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PostWed Apr 01, 2020 3:24 pm 
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This list is not complete or fully up to date.  If something is not listed here, that doesn't mean it's open.  We've compiled this list for the convenience of hikers.

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Only high-use roads that are important to hikers will be listed here.
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Wiki summmary last edited by puzzlr on Sat May 02, 2020 10:33 pm (this post can be edited by any member)
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Moose
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 10:32 am 
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kitya wrote:
Moose wrote:
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are National Forests (managed by USFS) also going to reopen on May 5?  All of the press releases I've seen only mention state and DNR-managed lands.

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie, specifically, has not updated the closure info on their website (it still states 9/30/20).

https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mbs/alerts-notices/?aid=58041

Nothing has been announced about national forests yet. State lands will start re-opening on May 5th, not sure when national forests recreation sites will start opening. Unlike state lands, national forests themselves never closed though, only the developed recreation sites, trailheads, etc. and while state parks will re-open on May 5th, bathrooms etc., are still going to be closed. So there is very little difference.

Thanks for the response, kitya.  Seems like it would make sense for them to open USFS lands now as well, if only to allow further options for dispersal of the hordes that will be flocking to the outdoors.  The more trailheads, the better.
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Randito
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 11:36 am 
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Moose wrote:
Thanks for the response, kitya.  Seems like it would make sense for them to open USFS lands now as well, if only to allow further options for dispersal of the hordes that will be flocking to the outdoors.  The more trailheads, the better.

USFS lands and trails have never been closed.     It's the developed trailheads with their restrooms and parking lots for dozens or hundreds of cars that have been closed.

I expect both state and federal trailhead bathroom facilities and garbage cans to remain closed until such time that there is capacity to clean the bathrooms and remove garbage without undue risk to the employees performing that work.   Given the continuing shortage of PPE for medical workers, it doesn't make sense to divert those supplies to trailhead cleaning crews.  Expecting cleaning crews to risk infection to make hiking more convenient is selfish.
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 11:49 am 
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Randito wrote:
USFS lands and trails have never been closed.    It's the developed trailheads with their restrooms and parking lots for dozens or hundreds of cars that have been closed.

I expect both state and federal trailhead bathroom facilities and garbage cans to remain closed until such time that there is capacity to clean the bathrooms and remove garbage without undue risk to the employees performing that work.  Given the continuing shortage of PPE for medical workers, it doesn't make sense to divert those supplies to trailhead cleaning crews.  Expecting cleaning crews to risk infection to make hiking more convenient is selfish.

I mean, maybe I'm not being creative enough...but if trailhead parking lots are closed that will drastically limit the amount of people who are able to access said trailhead.

I don't disagree that the maintenance of TH facilities are a low priority given what we're dealing with right now, but it does seem like it would make sense to at least open the parking lots - especially since that's apparently what they're doing with state parks and DNR lands (opening parking lots and access, keeping facilities closed).
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jm31828
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 11:54 am 
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Moose wrote:
I mean, maybe I'm not being creative enough...but if trailhead parking lots are closed that will drastically limit the amount of people who are able to access said trailhead. 

I don't disagree that the maintenance of TH facilities are a low priority given what we're dealing with right now, but it does seem like it would make sense to at least open the parking lots - especially since that's apparently what they're doing with state parks and DNR lands (opening parking lots and access, keeping facilities closed).

I agree- it only makes sense to open the parking lots, even if the restrooms remain closed.  Otherwise all the people who want to hike these trails will be funneled into state parks that are fully open, overburdening those.
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 11:55 am 
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Moose wrote:
I mean, maybe I'm not being creative enough...but if trailhead parking lots are closed that will drastically limit the amount of people who are able to access said trailhead. 

Yes; that's why they closed the trail heads.  up.gif

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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 12:06 pm 
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Yes, I agree. I hope USFS will start opening trailheads soon too. While I am not personally really affected so far, because I rarely actually use trailheads/trails anyway, but as melt out progresses trailheads/trails become more important to me. Also melting forest roads after winter snows often need some work to open up and be stabilized a bit. Nobody is a big fan of trailhead bathrooms/garbage facilities but I hope they could open up these too, because I'm even less of a fan of seeing toilet paper all around them. Sadly nothing about these plans for USFS lands have been announced yet. However another good piece of news for hikers is that north cascades highway is being plowed.
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 12:39 pm 
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To be fair, the USFS isn't typically fully staffed until after Memorial Day anyway; so if there's not a lot of communication and announcements, and other activity re: trail heads, outhouse cleans and emptying trash containers - this isn't done until then anyway.

