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Trip Report

Clear Fork Trail

South Cascades

Trip Report By

WTA Member

200 

Hiked Aug 7, 2014

Type of Hike

Multi-night backpack

Trail Conditions

Trail in good condition

Road

Road rough but passable

Bugs

Bugs were not too bad

Snow

Snow free
WTA trail work party

The Clear Fork trail had not been maintained for 15 years and as a result of this four-day WTA Backcountry Response Team (BCRT), the trail is now open, restored and spectacular. I have never experienced such difficult but rewarding work with such positive and supportive partners. As our Crew Lead wrote "I don’t think I’ve ever had such a high log count, 114, on any of my prior years on WTA BCRTs." Gary Zink was an extraordinary Crew Lead and Tom Faubion, BCHW Pierce Co. Chapter, was the mastermind behind this joint BCHW/WTA working group and arranged great stock support which helped a lot. The teamwork was really extraordinary. Aaron, Lee, and Nick - friends since college -- planned their reunion around this trip! Jeff was a terrific assistant crew lead and Tom, Steve, Paul were patient and skilled teachers. Plus Todd, Tony, ZZ and the BCH packers - all terrific! Back to the trail: The road is in excellent shape except for the last mile which requires going very slow. The trail head is clearly marked. The trail to Chimney Creek is very good despite a little navigating around an old avalanche area. We camped at Chimney Creek and found the crossing of the Cowlitz River to be easy (I waded while most walked the log). And then the elevation gain starts with peek-a-boo views of the Goat Rocks. At 9.6 miles, Tieton Pass the the PCT is reached! This could make for a great one-way trip that includes the Goat Rocks or White Pass. The opportunities are endless! I celebrated with a huckleberry ice cream cone at Cliff Dropper's - an extremely popular local hang-out!

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