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skookum olympus
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PostSun Sep 20, 2009 10:45 am 
So last Monday, I took a friend up to Staircase to walk the short trail to the rapids.  Staircase was closed (sign said sept 14-18).  We parked at Bear Gulch and walked in via Shady Lane, and what did we see?  What looked like a new bridge being prepared to install where the old rapids loop bridge washed out way back in 1872, or thereabouts.  smile.gif  We didn't make ourselves obvious, or get in the way, so we couldn't see it very well, but it looked of a size to span the river, and lots of folks where arriving - maybe for a workparty?  Anyone know anything about this?

Lacking for anything better to do, we walked up that logging road that starts there at Bear Gulch, passes the Dry Creek Trail head and heads up the hill from Shady Lane (FS 5421).  Has anyone been up that logging road?  We walked a couple of miles up it, into the GMU, to the point where it was washed out, immediately before it crosses over Elk Creek.  I think I'll be going back tomorrow, solo, to see if I can't make it up to what looks like the headwaters of Four Stream.  Am very curious to see what I find up there.

And I know it's not really a trail, and this is the 'trail talk' forum, but it's close enough for me.   hockeygrin.gif

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RodF
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PostSun Sep 20, 2009 12:18 pm 
As of last April, yes, the Park did have funding to replace the Staircase Rapids Loop footbridge this fall.

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Larry
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PostSun Sep 20, 2009 12:29 pm 
There are various nice destinations from that road. Send me a PM and I'll fill you in.  wink.gif

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Bruce
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PostSun Sep 20, 2009 2:30 pm 
Bridge
The one you see across the river at Staircase
is replacement for Madeline Creek on Flapjack
Lakes Trail

FS Road 2451 is washed out...even bad for bicycle
goes all over (look at brown line map) and to Snow Lake TH

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skookum olympus
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PostSun Sep 20, 2009 5:34 pm 
Re: Bridge
Bruce wrote:
The one you see across the river at Staircase
is replacement for Madeline Creek on Flapjack
Lakes Trail

Can't say I'm disappointed there.  Personally, I rather like having the bridge over the rapids out.

Bruce wrote:
FS Road 2451 is washed out...even bad for bicycle
goes all over (look at brown line map) and to Snow Lake TH

I got as far up as a major washout outside of the NP.  This was just a few yards before the road crossed over Elk Creek.  I was able to make my way around it on foot and up to the crossing - but it did give me pause when considering taking my mtn bike up there.  Do you know, is the road similarly damaged further up?

Looking at my admittedly outdated ONF/ONP map (1987, yup, that's a bit outdated!), I see that a spur leaves 2451 and heads up maybe a bit higher in elevation, and further up Four Stream.

Snow Lake, eh?  Not familiar with it.  Now I have a bit of researching ot do.

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RodF
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PostSun Sep 20, 2009 5:56 pm 
Re: Bridge
skookum.ouzel wrote:
Looking at my admittedly outdated ONF/ONP map (1987, yup, that's a bit outdated!), I see that a spur leaves 2451 and heads up maybe a bit higher in elevation, and further up Four Stream.

Old maps are better!  They show more trails, many more shelters, more bridges and alas implicitly more old-growth, than we have now.
1948 Olympic NF map
1948 Olympic NF map

The Four Stream trail continues 2 miles beyond the Park boundary on this 1948 map.  Notice also the entire Dry Creek trail, Mount Lincoln, Smith Lake, Wynoochee, Mt. Olsen and O'Neil Creek trails.  More on it here

Can you find all 14 trail shelters on this map?  More here.

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skookum olympus
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PostSun Sep 20, 2009 7:36 pm 
Re: Bridge
RodF wrote:
Old maps are better!  They show more trails, many more shelters, more bridges and alas implicitly more old-growth, than we have now.

I couldn't agree with you more on that!  I have a 1954 Gifford Pinchot map that was my grandfathers.  Growing up in Packwood (I'm a transplant to the Olympics), one really needed to know one's way around those labyrinthine logging roads - if you wanted to get to or from the trail heads.  What modern maps show is completely different.  I daresay I could get lost up there nowadays!

Hmmm... I've often wondered how far I could make my way up Four Stream.  Now I'm even more curious,  seeing there used to be a trail up it.

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