Forum Index > Trail Talk > Where does trail past Chenuis Falls go?
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tigermn
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PostThu Jun 30, 2011 10:07 pm 
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I mistakenly blew by Chenuis Falls as the trail just kept going and I missed the unsigned spur trail. I guess I was in ratchet mode or something. I climbed quite a bit before it hit me that I had gone way above and beyond?  Does anyone know where this trail goes? It switchbacks at times steeply above the falls. It is not on any of the NW trails or topo maps.

I kept going past the upper falls turnoff and additional .65 miles gaining 602 feet in fact looking at a map almost got outside of the park boundary. Yea I could have kept going but I had already done a lot of hiking and just wanted a quick trip to see the falls. Turned out to be more.

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Slugman
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PostThu Jun 30, 2011 10:53 pm 
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It's shown on the USGS map (NG TOPO!). It switchbacks up to about 3,200 ft then heads northeast to the park boundary (not very far) and then disappears from the map.

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tigermn
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PostThu Jun 30, 2011 11:20 pm 
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Yea I see that line on NG Topo! but the track I followed was not on that line. It was a little west of there but headed in the same direction.  (See map link below). I actually wasn't far from the park boundary. Seems strange someone would make a trail to nowhere... I guess next time I am bored and in he area I might just keep following it.


chenuis
chenuis

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Sore Feet
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PostFri Jul 01, 2011 8:54 pm 
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I'd wager it probably goes up Chenuis Mountain.  Don't know for sure though.  Its in pretty good shape to simply be an abandoned trail though (unless it turns to crap above the falls).

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sarbar
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PostSat Jul 02, 2011 7:38 am 
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It is a very old trail - and I know of one lady (I hiked with her a number of times) who does work on this trail - quietly and with the nod from the park.

Look up very old maps and you will see it. Or let your feet wander and take a good GPS to map it smile.gif

Odd bit - back when Bush was in office and signed in the act at the end, that bought more land for the NP on that side the talk was to build a road on that side, a huge visitor center and to rebuild that trail.....

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sarbar
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PostSat Jul 02, 2011 7:38 am 
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PS: If I also remember right it was considered a "boundary trail".

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oldwhiner
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PostSat Jul 02, 2011 10:40 pm 
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20 years ago I remember it being more maintained. If you trust my memory  lol.gif  it went nearly to the top of the ridge upstream of the falls. Then crossed the the creek on a log bridge and continued to west to the road up by Coplay Lake.

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tigermn
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PostSun Jul 03, 2011 11:21 am 
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Sounds like something for future exploration. The trail was definitely a trail even at the point I turned around. A little brushy in a few places but I've seen far worse on "official" trails.

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JennieEl
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PostThu Jul 21, 2011 11:05 am 
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You have brought up a favorite subject of mine.  Years ago I got around-the-corner-itis and followed that trail to its end.  I have been trying to keep it passable ever since, although I have lost a lot of ground over the past few years due to an increasing number of trees beyond the capacity of my sven saw.  The trail continues east on Forest Service land, following the park boundary until it comes to an end at the remains of an old Forest Service camp site.  The trail has some minor ups and downs but is more or less level over all once it leaves the park. It doesn't climb Chenuis, as someone suggested. The road on the other side of Chenuis Creek was closed several years ago and was ditched and bermed about every 30 yards to restore the watershed.  Until the Forest Service abandoned the trail (and probably, in practice, until the road was closed), people would drive up the road to a point where it is convenient to cross the creek, bushwack downstream a little ways, and camp next to the creek.  The site is quite beautiful under the old trees and with the sun making the water flash.  There also used to be a trail from the end of the road up Independance Ridge leading to Windy Gap.  Fishermen would go that way to get to James and Olive Lakes. Traces of that trail also remain from the Windy Gap side.  There are no spectacular views on this trail, but it goes through old growth and is very pretty.  Some parts on the park side of the creek were thinned, I think in the 70s, but many big old trees remain and the forest floor is uneven because of all the old downed trees, etc.  If you bushwack up the valley a ways past the campsite you will come to a large seasonal falls coming off Chenuis Mt.  (This is a tributary to the creek, not a part of the Chenuis Falls.) July 4th weekend it was roaring, but in most years by late August it is a trickle or even dry.  The base of the falls is interesting - you can see where the old watercourse headed straight down the hill toward Chenuis Creek, but now the base of the falls is some 15 feet or so down from the old course, and the water flows directly to the side of the falls.  This falls is not marked on the topo, although it is about where a watercourse is shown.
If anybody has a crosscut saw and an itch to do some unofficial trail work on a lovely (but currently exhausting) old trail, I could use the help.  Last time I was up there I decided it was beyond me and I gave up.  Even got a little teary.  Then I kept finding myself making excuses to just go back and do a little here and there.  I had a long weekend planned this weekend with my sister, but she can't make it, so I am going back there.  I finally got around to getting a GPS, since I don't know where the campsite is on the map, but unfortunately I didn't have a good fix last time, and then accidentally relocated the flag (stupid GPS!).  Now I have to re-mark stuff. 
Hiya Sarbar!
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lopper
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PostThu Jul 21, 2011 11:49 am 
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Welcome to the site, JennieEl.

Kudos to you on your trail-improving efforts.

I hiked and did some snipping on this trail a few years ago.

Always looking for different paths heading to the high country....lesser-used ones especially.
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sarbar
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PostThu Jul 21, 2011 11:59 am 
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Jennie, it is good to see you again!! up.gif

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JennieEl
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PostThu Jul 21, 2011 12:48 pm 
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Sarbar, how are things going with you?  I'm suprised you remember me, it's been several years.  How's the family?  (I see it has been growing!)
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JennieEl
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PostThu Jul 21, 2011 12:49 pm 
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Lopper, I remember running into a couple on the trail several years ago, and I saw them briefly once or twice during flood recovery trail work later.  Would you be one of those?
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sarbar
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PostThu Jul 21, 2011 1:01 pm 
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JennieEl wrote:
Sarbar, how are things going with you?  I'm suprised you remember me, it's been several years.  How's the family?  (I see it has been growing!)

It's funny - you would be amazed at who remembers you smile.gif Dicentra and I often talk about people who we have both hiked with!

Ford is now nearly 14 (you'd remember him all short...lol!) and the baby is nearly 16 months old (Walker). We have been out in Maple Valley since the summer of 2004 and Kirk and I got married in 2006! And Rainier has truly become my favorite place to be smile.gif

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JennieEl
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PostThu Jul 21, 2011 1:26 pm 
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Hmm.  Ford (as in fording streams?), and Walker (a predictive name if I ever heard one from a hiker!).  Is there a theme here? tongue.gif
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