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Update on the Icicle Creek Road

Posted by Susan Elderkin at Apr 11, 2011 03:22 PM |
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New details are emerging about a recent landslide on the popular Icicle Creek Road (FR 76) southwest of Leavenworth. The landslide is just northwest of the Eightmile Campground.

New details are emerging about a recent landslide on the popular Icicle Creek Road (FR 76) southwest of Leavenworth. 

The landslide on April 1 swept down "trees, mud and boulders the size of cars from the Lion Creek drainage down slope onto the Icicle Creek Road," the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest reports. "A swath of debris more than ten feet high in many places and 30 to 40 feet wide collected onto the road across about 1200 feet."

The landslide is just northwest of the Eightmile Campground.

The Forest had barricaded the road about three miles from the slide, but have since moved it 1.8 miles upstream from the Snow Lakes Trailhead. Engineers are planning to use a decommissioned road near Eightmile Campground to haul the debris and to provide access for residents in five homes upstream.

Will the road reopen for hiking season? We don't know. Workers will need to first clear the slide and assess damage to the road surface and culvert. But it is a positive sign that the Forest is tackling this so quickly.

If the road does not reopen in time for hiking season, the Snow Lake trail will be the only way to access The Enchantment Lakes, as the other route via Colchuck Lake (#1599) is on the wrong side of this slide.

Other hikes impacted include Eightmile Lake (#1552), Lake Caroline (#1554) and the Fourth of July Creek Trail (#1579).

This slide is another blow for hikers who have been waiting three years to access the upper reaches of the drainage. In May 2008, rapid snowmelt triggered a massive debris slide that has closed the Icicle Creek Road just past the Ida Creek Campground, cutting off access to a number of additional hikes (and campgrounds).

Last fall, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest began road work to relocate a 1.5 mile portion of the flooded road. At that time, the Forest had projected to complete the work and reopen the road for this summer. This new slide, downstream about 6 miles, puts that opening date in serious jeopardy.

That's what we know for know. We'll be sure to keep you updated as this situation develops.