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Trip Report

Railroad Grade

North Cascades

Trip Report By

Hiked Oct 16, 2011

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Obstacles on trail:
    Muddy or wet trail.
We enjoyed a glorious clear day at Mt. Baker on Sunday. The mountain positively gleamed in its coat of new snow. In contrast, the meadows around the Railroad Grade were still green, and there was no snow on the trail almost all the way to the climber's bivouac camp. Get out to this area while the good weather lasts! Trail conditions: The main trail from Schreiber's Meadow to the Railroad Grade trail junction is in great shape for the most part. It is rocky as usual around the creek crossing, but the creek itself has little water in it and is easy to step across. Some mud near the upper meadow. The start of the Railroad Grade trail climbs the meadow with a series of stone steps. This ill-conceived improvement has mostly failed, as step-hating hikers walk around the stones, and runoff erodes the tread. The best thing to do with this part of the trail is to close it and build a new path that climbs the slope less steeply, with a switchback perhaps, which can be drained properly. Otherwise, build some sort of crib step or turnpike structure that is easier to walk on than those stones. The approach to the actual crest of the RR Grade involves a descent on a funky rooty slope that ought to be rerouted. The trail on the crest of the railroad grade could use some retreading. Landslides down the steep slope have cut away at the tread in a few spots. The campsite access trail around the upper camp area (near the mid point of the Grade) needs to be better defined.