Forum Index > Trail Talk > Road to Ira Spring and Talapus/Olallie Lakes closed
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Jeff
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PostTue Dec 18, 2018 8:26 am 
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HikerJohn wrote:
It's not just road maintenance-- it's trash pickup (I picked up three bags of garbage today at the Greenwater TH), toilet pumping (toilet pumping in the Snoquamie Ranger District this year cost $30,000-- and Snow Lake had to be pumped out three times), trailhead patrols by law enforcement and rangers, and trail patrols for safety (did that today too...).

So with no or limited dollars to do these things they are prioritizing-- and expect more of these "choices" to hit us next year...

That's no reason to close a perfectly good road though. And closing access to a hiking trail because the services are too expensive? Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Just cut services and let people enjoy the trails.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Dec 18, 2018 9:34 am 
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Jeff wrote:
Just cut services and let people enjoy the trails.

Just bring a $100 from craigslist mtb zip up the closed road and enjoy a delightfully uncrowded trail.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Dec 18, 2018 9:54 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
FWIW: The very popular Bear Mountain state park near Peekskill NY charges $8 per day for parking.

At $30 per year for the NWFP what service level do people expect?

But OTH I've been paying $$$$$ in federal taxes for decades, seems like some of that should be going to keeping public lands available to the public and not just for tanks the army can't use and doesn't want and $1300 coffee mugs.

I posted this to keep people informed.  If anybody really loves one of those trails, hopefully they'll read this and not waste half a tank of gas.
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joker
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PostTue Dec 18, 2018 4:15 pm 
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Jeff wrote:
HikerJohn wrote:
It's not just road maintenance-- it's trash pickup (I picked up three bags of garbage today at the Greenwater TH), toilet pumping (toilet pumping in the Snoquamie Ranger District this year cost $30,000-- and Snow Lake had to be pumped out three times), trailhead patrols by law enforcement and rangers, and trail patrols for safety (did that today too...).

So with no or limited dollars to do these things they are prioritizing-- and expect more of these "choices" to hit us next year...

That's no reason to close a perfectly good road though. And closing access to a hiking trail because the services are too expensive? Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Just cut services and let people enjoy the trails.

Unfortunately in this modern era we end up with rather unsanitary conditions at close in popular trailheads if  they aren't serviced.
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treeswarper
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PostWed Dec 19, 2018 8:39 am 
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Don't forget, those "unsanitary conditions" get into the watershed. 

I negotiated a minefield of poop at a rather remote trailhead in N. CA.   I complained to the right people and a toilet was put in.  So much for the stereotype of hikers being concientious about Leave No Trace.  That trailhead was trashed all around the start of the trail by human feces and toilet paper.  Down the hill was the Salmon River which flows into the Klamath, where salmon are having a hard time and there are algae problems.

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joker
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PostWed Dec 19, 2018 11:44 am 
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Yes. As is often said, "this is why we can't have nice  things..."
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tlake
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PostWed Dec 19, 2018 12:43 pm 
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I went to the North Bend ranger station today. They have no closer notices for the roads. He thought it was King County that closed the roads.
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Windstorm
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PostWed Dec 19, 2018 3:13 pm 
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tlake wrote:
I went to the North Bend ranger station today. They have no closer notices for the roads. He thought it was King County that closed the roads.

The info I saw said that KCSO in partnership with the USFS closed the roads. Looks like the Forest Service updated their road conditions page today to show the closures.
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Jeff
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PostThu Dec 20, 2018 9:40 pm 
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HikerJohn wrote:
Folks, the sad truth is that the Snoqualmie Ranger District just got hit by a major budget cut-- despite being the 3rd busiest district in the U.S. Forest Service system.   With the late onset of winter weather, there is no full-time staff to keep the roads open and trailheads checked, and with just a few of us volunteers to try to keep things together, they made the tough decision to close and lock gates and bathrooms (normally the snow would have taken care of this problem).

The REAL challenge will be next season as a bunch of us got together on Saturday to discuss options with the USFS bosses.  The reality is there isn't enough money nor volunteers to do it all, so the decision being faced is what trailheads to close, what roads to gate, and what trails to not patrol. 

If you want to wade in on this, I'd suggest a phone call and/or mail to your U.S. Representative and tell them to 1) keep NW Forest Pass funding in the local district where it's collected, 2) Recognize that this lack of funding for recreation in the National Forests WILL lead to deaths in the coming year in the wilderness.

BTW, look for my next post-- I'll be appealing for volunteers to help out!

Is there a list of trailheads that are being temporarily shuttered for the winter? I know many of the ones on 90 don't have services during the winter.
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HikerJohn
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PostFri Dec 21, 2018 11:07 am 
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Jeff wrote:
Is there a list of trailheads that are being temporarily shuttered for the winter? I know many of the ones on 90 don't have services during the winter.

Jeff,
Other than the standard I-90 ones that normally close in the winter (which includes Talapus, Snow Lake trailheads), look for potential trailhead closures (locked toilets, removed garbage cans, etc) of McClellan Butte/Tinkham Road, Dingford, most of the sites down by Summit Lake/Copley Lake....  Most of the impact will take place next spring when you'll really notice the hits..
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rossb
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PostSat Dec 22, 2018 10:16 am 
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So, the road is closed a bit before the Y. Can you park there and ski/snowshoe? I ask because the road is a good place to ski if the snow level is low enough. Having no cars on it would actually make it better (since you wouldn't have to deal with tracks beyond that point).
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RandyHiker
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PostSat Dec 22, 2018 11:25 am 
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rossb wrote:
So, the road is closed a bit before the Y. Can you park there and ski/snowshoe? I ask because the road is a good place to ski if the snow level is low enough. Having no cars on it would actually make it better (since you wouldn't have to deal with tracks beyond that point).

Yes skiing that road is a good alternate when the snow level has dropped low and the pass has closed or become a mess as a result.  But not if "jeepers" have been rutting it up.

Don't the jeepers have full run of the south of I-90 roads or have gates been added there?
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HikerJohn
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PostSat Dec 22, 2018 8:40 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Don't the jeepers have full run of the south of I-90 roads or have gates been added there?

Randy, many of the roads south of I-90 on the west side are now gated (Hansen Creek) or ditched.  The exception is the North Fork Snoqualmie area.  They do have lots of places to go explore east of the crest e.g. Stampede Pass area, but that's closed off now.
On the hand, with these roads closed, they make great new places to ski!
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christensent
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PostSun Dec 23, 2018 6:27 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Don't the jeepers have full run of the south of I-90 roads or have gates been added there?

Last year Tinkham was the last place to Jeep in deep snow, and that got closed. It's not gated but very very clearly signed with a big barricade sign that you cannot enter. Of course people move these signs off to the side routinely. At least that was the state last winter, the closure started mid-way through last year. I haven't been up there this year to confirm the state of signage/gating yet (it'd be funny if they spend money to install a gate to close a road due to budget cuts).

There is currently absolutely nowhere to drive in deep snow on I90, all access is closed. Fortunately Stevens is still loaded with opportunities for offroad deep snow driving.

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Cyclopath
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PostSun Dec 23, 2018 8:39 pm 
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rossb wrote:
So, the road is closed a bit before the Y. Can you park there and ski/snowshoe? I ask because the road is a good place to ski if the snow level is low enough. Having no cars on it would actually make it better (since you wouldn't have to deal with tracks beyond that point).

I think it was a gate.  My memory isn't perfect as I get older.

There was no snow that day.  This is maybe 1,500' so when the snow line gets this low it might be a good option.
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > Road to Ira Spring and Talapus/Olallie Lakes closed
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