Forum Index > Trip Reports > A snowy excursion up the new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
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Nancyann
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PostSun Jan 27, 2019 3:12 pm 
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Last Friday I received a message from Triciaann wondering if I would like to go for a walk up F.S. Road 62 (Mt.Persis). My immediate reaction was (ugh, no shakehead.gif ). Thinking quickly, I messaged her back with an alternative. How about seeing if we can drive her Jeep up to the Martin Creek Iron Goat trailhead and see how the new Kelley Creek Trail has fared over the winter. She was totally up for it, so off we went.
We were able to drive all the way to the trailhead with no problem. Here was where the snow started, but some roadwork had been done recently and the parking lot was clear.
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19

We used our Microspikes, gaiters and waterproof boots as the trail was covered in snow most of the way. We stopped on the first bridge to take a few photos of the scenic Martin Creek.
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19

This trail, which was built by the Volunteers of America, including NWHikers Cascade Curmudgeon and Alpine Pedestrian, passes by some amazing old growth cedars and firs.
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19

It enters into the Wild Sky Wilderness where a beautiful bridge crosses Kelley Creek.
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19

The trail crosses many other creeks as it ascends the ridge, but none were too difficult to cross.
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19

We were able walk through the snow without needing snowshoes until we reached about 3,000ft elevation.
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19

At this point, we turned around, as the postholing became too difficult.
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19

On the way back, we stopped to take a few more photos of Kelley Creek and the confluence of Martin and Kelley Creeks.
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19
The new Kelley Creek Trail 1/25/19

We had a very enjoyable time, and are adding this trail to our list of fun winter walks in the Stevens Pass area!
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Bootpathguy
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PostSun Jan 27, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Nancyann wrote:
Last Friday I received a message from Triciaann wondering if I would like to go for a walk up F.S. Road 62 (Mt.Persis). My immediate reaction was (ugh, no shakehead.gif ).

Longest & ugliest clear-cut trek I've ever walked. Depressing, all the way to the beginning of Persis bootpath

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jdk610
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PostSun Jan 27, 2019 9:25 pm 
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Neato! Last time I was on that trail it didn't go very far... but it sounds like they've done work in the last year or two? Do you happen to know how many miles in you were able to hike?
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Nancyann
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PostSun Jan 27, 2019 9:57 pm 
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We turned around about two miles in where we needed snowshoes.
I have been further up quite a few times in the past two years in the summer. The trail has been completed up to the crossing of Kelley Creek where a huge blowdown conveniently fell across the creek. Totally awesome! After that CC and friends completed the short connector trail that intersects with the old Kelley Creek Trail. Here you can turn right and do a loop back down to the trailhead for the old Kelley Creek Trail. Then itís a bit of a roadwalk back to your car at the Martin Creek Iron Goat/New Kelley Creek trailhead.
Or..after the snow melts you can turn left and head west up towards Captain Point on the old abandoned trail to Scorpion Mountain. This trail was contracted out to be cleared of the mess of huge old growth blowdowns last year. Last summer Hiking Partner and I gave it a try and were very disappointed to discover that the trail crew did not finish their job. They cleared up until about a mile from the saddle where you reach the meadows below Captain Point. That last mile was horrible, but we made it up anyway. Iíve been meaning to call the Forest Service to find out why the job wasnít finished, just havenít got around to it yet.
Also, the previous summer, we discovered that a rough route had been flagged to connect Scorpion Mountain to the Captain Point meadows, but it was so vague that we got lost for a few minutes on the way back. We were hopefull that eventually the entire route between Kelley Creek and Scorpion Mountain would be opened up again, but it looks like it will take some more time.
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timberghost
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PostMon Jan 28, 2019 7:17 am 
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Being this trail falls in the Wild Sky Wilderness one would be lead to believe that since the Frog Mtn trail is at the top of the list for trail building it has higher priority. That was slated to have been started last fall which didn't occur.
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gb
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PostMon Jan 28, 2019 7:27 am 
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Nancyann wrote:
We turned around about two miles in where we needed snowshoes.
I have been further up quite a few times in the past two years in the summer. The trail has been completed up to the crossing of Kelley Creek where a huge blowdown conveniently fell across the creek. Totally awesome! After that CC and friends completed the short connector trail that intersects with the old Kelley Creek Trail. Here you can turn right and do a loop back down to the trailhead for the old Kelley Creek Trail. Then itís a bit of a roadwalk back to your car at the Martin Creek Iron Goat/New Kelley Creek trailhead.
Or..after the snow melts you can turn left and head west up towards Captain Point on the old abandoned trail to Scorpion Mountain. This trail was contracted out to be cleared of the mess of huge old growth blowdowns last year. Last summer Hiking Partner and I gave it a try and were very disappointed to discover that the trail crew did not finish their job. They cleared up until about a mile from the saddle where you reach the meadows below Captain Point. That last mile was horrible, but we made it up anyway. Iíve been meaning to call the Forest Service to find out why the job wasnít finished, just havenít got around to it yet.
Also, the previous summer, we discovered that a rough route had been flagged to connect Scorpion Mountain to the Captain Point meadows, but it was so vague that we got lost for a few minutes on the way back. We were hopefull that eventually the entire route between Kelley Creek and Scorpion Mountain would be opened up again, but it looks like it will take some more time.

