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Kellbell
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PostSun Nov 04, 2018 12:14 pm 
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Trying to plan a trip for a friend's birthday. The monday I want to camp says they are full, but the Tuesday has openings. If I can find a alternative camping spot for monday, then maybe we can just be day visitors on Tuesday. The question is, what is in the area that is close enough? And if we just car camp (I'd rather backpack, but willing to do whatever) how's the hike for getting er done in one day? I'm a slow hiker, and I'm worried all those miles will make for short stay at the springs.
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Tom
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PostSun Nov 04, 2018 12:21 pm 
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I remember some decent camps along the gated road to goldmyer  If you have bikes it would make it a lot easier to camp along the road and go back.
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Nov 04, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Much of the dispersed  car camping sites along the MF road have been eliminated in the last decade ( due to persistent problems) I think the MF campground is gated for the winter now, but you could certainly park at the MF trailhead and "backpack" the 1/4 mile CCC trail into the campground.
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KurtS
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PostSun Nov 04, 2018 2:22 pm 
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I've always wondered about the legality of staying in campgrounds that are closed for the season. I've seen comments that this could be considered trespassing, and ive seen comments its ok. Does anyone know of an official position?
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Kellbell
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PostSun Nov 04, 2018 3:41 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Much of the dispersed car camping sites along the MF road have been eliminated in the last decade ( due to persistent problems)

Are those problems with drug use and such? Is it thought to be an unsafe area? My friend has a nice car and I'd hate to see it broken into on her birthday😞 (I'd bring my piece of crap car,  but it won't make it up that road)
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Nov 04, 2018 3:45 pm 
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Kellbell wrote:
RandyHiker wrote:
Much of the dispersed car camping sites along the MF road have been eliminated in the last decade ( due to persistent problems)

Are those problems with drug use and such? Is it thought to be an unsafe area? My friend has a nice car and I'd hate to see it broken into on her birthday😞 (I'd bring my piece of crap car,  but it won't make it up that road)

Not so much drugs as shooting and leaving the place a mess!  People were using the MF for garbage dumping as well.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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puzzlr
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PostSun Nov 04, 2018 10:53 pm 
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I've read your previous reports and you will not have any problem hiking to Goldmyer from the Dingford trailhead. It's a 4.5 mile road hike one-way that is almost level (ok, 400' of gain, but it's imperceptible). There are some views along the way and a few big trees which make it a more pleasant walk. If you go on a day when the river is high you may run into a wading spot 2 miles past the gate where the river overflows onto the road for about 200 yards.

There is a decent camp site at the end of the road walk just before bridge over the Middle Fork river and onto Goldmyer property. I'm attaching a photo from a work party day, but on a normal day there will probably not be any vehicles here. The area suitable for camping is to the right and everything on this side of the river is in the national forest. It's a 1/4 mile walk from here over the river up to the Goldmyer caretaker cabin.
There was a work party this day which is why there are several vehicles parked here.
There was a work party this day which is why there are several vehicles parked here.

I would be very surprised if all the "camp" sites are taken this time of year on a Monday. I think you're seeing that Goldmyer reached it's 20 person/day limit whether they are camping or not. A reservation to visit is strongly recommended, even if you're not camping. It would be shame to walk all that way and not be able to get in. If the calendar says they're full you probably won't be allowed to visit the springs.

Many, many people visit Goldmyer as a day hike. The actual hot springs area is not very big and although some do it, I don't know how people spend more than an hour or two there. I'm done after 30 minutes when I visit. On the other hand, that's about how much time I spend on summits and other people like to linger much longer.

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Backpackapalooza
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 9:40 am 
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Just to be clear, the Middle Fork Road past the Taylor River bridge is unpaved, potholed, and is best taken with a high clearance vehicle to the Dingford Creek trailhead parking area. As was stated, you can either walk along the closed road or you can follow the Middle Fork Trail. I know there are camping spots along the Middle Fork Trail but can't tell you exactly where along the way (sorry). The plus side to taking the trail is it is prettier than the road side on the other side of the river. The downside is it's slower (some downed trees) and you have to ford/cross the Burntboot Creek as there is no bridge (might be a log somewhere though). The Goldmyer camping area is quite beautiful as you are surrounded by old growth trees. I love that area. Enjoy and post a trip report!
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zephyr
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 11:46 am 
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Backpackapalooza wrote:
or you can follow the Middle Fork Trail.

I would not recommend doing this.  I did that trail last year about this same time in November.  There are numerous creek crossings and some are tricky.  You will get wet.  And crossing Burnboot Creek can be dangerous.  The "crossing" is a downed old growth log, but recent windfalls and flood debris have covered it on the Goldmeyer side.  You have to clamber over downfall and through limbs--unless someone has brushed it out.  Burnboot Creek can be a torrent.  Also the Goldmeyer side has a high steep bank of gravel to get up and over.  Caveat emptor.  ~z
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Backpackapalooza
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 12:43 pm 
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Can't argue with any of your points! Just depends on how "adventurous" one is feeling. But indeed, the road is the much better, safer way to go.
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 1:19 am 
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Agree with what was said above about the trail. Thanks for adding that. Last year a person was hurt bad enough trying to cross Thunder Creek to need SAR help getting out. Right now the creeks are probably ok because we've had a number of dry days. You can use the forecast for the main river to gage how the side creeks will be, they're not guaranteed to follow the same pattern.

recent photo of washed out Burntboot Creek bridge. The pieces don't connect into a crossing.
recent photo of washed out Burntboot Creek bridge. The pieces don't connect into a crossing.

There's a big old growth log across Burntboot creek downstream a few hundred yards. But I can't recommend it -- getting onto or off of it on the Goldmyer side is a scary step over an open gap and it's an 8 foot drop to the river below if you don't make it.
alternate crossing downstream
alternate crossing downstream

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