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fourteen410
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PostThu May 21, 2020 1:38 pm 
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We've been doing a bit of mountain biking lately and have been enjoying the faster mileage and additional solitude. Last Sunday we drove up the newly repaired MFK Snoqualmie road and continued on FS 56 to the Dingford TH. The next five miles were rough - lots of potholes and four washouts (all passable with high clearance and competent driving). In other words, par for the course.

Parked at a small pullout just before the official TH and pedaled up the old road. About 2 miles in, the road was flooded. A muddy roundabout trail provided passage. We continued onward and stashed our bikes near the bridge before continuing on foot. Had lunch by the geyser and ye olde shower before hiking back and cruising down the old road. The rain kept most people away but we were lucky enough to get some sun on the way back. Good times  up.gif

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mosey
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PostThu May 21, 2020 8:47 pm 
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How flooded would you say? I was planning a bike/hike up to DMG next week and was hoping to bike all the way to the Hardscrabble/original trailhead.

Nice pictures! It's always nice to see the shower dizzy.gif
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puzzlr
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PostThu May 21, 2020 11:07 pm 
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That is a beautiful set of photos. It's impressive you got so many great ones during one trip.

fourteen410 wrote:

There's so much texture -- the lighting must be perfect

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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fourteen410
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PostThu May 21, 2020 11:48 pm 
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mosey wrote:
How flooded would you say?

The second picture in my set shows the flooded portion. On our way in, a guy who was headed out indicated it was close to knee depth. But you can avoid the flooded section entirely by taking the muddy bypass trail on the left just before the water (it's flagged).

Enjoy your ride - Hardscrabble, DMG, and Williams Lk  are all on my to do list.
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Brucester
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PostSun May 24, 2020 9:38 am 
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Doesn't the Middle Fork whisper "you're home?"

A fine place for an adventure, I'd say!

Brilliant pics, thank you for sharing!
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RossJames
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PostSun May 24, 2020 12:09 pm 
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Looks like fun! What peaks are those in the last two photos?
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Randito
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PostSun May 24, 2020 12:13 pm 
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Mt Garfield

https://www.summitpost.org/garfield-mountain/154546
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puzzlr
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PostSun May 24, 2020 12:37 pm 
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Those are both of Garfield Mountain. I didn't take them, but that perspective is from where the road runs along the river edge just before the CCC trail junction. Here's a similar one from 2017 in the fall.

Garfield View
Garfield View

BTW, the worst of the creek crossings on the road from the Taylor River bridge to the Dingford trailhead were improved by volunteers last week. It still requires relatively high clearance, maybe 8" or so. My Forester had no problem on Saturday. Before that the bottom would scrape rocks in a couple places. But there are still monster potholes almost the whole way. I'd say this is the worst condition that section of the road has been in since spring of 2015 after the particularly wet 2015/2016 winter rains. The USFS did a quick repair of the worst spots in November 2018 but those were all washed away this past winter.

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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zephyr
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PostSun May 24, 2020 2:11 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
BTW, the worst of the creek crossings on the road from the Taylor River bridge to the Dingford trailhead were improved by volunteers last week. It still requires relatively high clearance, maybe 8" or so.

Thanks for saying that. Any idea what day it was that they worked on the road?  It was much worse 17 days ago when they first opened the road--quite deep. 

On my trip, as I was returning from Dingford I came across a motorcyclist who had gone down with his bike trying to cross it.  He was sorta stranded since the bike weighed over 300 lbs.  But I helped him get it up and walked out to a low spot and back on the road.  I am so glad to hear that some work has been done to improve that stretch.  ~z
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostSun May 24, 2020 10:28 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
BTW, the worst of the creek crossings on the road from the Taylor River bridge to the Dingford trailhead were improved by volunteers last week. It still requires relatively high clearance, maybe 8" or so. My Forester had no problem on Saturday. Before that the bottom would scrape rocks in a couple places. But there are still monster potholes almost the whole way. I'd say this is the worst condition that section of the road has been in since spring of 2015 after the particularly wet 2015/2016 winter rains. The USFS did a quick repair of the worst spots in November 2018 but those were all washed away this past winter.

I saw someone on another thread say the road was too rough even for bikes. What's your opinion? My car is too low to make it past Taylor River TH but I would love to try to ride my bike from there hopefully to the end of the road.
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zephyr
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PostMon May 25, 2020 12:11 pm 
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Bramble_Scramble wrote:
I saw someone on another thread say the road was too rough even for bikes. What's your opinion? My car is too low to make it past Taylor River TH but I would love to try to ride my bike from there hopefully to the end of the road.

I think you are asking puzzlr this question.  But I'll chime in since I rode my bike up this road almost three weeks ago.  I say "rode", but I had to get off and walk it/carry it a number of times.  First off, since the road was still closed, I had already biked from the middle school in North Bend.  That was over 12 miles and I was already a bit spent.  But the Middle Fork road was smooth pavement.  Once you hit the FS 5620 it's a mix of gravel and rock.  Plus you immediately start up a grade once you leave the junction of Taylor River Road and Middle Fork. 

