Forum Index > Trail Talk > Taylor River Ranger Station? - Middle Fork Snoqualmie
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giojennings
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giojennings
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PostSun Dec 24, 2023 1:25 am 
I'm fascinated with finding historic structures on hikes and that sort of thing. Checking out historic topo maps, I found the label for "Taylor River Ranger Station". Not sure if there's anything remaining or if it was removed whenever it was decommissioned, but I figured I'd post to ask if anyone knew anything about it. I'm assuming it was accessible via the Middle Fork Trail. See screenshot of topo map below. Approximate (likely inaccurate) coordinates of the structure: 4732'44.09"N 12131'46.31"W
Not sure if this is related in any way, but at 22:38 in this video filmed in the Middle Fork you will see a cabin of sorts. Seems like it could be the ranger station or another structure. Regardless, if anyone knows the location of the cabin in this video or any info about the ranger station, feel free to pm or add to the thread.
I'd also love to learn more about any other historic structures/cabins in the Middle Fork and greater North Bend Snoqualmie areas (if any). Thank you!

Brucester, Noheaperture, gb, runup, zimmertr  KascadeFlat
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Mike Collins
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PostSun Dec 24, 2023 7:03 am 
A great place to start your quest is the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum. They have responded to my email requests in the past with helpful replies. The North Bend Ranger Station can also direct you to their archival material. https://snoqualmievalleymuseum.org/

Brucester, giojennings, RichP
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philfort
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PostSun Dec 24, 2023 7:39 am 
If it's where that dot is on the map, that's under the cliffs of Stegosaurus Butte - which definitely does not look like the area in the video. I think there's paths heading up towards those cliffs (folks might climb there I think), but I haven't poked around there too much. The trail on that map also looks like it goes close to the water, while today it kind of goes right through where the cabin is marked.

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Schroder
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PostSun Dec 24, 2023 8:41 am 
giojennings, Mike Collins, runup
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giojennings
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giojennings
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PostSun Dec 24, 2023 11:47 am 
Thanks for all of the info everyone! Reading info in the Camp Brown article Schroder sent, it mentioned the Taylor River Ranger Station, but nothing about its current status. Might be a fun trip to explore the area and see what can be found if anything. It's likely that nothing is there, but I was able to use some lidar imagery from the WA DNR to come up with the estimated coordinate in my original post. As you can see in the old topo map, the station was directly north of a topo line that goes "back in" on itself. Comparing it to current lidar, you can see what might be that same terrain, so the former location would be at the bottom of that hill from Middle Fork Trail. Only about a 30 ft drop in elevation based on Google Earth (not too steep since it's gradual), and in the video you can tell the cabin is being filmed from a slightly higher elevation than the cabin itself. In the google earth screenshots below you can see the current approximate route of the middle fork trail in RED and the line in BLUE which could be a good route to get to it, following that natural terrain/topo line I mentioned.
Again, could be nothing there but always fun to dive deep! Happy holidays.

SpookyKite89, Lightning_bug, Comma
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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PostTue Dec 26, 2023 1:02 pm 
One aspect of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie valley that keeps me interested is the way nature is aggressively rebounding after the many years of logging followed by years of abuse such as dumping trash and old cars. A lot of cleanup has occurred too, thanks to the USFS, King County, Mountain To Sound Greenway, and Friends of the Trail, aided by many volunteers. Just like your post implies, that makes it fun to seek out what used to be there and see how it fared over the years. Like you, I saw the guard station on many maps and finally got there in 2013. I revisit the spot every few years -- it's just a short distance off the Middle Fork trail if you know where to go. I think your suggested route would be quite brushy -- it's better to leave the trail at top of a small rise where you'll see a small foot path to the left. That peters out, but just head down the mossy slope to the flats near the river. The guard station has not been a match for 50+ years of winters. Here are some older photos and two of mine from 2013 and 2023. The guard station was used partly as a bunk house for USFS workers enforcing access restrictions during the logging era when fire danger was high. There was a foot bridge across the Middle Fork river providing access from the RR grade on the other side. The cabin in the video at the spot you pointed out is the same guard station.
1975, photo by Dick Kirby
1975, photo by Dick Kirby
1997, photo by Mark Boyar
1997, photo by Mark Boyar
2008, photo by Bill Davis
2008, photo by Bill Davis
2013, my first visit
2013, my first visit
2023, my most recent visit
2023, my most recent visit
As far as other cabins, there are only a few private ones being actively used -- 4 of them occupied seasonally at the crystal mining claims (Spruce Mine, Spruce "mill site", Purple Hope, Katie Belle). The Goldmyer Hot Springs caretaker's cabin is occupied 24/7 all year long. There's a trailer on private property on SE 116th near the Big River Bridge. The fairy cabin off the CCC trail is slowly collapsing into the forest. The cabin on Thompson Point was blown up by DNR in 2018. Other than those, there are minimal remains of many other structures used for various purposes all over the valley, such as hiking shelters at Snoqualmie Lake, Nodrum Lake, Pratt Lake etc that have all been torn down or burned down.

Mid Fork Rocks flickr

RodF, Lightning_bug, ALW Hiker, Brucester, Fedor, thunderhead, giojennings, BarbE, fourteen410, Sculpin, runup, RichP, day_hike_mike, zimmertr, KascadeFlat
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giojennings
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giojennings
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PostWed Dec 27, 2023 5:57 pm 
Good to know! Thanks a ton for the information and photos. Might do a little trip out there just to visit what's left. I've visited the site of the Thompson Point cabin. I've also seen photos from when it was still up there- wish I had known about it sooner to see it intact! Looked like a beautiful structure. Thanks, Gio

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thunderhead
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PostThu Dec 28, 2023 8:12 am 
puzzlr wrote:
The cabin on Thompson Point was blown up by DNR in 2018.
I had assumed, given its exposed location, it was eventually destroyed by wind. This is more interesting. Why blow it up though?

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flatsqwerl
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PostThu Dec 28, 2023 9:53 am 
Thunderhead, they did blow it up but it was also being diminished ( the roof ) by being in such an exposed location. I was up there one winter on my skis..it was so windblown and icy, I could almost see my reflection in the ground. The metal roofing was gradually being picked off and bent piece by piece from the occasionally severe winds. Other than the roof, it seemed to be holding up.. and was a pretty cool structure. I think they flew in of the the parts by helicopter to build it back in the 80s? 0r early 90s ( someone correct me here ).

Brucester
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puzzlr
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PostMon Jan 01, 2024 11:17 am 
I talked to the local DNR head in 2018 and made this note from the conversation. The cabin was removed by the DNR on October 24, 2018. The property was purchased by Forterra in 2016 and then transferred to the DNR. There are regulations about structures inside NRCA boundaries and keeping the cabin wasn't an option. They got an estimate for hauling it all out but that was too expensive and they aren't allowed to burn structures on this category of property. During interactions about the Fairy Cabin they learned the FBI was willing to practice their bunker busting techniques and blow up the cabin. After the explosion tons of debris was hauled down via helicopters and taken to the dump by Wade Holden's Friends Of The Trail group. Five months before it was blown up I hiked up there again and found that a ladder was stashed under the cabin and the door was not locked. Here are two photos of the inside. I still want to contact the previous owner and get the full story. From the looks of the inside, it doesn't seem like it was used much after being built. For example, there was no stairway between the two levels, but there were pieces of a spiral staircase below.
Upstairs
Upstairs
Downstairs
Downstairs
Friends of the Trail hauling bags of cabin debris to the dump
Friends of the Trail hauling bags of cabin debris to the dump

Mid Fork Rocks flickr

fourteen410, day_hike_mike, Brucester, flatsqwerl, hearingjd, giojennings, runup  RodF
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hearingjd
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PostMon Jan 01, 2024 5:27 pm 
What a waste... it could have been a cool hike-in cabin like they have in the Alps...

Hiker John

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zimmertr
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PostMon Jan 01, 2024 7:05 pm 
hearingjd wrote:
hike-in cabin like they have in the Alps...
A couple friends and I just booked 6 refugios in the Dolomites to do Alta Via 1 in August. I am very stoked for it. Sorry to derail, but I couldn't help sharing :P

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Lightning_bug  peter707
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Jan 01, 2024 7:15 pm 
Except the cabin site is very close to the road.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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zimmertr
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PostFri Jan 05, 2024 3:52 pm 
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fourteen410
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PostFri Jan 05, 2024 11:28 pm 
Thanks for sharing that info about the cabin puzzlr.
puzzlr wrote:
During interactions about the Fairy Cabin they learned the FBI was willing to practice their bunker busting techniques and blow up the cabin.
It's strange that the FBI decided to blow up this cabin instead of the fairy cabin. Last I saw, mother nature was handling destruction of the latter, perhaps with some human assistance.

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