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Kim Brown
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PostFri Mar 08, 2019 4:11 pm 
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It wasnt just Oso; before that, a chunk of mountain slumped and closed 530 at another location for quite some time.

Paving the Mtn Loop was discussed in the late 1980s; I think the only thing holding it back was funding.

Im not convinced it would be better than keeping it as-is. I can deal with potholes on a gravel road; though the Mid Fk punctured many tires through the decades and probably a few axles got snapped, but canyonic pits with sharp edges can puncture even more tires and snap even more axles.

When all is said and done, it will come down to whats better for the fish.

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" I'm really happy about this! I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  oldgranola, NWHs outdoors advocate.
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Chief Joseph
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PostFri Mar 08, 2019 4:46 pm 
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So, does anyone know if they would plan to try to keep it open year round?

Plus, how can they justify the funding to pave the MLH when they say there is no money to repair TH access roads?

I just think it's a very bad idea a big waste of money.

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Anne Elk
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PostFri Mar 08, 2019 6:26 pm 
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Brian R wrote:
Paving negates the need for a 4WD, high-clearance vehicle.

That's never been necessary on the Mt. Loop.  The paving issue was raised more recently than the 80's.  As I recall, the locals were against it, the Forest Service was more gung-ho, and likely Darrington loggers an the like.  I think leaving it as-is is more in keeping with its designation as a "National Scenic Byway".  I have friends who live near Verlot and I'm sure they went to the hearing, and have an opinion.  My preference would be to leave it as it is; keeps the speeders somewhat under control.
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Riverside Laker
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PostFri Mar 08, 2019 9:36 pm 
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I wonder how many highways are not paved? The Alcan highway comes to mind.
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Anne Elk
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PostFri Mar 08, 2019 9:59 pm 
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From the official announcement Schroder posted:

Quote:
The study will identify feasible improvement options to improve access to recreational opportunities, while also improving operational safety and reducing maintenance.

What's kind of grating is that if the FS is so concerned about access to recreational opportunities, why don't they repair all their other washed out access roads - Index/Galena, Sloan Creek, Dosewallips, etc come to mind.  No doubt a lot of the $ would come from the Federal Hwy Admin, but why the FHA should care about this is a mystery.  The route would still likely be closed in the winter at the usual locations, regardless.
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Brian R
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 1:04 am 
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I wonder how many highways are not paved? The Alcan highway comes to mind.

The Alcan has been completely paved for over 30 years--at least. Even the Cassiar is now 100% paved. I've driven both at least a dozen times during the past four decades.

I'm not really pro-pavement, and I don't frequent the Green-Book area enough to have a strong opinion about MLH.  But there is a consumption calculus to be performed when it comes to vehicle-type required to get to the trailhead. Assuming we want status-quo access maintained--and I certainly do--does the above calculus offset other inputs and considerations?
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Riverside Laker
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 1:13 am 
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I wonder if instead of calculus, there will be tree-gone-oh-my-tree with paving.
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 1:39 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
From the official announcement Schroder posted:

Quote:
The study will identify feasible improvement options to improve access to recreational opportunities, while also improving operational safety and reducing maintenance.

What's kind of grating is that if the FS is so concerned about access to recreational opportunities, why don't they repair all their other washed out access roads - Index/Galena, Sloan Creek, Dosewallips, etc come to mind.  No doubt a lot of the $ would come from the Federal Hwy Admin, but why the FHA should care about this is a mystery.  The route would still likely be closed in the winter at the usual locations, regardless.

FHA cares because FHA is part of the funding source for the proposed project.

Index-Galena is a Snohomish County project. Geology is creating an issue with the repair, this,  after long delays addressing environmental and design objections during the public process.

Sloan is closed forever, but there is good foot access to the Bald Eagle trail; it's not that long to the historic end of the road. There are some nice trees back there where the old road crosses the creek at the clear cut area, beyond the Bald Eagle trail. I'd like to check it out farther.

Dosewallips - funding is the issue; the USFS doesn't have the money and probably isn't that excited to pay for access to NPS land, and NPS won't participate in any cost; now it's been so long since the Decision was signed, a new Environmental Assessment would be necessary if the funding were there. The first EA was a big delay due to controversy in science about fish.

