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Old 01-31-09, 11:10 AM   #1
aRoudy1
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John Wayne Trail tunnels closed

Sounds like there will be no long trips on the JWT this year.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm..._trail31m.html
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Old 01-31-09, 11:50 AM   #2
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The closure of this trail (too bad), reminds me I have been meaning to ask whether anyone knows of another way across cascades that could be mostly on unpaved roads.

Does anyone know any other unpaved route over the Cascades (which does not involve riding on I90?)

I have been looking for a route that I could use with my old rigid MTB -- this route appears unpaved, mainly fire roads, does anyone know it?

http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=25898


Or this one?

http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=25900
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Old 01-31-09, 12:57 PM   #3
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There were several large slides on the road between Stampede and I-90. I haven't heard how repairs are going. There was a lot of damage on the NP track between Stampede and Lester also; I don't know where your trail is in relation to the tracks.
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Old 01-31-09, 01:04 PM   #4
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There were several large slides on the road between Stampede and I-90. I haven't heard how repairs are going. There was a lot of damage on the NP track between Stampede and Lester also; I don't know where your trail is in relation to the tracks.
Do you know what that road is typically like (in the summer)? Paved or unpaved? Have you ever been on it?
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Old 01-31-09, 03:16 PM   #5
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From I-90 to Stampede it's a well maintained gravel road. I've never been on the Stampede to Lester road but would assume it's about the same however, you might check with the City of Tacoma as it's in their watershed and traffic may be restricted/prohibited.
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Old 01-31-09, 07:35 PM   #6
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Even with the tunnel closed, you can still avoid I90 to get to snoq. pass. Take JWT to within a mile or so of the tunnels' west entrance and go left down the lake Annette trail to the parking lot (it's rough but open to bikes between the parking lot and the JWT). Cross over I90 to Denney Creek and take the old snoqualmie pass hwy to the summit. Its actually a very nice ride.
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Old 01-31-09, 08:26 PM   #7
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Cross over I90 to Denney Creek and take the old snoqualmie pass hwy to the summit. Its actually a very nice ride.
Can I-90 be avoided all the way to Easton on side roads, or is the JWT the only option? Am curious because you can pick up paved alternates to I-90 from there eastward.
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Old 01-31-09, 11:50 PM   #8
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naches trail across government meadow? not a lot of thru routes across the Washington cascades......

riding thru lester is definetly a no go, but i'd be very interested to hear of someone (trying to) ride from watershed thru to stampede pass!

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Old 02-01-09, 01:40 PM   #9
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naches trail across government meadow? not a lot of thru routes across the Washington cascades......

riding thru lester is definetly a no go, but i'd be very interested to hear of someone (trying to) ride from watershed thru to stampede pass!

I'm not familiar with that area, have just been scouting out Fire Roads with a DeLorme atlas and Google Earth. Have been trying to figure out how to make a trip that isn't just "out and back" along the Iron Horse Trail....thinking that if there is an unpaved crossing through the watershed area you could ride from Maple Valley out to Easton, then back to town along the Iron Horse Trail.

The map says that these roads go through.

Are you saying that they are blocked during the summer?
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Old 02-02-09, 12:51 AM   #10
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I'm not familiar with that area, have just been scouting out Fire Roads with a DeLorme atlas and Google Earth. Have been trying to figure out how to make a trip that isn't just "out and back" along the Iron Horse Trail....thinking that if there is an unpaved crossing through the watershed area you could ride from Maple Valley out to Easton, then back to town along the Iron Horse Trail.

The map says that these roads go through.

Are you saying that they are blocked during the summer?

yes. blocked during the summer.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shades7...7601425461939/



That Annette Lake trail gambit off the John Wayne Trail mentioned by northbend is good (haven't done it but looked at it as a bailout) and would work to get you over the Crest, albiet on the nice paved backroad at Denny Creek up to Snoqualmie Pass.

The way you are looking, Benge.....much of that area between I-90 and Highway 410 is CLOSED to the public. the watersheds of Tacoma and Seattle are right in that cradle; a large portion of the land between Kanaskat and Stampede Pass, Highway 410 and I-90 is off limits to the public. I suggest too, that since 9/11 the security at the watersheds has increased to the nth degree to make thru travel quite improbable.


