Forum Index > Stewardship > Suiattle bridge funding for Milk creek access -- letters needed!
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fyodorova
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PostWed Sep 05, 2018 3:04 pm 
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Comment submitted, for what it's worth. When I heard about this project last year, I thought it was a done deal and started planning my trip up the Milk Creek trail. I'd love to see this bridge get rebuilt.
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Sep 05, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Not to mention the ridge and lakes above mum.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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cascadetraverser
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PostThu Sep 06, 2018 8:36 am 
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I remember how great it was to access all that awesome terrain in the past with the bridge in place.  All that territory has gotten a big rest from all of us for awhile, which isn`t a bad thing...However, almost no one travels there anymore and I for one would love to get over to the other side again relatively easily (there is always the pipeline to look forward to in regards to the ridge MC alluded to   wink.gif ) and would prefer a bridge to the ford of the Suiattle.  Comment sent...
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Sep 06, 2018 11:51 am 
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Yeah, a dayhike to the meadows takes you through tremendous old growth forest and a great view of Glacier Peak. There was always a bear in that meadow. I bet bears have enjoyed the solitude, though it wasn't a hugely popular dayhike (from what I recall. I reserve the right to be full of sh##).

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Sep 06, 2018 8:56 pm 
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DF wrote:
(..scary adventure...) That was the scariest thing I've ever experienced in my time in the wilderness.

A new bridge there will be bittersweet.  I remember the adventure and getting there more now than the destination, as beautiful as it is.

I hear ya. After the 2006 flood took out the road at mile 12.5 my buddy Bob and I checked it out that first weekend. The river was still running high and it was raining like a bastard. On the way back to my truck, we decided to walk nearer the edge of the washout instead of inland. I ended up crawling on my hands and knees at one point, hanging onto tree roots the floodwaters exposed. It was just like one of those "and there I was" stories.

So anyway, there I was, clinging to roots and hanging above the scariest river in the planet. I froze in fear afraid to go farther ( or is it "further"). My buddy had to backtrack and help me.

Then there were the trips to GMLO using the originally trail abandoned for decades. Had the place to ourselves.

Miners Ridge. Me and the lookout tender, all alone on a beautiful August weekend.

It was bittersweet when the Suiattle Rd opened and so yeah, I get what you're saying about Milk Creek. I haven't been on that trail since the flood took out the bridge in 03.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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cascadetraverser
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PostFri Sep 07, 2018 10:04 am 
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The ridge has an interesting history.  I went there on a traverse from Gamma ridge via Mica Lake in the early 90`s; back then it was the only area in the Glacier Peak Wilderness with a fire ban because of overuse (I suspect it was pretty popular, especially with the locals).  I saw only one party in 3 days up there even with the bridge in place.  There was evidence (probably still is) of trees being cut at some of the more popular lake camps but it really, for the most part, looked good.
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Brushwork
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PostSat Sep 08, 2018 9:45 am 
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The first time I hiked Milk creek was also affter traversing from Gamma ridge. Remember seeing a momma bear with cubs in East fork basin.  Think 80's.  Boy it seems a long time ago.  Glad I can still get out.

Thank you all for added information and letters !!!!!!!

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fyodorova
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PostWed Sep 19, 2018 3:55 pm 
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WTA article about the Milk Creek bridge
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Sep 20, 2018 7:45 am 
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Thanks for the link.

Dang, the picture they show of the mangled bridge in their blog makes me feel old. In this trip report  there wasn't yet any vegetation growing on the beach whereon the bridge lay.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Token Civilian
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PostFri Sep 21, 2018 7:34 am 
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Regaining access to the PCT via Milk Creek is critical.  The logistics of getting into the middle part of the PCT, roughly half way between the North Fork Sauk and the Suiattle are daunting.

For a volunteer trail crew, its a solid 2 day hike each way.  4 days of "overhead" in the commute.  Its also outside the range of a day trip for packers, so they'd be out overnight to do a drop off or pick up of a crew's gear / tools etc.

Getting this bridge, and the Milk Creek Trail back to passable state cuts that commute in half and puts the area in range of an out-and-back packer day trip.  On a week long crew, it means 5 days of work / 2 days of commuting vs 3 days of work / 4 days of commuting.
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jdk610
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PostFri Sep 21, 2018 9:24 am 
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I was on the Suiattle River trail earlier this week and tried to find the location of the old bridge across the Suiattle to Milk Creek.
According to my map and GPS, I was right on it, but I didn't see any signs of a trail... well, that's not true, there were a couple small indications of an old trail bed, but nothing that made me think "Yes, this is it for sure!"
My legs were tired after going up to Miner's Ridge so I didn't explore further, other than mark the two potential spots I found.

I plan to go back in the next couple weeks and poke around, and ultimately ferry across the Suiattle in my packraft and check out the Milk Creek drainage.
I'd love any clues re: finding the location of the old bridge. I figure if I can ferry across right where the bridge used to be, it will be easier to find the Milk Creek trail on the other side.

Thanks in advance for any info.
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Malachai Constant
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PostFri Sep 21, 2018 9:41 am 
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It is about half a mile in from the Suiattle trailhead you are well above he river. The trail descended to the left in a gradual traverse by a swampy rivulet in wet weather to a flatfish bit of ground. The brush is quite thick now. There are concrete supports on either side of the river which is wider than before the flood. If you cannot see supports you are not there. The bridge is a conserdable distance downstream on the opposite bank near a logjam. I do not think crossing with a pack raft is feasible as the current is strong and there are many sweepers downstream.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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jdk610
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PostFri Sep 21, 2018 9:51 am 
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Here were my two best guesses for the start of the Milk Creek trail.
https://www.gaiagps.com/public/fyBHhm0PM3UEHmOyHlNCXsqd/?layer=CalTopo
https://www.gaiagps.com/public/4XmHIJnDHmjZQezInAw3EQwf/?layer=CalTopo

Both were pretty close to where the trail is marked on map/GPS, which is approx 0.5 - 1 mile from the start of the Suiattle River trail.

I guess I'll find out for sure when I go back and see if either of those "trails" lead to concrete supports!
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Sep 21, 2018 10:16 am 
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Your 2nd track looks more correct. The 1st one is a reroute which there is a lot on the Suiattle trail! ; you're standing on the new work.   The Milk Creek trail is a 90 degree angle turn off the Suiattle  trail.

The beginning of the Milk Creek trail is hard to discern nowadays. It’s at a wide spot in the Suiattle trail at the distance already mentioned. It’s a flat corridor, choked with brush. The old trail head is a wide spot above the river, on your left as you face the river. Scramble down the bank, you should see the concrete support on the opposite bank. On the near bank, all that’s left at the site is a small concrete support, with a bit of re-bar poking out. But that’s probably buried in debris and silt now. Getting to where the bridge lay now is likely quite the endeavor; the cottonwoods are grown. Used to be you could see it from the Suiattle trail, if you knew just where to look, laying on the beach, all twisted up. Because of the grown trees, you can’t see it any more.

It would be  a fun adventure for a winter day.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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jdk610
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PostFri Sep 21, 2018 10:33 am 
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Thanks Kim!

The main reason I want to find the old bridge crossing is to avoid the initial bushwhack described in this report: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2015-08-20.9864278386
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Forum Index > Stewardship > Suiattle bridge funding for Milk creek access -- letters needed!
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