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Snowbrushy
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PostWed Jul 01, 2009 3:56 pm 
Ranger Creek Airstrip is on SR 410 a couple of miles from the entrance to MRNP. Yesterday afternoon I made a pit stop at Ranger Creek to fix a radiator hose and ended up camping for the night. There were a few campers in the free dispersed area (NW Forest Pass required). One airplane sat on the far end of the runway. Early this morning another one flew in - He circled close a couple of times checking out the windsock befor landing. I've heard that the approach is not for the faint of heart. I also heard the history of Ranger Creek Airstrip.

When the US went to war with Japan in the 1940's there was great fear that our air bases would be hit. Ranger Creek Airstrip was built as a place for our war planes to evacuate to. There are still visable concret foundations scattered around the main camping area; mostly RV's. It was a mini airbase up in the woods. Probably top secret!

A Boy Scout camp is just down the road which is said to have originally been US military. I wonder if it was part of Ranger Creek Airstrip?

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Bazetech
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PostWed Jul 01, 2009 5:48 pm 
That would be cool to check out. There is another over off of I-90 called Bandera Field, I think I spelled it right. They used to have the nations largest stores of nerve gas stored at the end of the runway! Guess you'd probly want to make real sure you cleared that building!

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain
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Jeepasaurusrex
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PostSat Jul 04, 2009 12:58 pm 
I like researching old abandoned airfields. There is even a website dedicated to them.

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/WA/Airfields_WA_C.html

Airfield directory in WA

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/WA/Airfields_WA.htm

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Damian
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PostSun Jul 05, 2009 5:46 pm 
Ranger Ck is fun.  As far as mountain strips it's fairly straight forward.  Though an instructor I know well crashed a 172 there on takeoff a couple years ago and was lucky to have survived.

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yowzer
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PostSun Jul 19, 2009 12:21 am 
Bazetech wrote:
That would be cool to check out. There is another over off of I-90 called Bandera Field, I think I spelled it right.

You can just see the field through the trees on the right when heading east on 90 approaching the offramp for exit 45.  These days it's used mostly if not solely by helicopters belonging to KCSO and Airlift NW.

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HikerJohn
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PostWed Jul 22, 2009 12:14 pm 
Ranger Creek airstrip
If I remember my history correct, Ranger Creek (along with Bandera, Lake Wenatchee, Tieton, and a few other airfields) date from the 50's and were built by the State as emergency landing strips for planes crossing the Cascades-- they were not relics of WWII (as I understand it).  Not sure what was on the concrete pads-- any building that were there were gone by the time I started going to Ranger Creek in the 60's.

The Scout camp you refer to is Camp Sheppard-- it's actually located on a former Civilian Conservation Corps site called Camp Snoquera.  It shut down in 1941, then sometime late (1947?) the scouts picked up a lease of the site.  There even used to be some of the original barracks there, but may be gone now.

http://home.comcast.net/~kevinrudesill/camp_sheppard_history_continued.htm

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Snowbrushy
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PostWed Jul 22, 2009 3:43 pm 
Hi ScouterJohn.  From this book about Ranger Creek: http://www.discovernw.org/store_nwia-trail-guide-to-snoqualmie-ranger-district-enumclaw_15665.html

" the old army camp that was built there during WWII was called Ranger Creek and the name has stuck."

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Snowbrushy
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PostMon Jul 27, 2009 12:28 am 
It was busy up at the old Ranger Creek airfield this weekend. It was a biking or mountain runner group of folks recreating. And a few airplanes. It seems so cool to me that a place that was a secret mountain Army base probably named after Army Rangers was now being enjoyed by the general public.
For hiking, backpacking and skiing, WWII gave the 1960's backpacking, skiing craze the equipment ideas from the Fathers who came home from the war to teach their sons and daughters to get out in the field and have some experience and fun. WWII launched the backpacking idea for the non-elite.

During the war years Ranger Creek  (Buck Creek) airfield may have also been a training field for Army Rangers and Air force P-51 Tank Busters as they prepared for war in Europe. They have left us a legacy of equip. and a place to camp.  smile.gif

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Geography Nerd
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PostMon Jul 27, 2009 7:57 am 
Realizing this is thread drift but it was the White River 50-Mile Endurance Run this weekend up at Ranger Creek. My SAR group usually helps with first aid and transport if needed.

I can tell you these folks are crazy! Start at Ranger Creek ~2500' then up the trail to Corral pass 5800' then back down the road to Ranger Creek, then up the trail to suntop ~5300', then back to Ranger Creek.

If you have to cut your shoes off and put the next larger size on half way through the race maybe it's time to re-think your route  huh.gif

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hikermike
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PostThu Jul 30, 2009 9:44 pm 
WOW1 Lots of interesting click thrus on this thread...thanx guys!

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Mjollnir
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PostFri Jul 31, 2009 8:44 am 
"During the war years Ranger Creek  (Buck Creek) airfield may have also been a training field for Army Rangers and Air force P-51 Tank Busters as they prepared for war in Europe."


The Buck Creek strip was never used for training by the WWII Ranger Battalions.  Some of the battalions trained in the U.K., and some did their training in the eastern U.S. before deploying overseas.  Some members of the 10th Mountain Division conducted training in Mt. Rainier N.P. during that timeframe.

Military training done in the area was conducted/based out of the old Huckleberry Creek mountain warfare training camp.  This camp was located right off of F.S. road 73.  As soon as you turn onto 73 from 410, and cross the river, there used to be a road to the right that had another smaller bridge.  This road led to the camp.  That smaller bridge is now gone, and the road ends.  It's now a popular spot for RVs to camp at.

Huck Creek (as it was called), was used from the 50s until the early 90s quite a bit.  Rangers, Special Forces,  Long Range Surveilance, and Infantry units used it the most.  Sometimes regular Army units and occasionally ROTC cadets did training there as well.  From the mid 90s on, the camp itself wasn't used much.  Ft. Lewis still had to provide a 24/7 365 day a year "guard" to protect the camp facilities.  That duty was rotated among regular Army units as a post detail.  I conducted some training in the area around 1996, and we were one of the few units to still use that place (and probably one of the last).

In 1998 (or maybe 1999), the Army finally took out the camp's buildings, and took out the bridge that led to the camp.  Nothing was left of the camp.  There is still a back road that leads into the camp, but there is nothing there to look at.  The camp used to have a chow hall, HQ building, supply buildings, quite a few quonset type huts for barracks, a physical fitness field, an obstacle course, and a survival training "lane".  There was also a helicopter landing zone at the camp.

The military 1/50,000 maps of the area had the camp listed, and had a lot of military helicopter landing zones listed in the area.

And as far as I know, the name Ranger Creek was not given in honor of Army Rangers.  In fact, that name was there well before any Army Rangers trained in the area.

The Buck Creek strip is also used during SAR operations on Mt. Rainier.

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hams nut
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PostWed Jun 22, 2022 9:22 pm 
Absolutely I will follow the rules .
Bryan “hamsnut” Ostbye

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hams nut
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PostWed Jun 22, 2022 9:23 pm 
Been going here for 30 years . Clean many a pound of trash from there . I was up there today helping a dog owner do a grid search for his lost pup.

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