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" I'm really happy about this! I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  oldgranola, NWHs outdoors advocate.
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Where is-was the Sloan road? I always thought you accessed it of FS #49 that goes to the trail to the Makinaw shelter and Glacier peak? Maybe it's the old road just east of the Goat lake TH that goes to Bedal?

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Anne Elk
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 6:17 pm 
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Chief Joseph - Yes, that's right - FS#49 is also referred to as Sloan Creek/North Fork Sauk Road.

My friends who've lived near Verlot since the 80's say "The issue has never died, and never will because the USFS, Snohomish County, and the USFHA (Federal Highway Administration) have always wanted it."  So the impetus isn't really coming from local residents and recreational users.

Many (including myself) feel that keeping things status quo helps preserve the recreational aspect of the Mtn Loop.  If it's fully paved, it would likely turn the Mtn Loop into more of a pass-thru access route for Darrington.  There would surely be more commercial use of the road if it were fully paved, and the previous enviro objection to improving the road (it would likely be more than just "paving" are a matter of historical record.  I can't recall if it didn't happen last time because of citizen objections, or if the expected appropriation evaporated.
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 9:02 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
Chief Joseph - Yes, that's right - FS#49 is also referred to as Sloan Creek/North Fork Sauk Road.

So the road to the TH leading to Blue lake and the Makinaw shelter is no longer passable? I know there are a couple of slide areas and a creek that washed out the road, but I though they had repaired it? Been maybe 3 years since I have been down that road.

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Anne Elk
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 9:38 pm 
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CJ - There's a list for current FS road conditions along the Mt Loop here: Mt Loop Highway conditions  The most current NWH  TR mention seems to be from 2017: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8024202&highlight=makinaw+shelter In re the issue of paving, just rec'd another email from the friend who lives up there:
Quote:
If paved, it would still be closed all winter (at least most winters). My big objection is twofold: #1. Inevitably, they make the right-of-way a minimum of 60-70 feet wide, so any tree near the current road will be taken out, meaning that people lose the sense of driving through some old growth forest, and #2. It sets the stage for idiots seeing who can drive the entire loop (Arlington to Granite Falls to Barlow Pass to Darrington and back to Arlington) the fastest. That'll be wonderful! Guaranteed it will happen!

He had a few other choice comments also, but we don't need more hyperbole on this site re controversial issues.  wink.gif  rolleyes.gif
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Mar 09, 2019 10:09 pm 
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I appreciate your help Ann but I am still confused about this Sloan Road deal....last fall Matt Lemke and friend drove to the NFSauk TH and hiked to Glacier peak. http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8028398&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I know that a ways down the road on the right there is a trail that leads to a river crossing and continues on to Sloan Peak. I am sure that Kim Brown will be along tomorrow to set me straight on this.

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Kim Brown
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PostMon Mar 11, 2019 3:59 pm 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
I appreciate your help Ann but I am still confused about this Sloan Road deal....last fall Matt Lemke and friend drove to the NFSauk TH and hiked to Glacier peak. http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8028398&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I know that a ways down the road on the right there is a trail that leads to a river crossing and continues on to Sloan Peak. I am sure that Kim Brown will be along tomorrow to set me straight on this.

Did I hear my name?

The Sloan climbing route is well before the N Fk Sauk trail head (I think even before Lost Creek).


The Sloan Creek fork you are thinking of at N Fk Sauk is signed for Bowser Creek. That road goes another mile and a half (or so-ish?) before it hits the closure berm. Walk that closed road to the Bald Eagle Trail, or continue a ways to the historic end of the road, up in the clear cut somewhere.
Its a great little trail to Bald Eagle and Bowser Lakes (but we missed out on finding the route to Bowser Lakes).

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" I'm really happy about this! I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  oldgranola, NWHs outdoors advocate.
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Schroder
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PostMon Mar 11, 2019 4:29 pm 
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The Cougar Creek (Sloan Peak) road used to go as far as the river and was gated off when it flooded in 1980. The N Fork Sauk Road (49) branched up Cadet Creek and used to go within a mile of Curry Gap in the late 80's. Road 49 continued up Sloan Creek to just below Coney Lake.  It provided an easy spring snow approach to the crest near June Mountain.
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