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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 12:41 pm 
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The opening plan for state facilities includes provisions for closing facilities at any time without notice.  E.g. I would expect if mobs congregate around the Mailbox that parking lot will get closed again. 

Given how crowded trailheads along the I-90 and HWY-2 corridors typically are,  I think the land managers need to take this step by step and observe to what extent new infection cases result from visits to crowded trailheads.
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treeswarper
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 1:20 pm 
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This is the time of year that hazard trees are "taken care of" in campgrounds, water is tested and treated, and a general cleanup is done in FS campgrounds.

So, if a campground has a closed sign on it, it is a good thing to heed the sign. For safety purposes, the area will get checked before trees hit the ground.

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Secret Agent Man
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 2:40 pm 
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Randito wrote:
The opening plan for state facilities includes provisions for closing facilities at any time without notice.  E.g. I would expect if mobs congregate around the Mailbox that parking lot will get closed again. 

Given how crowded trailheads along the I-90 and HWY-2 corridors typically are,  I think the land managers need to take this step by step and observe to what extent new infection cases result from visits to crowded trailheads.

I’m a little surprised they aren’t more explicitly talking about steps to still limit crowding. For example, open the Si lot but rope off half the parking spots as closed. Now only half as many people can park there as usual and crowding is reduced. Seems like a reasonable intermediate step between fully closed and fully open, albeit one that would warrant warning the public to expect reduced parking availability.
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Randito
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 3:13 pm 
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Secret Agent Man wrote:
I’m a little surprised they aren’t more explicitly talking about steps to still limit crowding. For example, open the Si lot but rope off half the parking spots as closed. Now only half as many people can park there as usual and crowding is reduced. Seems like a reasonable intermediate step between fully closed and fully open, albeit one that would warrant warning the public to expect reduced parking availability.

That's a useful idea and it remains to be seen what steps are actually taken.

Given the general compliance with parking areas at places like Mt Si and Rattlesnake during normal times.  I would expect that unless any sort of "half closure" of parking areas would need to include ranger presence to prevent closure barriers from being removed.   They would also a small fleet of tow trucks to remove all the vehicles illegally parked along the road shoulders leading to the parking area.   

I did a Rattlesnake loop back in October  where I biked from the North Parking area to the Rattlesnake Lake parking area and then trail ran back to the North Parking area -- when I retrieved my bike mid-afternoon from the Rattlesnake Lake parking area there were cars parked along the shoulder for quite a distance from the official parking area -- and this was on a Thursday!
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bullfrog
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 3:21 pm 
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They might not even open Mailbox, Mt. Si, and other overly popular trailheads. The press release says that some places may continue to be closed. Also, the press release says that restrooms will slowly be opened, so don't expect facilities ready for you bladder on May 5th. Still, this is good news for all of us.
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Kim Brown
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 4:04 pm 
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The Governor's office is doing a big campaign about responsible recreation during the re-opening.

DNR, State Parks, etc. do not have the staff and enforcement to police and hand-hold us. We're being trusted to do the right thing. We won't, of course, because we're jerks.

But if they did cordon off partial parking lots, that will invite vandalism by jerks and mountains of complaints about how dumb the "forestry department" is, and how no one is right there at all times to police social distancing if they get breathed on.

We're jerks.

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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 4:16 pm 
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No one is forcing anyone to go outside and recreate. If you are scared, stay home inside your TP Igloo. paranoid.gif

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PostTue Apr 28, 2020 4:17 pm 
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Kim, you and I are painfully aware of how short-staffed DNR, WDFW, and USFS (and NPS) are when it comes to "boots on the ground".
Others - not so much.

It won't matter what the agencies do, they'll get blamed for all things wrong (or presumed wrong) regardless of what kind of strategy they employ.

Based on so many of the comments here, I'm going to guess that we'll be seeing some world-class idiocy both here and out on the trails as soon as things are opened up.

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