As fourteen410 mentioned there are four creek crossings which are a bit washed out.  The last two are the biggest and the last one has always been the worst one.  The winter floods had deepened it considerably this year.  It was waist/chest deep when I got there and a straight drop.  You will definitely be carrying your bike over these places.  I could tell that a few vehicles had been skirting the crossing and going upstream to go around this spot.  I would love to see what the volunteers did there.  I have a photo of my bike down in the trough but I don't have my pics on any platform.  If you want to pm me your email, I will send you a couple of photos. 

Also there were a few large ponds crossing the road in spots.  Those you can either ride along the edges or walk your bike along the edge.  And then there are many places on the road where the conditions are very pleasant and easy.  It's a mix.    ~z
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostMon May 25, 2020 8:00 pm 
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zephyr wrote:
I think you are asking puzzlr this question.  But I'll chime in since I rode my bike up this road almost three weeks ago.  I say "rode", but I had to get off and walk it/carry it a number of times.  First off, since the road was still closed, I had already biked from the middle school in North Bend.  That was over 12 miles and I was already a bit spent.  But the Middle Fork road was smooth pavement.  Once you hit the FS 5620 it's a mix of gravel and rock.  Plus you immediately start up a grade once you leave the junction of Taylor River Road and Middle Fork. 

As fourteen410 mentioned there are four creek crossings which are a bit washed out.  The last two are the biggest and the last one has always been the worst one.  The winter floods had deepened it considerably this year.  It was waist/chest deep when I got there and a straight drop.  You will definitely be carrying your bike over these places.  I could tell that a few vehicles had been skirting the crossing and going upstream to go around this spot.  I would love to see what the volunteers did there.  I have a photo of my bike down in the trough but I don't have my pics on any platform.  If you want to pm me your email, I will send you a couple of photos. 

Also there were a few large ponds crossing the road in spots.  Those you can either ride along the edges or walk your bike along the edge.  And then there are many places on the road where the conditions are very pleasant and easy.  It's a mix.    ~z
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Thanks for the reply.  Your post on the Trail Talk Middle Fork thread is the one I was referencing. I think I'll have go down there and check out the road this week. Hopefully the flooding isn't as bad as when you went. I don't mind carrying my bike and I'm quite used to pushing it a lot.

I'm guessing I'll have to turn around at the chest deep creek. That's a bit too much for me unless there's somewhere safer/shallower to cross if I bring water shoes. Maybe I should wait for the snow melt before I attempt it. Fording a deep creek while carrying a bike doesn't sound very safe and I don't want to submerge my bearings.

Are there a bunch of big rocks to avoid on the road? The only time we ever attempted driving it my friend put a huge dent in his oil pan (luckily it was steel and not aluminum) about a quarter mile up from the Taylor junction.

I really want to check out the road while the I5/405 traffic is good. I normally don't do any hiking on I90 because I'm not a fan of bumper to bumper in a stick shift.
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fourteen410
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PostMon May 25, 2020 8:41 pm 
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Just to clarify - there were no water crossings on the road up to the Dingford TH, just washed out areas where water once was. Lots of potholes, but definitely no chest deep water anywhere. The flooding I mentioned in my report was 2 miles past the Dingford TH (beyond the gate). Hope that clears things up.
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostTue May 26, 2020 9:24 pm 
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fourteen410 wrote:
Just to clarify - there were no water crossings on the road up to the Dingford TH, just washed out areas where water once was. Lots of potholes, but definitely no chest deep water anywhere. The flooding I mentioned in my report was 2 miles past the Dingford TH (beyond the gate). Hope that clears things up.

I wasn't critically thinking last night and definitely misunderstood the chest deep water. I realized that no cars would be driving through that without snorkels and no one in their right mind would bring a bike through that.

Thanks for the reply, I'm going to give it a shot tomorrow or Thursday.
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zephyr
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PostTue May 26, 2020 11:10 pm 
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fourteen410 wrote:
definitely no chest deep water anywhere

Of course not.  I was trying to describe the depth of the water crossings--what else shall we call them?  You know the washed out places where water has crossed the road during the storms.  When I was up there I had my bike down in the trough, swale, washout, streambed, what have you and it was below the surface of the road waist or chest deep.

If there had been water flowing across the road, I would have mentioned it.  There are some large puddles, but no stream crossings like Scatter Creek ford.

As for this: 
Bramble_Scramble wrote:
Are there a bunch of big rocks to avoid on the road?

There are some large rocks in that last washout (see above).  However, puzzlr has mentioned a volunteer crew working up there.  We don't know which day they were there yet.  I was there on May 7 and fourteen410 was there ten days later on the 17th.  She stated that the roads were passable with competent driving on her visit.  When I was there, you could not have gone straight into the wash--it was a big drop off.  You would have had to move some rocks around and go into the streambed around the crossing and find a clear path.  There were lots of big rock turned up by the flood.  You would have wanted to get out and walk around a bit and move a few things.

Sorry for the thread drift on this report.  ~z
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