Forum Index > Trip Reports > Monument Cr & Methow River trails May 24
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostTue May 26, 2009 6:42 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Monument Creek trail soars above Lost River, and winds though some gorgeous flat areas where huge old ponderosas grow (and one cedar).  We saw lots and lots of calypso orchids on this trail, and enjoyed the cool breeze.   
Monument Cr 2 calypso orchids
Monument Cr 2 calypso orchids
Monument Cr 1
Monument Cr 1
Monument Cr balsamroot type flower
Monument Cr balsamroot type flower
Monument Cr trail - buck brush in foreground - it's not dying, but damaged from freeze
Monument Cr trail - buck brush in foreground - it's not dying, but damaged from freeze
Monument Cr white calypso orchid
Monument Cr white calypso orchid

We didnít wander too far, because we had got a fairly late start due to being lazy. embarassedlaugh.gif   We wanted to tuck in the Methow River trail as well, so headed there.

I didnít care much for the skinny log high above the creek at the beginning of the trail.  Itís a fairly long crossing, and the raging creek below was spooky.  But since a wave of blue-haired, pant-suited grannies, little children, pregnant women and puppies Ė one named Ralphy - had just come off the trail as we came onto the trail, I figured that a hard-core hiker such as myself ought to be able to handle the log, so on I went.  Whew! I did alright.

But I still donít like it. huh.gif

We stopped often on this trail Ė tons of flowers in full bloom.  The contrast of the stark-white service berry flowers against black and silver burned trees (Needles fire, 2003) is stunning.  Lots of Oregon grape in bloom; larkspur, and paintbrush as well as balsamroot.  Some flowery arrays looked like a planted garden.

A most delightful trail.

Methow River flower lined trail
Methow River flower lined trail
Methow River full monty balsamroot
Methow River full monty balsamroot
Methow River paintbrush and sedges
Methow River paintbrush and sedges
Methow River service berry shrubs, burned forest
Methow River service berry shrubs, burned forest
Methow River service berry, oregon grape in bloom
Methow River service berry, oregon grape in bloom
Methow River service berry, oregon grape in full bloom, Needles fire blackend trees
Methow River service berry, oregon grape in full bloom, Needles fire blackend trees
Methow River service berry, paintbrush, balsamroot, larkspur, grasses
Methow River service berry, paintbrush, balsamroot, larkspur, grasses
Methow River silvery river, flowers, burned trees
Methow River silvery river, flowers, burned trees
Methow River spent balsamroot
Methow River spent balsamroot
Methow River trail1
Methow River trail1

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

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
BPLlama
Member
Member


Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 69 | TRs
Location: シアトル
BPLlama
Member
PostTue May 26, 2009 7:39 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Beautiful flower pictures  up.gif Is the silvery thin trees in the background burned trees left from the fire? Or just dead trees?
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
JimK
Member



Joined: 07 Feb 2002
Posts: 5382 | TRs
Location: Ballard
JimK
Member
PostTue May 26, 2009 7:51 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
All burned trees. Silver and black everywhere. We had three hikes all or partly through burns. Lots of flowers is one benefit. Very different than dark forest but beautiful in its own way.

--------------
Hiking Northwest
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
BeyondLost
Crazy Bob



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 3580 | TRs
Location: Mazama, WA
BeyondLost
Crazy Bob
PostTue May 26, 2009 8:23 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I must have just missed you on the Monument Creek trail. I went part way on Monument and then cut up onto Scramble (unmarked trail to left) for a few miles that AM.
The West Fork Methow trail does have far more flowers then before the 2003 Needles Creek fire. I enjoy it far more now as it tended to be a bit boring through monotonous woods.
Peg hates that log over Rattlesnake Creek! There used to be a log with hand railings but it washed out a few years ago. Later in the year you can ford Rattlesnake Creek pretty easily but not now.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
More Cowbell
Member
Member


Joined: 01 Jul 2006
Posts: 5642 | TRs

More Cowbell
Member
PostTue May 26, 2009 8:41 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Beautiful area and photos.   up.gif

--------------
ďIf you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes.Ē - Unknown
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
JimK
Member



Joined: 07 Feb 2002
Posts: 5382 | TRs
Location: Ballard
JimK
Member
PostFri May 29, 2009 7:13 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Time for a non-Quarkian view of the day.

I have 30 photos posted at: Monument - Methow Photos

Day two of our three day weekend started late. After not finding camp until after dark and finally getting to bed at 11:30 pm we slept in on Sunday. We had kicked around some ideas for the day and settled on heading to Mazama and the Monument Creek Trail along the Lost River. A short way down the road Kim noticed a single patch of Tweedy's lewisia along the road. This is a rarely seen flower so we stopped. Good thing too as Kim realized she had forgotten her cameras. It would have been awful to drive 40 miles to the trail and not have a camera. After a stop in Winthrop we finally reached the Monument Trailhead. The cars in the lot had licence plates from dealers in Lynnwood, Kirkland, Bellevue, Renton, and Seattle. Every one was from our neck of the woods.

Campsite
Campsite
Tweedy's Lewisia
Tweedy's Lewisia
Tiny Blue Flower
Tiny Blue Flower
Strawberry
Strawberry

We had another sunny warm day. The trail has lots of flowers. Balsamroot, penstemon, desert stars, paintbrush, and more. The trail is high above the Lost River. It is occasionally in sight and most always in sound. We saw families out for a stroll, trail runners, and even a group of backpackers. The trail moved a short way from the river and into a flat forest area. Here we saw a lone cedar tree. Kim noticed a calypso orchid then another and another. I have never seen so many calypso orchids in one place. Not only the usual ones but white ones too. I had never seen a white calypso. Very neat.

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush
Lost River
Lost River
Calypso Orchid
Calypso Orchid
Grassy Forest
Grassy Forest

We made very slow progress as the flower photo opportunities were plentiful. We only went about a mile and a half but it was well worth the time. When back at the car we figured out the next hike. A short drive down the road took us to the River Bend Campground. The road to Harts Pass and Slate Peak goes off here. We went straight, past the campground, and to the Methow River Trailhead at the end of the road.

The trail starts on an old road and soon reaches Rattlesnake Creek. The creek is a torrent at this time. There is a flat topped log across that is not all that wide. We crossed okay and met children down the trail who crossed. Not everyone will like it. Later in the season I'm sure the creek will be a rock hop. The same 2002 Needles Fire that hit Driveway Butte burned up this trail. Driveway, our previous days destination, is right across the river. In fact a trail leaves from near this trailhead and climbs the north side of Driveway. We looked but could not find it. This time of year nobody is fording the river anyway.

Methow River
Methow River

As with the other hikes this weekend the flower show was excellent. More of the same ones we saw earlier. Paintbrush was especially abundant. The trail is sometimes near the river and sometimes far away. The river is on the left and open fields are to the right. This soon changes as the slope steepens and the river enters more of a canyon. There are a few ups and downs but the trail does not gain much elevation. At one time this must have been a forested walk. Now it is all out in the open. Little shade but great views all around. There are a few logs down as no work has been done yet this year. None pose a problem to get over or around.

Burn Along Methow
Burn Along Methow
Orange Paintbrush
Orange Paintbrush
Penstemon
Penstemon

We went a little over a mile to where the trail came near to the river. A short drop took us to the shore. The river is really ripping through here. There are live trees here which provide some shade too. We spent some time at the river before starting our trek back. The sun was lower now and really lit up the flowers. It was a slow trip back as we enjoyed the river, the silvered forest, and the flowers. No log removal on this trail yet but none of the downed logs present a problem.

Flower Garden
Flower Garden
Yellow On Black
Yellow On Black
Completely Burned
Completely Burned
Oregon Grape
Oregon Grape
Snow Above
Snow Above
Shade On River
Shade On River
Shaded Silver
Shaded Silver

This day we were able to drive back to the Chewuch before dark. We had a nice fire to cook steak, salmon, patatos, and corn on the cob. I ate better than I do at home. We were in bed by 9:30 to help make up for some of the sleep we missed the night before. Two days and three trails down and one day to go.

--------------
Hiking Northwest
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostFri May 29, 2009 8:42 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
It was a perfect day for these 2 trails; the day before was a long drive and a hot slog up to Driveway Butte, and a late night (the dinner we planned required a campfire, and we had to get that going).

Plus - and this is the ultimate test of a person's demeanor and freindship -

JimK spilled my coffee that morning after I had only one sip.  Lucky for his clumsy ass, I had extra coffee, or I would have killed him (after licking the spilled coffee off the tailgate of my truck and sucking on the stones whereon it dripped).

There's nothing more horrifying in the backcountry than the sound of a voice piercing the cloud that surrounds your morning brain saying, "ummmm....I spilled your coffee."

Then, I turned the tables and announced I needed to buy something at the grocery store in Winthrop.  I'm sure that sitting at a grocery parking lot at 10:00 AM on a Memorial weekend Sunday wasn't his idea of a Wilderness experience. hockeygrin.gif

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

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
BeyondLost
Crazy Bob



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 3580 | TRs
Location: Mazama, WA
BeyondLost
Crazy Bob
PostFri May 29, 2009 8:58 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Jim said:

Quote:
Driveway, our previous days destination, is right across the river. In fact a trail leaves from near this trailhead and climbs the north side of Driveway. We looked but could not find it. This time of year nobody is fording the river anyway.

