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Trip Report

Red Bluff, North Fork Sullivan Creek

Eastern Washington

Trip Report By

WTA Member

 

200 

Hiked May 8, 2016

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Trail in good condition

Road

Road suitable for all vehicles

Bugs

Bugs were an annoyance

Snow

Snow free
The purpose of this hike was to meet with partners (PNTA, Colville NF, & WTA) to check out the work site for this summer's BCRT project on the North Fork Sullivan Creek Trail. We started at Red Bluff Trail, accessed just off the pavement about 2 miles north of the Sullivan Lake Ranger Office and just east of Mill Pond on the Sullivan Lake Road. This is the best low-elevation feeder trail to the Salmo Priest Wilderness & Crowell Ridge, although the North Fork Sullivan Creek Trail is officially closed due to the failed bridge. This is also a portion of the Pacific Northwest Trail. Last year's Red Bluff puncheon replacement project is located 2 miles from the TH, and looks fantastic. This was the trainer project for what's to come on North Fork, where the failed bridge is located at approximately the 5.6 mile mark. WTA crews will be working here in June (https://www.wta.org/volunteer/schedule/workparty/a2mA00000009ILa/) and July (https://www.wta.org/volunteer/schedule/workparty/a2mA00000009IMn/), assisting PNTA crews in their summer-long project to replace the failed 80' bridge. Once this project is complete, access will be restored to Crowell Ridge. There are two other THs that access Crowell Ridge (Sullivan Mountain & Bear Pasture), but both are only accessible via several miles of very rough FS road. Red Bluff to North Fork is just off the pavement, which means hikers in small passenger cars can get there with ease and experience greater diversity in the ecosystems they hike through. Portions of this trail make for excellent day hikes, but once the bridge is complete, there are also excellent backpacking opportunities along this route. The trail has already been logged out this year, the wildflowers are blooming, and we found quite a few morels right alongside the trail as we hiked. The mosquitos were especially bad right around the Red Bluff puncheon, but not so bad farther up trail.

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