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Sallie4jo
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PostFri Dec 30, 2022 9:15 am 
Just wondering if anyone has been up the suiattle road and if so, how far up...and or anyone up the white chuck bench trail. Just looking for possible places to adventure to given rain, snow, wind and winter. Thx

I choose to live in a landscape of hope. Terry Tempest Williams
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Randito
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PostFri Dec 30, 2022 4:06 pm 
The White Chuck Bench trail has been unreachable for almost 20 years ... Since a big flood in 2003. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/recarea/?recid=17822 The Suiattle River Road #26 has been closed due to fires in the last two years. Even though the fires are well out by now the road remains closed -- I expect threre will be a lot of downed trees blocking the road -- so even if you are a scofflaw -- it's not going to be easy travel. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd1066590.pdf

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Gabep
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PostFri Dec 30, 2022 4:26 pm 
White Chuck Bench Trail was actually reopened a few years ago. Not sure on snow situation though. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/white-chuck-bench

philfort
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Dec 30, 2022 5:03 pm 
If you go, report back! I love the White Chuck Bench trail; they had a lot more snow than Puget Sound did, so there's no telling what it's like right now.

"..living on the east side of the Sierra world be ideal - except for harsher winters and the chance of apocalyptic fires burning the whole area." Bosterson, NWHiker's marketing expert
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Sallie4jo
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PostFri Dec 30, 2022 5:32 pm 
Ya...I was hoping mayb someone had be up either. WC bench can be great but given the weather just not sure. And the suiattle can n a not so bad snowshoe. Might just have to go for a look see.

I choose to live in a landscape of hope. Terry Tempest Williams
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George Winters
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 8:52 am 
Randito wrote:
The White Chuck Bench trail has been unreachable for almost 20 years ... Since a big flood in 2003. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbs/recarea/?recid=17822
It is surprising to me that link still resides somehow, the information is way out of date. Here is what I find that is current from the MBS map that is linked to from that same very old report: Condition Snow Notes 12/01/22 trailhead may be inaccessible due to deep snow. The road from the boat launch to the trailhead can be treacherous due to icy conditions. Cleared of windfall and significant brushing done in summer 2022 For a nearby reference, before the most recent snow, which is still on the ground in Darrington, the Old Sauk Trail was snow covered with lots of wind fall. The Whitechuck Bench Trail and the access roads at each end were rebuilt with some relocation of both the road and trail after the 2003 flood. In late October/early November of 2022 both Whitechuck Bench trailheads had good road access with a lot of new maintenance in progress on the Whitechuck road. The trail had some new windfall subsequent to having been cleared in the summer.

When you are "miles from nowhere" you must have finally arrived at somewhere.
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camut
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 9:14 am 
Thanks for the updated info.

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fourteen410
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 11:05 am 
I hiked the White Chuck Bench trail back in June of this year. Not the current conditions you're looking for, but it definitely isn't inaccessible. I think the other comments were referring to the White Chuck Glacier trail.

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klar
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 11:07 am 
The Suiattle road closure was revised and it has been opened to approximately 8 miles in. Just past the river crossing at road 25. I backpacked off the road in October. I drove up to the Suiattle the last two weekends in a row trying to get out after all the lowland rain we had. There was still approximately 6 inches of snow on the Suiattle river road right off the highway last weekend. In my low rider I stayed on the highway :] Here a couple of shots taken right outside of Darrington from two weekends ago in some very heavy fog.

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat. Edgar Allan Poe
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 12:53 pm 
Well, looks like lotsa snow, still. And White Chuck Bench trailheads are 1) higher than the Suiattle Rd or 2)several miles down the White Chuck road, so....snow. I love the WC Bench trail. Last time I was there, we came across kitty tracks too fresh for my comfort, and we turned back. Old Sauk and Beaver Lake, while still under snow, are at least closer to the highway, your car, and coffee&eats if you want to bail.

"..living on the east side of the Sierra world be ideal - except for harsher winters and the chance of apocalyptic fires burning the whole area." Bosterson, NWHiker's marketing expert
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 2:49 pm 
How far down the White Chuck road is the WC Bench trail and is it right on the main road or not? Looked for it when down that road to hike to Crystal lake a couple years ago but no luck.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 3:50 pm 
Yes, it's right on the road; about 6ish miles; on the left, on the other side of the bridge over the White Chuck, before the end of the old White Chuck road. Fair sized parking area. walk through the parking area and you'll see the trail. the trail is 6 miles long, and accessed via the Dan Creek road about the White Chuck Boat launch, or the White Chuck Road trail head. But I actually haven't hiked the trail from the White Chuck trail head since they rebuilt it. I use the other trail head and walk a few miles, then turn around and go back. It sure is a pretty trail!

"..living on the east side of the Sierra world be ideal - except for harsher winters and the chance of apocalyptic fires burning the whole area." Bosterson, NWHiker's marketing expert

Chief Joseph
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Sallie4jo
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 5:05 pm 
I have hiked the trail from the lower ..close to mt loop rd TH. Its a meandering trail that in places seems ancient..certainly mot overused at all. Several nice river views...and is just a lowland hike that i have enjoyed. And the old white chuck road is also fine...and for me, brings back memories of driving it to go to one of my most favorite places..pumice creek. Still get a minor view of GP on that road on a clear day. Thankyou for the photo of the suiattle road. Guess i just need to get out and explore. Happy new years folks.

I choose to live in a landscape of hope. Terry Tempest Williams
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Chief Joseph
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 5:32 pm 
Further up the White Chuck road where the TH is for Crystal lake if you go past the CL turnoff and continue straight forward, you can get within 3/4 mile (?) of the PCT. Last time I was there, encountered a lot of large trees across the <abandoned> trail. I haven't hiked to Meadow Mt yet via that route. It would be cool if was cleared and if it continued on to the PCT, doubly awesome! But I recall Kim and I conversing about this a while back and she said there would be some steep traversing necessary in order to get to the PCT. I'm not sure what the hike entails to Meadow Mt but would like to check it out sometime.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostSat Dec 31, 2022 11:03 pm 
Chief Joseph wrote:
Further up the White Chuck road where the TH is for Crystal lake if you go past the CL turnoff and continue straight forward, you can get within 3/4 mile (?) of the PCT. Last time I was there, encountered a lot of large trees across the <abandoned> trail. I haven't hiked to Meadow Mt yet via that route. It would be cool if was cleared and if it continued on to the PCT, doubly awesome! But I recall Kim and I conversing about this a while back and she said there would be some steep traversing necessary in order to get to the PCT. I'm not sure what the hike entails to Meadow Mt but would like to check it out sometime.
The Circle Creek road is another approach that I believe is shorter. My friends took the trail from there to Crystal Lake and then up and over to Meadow Lake and from there to the Meadow Mountain trail. They ran into a group of Mountaineers somewhere on the ridge. I drove up the volunteer reopened Circle Peak trailhead in my Honda Fit the year they reopened it but I don't know if the road deteriorated. There's multiple reports on the forum of people traversing below or above Fire Mountain to get to Fire Creek Pass. I'm not sure if the road up to Rat Trap Pass has been fixed so you might have to come up the Suiattle side.

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