You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Suiattle River

Suiattle River

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 56 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Image Lake, Miners Ridge, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section K - Stevens Pass - East to Rainy Pass, Suiattle River — Aug 19, 2013 — Pika
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Ripe berries
Issues: Blowdowns | Clogged drainage | Overgrown | Mudholes | Washouts | Water on trail | Road to trailhead inaccessible
Expand report text Hide report text
The Suiattle River Road is set to be closed for construction soon and I had not had the chance to bi...
The Suiattle River Road is set to be closed for construction soon and I had not had the chance to bike it this summer so I decided to try to make it to Image Lake and Miner's Ridge. The road to the trailhead is in good shape despite two washouts and flat enough to ride the ten or eleven miles in just over a half hour. I locked my road bike to the trailhead board and started up the Suiattle River Trail.

The start of the trail is through old growth forest meandering along the Suiattle River. The trail is a little overgrown and blowdowns and creek crossings were common. The trail becomes a bit of a slog about 5 miles in as the scenery declines. I felt like I was being followed at one point, I was apprehensive about potentially seeing a flash of gray and tail through the woods. Several other hikers also reported feeling unnerved there may be a cougar in the area.

The Canyon Creek bridge is the next significant landmark on the hike. Using a PCT and Green Trails Map I suspected to find the turn off for Miner's Ridge before the junction with the PCT. The reroute of the PCT has actually placed the trail before the intersection with Miner's Ridge and Image Lake; the turnoff was another 3 or 4 miles past the start of the PCT. I was overly reliant on the map as I searched in vain for the trail before the junction with the north and southbound PCT. I finally followed the Pacific Crest north and found the trail by that time I set up my tent and camped I started on the trail around 2pm so I was running out of daylight.

The next day I woke up around 7 and hiked endless switchbacks until there was a split with one trail going to Suiattle Pass and the other to Miner's Ridge. I continued up the Miner's Ridge trail through a smorgasbord of huckleberries and glimpses of Glacier Peak. My progress slowed significantly as I ate handful after handful of berries. I was surprised that I didn't come across bears with the abundance of food on the trail. I crested the hill to one of the most spectacular views I have ever had the fortune of experiencing in the Cascades.

The trail splits at the top of the hill with a short walk to the Miner's Ridge Lookout and a slightly longer hike to Image Lake. I opted to climb the lookout first and watched the clouds clear from Glacier Peak and the surrounding summits around 9:30. The white anemone was blooming in abundance along with mountain gentian and heather. I ate some snacks and made oatmeal with berries mixed in and hiked to Image Lake. By the time I reached Image Lake the temperatures had warmed significantly and I went for a swim in the surprisingly tepid lake. I watched a deer wander down the hill and marmots scurrying around the rocks. I met a gentleman who had hiked from Phelps Creek looking at his route I imagine making a larger alpine loop would be far superior to the long haul up the Suiattle River trail.

On the way back down the hill I walked up on a blonde black bear busily feasting on berries. As I got to within ten feet I called out "HEY BEAR!" The bear sprinted down the hill through the bushes hauling furry butt away from me. I made sure to make noise as I walked down the rest of the trail. I startled a second bear another quarter mile down the hill, I just caught a glimpse of the cinnamon colored bear as it took off. I warned the next two groups of hikers as I headed down.

There were at least four other groups of hikers most were headed to Holden Village, everyone was friendly and helped redirect me when I got confused by the map the day before. The hike back out to my bike took most of the day and my legs and feet started to feel pretty sore. I decided to jog through some of the more dull stretches of trail and I passed by a man who was updating the Green Trails map for 2014 so hopefully people will not be confused by the missing trails along the river corridor. I gave him a box of waterproof matches since he had forgotten his lighter and we chatted about packs and hikes, we were both rocking the Osprey Atmos 65.

Overall the hike was awesome but I think there are probably better approaches crossing over the Lyman Lakes basin and Spider Gap. I'm looking forward to the next opportunity to backpack in the area.
Read full report with photos
Suiattle River, Miners Ridge (Suiattle) — Jun 07, 2013 — Sbutton
Overnight
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Ripe berries
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail | Road to trailhead inaccessible
Expand report text Hide report text
Biked over the 11 miles of closed section of the Suiattle river road to the Suiattle River (#784) tr...
Biked over the 11 miles of closed section of the Suiattle river road to the Suiattle River (#784) trailhead. The biking on the relatively flat road is fabulous, particularly as my overnight pack was on the back of the bike, rather than my back.

Walked in the Suiattle River trail to the intersection with the PCT. No blowdowns for the first couple miles, then around ten or so to the intersection with the PCT, about 7.5 miles in. None of the blowdowns are much of on obstacle, the trail is in great shape, and the stream crossings were managed with dry feet.

The wood suspension bridge over the Canyon Creek is a miracle of art and engineering. It does sway up and down a bit as you walk over it, a bit disconcerting if you don't expect it. There are also nice campsites near Canyon Creek and every few miles along the Suiattle River trail.

From the intersection with the PCT, I traveled North to Miner's creek, then returned and climbed up almost to Miner's Ridge. There is steady snow on the trail above about 5,500 ft. Spent the night at about 4,800 feet, where there is but occasional patches of snow. Next morning got some nice photos of Glacier Peak.

