Seems like the Middle Fork road used to have a reputation for excessive theft and vandalism of cars parked there. Is that still true? Should I be worried about parking at the end of the paved road overnight on a winter weekday (say, next week)?
Probably safer than street parking your car overnight anywhere in Seattle.
Leaving nothing in vehicle.
Obfuscate/Cut out home address info from registration and insurance documents.
Leave garage door opener at home.
Consider anti-theft measures such as "The Club" , battery shutoff switch, removing distributer arm, especially if you have an older vehicle lacks a "chipped" key security system.
I visit all the Middle Fork trailheads often enough to get a feel for how often there is detectable theft like broken glass on the ground. My gut feel is that it's rare partly because of the one-way-in, one-way-out configuration. The Mailbox parking pullouts are the worst presumably because they're close to an "escape" route. I have not seen broken glass at the new Granite Creek trailhead since it was opened in 2017. The last known break in at the Dingford Creek trailhead was in 2016. There's also this 2015 report.
Never had a problem when you could drive to the end. Broken cars from that potholed highway to hell but no broken glass at the end. Have not had a problem on the paved road either too crowded for good vandals.
-------------- "You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
I've been driving up the Middle Fork for decades now, from back when the road was unpaved and pretty rough--but I've always considered it a safe place to park--unlike a lot of closer-in trailheads. I leave nothing visible in my car and lI ock it up--and park in locations close to the trailhead. Parking is the least of my problems!
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