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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 9:39 am 
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Snow Lake TH can't handle that much overflow parking.  It's usually about full even without getting a bunch of 8 Mile Rd. rejects trying to park there.  How much roadside parking can Icicle Creek Rd. handle?  Craggers and river rats probably already have most of that locked down.

Maybe we should just shut down the Icicle to all forms of outdoor recreation.  That will solve the problem.
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 11:51 am 
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Or, create more parking. They are the service, not the customer.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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nickmtn
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 11:59 am 
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It sucks living in a state with only one good mountain range. I've tried to hike outside of the Stuart Range before and had a miserable time. It was so bad I felt like crap the rest of the month, and didn't feel right again until I noticed a picture of Colchuck Lake in the BECU calendar.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 12:02 pm 
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Sarcasm is always good (I just utilized it myself).  Of course there are plenty of other great places to go hiking, but many of those are facing the same problem w/ crowds and overflowing parking areas.

The population of Washington isn't shrinking and we aren't getting more hiking trails.
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slabbyd
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 12:25 pm 
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Apparently at MRNP the weekend backup at the gate can extend 5 miles and be over 3 hours long.  This is insane.   In this day and age how hard could it be to make these overwhelmed areas reservation only?  The internet platform to do so must be practically off-the-shelf at this point.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 12:35 pm 
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Restricting access to one area does not fix the underlying problem.  It only shifts the overcrowding to somewhere else.  Then that other area needs to be managed/regulated.  Can people not see what is slowly happening here?  Look at Central Oregon Cascades.  It's not that hard to imagine a day in the future when you won't be able to go hiking anywhere, because you don't have a reservation.  Which is relatively costly for an activity that used to be/should be free, and you had to enter a lottery for 6 months in advance.  That is not a good thing.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 1:20 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
It only shifts the overcrowding to somewhere else.

IDK about that.  Locations like Colchuck Lake and Asgard Pass have become "Instagram famous"  , so is Ingalls Lake.  A couple years ago I hiked in the Teanaway in a peak larch season in the fall when cars were parked for over a mile down the NF Teanaway River road,  but went to a slightly different location and saw many fine Larch trees, but hardly any humans.

Based on what the USFS says about the Stuart Lake trailhead conditions,  they could also address this issue by building more toilets and providing a dumpster instead of a garbage can.  But that would make Colchuck even more crowded and they would need more toilets at the lake as well.

Or they could encourage folks to seek out less popular trails, of which there are still quite a few.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 1:34 pm 
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nickmtn wrote:
It sucks living in a state with only one good mountain range. I've tried to hike outside of the Stuart Range before and had a miserable time. It was so bad I felt like crap the rest of the month, and didn't feel right again until I noticed a picture of Colchuck Lake in the BECU calendar.

Many people (including on this forum) act like the Enchantments are the premier hiking destination in the state, and probably in the surrounding states as well.  You can't blame folks for taking that message to start.

In any case, if this does happen, it'll cut down on day hikers until somebody comes up with a shuttle service.  And even then not everybody will use it.

But yeah a Si and Mailbox are great too.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 2:40 pm 
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I understand trying to take steps in an area that is getting overused might be necessary.  But I see a disturbing trend of lost access to trails and roads combined w/ an increased population and surge in popularity in hiking.  Moving more and more toward quotas and restrictions while there are more hikers out there, the math doesn't work so well.

Certainly there are trails that aren't as popular now, but that can be temporary.  It wasn't that long ago, I remember when Gothic Basin and Hidden Lake LO/Peak weren't very busy.  That sure has changed.  Any trail can be a few instagram photos away from being the next hot destination.  Except for trails that aren't very scenically enticing, but then those aren't the trails I really want to be hiking on.
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RatherBOutdoors
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 5:16 pm 
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When I was there (last year), there was a guy with a van offering rides (for $20 or $30).  It looked like an organized service/business, so there is already at least 1 shuttle service between the Stuart and Snow trailheads.
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CarriesNineFires
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 7:10 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
Many people (including on this forum) act like the Enchantments are the premier hiking destination in the state, and probably in the surrounding states as well.  You can't blame folks for taking that message to start.

Perversely, this is actually good news in a way. Overexposure may cause problems in the Enchantments and other similarly targeted areas but the tendency of a lot of people to flock to the famous places, and the reluctance of most people to drive far, means that a lot of top-notch destinations will remain relatively untrammelled for a while. You can count on the average Joe to gravitate toward the Top 40, if you will, and ignore the deep cuts.

That doesn't help to preserve the heavily-visited areas but at least it means the whole damned state doesn't become a Disneyland at the same time. It helps to not spread the word that burned forests, for example, are pretty damned cool to visit; let the masses think that those places are hellish deathscapes to be avoided at all costs.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 7:22 pm 
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The Enchantments quota system is pretty ridiculous.  For the core zone it is limited to 24 people a day for camping.  That seems like pretty small number for the number of acres to me.  Limiting the number of visitors to achieve some level of "solitude" seems like a misguided goal to me.   Raising the quota and instituting a "pack it all out" policy as is used on Mt Adam's seems like an effective way to meet the demand while avoiding polluting the environment.

There are plenty of areas in the Cascades where solitude is available for those that seek it.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 9:08 pm 
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CarriesNineFires wrote:
It helps to not spread the word that burned forests, for example, are pretty damned cool to visit; let the masses think that those places are hellish deathscapes to be avoided at all costs.

You think of them as these giant symbols of death and destruction, but you get there and the place is teeming with life.  There are a lot of plants there that get shaded out of a mature forest.  And the shoulder height trees are a reminder that this is all part of a cycle.

I mean, the fire goes into the roots and stays there for years, the ground can collapse under you and trap you in a pit of brimstone.  Horrible places.  Best to do Si again.
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 9:13 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Raising the quota and instituting a "pack it all out" policy as is used on Mt Adam's seems like an effective way to meet the demand while avoiding polluting the environment.

What kind of compliance do you think they'd see?

You can't assume if it works for climbers it'll work for hikers, because people climbing most places where blue bags are required have spent years learning to climb, and spending years in almost any persuit done for the love of the outdoors exposes you to lots of LNT.  People who've never hiked before can do the Enchantments.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 9:42 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
People who've never hiked before can do the Enchantments

IME Climbing Mt Adams via the south ridge is about as technical as ascending Asgard pass.   In the 1920s mule teams where used to supply and haul out sulfur from the mining operation on the summit.

These days there are days early summer that see over 300 people making the ascent.

The USFS at Trout Lake requires people to check in for their "Cascade Volcano Permit" which includes a blue bag kit, including some lime to keep stink in check.

Will there be 100% compliance,  of course not, but I think there will be enough compliance to keep the environment in decent shape.
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