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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 4:33 pm 
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I haven’t  been on this  trail since before the floods of 2003 changed the trail a bit.  JimK and I headed up yesterday.

In the late 1990’s the Elliot Creek portion of the trail that began at the parking lot was repaired (damaged in the 1980’s or in 1990).  In 2003, this portion of the trail was again damaged.  Actually washed away (we checked it out), so to get to Elliot Cr, you walk the road, then exit a spur trail that meets with the old original trail.  Make sense?

Gorgeous trail in a forest of cedar, hemlock and silver fir.  I had forgotten about the huge cedars and hemlocks back there.  Wow. 
A hiker standing in front of giant cedar
A hiker standing in front of giant cedar
A hiker walks amongst the giants
A hiker walks amongst the giants

It is thrilling to walk an old miner’s puncheon road.  I get all tingly.
A hiker on old puncheon road
A hiker on old puncheon road

It was butt-cold this wet day;  bone-chilling cold.  Trees dripped constantly, and snowglobs blopped on us all day.  But that was alright, it’s a wonderful place to be anyway.  It started snowing in earnest while we were at the lake, and the snow continued all the way back to the truck.  It was beautiful to walk a dark forest, then see a pillar of white snow sifting down through an opening in the canopy, leaving a round spot of snow on the otherwise brown and greeny mossy ground.  It looked to me like an occasional greek column in the woods.

A very pretty hike, and a great way to spend a precipitous day.

I have never seen this lake in sunny conditions.  This day was like the other 2 trips I’ve taken here.
Lake3
Lake3
Lake2
Lake2
Lake1
Lake1

On the way back, we investigated the closed portion of the trail.  There is a new set of checksteps there, a nice bridge, waterbars, etc., all installed in the late 1990’s.  Some blowdown to contend with, and I began to wonder why they closed the trail.  Until……it disappeared and we were faced with a cliff.  OK, so that answered our question, so we retraced our steps.

Unfortunately, this closed portion is along the prettiest section of the trail;  boulders larger than houses piled up in the creek, which prettily tumbles around them.  Definitely worth a look-see (it was too dark for photos).  Check it out while you can – within a few years, this short section of trail will be under tons and tons of old growth logs that continually fall.
Wild Elliot Creek
Wild Elliot Creek
Elliott Cr
Elliott Cr

It was a head-lamp exit.

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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captain jack
Serving suggestion



Joined: 25 May 2004
Posts: 3340 | TRs
Location: El. 162'
captain jack
Serving suggestion
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 6:28 pm 
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Quark wrote:


Some blowdown to contend with, and I began to wonder why they closed the trail.  Until……it disappeared and we were faced with a cliff.  OK, so that answered our question, so we retraced our steps.

Lower Elliot washout
Lower Elliot washout

Watch your step.  hockeygrin.gif

Depending on the river level, you can walk along the rubble below the slide, and pick up the trail on the other side up high. Since I was coming up from the parking lot when I first discovered this, I walked around it rather than backtracking, because I am that lazy.  biggrin.gif

Quote:
Unfortunately, this closed portion is along the prettiest section of the trail;  boulders larger than houses piled up in the creek, which prettily tumbles around them.  Definitely worth a look-see (it was too dark for photos).  Check it out while you can – within a few years, this short section of trail will be under tons and tons of old growth logs that continually fall

Tree obliterates trail
Tree obliterates trail

Since they now have the reroute, I doubt any effort will ever be made to repair this section, so it will slowly fade back into the forest forever.  frown.gif

The whole Elliot Creek trail is a wonderful walk, from start to finish, gurgling sounds and waterfalls, ions to soak up, and big ol trees, it is worth investigating while its still there.  agree.gif
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raising3hikers
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007
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Location: Edmonds, Wa
raising3hikers
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:40 pm 
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That looks like another hike that I would be interested in.  I like the big trees and mountains.  Thanks for the TR
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Scrooge
Famous Grouse



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 6965 | TRs
Location: wishful thinking
Scrooge
Famous Grouse
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:51 pm 
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Take the trouble to follow the trail/mine road along Elliot Creek, even if you have to work to get around the cliffs and blowdowns. That mile that runs beside the creek is the best streamwalk in Washington, IMHO.       agree.gif

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Something lost behind the ranges. Lost and waiting for you....... Go and find it. Go!
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JimK
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Joined: 07 Feb 2002
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JimK
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:52 pm 
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CJ, thanks for the photo of the washout. I walked out on your blue line in the dark. Your photo gives a good look at what I could not see. I was curious if it might be possible to drop down and climb back up on the other side of the washout.

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Hiking Northwest
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touron
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Joined: 15 Sep 2003
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touron
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 7:57 pm 
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Very nice!  I don't think I've seen this lake in those snow conditions... up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

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Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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Location: Stuck in the middle
puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 8:40 pm 
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Quark, there's an outhouse-sized shack across the outlet creek right by the lake. Do you know what that is? Has anyone crossed on the logs to check it out?
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Sawyer
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Sawyer
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 8:46 pm 
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I crossed the creek about 10 years ago. There were remnants of the ol' mining and resort days. The road used to cross the creek on a bridge, and remnants of the ol' road could still be followed. It crossed the creek again. If you recall, there was a resort there and a small road went all the way to the lake.
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 8:54 pm 
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Puzzlr, JimK suspects that shack has something to do with water gauging.  But I'm not so sure a water gauging station needs a building around it.  I'm not saying JimK is full of sh## - at least not about the water gauging station - I'm just saying that I don't know the answer to your question.  up.gif But here's a curiosity - at a lower switchback on the trail, theres a NF Boundary sign, so I'm thinking there are some private inholdings back there.  Leftover mining claims?

captain jack, thanks for the photos.  That pic of the tree over the  trail must be right after the tree fell - if it's the one I'm thinking of, the rootwad is clean of dirt now.  Doesn't make it easier to get around, however.  I agree Elliott Creek is a class creek trail;  I've said time and time again that it's among the prettiest creek trails around - I had that first 1/2 mile in mind each time I mentioned it - too bad that section is gone.  I doubt they have any plans to restore it.  The last restoration took 10 years to fund and then build, and it only lasted 4 or 5 years before the creek took it out.

PiB; I looked for the world class rock waterbar - I mentioned it to Jim several times.  I don't think it's on the closed section, but beyond.  Seems it was in farther.  I looked for it, but never saw it - but there are a lot of new sections on the first 1/2 mile of the trail, so it may have been (gasp) taken away, beaut that it was.

--------------
"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostSun Nov 23, 2008 9:06 pm 
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I like this one, but have not done it since the lower trail was rebuilt.  Now it's regone, so I don't know if I ever will.  The upper road was my first mountain bike trail ever.  Also my first mountain bike crash.  whaambulance.gif
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JimK
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JimK
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 9:34 pm 
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Just to be clear, only the first 1/3 or so mile is gone. Most of that can still be walked downstream to the washout if you don't mind crossing a bunch of down logs. The old logging road option is still there but the creek trail is much better in my opinion.

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Hiking Northwest
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geobob
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geobob
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 9:51 pm 
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Wow...just looking at those pics of Goat Lake make me want to throw another blanket on my bed!

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I think there's an easier way on the far side
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Hiker Mama
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Hiker Mama
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PostSun Nov 23, 2008 10:13 pm 
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Wow, look at those big ol' trees!  And the lake looks pretty cold.
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