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Middle Fork Teanaway River

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Mountain rivers are magical, crystal-clear ribbons that inundate your senses. They can be cool massages for your feet. They offer delicate music for your eyes, sparkling flashes in the alpine sunlight. When properly treated, they offer needed refreshment for thirsty hikers. The Middle Fork Teanaway River offers all this and more. as it tumbles through a gorgeous mountain valley, home and habitat to a variety of birds, beasts and, yes, bugs. This riverside trail passes through rich valley meadows, grand old forests, and comfortable campsites for those who can't resist the chance to stay longer than a single day.

The Middle Fork Teanaway Trail (No. 1393) climbs gradually along the pretty river for an easy and fast hike if that's what you want. But I recommend enjoying it as an easy and slow hike. Bring the kids and stroll up the trail, letting the youngsters explore as you walk.

The trail leaves the trailhead with a fording of the river. Proceed up-stream for 0.25 mile to the point where the river valley narrows into a steep-walled canyon. At this point the trail runs on a bench above the river, but within the next 0.5 mile the trail slides closer to the river and occasionally gets too close--the tread disappears periodically in small washouts.

Unfortunately, the trail receives only occasional maintenance, so the tread may be rough--or missing--in places. Fortunately, the gentle slope of the land makes scrambling through these rough sections fairly easy.

As you near the 1-mile mark the trail crosses the river once more via a shallow ford. You'll cross the river again in about another 0.25 mile, then go back across yet again at just past 2 miles. Between fords, the trail alternates between cool forests and sun-streaked forest clearings. Look for wildlife--both ground-based critters such as deer and airborne beasts such as nuthatches and gray jays--in the margin areas where the forests open onto the clearings.

At 3 miles from the trailhead you'll come to yet another ford. About 0.5 mile past this last crossing you'll find a side stream--Way Creek--tumbling down to join the Middle Fork. In addition to the creek junction, you'll also find a trail junction. Continue a few dozen yards past the trail junction to find a broad campsite near the river. Stop here for lunch before turning back to complete your 7-mile hike.
Driving Directions:

From Seattle drive east on I-90 to East Cle Elum, exit 85. Cross over the freeway overpass and turn right (northbound) on State Route 970. Cross the Teanaway River bridge, and turn left onto Teanaway Road. At the Teanaway Campground turn left onto the Middle Fork Teanaway Road and drive about 4.5 miles to the Indian Camp Campground. Continue 0.5 mile farther to the trailhead on the right, found near a sharp left turn in the road.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 12 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Middle Fork Teanaway River — Aug 31, 2013 — Jazz Dog
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Fall foliage | Ripe berries
Issues: Overgrown | Water on trail
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When we arrived at the trailhead in early afternoon there were several dirt bikers about to ascend o...
When we arrived at the trailhead in early afternoon there were several dirt bikers about to ascend on the trail, so we absconded to the opposite side of the road and spent an hour or so wandering down the stream. It was very pretty and we waded around and found lots of beautiful rocks. We waited till we saw what appeared to be the last of the dirt bikers leaving, then tried the trail again. It was pleasant for the first mile or so (lovely pools beckoning and a few wildflowers blooming still), then just as we pulled off trail to a little beach area the 2-wheeled beasts appeared out of nowhere, 3 of them, snarling and crashing along the narrow path. The last one got stuck and created quite a bit of noise and fume pollution as he tried to extricate himself from roots and rocks,but he did apologize. All was fine again for the next mile, then 6 more appeared and splashed through the creek, the first one snapping something large as he re-entered the trail on the other side. Te last guy did stop and ask me if anyone else was with me and wished me a good day. So they were courteous for the most part; however, it does somewhat ruin a nice, solitudinous hike, and I hate to think what would have happened had we not been off the trail when they roared by. We crossed 4 fords then turned back as it was getting late. The day was beautiful, warm, though a little humid. Bugs were not as bad as expected. I feel like I would like to go back and finish the hike, or continue it to the Jungle Creek or Medra trail, but would probably go more for one where motorcycles are prohibited. Why are they allowed her anyway? All in all, this is a lovely hike, very easy, and earlier in the season there are lots of frogs along the riverside.
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Middle Fork Teanaway River — Aug 26, 2013 — TKfromNJ
Overnight
Issues: Overgrown | Water on trail
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Directions need fixing--from Teanaway Rd., take a left onto West Fork Teanaway Rd., then the next ri...
Directions need fixing--from Teanaway Rd., take a left onto West Fork Teanaway Rd., then the next right onto Middle Fork Teanaway Road. The barely-marked trailhead is immediately after the crossing of the Middle Fork Teanaway River. Also, you do NOT need a pass from the Forest Service, we were told at Cle Elum ranger station. We had a great time (mom and a 9 year old boy and 12 year old girl) despite forgetting an entire backpack (who needs sleeping 2 pads and 1 sleeping bag anyway?) Camped about a mile in. Counted 12 fordings of the river (up to the knee on the boy) before the 3.5 mile point. Camped about a mile in. Saw dipper, red tail hawk, water snake, and three guys counting beavers for Central Washington University, who saw some beavers. Mind the fords, a couple times you have to cross and recross quickly, and we missed the trail at one point on the way down. Don't try to take the road quickly, lots of pot holes, but doable.
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Middle Fork Teanaway River — Jun 28, 2013 — Keira the hiking dog
Day hike
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A low level, snow free hike sounded great, however we took one look at the first of 5 fords required...
A low level, snow free hike sounded great, however we took one look at the first of 5 fords required, right by the trail head and decided against starting. The river is not particularly wide - say 10 feet but the ford was about 1 foot deep, in water that was recently snow.

