Hike: Middle Fork Snoqualmie River (WA)
Driving to the trailhead for the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River may have been the most arduous part of our day as we bounced the last 9 miles of our journey through the many potholes before arriving at the spacious parking lot and heading out on a beautiful bridge that crosses the river. Hiking on the Middle Fork Trail was like spending 2 ½ hours in one huge ravine. We hiked 6 miles (out and back) through a moist landscape that looked primeval at times.
In less than a mile from the trailhead we were treated to a view of Stegosaurus Butte towering on our right. The views today were obscured by the rising clouds, but we were able to get some glimpses of the mountains around us (such as Preacher and Garfield Mountains).
Hiking in the damp lowlands we saw quite a few emerging wildflowers; there were trilliums throughout the whole hike as well as pink bleeding hearts, yellow violets, and white Western Coltsfoot.
One recurring theme of today’s hike was the significant destruction that has happened to along this trail as Nature has unleashed snow, water, and rock down the slopes surrounding this river. Numerous times we saw evidence of huge slides, washed out bridges, and massive trees uprooted. There has been a lot of work done to keep this trail open and passable. Despite the numerous creek crossings, there was only once we had to do any significant boulder hopping.
We read somewhere that there are plans to pave more of the road from Mailbox Peak Trailhead to the Middle Fork Trailhead. That should make this hike an easy and very popular hike unless, or rather until, Mother Nature unleashes more damage to this down-slope trail and road.