Road Access to Trails
Getting to the trailhead of your favorite trail depends on well-maintained backcountry roads. When these connectors wash out or are damaged, dozens of trails in your favorite wild places can become inaccessible. Join WTA to help create a rational and sustainable system of backcountry roads designed and maintained to provide wildland access while minimizing environmental impacts.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ISSUE
State of Access: The Future of Roads on Public Lands
Get the full story of how WTA evaluates roads, which roads we recommend fixing, and how to get involved.
Roads to Fix, Roads to Let Go
Looking at hiker use, cost of repair and environmental impact, WTA recommends the following for each of the eight roads. To learn the story of each road and the details of our position on repair, download the report.
- Suiattle River Road: Critical access to the heart of the Glacier Peak Wilderness that has been thoroughly studied and is ready for repair.
- Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road: A successful collaboration of land management agencies and the public to rehabilitate an important recreation area. A paving project should be completed by 2015.
- Carbon River Road: A dynamic landscape rendered road realignment unfeasible, making this road an ideal conversion to a hiker/biker trail to a wilderness campground.
- Dosewallips River Road: An important access road that should be reopened as new repair standards can offer access to the west side of the Olympics.
- Stehekin Road: A little-used mountain road that should not be repaired. Relocation would require realignment of the wilderness boundary, as well as the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Illabot River Road: A well-built road threatened by a lack of funding for maintenance that nevertheless should remain open.
- Mountain Loop Highway: A critical recreation access road requiring major repairs on a regular basis necessitates continued investment.
- Mitchell Peak Road: DNR should seek take all reasonable steps to secure an easement for recreational travel.
GET THE LATEST NEWS FROM THE BLOG
Hitting the road and the trails for a holiday weekend adventure? Get updates on the I-5 reroute, the opening of the Mountain Loop Highway and resources for keeping up to date through your holiday travel plans:
On Tuesday, May 14, the Forest Service closed Glacier Creek Road (Forest Service road 39) due to a washout. The road leads to the Heliotope Ridge Trail, a popular Mount Baker hike which WTA crews have worked on the last three years.
WTA today released State of Access: The Future of Roads on Public Lands. In an era of major storm events, budget cuts and environmental sustainability, this report is a tool to help land managers and the hiking community assess which roads to fix and which roads to let go.
Repairs to the Suiattle River Road may finally become a reality after a new finding from the Federal Highways Administration Western Federal Lands Division. WTA and hikers have been advocating for repairs to the Suiattle River Road since flooding and landslides closed it in 2003.
You have one more chance to help repair the Suiattle River Road, a tremendous opportunity to regain access to some magnificent hikes in the North Cascades.
Landslides in 2003 and 2006 have closed 11 miles of the Suiattle River Road (FR 26) to hikers and campers wishing to access the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Now more than 8 years after the road was damaged, an Environmental Assessment has been published, kicking off a 30-day public comment period.
Repairs to Snohomish County's Index-Galena Road have been put on hold while the county and Federal Highway Administration perform a full Environmental Assessment on the remainder of the the project.
A public open house on June 10th puts us one step closer to making the paving of the Middle Fork - Snoqualmie Road a reality.