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Middle Fork Teanaway River — Jul 08, 2012 — vashonite
Day hike
Issues: Overgrown | Mud/Rockslide | Mudholes | Bugs
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As mentioned in other reports, the directions to the trailhead are wrong. Turn left off of Teanaway ...
As mentioned in other reports, the directions to the trailhead are wrong. Turn left off of Teanaway Road onto the West Fork Teanaway Road to head towards the campground (campground not well marked). At the campground, turn RIGHT onto Middle Fork Teanaway Road. Look at Google Maps. Continue after the pavement ends, past the Indian Camp, just over a bridge where the road turns hard-ish left.
Once you get there, though, you'll wish you brought your horse. The river was ford-able at the trailhead, but it was up past my knees (I'm 5'10"). Cool, but not unbearable since it was 97 degrees. My husband had to carry our dog across (Boxer). Beautiful canyon, some mud holes, then another river crossing. Overgrown trail, then a third river crossing - this is where the trail dissappeared. I THINK it continued up-river a bit, but the river was too high to get there on foot. We turned back instead. Teanaway Valley is beautiful - we'll look for another hike to try.
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Middle Fork Teanaway River, West Fork Teanaway River — Jun 02, 2012 — mbishop22
Overnight
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Washouts
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The beginning of the Middle Fork trailhead requires a river crossing that is far too deep and fast t...
The beginning of the Middle Fork trailhead requires a river crossing that is far too deep and fast to cross safely. We drove down the dirt road toward the West Fork, looking for a trailhead. But we never found one so we just parked near where the road ends (blocked by huge rocks/tree stumps) and hiked down a road that was closed to motor vehicles. We found a great campsite right near the river after just a 5 minute walk. It was mostly sunny, just a little light rain around dinner time.
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Middle Fork Teanaway by Solo Steve.jpg
Middle Fork Teanaway by Solo Steve
Location
Middle Fork Teanaway River (#1393)
Snoqualmie Pass -- Salmon La Sac/Teanaway
Cle Elum Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 7.0 miles
Elevation Gain 300 ft
Highest Point 3000 ft
Features
Old growth
Wildflowers/Meadows
Wildlife
User info
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208 and Mount Stuart No. 209

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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47.2978 -120.9624
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