The information on this area where I've not hiked is rather vague. I assume this is the TH you used, Nancyann:

Quote:
Drive US Highway 2 to milepost 55 between the town of Skykomish and Stevens Pass. Turn north onto Old Cascade Highway (FS Road #67). Drive approximately 2.3 mi. to the junction with FS Road #6710. Turn onto #6710 and continue for 1.4 miles to the parking lot.

Checking trip reports and what you have written here, apparently this new TH means you don't need to walk on a road which must mean that the TH is up Martin Creek valley to the point where  Kelley Creek joins Martin Creek (and hence past the logged areas in Martin Creek) - is that correct?

It sure looks like that is a beautiful forest and would make (as you explored) a lovely way to get to Scorpion Mountain, hopefully in the not too distant future.
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Nancyann
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PostMon Jan 28, 2019 8:24 am 
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gb, this is the same parking lot for the Martin Creek end of the Iron Goat Trail. Just walk north from the restroom a short ways and you will see the kiosk for the Kelley Creek Trail. It drops down to Martin Creek where you cross on a very nice bridge. The confluence of Kelley and Martin Creeks is just north of the bridge.
timberghost, I am hopefull that this trail system will be completed before I am too old to walk on it. clown.gif
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Sky Hiker
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PostTue Jan 29, 2019 6:26 am 
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Last year on the old Kelly creek trail before it intersects the new section is where my friend found a diseased older gentlemen. Went back into town and reported it at the ranger station
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Celticclimber
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PostSun Feb 03, 2019 3:05 pm 
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I spend 5 yrs of Wednesdays ( and some Saturdays) building that trail
with a 70+ yo fellow whose last name was Burns.
Nice to know that it is getting used.
We stopped working on it when Burns' knees gave out.
Wish we'd could have made the connection to Scorpion  MTn.


Live every day like you will die to-marrow. For some day that will be true.
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Sky Hiker
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PostSun Feb 03, 2019 5:38 pm 
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Any thought on WTA taking over? They spent a lot of time and money on that bike trail.
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Celticclimber
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PostSun Feb 03, 2019 5:43 pm 
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From what my bud at the Sky RD told me: WTA is planning
on working on only the most popular trails.
I'd say Kelly Cr. is out.
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MyFootHurts
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PostSun Feb 03, 2019 5:50 pm 
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Sky Hiker wrote:
Last year on the old Kelly creek trail before it intersects the new section is where my friend found a diseased older gentlemen. Went back into town and reported it at the ranger station

I think you need to tell us this story with a little more detail plz   eek.gif
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Sky Hiker
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PostSun Feb 03, 2019 6:22 pm 
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CC pmed me asking the same question. Here's what my friend told me. This was mid summer time frame and it was kind of warm out. He parked (was the only vehicle there)on the old Kelly cr th. He was walking along throwing branches and logs to get some excercise. He was almost out of the old logging unit when he looked over and there was an older gentleman lying there with his eyes open but not alive and cold.  He went down to the ranger station and reported it. The Sky fire dept later called him asking for an exact location for recovery. I looked in the Everett Herald the next few weeks looking for a story.
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MyFootHurts
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PostSun Feb 03, 2019 7:08 pm 
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Well that's a hell of a disease. I hope he didn't touch him.
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RichP
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PostSun Feb 03, 2019 7:26 pm 
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Nancyann wrote:
the previous summer, we discovered that a rough route had been flagged to connect Scorpion Mountain to the Captain Point meadows, but it was so vague that we got lost for a few minutes on the way back.

Interesting. When I walked this route a few years back is was not too difficult to follow though at times was guess work. I wonder if it has become more brushy? There sure was lots of flagging and I even found a sole hiking pole along the way. It was in late fall so perhaps the brush was less than in summer.

I'm glad to see this trail finally opening up because it will be a great two-car hike from Johnson Ridge out to the other end at Kelley Ck if it ever gets done 100%.

Here's someone who made it to Scorpion via the old trail last summer.

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2018-07-22.6793002520

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