Those roads, FS50 and FS54 are not thru routes you can use.

BUT! Less than 10 miles further south from Lester as the crow flies you'll see Greenwater, FS70, Government meadows, and the Naches Pass. The historic Naches trail headed across the cascades and you can roughly follow it today on Forest Service roads. Trouble is in getting over Manastash Ridge if you want to drop over to Cle Elum or Yakima but doable.

There's not many ways across the Cascade crest in Washington that don't involve 20, 2, 90, 410, or 12.

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Old 02-02-09, 01:00 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Bekologist;8289613
BUT! Less than 10 miles further south from Lester as the crow flies you'll see Greenwater, FS70, Government meadows, and the Naches Pass. The historic Naches trail headed across the cascades and you can roughly follow it today on Forest Service roads. Trouble is in getting over Manastash Ridge if you want to drop over to Cle Elum or Yakima but doable.[/QUOTE]

Thanks for this detail. Now I'm intrigued by the Naches trail.

A couple of minutes on Google yieled this trip report...must be something 4-wheelers do...

http://www.pnwadventures.com/forum/c...th-2008-a.html
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Old 02-02-09, 01:08 AM   #12
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Mackenzie Pass Oregon, but it's paved and you have to share it with cars when it's open. I've been on some pretty remote roads that aren't paved but still show up on the official state of Oregon highway map, like the one out back of the Baghwan Rashneeshi's place in Antelope, it was barely a track in places.

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Old 02-02-09, 09:16 AM   #13
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Curious sign. Is it possible they mean "dismount and walk bikes across the bridge"?
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Old 02-02-09, 09:55 AM   #14
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no, there is very restricted travel into the watershed. that sign is to the east of lester, well before all public travel is stopped from entering the watershed. I do wonder as to the legality of it since it is on a Forest Service road..... but that's what you encounter.

There are public travel restrictions anywhere near howard hansen reservoir or chester morse lake. and no feasible workarounds.

I suggest happy exploring just a few miles further to the south up along Naches trace. relatively close from the john wayne trailhead along the road thru kanaskat.

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Old 02-02-09, 10:16 AM   #15
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Thanks for this detail. Now I'm intrigued by the Naches trail.

A couple of minutes on Google yieled this trip report...must be something 4-wheelers do...

http://www.pnwadventures.com/forum/c...th-2008-a.html
Benge, I'd be interested in leading a loose cadre of serious BF trail riders into the Naches one weekend this summer..... the cascades are going to be snowed in for several months yet regardless, no sense looking TOO far into the hills for bicycling yet....
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Old 02-02-09, 10:46 AM   #16
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There are public travel restrictions anywhere near howard hansen reservoir or chester morse lake. and no feasible workarounds.
I sort-of understand the restrictions near the watershed and reservoirs (as much as I understand any of the panicky fear-driven "OMG ter'rists" homeland security policies) but the restriction on bicycles on an otherwise accessible trail just seems random (more random than usual). Oh well.
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Old 02-02-09, 11:06 AM   #17
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Benge, I'd be interested in leading a loose cadre of serious BF trail riders into the Naches one weekend this summer..... the cascades are going to be snowed in for several months yet regardless, no sense looking TOO far into the hills for bicycling yet....
Very cool offer!

After getting your links last night, I spent a couple of hours with my DeLorme Atlas, Ranger maps, etc., and figured out the *rough* areas you were talking about but I don't have a detailed enough map to show all the fire roads that the four-wheelers are talking about. Apparently the ranger station over at Naches keeps maps of the area; which can also be ordered online. I am going to try to do that.

I'll report back in this thread as I learn more...

I don't have a MTB with suspension (just my old hardtail, rigid fork Stumpjumper), which is why I've been trying to find something like a series of fire roads that would get me over the Cascades...then I'd ride back through Cle Elum, Roslyn, etc., and take the Iron Horse Trail back to Seattle.