Descended down to the PCT, and then returned South on the PCT to the new bridge over the Suiattle. Unfortunately there are a few fresh blow downs even on this short new section. They were easily stepped over or ducked under. Turned around after crossing the new bridge, and headed out.

Biking back out on the Suiattle River road, a caravan of nearly a dozen Search and Rescue vehicles were coming in. Hopefully that was just training. Also saw four men on bicycles doing a day trip.
 
There are ripe salmon berries along the Suiattle River Road, adding some energy for the last few miles.

Overall a fabulous trip, one of the best. I will definitely be back, there are many trails to travel in this area.

360 IO from Miner's Ridge:
 http://360.io/gu7Dmx

Read full report with photos
Huckleberry Mountain, Suiattle River — Jun 04, 2013 — Jay L
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Overgrown | Road to trailhead inaccessible
Expand report text Hide report text
Thought I would give Huckleberry Mountain a try, since it was not to far up the Suiattle River Road...
 Thought I would give Huckleberry Mountain a try, since it was not to far up the Suiattle River Road from the gate where the road is closed. Started out at 10:00am. Found the trailhead, but after about a quarter mile it was too grown over. If I was by myself I would try to bushwack, but had the little dog with me. It was such a nice day I decided to keep walking up the road. Made it to milepost 17 and turned around. With the exception of the two washouts close to the gate, I thought the road was in great shape, but have not been past milepost 17. They are going to start working on this road this summer and I'm pretty excited about it. Can't wait to hike the trails here without long road walks or biking in. The Huckleberry Mountain Trail is close to the gate but needs some work.
Read full report with photos
Suiattle River — Jun 01, 2013 — B_Ritchie
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Road to trailhead inaccessible
Expand report text Hide report text
THis is probably not news to anyone reading this, but the Suiattle River Road is closed about miles ...
THis is probably not news to anyone reading this, but the Suiattle River Road is closed about miles from the old trailhead. We biked up from the end of the road tot he trailhead and then hiked 3.5 miles or so in.

The closed-off road itself is in surprisingly good shape for having been abandoned for so long. When I biked this a few years ago there were blowdowns everywhere, but they've all been cleared off. There's a long sandy stretch about half way through that was a real pain the last time I did it, but this seemed more compact and solid this time (maybe because the ground is still on the wet side). The road climbs steadily but is never ridiculously steep. It was a workout on the way up, but definitely doable on a bike.

The foot trail was also in pretty good shape. There were a few largish fallen trees, but we had no problems getting around them. Most of the trailbed is in great shape, and is clear of brush or fallen limbs. We didn't get far enough to get any views of Glacier Peak (and it was cloudy anyway), but still a nice walk through mossy forest with creek views. Would like to return some time and go further - hopefully once they finally fix the road!
Read full report
Suiattle River — Jun 25, 2012 — Sir-Hikes-A-Lot
Overnight
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail | Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
I hiked up the Suiattle River to check out the new PCT route/bridge and headed north and south along...
I hiked up the Suiattle River to check out the new PCT route/bridge and headed north and south along the PCT to check out conditions.

From the Suiattle River TH to the new PCT junction (roughly 7.5 miles in) the trail is in fantastic shape with no blow-downs. There is a potential for 2 fords to the junction if you are not comfortable crossing on wet logs or rocks.

Heading northbound on the PCT to the Buck Cr Pass Trail junction, there are roughly 20-25 downed trees (several are old growth). Solid snow at 4600', just before the Buck Cr Pass junction. There are potentially 2 fords along this stretch, but again, logs are present up/down stream if comfortable.

Heading southbound along the new PCT to where the trail starts to switchback away from Vista Cr, there are ~24 blow-downs (at least 5 will require climbing over, under, or around. These are 4-5 foot diameter old growth). Solid snow at 3800'. About .25 miles from the new Suiattle bridge there is a definite ford that is ~15' across and was running ~20" deep when I went through. I've included a photo. About .5 miles from the bridge there is a 200'+ section of trail that is under water. It's very boggy and difficult to get around.

For those die-hard folks who want to use the old PCT route and try to cross the Suiattle on logs, I would advise against it. It's do-able, but it's an overgrown mess and can be difficult to find the trail (especially for south-bounders). The new 5.5 miles of trail is incredibly pleasant and not to be missed.

Cheers!
S-H-A-L

   
Read full report with photos
WTA worked here!
2011, 2012
Location
Suiattle River (#784)
North Cascades -- Suiattle River

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Map it
Red MarkerSuiattle River
48.24485 -121.188783333
  • BCRT 2011
  • BCRT 2012
(48.2448, -121.1888) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Columbia Hills State Park (Apr 24)

Columbia Hills State Park

South Cascades

From Dalles Mountain Ranch to Horsethief Butte, the rolling hills along the the Columbia River Gorge are blanketed in spring flowers. Ramble along until you find the perfect picnic spot on more than 12 miles of hiking trails. A meadowlark might even serenade you.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
GiveBIG 2014 May 06, 2014 Donate to WTA during The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG event and grow your impact on trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »