Suiattle River Rd. to Close to Foot, Bike Traffic for Repairs
The Suiattle River Road will be closed to all human visitation from milepost 11.6 to the end between September 6 and October 10 for long awaited repairs.
The Suiattle River Road will be closed to all human visitation (no boots or bikes) from milepost 11.6 to the end between September 6 and October 10 for long-awaited repairs.
As true connoisseurs of Washington's hiking seasons know, September is one of the best months to be out -- air crisp and fresh as a newly-laundered sheet, honeyed sunlight and ripe berries conspire to make any hiker's heart beat faster. While hikers may lament the restricted access the Glacier Peak Wilderness trailheads that we've visited on foot or by bike since the road washed out in 2003, there's good news in store.
Work on the Suiattle will begin post-Labor Day
The Suiattle is being closed so that the Darrington Ranger District can commence work on the road and reopen it to passenger vehicles for the first time in more than a decade.
They will be drilling or blasting on a substantial rock face, doing some small-scale timber falling and moving a lot of dirt -- work that's potentially dangerous to anyone other than hardhat-clad professionals.
Construction marks the first step in an open Suiattle
Keep in mind that the road won't reopen to cars by October. It will likely be a couple of seasons before you can drive to the Suiattle Trailhead again. But this marks a crucial first step, and Washington Trails Association couldn't be happier about it.
Since 2003 and 2006, when landslides closed the Suiattle River Road past milepost 12 (effectively locking out hikers from some great trails in the Cascades) WTA has been heavily engaged with the Suiattle Road repair process, drafting the sign-on letter referenced in the article, helping convene the groups that signed on, and rallying hikers to speak up for the road.
"I can't wait for the road to be open to the public"
The Darrington Ranger District and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie staff deserve several pats on the back for their tenacity and hard work. We agree wholeheartedly with Peter Forbes, Darrington District Ranger, when he says "I'm excited that work has started, and I can't wait for the road to be open to the public."
For more information on this project, please take a look at the project page on the Federal Highways Western Federal Lands Division website.