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hikerjo
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PostFri Jan 03, 2003 7:59 am 
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I have a question that mabey some of you can answer.  Why are there so many pack trails in the Pasayten Mt. Baker National Forest and surronding regions.  What the heck were they doing up there, mining, fire look out, boarder smuggling? What?

Just curious,

Craig
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IBEX
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PostFri Jan 03, 2003 12:49 pm 
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Craig wrote:
What the heck were they doing up there, mining, fire look out, boarder smuggling? Craig

Yes all that and more. The maze of interconnected  trails near the boarder started with the First International Boundary survey in 1859. To support Henry Custer and his boundary boys, the Boundary Trail ran this side of the 100 foot slash that still marks the 49th parallel. Many interconnecting links lead south.

A logical answer to a related question, "Why are there more trails shown on the east slope of the Cascade Range as compared to the Cascade west slope?" The answer in a word is: climate. The eastern Cascade Range is markedly dryer and relatively open compare to the brush tangled dripping western slopes. When you grade a track in the Pasayten Wilderness, the trail is low maintenance and virtually last for ever. There were once as many cleared trails to the west of the crest. But, they were quickly overgrown and have literally fallen off the maps.
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REJ
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PostFri Jan 03, 2003 12:49 pm 
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Most of the trails in the area were constructed prior to 1940.  Trails were first built by prospectors and later by the Forest Service for management purposes.  Most of the Forest Service trails were built prior to 1940 as part of the fire protection system and probably as part of a jobs program (i.e. Depression New Deal).  The Forest Service was very concerned about forest fires in part because of the public relations problems associated with some big forest fires in the Rocky Mountain region in the 1910s.  The Forest Service focus on fire prevention and control lead to the development of a system of lookouts and trails in the Pacific Northwest during 1920s and 1930s.   The goal of the system was quick detection using lookouts with rapid deployment of fire crews and supplies using the trail system.  The density of trails in the area is appears to be similar to densities found in other parts of the National Forest system.  Unfortuantly a large portion of the former trail system has been lost to neglect and abandonment.
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tempes2us
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PostSat May 11, 2019 5:36 pm 
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Any idea if the trail to the old Pasayten Airport is somewhat passable?  Is there anything still there?
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RandyHiker
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PostSat May 11, 2019 8:39 pm 
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tempes2us wrote:
Any idea if the trail to the old Pasayten Airport is somewhat passable?  Is there anything still there?

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=17474
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Pyrites
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PostSat May 11, 2019 10:09 pm 
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I haven’t been in awhile. I liked the humor of whoever made up the sign ‘Pasayten International Airport’.

Older Googleearth base photo showed smoke from fire a couple miles E, and a Bell Jet Rangers 206 sitting on airstrip adjacent to cabin and sheds.

Best.
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tempes2us
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PostSun May 12, 2019 5:44 am 
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Thanks!  I never made it back in that far growing up.  My grandparent ran cattle all over parts of the OK Forests.  My grandfather and a friend did some mapping for (I thought) the Forest Service way, way back.  Always wanted to hike all over up there.  I grew up on stories of Pasayten Pete encounters.
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Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Pasayten Mt. Baker National Forest
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