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Mount Pilchuck

Jan 05, 2012

by ForestPatrolDeputy last modified May 07, 2012 05:31 AM
Type of Outing
Day hike
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Hike: Mount Pilchuck
Region: North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
Agency: Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest - Darrington Ranger District
Trails: Mount Pilchuck (#700)
Avg Rating: 4.27
Be Aware Of
Road to trailhead inaccessible
Sprung Upper Pilchuck Gate
As some of you may have been aware, the US Forest Service this summer, placed a new
gate just below mile post 5 on the 42 Road/Mount Pilchuck Road for the purpose of affording the recreational public more convenience in getting to the Mount Pilchuck Trailhead in the early spring and late fall/early winter during periods of time when
the driving conditions were deemed to be EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS or at times when the road below the new gate was snow-free, but the road conditions or the fact that the spring snows had not yet melted out to the point beyond the gate that would afford "SAFE ACCESS" to vehicles in areas beyond that point.

Just a day or two prior to the new year,someone took it upon themselves to cut the FS lock off the Upper Pilchuck Gate and then repeatedly ramming it so as to bow the new
metal gate to the point that it no longer could be locked.

As usual it has taken "ONE" to spoil it for the "ALL". The upper gate at this time could not be repaired, so it was closed as best as possible and has had boulders piled in front of it to insure that this spring, before snows have adequately melted out behind it to allow safe access (the initial intended purpose of the gate)that it will not be breached.

The Lower Pilchuck Gate just above the Heather Lake Gate has also been closed and
bouldered as was required after it too was repeatedly breached last year.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but the Forest Service must take appropriate steps to insure the longevity of it's property,manage and safegard the National Forest's natural resources, and insure the public's safety.

As of January 4,2012 the December 31 to April 2, the Annual Closure Order is in effect for "ALL MOTORIZED VEHICLES" (Including snowmobiles)on the 4200 Road System above the Heather Lake Gate. TRAVEL BY FOOT IS STILL PERMITTED!!!

The gate MAY be opened earlier or later in the spring as weather and/or snow conditions allow and/or dictate.

Safe Travels this winter!

Snohomish County Sheriff Office's
Forest Protection Deputy

The gate will no longer slide into the bell on the post to allow for placement of the lock. A chain with lock is continually cut off as well.
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Mount Pilchuck

Posted by sgmdwk at Jan 06, 2012 04:07 PM
Idiots like these vandals have caused problems for the rest of us for decades. Sad.

Mount Pilchuck

Posted by LuminousAphid at Jan 06, 2012 04:44 PM
I wasn't aware that there was a new gate, which is awesome, but it sucks that some less savory types like to ruin it for, indeed, all of the people who would like to use this road in a legitimate way.

Mount Pilchuck

Posted by trevb at Jan 06, 2012 06:33 PM
can anyone tell me if mountain look is still open? I'd like to go to Dickerman and/or ice caves

Mount Pilchuck

Posted by trevb at Jan 06, 2012 06:33 PM
mountain loop

Mount Pilchuck

Posted by HikingRebel at May 02, 2012 06:33 PM
Before we call these vandals "idiots", perhaps consider that they may have misinterpreted this gate as just another way that the "powers that be" are making it increasingly harder for folks to actually GET to the places that they love to hike. While it IS sad, and I don't condone these kind of actions, if I was really drunk, I might have done the same thing, not knowing the purpose of the gate was to actually ENHANCE access, and not to restrict it. Just sayin'.

Mount Pilchuck

Posted by Brandic at May 02, 2012 06:40 PM
NFSA has confirmed that the gate on FS42 remains locked due to weather, even past the estimated date of 4/2/12. With there being two gates now, I want to know which is the one that is still locked. Can I get within a couple miles of the trail head, or is the gate 7 miles from the trail head also locked with boulders in front of it? I really want to go before it's crowded this summer and will if it's a couple miles from the trail head, but not if I can only drive within 7 miles. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)

Mount Pilchuck

Posted by HikingRebel at May 02, 2012 06:40 PM
Well, my friend, I can't tell you if they still have that gate closed, but I do want to say that gates like this are just another way that the powers that be are crapping on us. There are too many gates, and too many stupid, useless rules. Sorry, I just had to vent! Enjoy your hike, and I hope you can get past the gate!

Mount Pilchuck

Posted by bschuman at May 07, 2012 05:31 AM
I think the FS has a big image issue over gates and locked areas. The number of areas that are gated and locked off has multiplied substantially in the past decade. Unfortunately the reason this happens is most often due to vandalism or idiocy in the first place.

For example, one of my personal gripes is how early/late many FS campgrounds are gated and locked off these days. Many are closed up well before snow is in the area, and many don't open until the snow is long gone. I understand that part of this is due to vandalism, as well as budget cuts for bathroom cleaning, etc. However, I'm not sure it's really helping the situation any. I see more roadside campfire pits left in passing pullouts than I ever used to see. I see more garbage left in FS roadside camps.

Gates like this that were designed for safety reasons are needed, to be sure. I think though that gate vandalism like this is mostly an expression of frustration by users at the overall multiplication of locked off areas.

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