The Teanaway River area is just beginning to melt out, and savvy hikers can now find a few dry places to walk about. We explored the logging roads that ascend Middle Creek, and had a great time, although the chilly wind today seemed to be blowing directly from Siberia. Fortunately, there was enough bright sun to take much of the chill away. The grass is just beginning to green up in this area. There should be some nice wildflowers in a few weeks.
To get to Middle Creek, drive the main Teanaway River road past the second river bridge. Middle Creek is the second gated road on the right. If you reach the 29 Pines Campground, you have gone too far. There is good parking on the shoulder of the Teanaway River Road, about 50 yards beyond the gate.
Hike past the gate and follow the little used logging road to a junction two hundred yards beyond. The straight-ahead road follows the creek and is currently still snowy. For more sun and views, take the uphill road, which gradually climbs through selectively cut forest (this is privately owned timberland), and onto a steep and sunny south facing slope with a good view of Red Top Mountain and the lookout building on it.
After a shy 3 miles the road comes to an abrupt end on the slope. My buddies were feeling too lazy to do this, but it would be not too difficult to ascend the slope and access a higher logging road on the ridge above. This road crosses over the ridge into the Indian Creek drainage, offering a nice loop hike opportunity if you descend Indian Creek to the Teanaway River Road. There should be some great views up there, too.
One downside of this area: the ticks have hatched, and they are hungry! I've never seen so many in the Cacades. Avoid hiking through bushes and take precautions, such as tucking pants legs into socks, to prevent the critters getting to your skin.
Thanks. I'm thinking about heading over there next Friday when it appears that the weather will be clear. This helps me know there will at least be something to do. Was there snow on the road at 29 Pines (if you went that far)?
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