Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mountain Home Road - Peshastin LO Attempt: 04/14/19
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fourteen410
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PostSun Apr 14, 2019 8:54 pm 
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Headed out for a late afternoon trip to do some recon on the flower bloom. Parked at the End of County Road sign and headed up a muddy road to the ridge. The forest has been trimmed recently - signs indicate this is to improve wildlife habitat and wildfire resilience. Cleanup is supposed to happen this spring.

Lots of early wildflowers are blooming on the trail, but the glacier lilies and spring beauties stole the show. The balsamroot are still 2-3 weeks away from full bloom.

Found a dead hawk (?) on the ridge with lots hoof prints nearby. Too bad - looked like a beautiful bird.

I was hoping to head over to Peshastin Lookout (Numbers Hill), but was stopped at the Forest Service border (47.5606, -120.6459) by a NO TRESPASSING sign.  confused.gif  I was under the impression that the Chelan Douglas Land Trust owned the non-USFS land that the trail crossed, but upon looking into parcel records online, it looks like a private landowner purchased the land in June 2018. That's a bummer, since there's a fantastic balsamroot field up there. Alas.

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fourteen410
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 8:14 am 
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Update: I contacted the Mountain Home Lodge and they informed me that the new owner of the land "does not wish to have people accessing his property due to 'the high volume of public lands here in Chelan county'". So unfortunately we won't be able to enjoy the balsamroot slopes up there anymore frown.gif
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iron
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 10:06 am 
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fourteen410 wrote:
Update: I contacted the Mountain Home Lodge and they informed me that the new owner of the land "does not wish to have people accessing his property due to 'the high volume of public lands here in Chelan county'". So unfortunately we won't be able to enjoy the balsamroot slopes up there anymore frown.gif

that's really lame.

not sure what his "reason" actually means. doesn't seem to be logic there.

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fourteen410
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 1:12 pm 
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Agreed. Weyerhaeuser used to own the land and let people hike on it (permit free). I really hate when private owners shut down access on land with established trails. This was a quiet alternative to nearby Sauers Mt. for wildflowers.

Alas.
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Get Out and Go
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 3:46 pm 
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Well, that's a shame.  frown.gif   I've enjoyed many visits out there.  Here's a TR from 2016 with most of the photos taken in the now privatized area.  http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8020447  Still some good terrain to poke around in, thanks to Chelan-Douglas Land Trust.  up.gif

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"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go."
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Sculpin
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 6:03 pm 
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fourteen410 wrote:
Update: I contacted the Mountain Home Lodge and they informed me that the new owner of the land "does not wish to have people accessing his property due to 'the high volume of public lands here in Chelan county'".

Thanks for figuring that out, I was wondering.  I'll second iron that this is lame!

It is also not necessarily legal.  Maybe one of the lawyers on the site can weigh in, but my understanding is that the public often has a legal easement over private land on established roads and trails that access public land, and this route is clearly a road and is clearly established.

I have land nearby and would welcome hikers if they could reach it without crossing other private land.

Hmmm, wonder if the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance would get interested in this...they have been amazingly effective in this regard.   agree.gif

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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jdk610
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 6:54 pm 
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Your dog is adorable!  biggrin.gif
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fourteen410
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PostMon Apr 15, 2019 7:32 pm 
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Sculpin wrote:
It is also not necessarily legal.  Maybe one of the lawyers on the site can weigh in, but my understanding is that the public often has a legal easement over private land on established roads and trails that access public land, and this route is clearly a road and is clearly established.

I was wondering about this as well. I'll reach out to the Chelan Douglas Land Trust to see if they have any insight.


jdk610, Pebbles says thank you!
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fourteen410
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PostSat Apr 20, 2019 7:29 am 
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I received a response from the Chelan Douglas Land Trust this morning:

The Forest Service is aware of the informal trail system along the ridgeline at Mountain Home. At this point, the only formal, authorized access is via the Land Trust property. Trails that continue to the south (toward Wedge Mtn) on the FS are not considered system trails and therefore not maintained or authorized, but there is no restriction against use of these trails.

