Having hiked this trail many times, I am aware of how bad it can be in the spring before the Coulee Riders Motorcycle Club logs it out. I had read Sawtooth Scrambler's Trip Report from May 16, 2021 and could relate to the difficulty traveling over/under/around/through the downed trees. I hoped to make it to the Upper Falls, assuming no logout had occurred. This would usually have about 100 logs over the trail in the 2.8 miles. A quick read of the Trail Register confirmed my suspicions - the last hiker had turned back due to logs over the trail.
So, off I went and was I pleasantly surprised. The first 3.1 miles of trail had been logged out. I could tell by the number of cut logs and the volume of woodchips that a lot of work had been required - Thank You, Coulee Riders!!!
The lower falls were roaring, as were the upper falls. Flowers were blooming in the first 1.5 miles. I stopped at the overlook for the upper falls at 2.8 miles and used my folding saw to clear most of the logs blocking access to the small camp. Then off I went, elated at the easy hiking, hoping to make it to the junction with the Martin Cr trail at 4.8 miles.
All good things must come to an end, and the Dr. Jekyll of trails turn into Mr. Hyde at 3.1 miles. The next 1.7 miles of trail had about 140 logs over it, many requiring cross-country routes to get around jumbles of downed trees with branches completely blocking the trail. I did some "tree-age" with my folding saw, trying to ease the travel for future hikers, where I could make a difference.
Between the sawing and the over/under/around/through the downed timber, it took 4:40 to cover 1.7 miles. After finishing the last of my lunch, it was time to head back down. This time it took 1:15, since I was only trying to travel.
With about 2 miles to go to the trailhead, I heard a motorcycle coming in on the trail. It had a chainsaw carried on the front! I talked with the rider for a while and he related that this year had been worse than prior years in terms of downed trees. He was surprised there were still 140 logs before the junction. I thanked him for all the hard work clearing the trail and we went our separate ways...