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whitebark
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Joined: 08 Jul 2005
Posts: 1847 | TRs
Location: Seattle
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PostFri May 10, 2019 12:55 pm 
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When the other trails along the Mountain Loop Highway are just too crowded, there's always the good old Marten Creek trail to escape to. I checked out Marten Creek yesterday, and found it in better-than-usual shape, with all blowdowns removed for most of the way. The area around the one vista point, where you get of glimpse of Three Fingers rising above Granite Pass, has been brushed out and is a nice spot to take a break.

For the first time since seemingly forever, blowdowns have been removed for a ways past the vista point.  The easy hiking and major maintenance ends at a washout in the old tractor road. A confusing flurry of flag tape scattered in the forest attempts to lead hikers around the washout and the mess created by a massive new blowdown. I relocated some misleading flagging to help out lost hikers -- Once you get around the blowdown, you have to climb the hill a bit to regain the old road.

The final mile of the road is in rough shape in places due to washouts and erosion, but is now easier to follow after I did some brushing. At the 3.8 mile mark the trail seems to make an abrupt end at the side of Marten Creek, which is still flowing strongly from snow melt and is difficult to cross without wading. I didn't attempt to ford the creek this time.  The mine site is perhaps a third of a mile beyond the creek, accessed by the final segment of the tractor road which is little maintained and brushy.

Instead, I explored the remnant of the old Granite Pass Trail starting at the ford.  It passes a snug little campsite, then fades away in the forest soon after.  A flag line may take you all the way to the pass, if you are in the mood for an adventure.

Another, possibly more developed version of the Granite Pass trail once existed on the other side of the creek. Where it intersected the final bit of tractor road near the mine is an open question. One day, I'll have to explore the area to see if the old tread can be found.

Conditions are pleasant in Martin Creek now. Snow is mostly gone and bugs haven't hatched yet in any great numbers. Nice flower show, with trilliums abundant in the forest.
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Chief Joseph
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Joined: 10 Nov 2007
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Location: What Verlot Forgot.
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PostFri May 10, 2019 3:00 pm 
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We just hiked that last week, solitude is pretty much guaranteed since there are only room for maybe 3 vehicles at the TH. We turned around at the confusing flagging that you spoke of when we could no longer spot a flag. Now I have to go back and make it to the creek crossing, when the flow has slowed. I called this "The hike to nowhere" as the trail pretty much just peters out, although I heard there are some mines up there, but I have no idea where they are.

--------------
Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Joey
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Joined: 05 Jun 2005
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Location: Redmond
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PostSat May 11, 2019 9:53 am 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
I heard there are some mines up there, but I have no idea where they are.

GISsurfer map showing mining claims

The forum software is not making the link clickable.  You will need to copy/paste

[url]https://mappingsupport.com/p2/gissurfer.php?center=48.097907,-121.616531&zoom=14&basemap=ESRI_scanned_topo_USA&overlay=Mining_claims_and_more&inline=overlay^name=Mining_claims_and_more^url=https://apps.fs.usda.gov/arcx/rest/services/EDW/EDW_Tract_01/MapServer^layers=0^dynamicLayers=[{'source':{'type':'mapLayer','mapLayerId':0},'drawingInfo':{"renderer":{"type":"simple","symbol":{"type":"esriSFS","style":"esriSFSSolid","color":[0,0,0,0],"outline":{"type":"esriSLS","style":"esriSLSSolid","color":[255,0,0,255],"width":2}}}}}][/url]
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OwenT
afk, brb 6/2018



Joined: 24 May 2014
Posts: 224 | TRs
Location: Moses Lake
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afk, brb 6/2018
PostSat May 11, 2019 10:45 am 
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Looks like those are old patented mining claims (private property). Data on active mining claims on federal lands only comes through the BLM LR2000. Mylandmatters does a good job mapping the data and is the closest you'll ever get to an accurate map of active claims short of going to the county recorder and making a map yourself from their current records. The land matters map also has an MRDS mines layer which is also available for a variety of mapping platforms, I use it on google earth. The USGS Mineral Resources Data System shows locations (many approximate) of tons of old mines and prospects.
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