Forum Index > Trip Reports > Sunset Mine Snowshoe 1/26/20
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Nancyann
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PostSat Feb 01, 2020 6:42 pm 
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I wanted to check on the condition of a sweet little snowshoe trail that takes off from the Index-Galena washout that Tricia and I found last winter. Unfortunately our plans were quickly thwarted by a branch of the North Fork Skykomish which was dry last year, but now several feet deep. Moving to Plan B, Hiking Partner and I decided to walk up the snowy road that leads to the Sunset Mine, and take the left branch up Iron Mountain until we got tired of crawling over/under blowdowns. We optimistically left our snowshoes in the truck. However, we immediately ran into two young guys snowshoeing down from an overnight camp along Trout Creek up by the mine who said we needed snowshoes. They also told us there were many blowdowns across the road and it was under water in many places. So, after going back and retrieving our snowshoes, we less optimistically trudged back up the road, very thankful for the path the guys left for us. What a mess!

Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20

Snowshoes provided good flotation. biggrin.gif
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20

When we reached the turnoff to Iron Mountain, we decided to save that for another day. clown.gif
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20

We reached their snow camp along Trout Creek and had lunch.
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20

Trout Creek is always pretty and that day was no exception.
Trout Creek, Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Trout Creek, Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Trout Creek, Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Trout Creek, Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Trout Creek, Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Trout Creek, Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20

Cupcake Boulder
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20
Sunset Mine Trail 1/26/20

Plan C was to continue on to look at the bridge over Trout Creek which the snowshoers said was badly damaged, but it was starting to rain again and only 39 degrees, and dinner at Bubba’s in Gold Bar was looking like an excellent plan D, so we called it a day and high-tailed it outa there!
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Chief Joseph
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Joined: 09 Nov 2007
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Location: What Verlot Forgot.
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PostSat Feb 01, 2020 10:49 pm 
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Well at least you got out in these crappy conditions. We actually have an old mine right behind our house, it's about 800 feet of gain and maybe a shy mile up. I have thought of snowshoeing to it but it's hard to get motivated to do it alone. Been up there several times in summer...one of these days. https://westernmininghistory.com/mine_detail/10069991/

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Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Steve Erickson
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PostWed Feb 19, 2020 9:55 am 
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Recently I was hiking up the old road across Trout Creek from where you were. Hiked all the way up to where I believe the bridge was that crossed Trout Creek. Easy hike initially but changed as in several places the old road was washed out. Not sure if anyone has been this way in a long time.
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Backpacker Joe
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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PostWed Feb 19, 2020 10:01 am 
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It doesnt show on the map.  How close to Sunset lake is the mine?  That Trout Creek road is pretty long before the Sunset outlet peels off from Trout Creek.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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fourteen410
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PostWed Feb 19, 2020 2:47 pm 
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PM me BPJ.
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H. Hound
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PostThu Feb 20, 2020 4:56 am 
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Haven't been up Trout creek in a long time. I've heard the old road has a lot of trees down on it now. It's 4.5 miles to the lower Merchant Mine camp, as you can see Sunset lake is another mile or 2 from there. Bummer about the bridge

Merchant Camp
Merchant Camp
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timberghost
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PostThu Feb 20, 2020 5:37 am 
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I went into Sunset lake that way a couple years ago and believe me that's not the easiest route by any means.
I would caution anyone hiking or taking dogs up there and that is to beware of glass at least when the snows gone. Its all over the place. The target shooters like that area and do not clean up after themselves. Just as a precaution.
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ale_capone
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PostThu Feb 20, 2020 6:33 am 
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Ha. I do this hike more then I'd like to admit. I'm 1 for 3 already this year! We tried hiking up trout creek road recently. I think on the 25th? There where no foot print in the snow yet, it was raining, and the blow down on the first section of road looked disheartening.  We didn't make it a hundred yards. Good on you for being prepared!


Ive been all the way up valley, past merchant mine, and to the base of merchant. Was looking to see if there was a way to ski down the east side of gunn or gunn shy(no).  I almost felt like I was on a road most of the time, but i think it was just a very straight creek bed. Found tons of old mining equipment from mm. Add the mine, bullet casings, Broken glass, random garbage... I think it's going to be a while before the sky feels wild.

I forget what year, but i recall there being a sar mission at sunset lake several years ago?  Tried searching, but found nothing.
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Backpacker Joe
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NWH Joe-Bob
PostThu Feb 20, 2020 7:15 am 
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timberghost wrote:
I went into Sunset lake that way a couple years ago and believe me that's not the easiest route by any means.
I would caution anyone hiking or taking dogs up there and that is to beware of glass at least when the snows gone. Its all over the place. The target shooters like that area and do not clean up after themselves. Just as a precaution.

Interesting. Most people it seems go in thru Eagle lake.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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