But for starters would love to figure out the terrain in the area you're pointing us to.
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Old 02-02-09, 11:36 AM   #18
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I'm not trying to push a product here, but FWIW, http://maps.live.com/ has much better aerial photography of that area than Google Earth. Here's a link to the Naches Pass area:

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...cl=1&encType=1
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Old 02-02-09, 11:52 AM   #19
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would 32's be enough on nfs roads like these?

this thread makes me wish i had a mtb.
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Old 02-02-09, 10:20 PM   #20
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Even with the tunnels closed, you can still get over the pass and down to Easton without having to go onto I-90. It takes a little work. I'll try to describe the route, but as a disclaimer, it's been a while since I cruised the backroads over there, and I don't know what kind of shape they are in or if they are even passable.

As mentioned earlier, ride the trail to before the Snoq. Tunnel, head down Lk. Annette trail and take the old Sunset Highway up over the pass. Get back on the Iron Horse trail at Hyak and head towards Easton. Before you get to the Whittier Tunnel, you will encounter a FS road that crosses the trail. I don't remember the name or number, so a little map work is required. Go left onto this road and stay right till it intersects another FS road. Take this one right and follow it until it intersects the Iron Horse trail again. Continue towards Easton and when you get to lake Easton State Park, you can hop off the trail and go around the lake to the north avoiding the Easton tunnel. You can also hop onto Cabin Creek Road and ride this down into Easton as well.

Again this is all from memory, and I have no idea if the FS roads are still passable, but a little map work should get you there, plus exploring is half the fun.
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Old 02-02-09, 10:48 PM   #21
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Here's an interesting review of a hike on the Lake Annette trail --

"Note to self: If you are tired and b****ing about things one mile into a hike, and your knee hurts, and you partner is being a doo-doo head, just quit. It is better than pushing the issue and continuing the hike."

http://www.guidothesquid.com/hiking/annettelake.html

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Old 02-03-09, 09:40 AM   #22
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would 32's be enough on nfs roads like these?

this thread makes me wish i had a mtb.
well, if they can get 4 wheelers down it I'd bet a nimble bicyclist on a cross bike could do it! No MTB required.

Yes, not a lot of wheel friendly crossings of the Cascade crest other than the paved roads or the John Wayne Trail. The closures of the tunnels puts a slight damper on that route.

Natches pass is one of the few alternatives in Washington.
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Old 02-04-09, 09:52 AM   #23
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...thought I'd finally check out the PNW forum...

Beko knows his stuff. You can easily do this on a touring bike with 32's. A friend brought his 520 on the JWT a couple years ago, fully loaded for a dress rehearsal just for grins. I brought my old school rigid MTB with 1.5" Armadillos city tires and similarly loaded down. No problems. Everyone else showed up with an assortment of mid to hi-end MTB's. Way overkill.
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Old 02-04-09, 10:31 AM   #24
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...thought I'd finally check out the PNW forum...

Beko knows his stuff. You can easily do this on a touring bike with 32's. A friend brought his 520 on the JWT a couple years ago, fully loaded for a dress rehearsal just for grins. I brought my old school rigid MTB with 1.5" Armadillos city tires and similarly loaded down. No problems. Everyone else showed up with an assortment of mid to hi-end MTB's. Way overkill.
Just to be clear, I think the conversation is about whether you could get over the Naches Trail with a bike using 32's. (not the Iron Horse Trail).

If you go back to the link above showing guys crossing it with 4x4's, the pics show some pretty extreme roads. I think the issue was raised because the photos show a fair amount of mud. It's also not clear to me that in the 4x4 adventure that they actually ever made it *over* the pass.
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Old 02-04-09, 10:31 AM   #25
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...thought I'd finally check out the PNW forum...

Beko knows his stuff. You can easily do this on a touring bike with 32's. A friend brought his 520 on the JWT a couple years ago, fully loaded for a dress rehearsal just for grins. I brought my old school rigid MTB with 1.5" Armadillos city tires and similarly loaded down. No problems. Everyone else showed up with an assortment of mid to hi-end MTB's. Way overkill.
Just to be clear, I think the conversation is about whether you could get over the Naches Trail with a bike using 32's. (not the Iron Horse Trail).

If you go back to the link above showing guys crossing it with 4x4's, the pics show some pretty extreme roads. I think the issue was raised because the photos show a fair amount of mud. It's also not clear to me that in the 4x4 adventure that they actually ever made it *over* the pass.

That being said, I agree that Bek knows his stuff. I hope I have the opportunity to take him up on his offer to guide an "unpaved road" adventure in that area (ummm, after the snow melts, of course).
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