To the north of the Land Trust property, the trail(s) cross at least two separate private landowners, one of whom does not actively seek to prevent access across their land or post no trespassing signs, and the other (as you encounter) who does. As far as we at the Land Trust know, there is no public dedicated right-of-way for access via the Mountain Home Trails. Even the Land Trust property is privately owned; we just choose to invite the public onto the property for non-motorized recreation at no charge. So, to answer your question, yes, the private landowner(s) can post no trespassing and actively seek enforcement of it if they choose. While it's not likely or even very feasible to prevent trespass on this private land along the ridgeline, it is their right.

The Land Trust hopes to work with this landowner in the future to explore options for access to the existing and heavily used trails system, but so far we have not been able to make much headway.
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PostSat Apr 20, 2019 8:55 am 
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fourteen410 wrote:
Even the Land Trust property is privately owned; we just choose to invite the public onto the property for non-motorized recreation at no charge. So, to answer your question, yes, the private landowner(s) can post no trespassing and actively seek enforcement of it if they choose. While it's not likely or even very feasible to prevent trespass on this private land along the ridgeline, it is their right.

But is this right?  confused.gif

I'm not sure how to find the pertinent statutes in Washington State, but from my understanding of "prescriptive easement," this spot may qualify.

I found this on a legal website:

"ESTABLISHING A PRESCRIPTIVE EASEMENT
Typically, a prescriptive easement is created when someone uses land for access, such as a driveway or beach path or shortcut. But many times, a neighbor has simply begun using a part of the adjoining property. He may have farmed it or even have built on it. After the time requirement is met, the trespasser gains a legal right to use the property.
When the trespassing is done by the public, a public right to use property can be created. It is often called an "implied dedication" instead of a prescriptive easement. A public dedication is often created if an owner allows the city or county to make improvements or maintain a portion of his land."

I presume that in the case being discussed, the "time requirement" has been met.  Also, the previous owner, Weyerhauser, allowed public use without expressly stating that the land was open to the public.  If I understand correctly, this circumstance ironically increases the likelihood that a prescriptive easement would be granted.

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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iron
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PostSat May 25, 2019 7:08 pm 
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do you know if access to boundary butte is still allowed from MHR?

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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PostSun May 26, 2019 5:31 am 
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iron wrote:
do you know if access to boundary butte is still allowed from MHR?

Haven't been up yet this year, but the private land issue involves Teanaway, not Boundary.  However, the road has gotten really bad (maybe you weren't planning on driving it anyway!).  The best way IMO is to park at the "End of County Maintained Road" sign, hike through the Land Trust parcel, and then make a left turn when you cross the road to Boundary Butte.  You can tag the summit, hike back to the junction, and then finish the loop trail.

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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Brushbuffalo
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PostSun May 26, 2019 5:22 pm 
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iron wrote:
do you know if access to boundary butte is still allowed from MHR?

Not sure if this helps because it may not be time pertinent, but last summer on a drive home I diverted  from the highways and  drove up to the top of Boundary to sleep on top ( past the apparatus on top where the LO used to be).  Saw no signs that indicated I could be trespassing. At that time the road was potholed  a bit but easily drivable.....even more easily walkable/ runnable/bikeable.
Come to think of it, I did the identical about five years ago, but with what I assume from this thread, with changing ownership in the area, this info may be useless.

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iron
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PostTue May 28, 2019 6:59 pm 
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headed up BB this weekend. no issues. we walked from the spot you park to do numbers hill. i didn't see any signage on numbers hill that suggested it was closed, but we had 2 kids in tow, so weren't looking closely over there.

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man, you go through life, you try to be nice to people, you struggle to resist the urge to punch 'em in the face, and for what?

--- moe sizlack
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