There used to be a bridge over the West Fork Methow River near the Ballard Campground but the Forest Service tore it out a few years ago quickly and quietly (supposedly for safety reasons although was really fine for foot traffic). They knew there would be a major fuss so they took it out before anyone knew it was going to happen. It was the only reasonable way to get to the Driveway Butte side much of the year but part of the problem was it also accessed a strip of private property below Driveway Butte. It used to be interesting to hike along that area with old sheep herder cabin abandoned old car etc.

The old trail up Driveway Butte was the sheepherder's drive and graze trail. It is very sketchy and pretty much gone. I have taken it down from above once and could find it on and off with the help of a friend who had used it years ago and knowing where it went.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Hikingqueen
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 2949 | TRs

Hikingqueen
Member
PostFri May 29, 2009 11:23 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I know what you mean about log crossings, good job! Lovely photos. Summer is there..
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
BeyondLost
Crazy Bob



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 3580 | TRs
Location: Mazama, WA
BeyondLost
Crazy Bob
PostTue Jun 09, 2009 10:54 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Bump.
I ran up the West Fork Methow trail this AM which prompted me to bump this thread. The next 2 weeks are the prime time for this trail and it's still pretty cool. Most people get to the Trout Cr bridge at 2.4 miles and turn around. One reason is that the trail gets very brushy at just past 3 miles and for almost two miles you have to fight your way through and cannot see your feet.
Good news! The trail has been aggressively brushed out at least to the 5 mile point. Past this the brush is typically not bad. It is just over 8 miles to the PCT junction. It's now good for hiking, running or mountain biking.

Why mention 5 mile point? Because that is where tiger lily meadows abound. They are just starting to burst. Some pics from a prior trip.
Tiger lily meadow.jpg
Tiger lily meadow.jpg
West Fork Methow.jpg
West Fork Methow.jpg
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
aywolfpac
Member
Member


Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 1283 | TRs
Location: Burlington, WA
aywolfpac
Member
PostTue Jun 09, 2009 3:24 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
"Flower Garden" is spectular Jim K!  So many different colors in there.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Gray
Lazy Hiker



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 1062 | TRs
Location: Seattle, WA
Gray
Lazy Hiker
PostTue Jun 09, 2009 3:44 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
BeyondLost wrote:
Bump.
Good news! The trail has been aggressively brushed out at least to the 5 mile point. Past this the brush is typically not bad. It is just over 8 miles to the PCT junction. It's now good for hiking, running or mountain biking.

Huh.

We did the W.Fork Methow as an overnight on the weekend of the 30th-31st, and it surely wasn't brushed out then. Must have just recently happened.

Up to the Trout Creek bridge, it was ok, with just a few blowdowns to navigate. After the bridge it got progressively brushier, with a lot more blowdowns. By the time we found a place to camp (some nice soul had made a pretty nice camp, right by the river, complete with fire ring, pre-sawn wood neatly stacked, and a privvy), my legs were covered in scratches and most of my legs and hands and short were covered in old black ash.

I'm pretty sure the tick that attacked E. when we had returned home came from this section of the trail.

With temps in the mid 80s, all the brush, a failed water filter, and almost no shade, we were hurting by the time we got back to the car.

Next time I do this trail, it will be as a dayhike, and carcamp at one of the nearby CGs.

--Gray
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
BeyondLost
Crazy Bob



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 3580 | TRs
Location: Mazama, WA
BeyondLost
Crazy Bob
PostTue Jun 09, 2009 4:46 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
The brush that was cut and thrown off still had green on it so had to have been very recent. I was wearing running shorts and nary a scratch in 10 miles. All the logs are cut out except one that looked like it just fell.
I am not sure who to thank but...  It was wonderful!  hockeygrin.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
Highwalker's Daughter
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 1567 | TRs
Location: Snohomish, WA
Highwalker's Daughter
Member
PostTue Jun 09, 2009 6:15 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Great pictures!  I guess I'll have to try to steal away next time I'm at my in-laws in Twisp.  They don't walk, and I feel bad leaving, but that trail looks mighty fine.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Gabigabs
Trail Breaker



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 844 | TRs
Location: Seattle
Gabigabs
Trail Breaker
PostTue Jun 09, 2009 6:45 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Beautiful wildflower photos.

--------------
Life is simple... Eat, Sleep, Hike!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Monument Cr & Methow River trails May 24
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy