Road Closures of Note: Mason Lake and Suiattle
September is my favorite month to hike in Washington's high country. The bugs are gone, and so are the crowds. Chilly mornings are a great motivator to hike a little faster up to that sun-drenched meadow. And berries are plentiful, rewarding hikers with juicy, sweet calories as they hike along open slopes.
Before you head out for your late-season hike, though, you'll want to confirm its accessibility. A few roads will experience temporary closures in the coming weeks for scheduled maintenance.
New on the closure list is the Mason Lake Road (Forest Service road 9031) which the Forest Service is closing at milepost 1.85 to vehicle traffic for road repairs. The closure begins on Tuesday, Sept. 7 and goes to Sept. 21. This closure blocks access to the Ira Spring Trailhead, which includes the Ira Spring Trail (Bandera Mountain) and the Mason Lake Trail. Hikers will still be able to the turnoff for FS road 9030, which leads to the Talapus Lake Trailhead. FS road 9031 will be open on the weekends during the closure period. Also, be aware that commercial logging that is happening along FS road 9031, which we first reported back in March. When traveling on this road, be cautious and watchful for logging trucks. For updates, call the Snoqualmie Ranger District at 425-888-1421.
Also of note, the Forest Service is closing sections of the Suiattle Road (Forest Service road 26) to vehicle traffic for culvert replacement upgrades. Each closure will stop traffic coming from Darrington blocking access to Glacier Peak and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The Suiattle will close at milepost 2 from Sept. 7-10. It will close at milepost 4.2 twice, from Sept. 13-24 and again from Sept. 27-30. Then, there will be periodic daily closures from Oct. 4-30.
“The Suiattle Road is the main access in the area for hikers going into the west side of the Glacier Peak Wilderness,” said Gary Paull, wilderness and trails specialist. "The Suiattle Trail connects to the Pacific Crest Trail and other trails leading to popular destinations of Trinity and Holden Village in the Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests, Stehekin in the North Cascades National Park. Mountaineers planning on the famous Ptarmigan Traverse need to be aware that the road closure will be 20 miles down the road from Downey Creek Trailhead where they exit this route."
For updates on the Suiattle Road closures, call the Darrington Ranger District at 360-436-1155.