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Nancyann
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PostTue Mar 26, 2019 12:07 pm 
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The weather didn’t look too promising, so we had minus zero expectations for the day, but the Northshore Road to Spada Lake had just opened so we headed up the Sultan Basin for the day. It was raining pretty hard, and the target shooters were leaving, except for a group huddling under a tent looking at a table full of guns set up at the Olney Creek gate.
When we arrived at the Culmback Dam, where the Northshore Road ends, a group of four wheelers were parked, probably discussing the lack of options available, since every logging road has been gated. They gave us perplexed stares as we donned our rain gear. Our goal for the day was to check out the Sultan River Canyon Trail. I knew there would be a fair amount of snow to negotiate, but we were unpleasantly surprised to find anywhere from one to three feet covering the road up to the trail itself. Since we were too lazy to bring our snowshoes, we struggled for over a mile postholing our way up to the trailhead.
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19

When we finally arrived, we were pleasantly surprised to find bare ground!

The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19

Up until now, we had followed a faint set of snowshoe tracks, but apparently they didn’t take them off and hike down the trail, so we found ourselves on a first descent of the year! It’s not too much to brag about, since it was only two miles, but for us senior citizens it was a notable achievement.  crutches.gif
There were a few small slides across the trail, and one large blowdown, but for most of the 710 foot descent the going was easy.
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19

My favorite thing about this trail are the giant cedars and firs which have been spared from logging, due to being in the Spada watershed.
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19

As we approached the bottom of the canyon, the trail became completely covered with deep snow, so we slowly broke trail with much postholing, until we reached the river.

The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19
The Sultan River Trail 3/24/19

The Sultan River as it leaves Spada Lake was a beautiful green color, and we found a nice log to sit on and have lunch.
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19

Surprisingly it had stopped raining, so our climb back up out of the canyon went quickly and thanks to our previous trailbreaking efforts, the trek back to the truck took a lot less time.
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19
Sultan River Canyon Trail 3/24/19

We were amused to see some target shooters pull up and park under the camera and sign saying “No Target Shooting, 24 Hour Survellience” and unload their weapons. Wonder how that went for them...  dizzy.gif
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bobbi
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stillaGUAMish
PostTue Mar 26, 2019 12:19 pm 
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two miles for seniors ... ha ha!

I'm so done with snow, but will hike it if I must.  thanks for sharing your outing!

glad you were out and about!  guess I should post some of my hikes from Oahu, etc.!

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bobbi ૐ

"Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
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Nancyann
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PostTue Mar 26, 2019 12:45 pm 
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Well, it was actually six miles round trip if you count the roadwalk. Nothin’ to sneeze at if you’re postholing much of the way. Right? biggrin.gif
Yes, quit being such a slacker and get those Oahu pics up, bobbi!
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Mar 26, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Nice!
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RichP
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here and there
PostTue Mar 26, 2019 4:52 pm 
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Missing that green!
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Justus S.
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PostTue Mar 26, 2019 6:44 pm 
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Thanks for the update. I still need to check that trail out.
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Nancyann
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PostTue Mar 26, 2019 7:12 pm 
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A little thread drift, Sky Hiker? huh.gif
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Sky Hiker
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PostWed Mar 27, 2019 2:52 am 
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My bad I put the link on the wrong thread. Not to worry Tom already rode my ass. Nice Hike though.
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timberghost
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PostWed Mar 27, 2019 6:06 am 
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It's ok Sky we forgive you everyone makes mistakes. Your a better man for admitting it.
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Schroder
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PostWed Mar 27, 2019 7:46 am 
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I've not checked out that trail since it was built. How far down the river does it go?  There used to be a historic trail that began just north of Bronsen Lake and followed the east bank of the Sultan River through many mining claims. We used to take the kids there when we were looking for snow-free lowland hikes.
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Nancyann
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PostWed Mar 27, 2019 8:49 am 
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Schroder, I know that trail you are referring to. I stumbled upon it while riding my horse up the PUD right of way a few years ago near Lake Bronson. It even had little hand made directional signs. However, when I took Triciaann up there a couple of years later, I couldn’t find it, perhaps it had been camouflaged.
Not sure how far down the river you can go from where the canyon trail ends, but there is an active mining claim there. We spotted a wheelbarrow on the other side of the river on Sunday, and there are several signs posted along the trail claiming ownership rights of minerals.
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