so. N Fk. Sauk definitely has some of the nicer old growth in the Cascades, especially with all the huge cedars.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > North Fork Sauk River - April 12, 2019
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