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crock
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 10:16 am 
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Does anybody know anything about accessing Golden Lakes on the west side of Mt Rainier using the logging road on the ridge that is on the south side of the Mowich River?  The land west of the park shows up on Pierce County's website as owned by "Orm Timber Fund".

I'm guessing that the roads west of the park are gated since they are on private land.  Can permission be gotten to go on these lands?
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 10:28 am 
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They are available by permit $$ mostly used by hunters this time of year.

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Owler
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 10:29 am 
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https://www.hancockrecreation.com/?licenseId=18982

That's the Kapowsin permit area. $300 per person per year.
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thuja
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 2:32 pm 
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I have accessed that area from the Kapowsin tree farm while volunteering with an amphibian survey in the park.

The roads in the Kapowsin tree farm are in fairly good shape but they do require an extremely expensive permit normally and the area is patrolled by security.  Also, there are no helpful signs on the road system, there is at least one gate you have to unlock and you need really good directions to find the unofficial trail which goes to the lakes.  It starts on an old brushy roadbed and there is no sign or indication that it turns into a trail.
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crock
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 2:44 pm 
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Argh.  No one day permit?
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williswall
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 4:42 pm 
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The park service uses a trail from that area to resupply the cabin with permission from the owners. To avoid all this rigamarole, use the West Side Road to access; using a bike it's a one day trip, but with snow.....well.

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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 6:23 pm 
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I always think of this pass when people here piss and moan about the $30 Northwest Forest Pass and the $30 Discover Pass.

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altasnob
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 9:39 pm 
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I always wondered about this access. Google maps makes it appear like a well used trail. It's really too bad there is private property and clear cuts so close to the alpine area on the West side of Rainier. Maybe a nature conservancy can purchase this land so there is a bit more buffer between the national park and clear cuts.
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BigBrunyon
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PostWed Oct 28, 2020 10:09 pm 
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If I purchase it there's gonna be re entry day passes. VIP packages. We'll lie about what's in there so people are willin' to pay BIG bucks to get in.

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uww
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PostThu Oct 29, 2020 12:02 am 
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What happens to you if you are caught without a permit? Do you become property of Manulife Investment Management?
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altasnob
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PostThu Oct 29, 2020 7:46 am 
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You would be committing the crime of Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree (assuming the land has posted No Trespassing signs). Plus, the whole advantage of accessing from the timber farm is to be able to drive past the locked gates.
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Owler
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PostThu Oct 29, 2020 8:09 am 
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crock wrote:
Argh.  No one day permit?

I've reached out to Hancock before to see if they would sell one day passes. Global Campbell does this in the land they own between North Bend/Index. I did not hear back from Hancock.

I was reading on a hunting forum that Hancock actually made the pass more restrictive. Previously, one pass could be used by a few people in the same family. Now it's an individual pass.
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Owler
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PostThu Oct 29, 2020 8:14 am 
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Based on Google Earth, the main roads look like they are in pretty good condition. There is also the Electron Hydro dam up there (recently the site of a poorly made choice to use astroturf in the dam which caused tiny rubber beads to pollute the Puyallup). While this in infuriating, the flute constructed up there would be sort of cool to check out. But not at $300!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_Hydroelectric_Project
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JonnyQuest
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PostThu Oct 29, 2020 8:54 am 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
I always think of this pass when people here piss and moan about the $30 Northwest Forest Pass and the $30 Discover Pass.

Not only are the "private" timber land passes more expensive, but they are also often in very limited supply.  Not sure about Hancock, as I've only used the WSR to access that area.  But for kayaking access I've looked into the permits for Weyerhaeuser land, and per "region" they limit permits to something like 200 annually.  And each person needs a permit - not one permit per group.  Good luck with that...
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altasnob
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PostThu Oct 29, 2020 10:00 am 
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Doesn't sound cheap. But in this day and age of overcrowded trail heads it sounds pretty awesome to have your own personally gated trail head with easy access to the Rainier high country.

Twin Sisters up near Bellingham is similar. I road my bike up to climb North Twin, which is how most access. But noticed there were a few families who must have had the gate key who had their own private car camping spot with a view. The private land goes right up to the Wilderness boundary. I always thought that area would make a great spot for a commercial backcountry skiing cabin. The Rainier timber area would be a good place for a lodge too.
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