Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 707 | TRs
Location: Duvall, WA
|“Price Creek West Sno-Park” (former exit 61) is now (thankfully!) permanently shutdown because it is inside I-90 wildlife closure area, where people are not allowed to enter to make wildlife feel safe crossing I-90 on the new wildlife bridge. It is really nice to see some area dedicated to wildlife only. However NF-4832 and NF-4934 roads are open and groomed for snowmobile travel. Parking anywhere on Katchess lake road is not allowed (except Kachess Road Sno-Park towards the end of the road). This makes it a bit tricky to find a good point to start access, but both intersections of Katchess lake road with NF-4832 and NF-4934 have small plowed pullouts, probably designed just to unload snowmobiles. However there are no explicit signs saying not to park there.
Because the road is groomed for/by snowmobiles I didn't really need snowshoes while walking on the road and while it looks like it gets A LOT of use, me and Cookie didn't see any person or snowmobile for the whole day. Maybe because it is Christmas, or maybe because it was freezing, dark and snowing.
The forest is crisscrossed by logging roads, areas of bigger trees and areas of tiny new trees. It is not the most aesthetic area of Cascades, but it was nice to have complete solitude and enjoy multitudes of snowshoe hare footprints in the snow.
Eventually snow finally got deep and soft and I put on snowshoes for the rest of the way.
There are no real views, but some peak-a-boo views exist here and there along the ridge. True summit appears to be towards the east, and just east of the summit there is small snowy ledge with views of the Keechelus dam.
Going west brings to another small summit that is supposed to have the microwave tower according to the map, but to my surprise the microwave tower is completely gone. Instead now there is just a flat circle where it used to stand. There are more views from the edges of that flat circle.
To my surprise when we came back there were lots of cars parking in the pullout and more people trying to squeeze in. Seems to be very strange to go in so late. I-90 had chains required and lots of spin out cars.
Merry Christmas everyone!