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Trip Report

Abernathy Pass via Cedar Creek, Cedar Falls — Sunday, Jun. 11, 2017

North Cascades

While there are many reports for the trail to Cedar Falls, very few are for the trail beyond the falls.  Currently, the trail to the falls is in great shape, with the flowers near prime time - lupine, paintbrush, and snow bush.  The falls are beautiful and loud.

Now for the trail less traveled.  From Cedar Falls at 1.7 miles to the West Fork Cedar Creek at 6.4 miles, there are 60 logs over the trail, on average a minor impediment for hikers.  Stock will be stopped at 3 miles.  The 5 log jumble at 4.1 miles requires a bit of cross-country travel to get around.

Beyond the falls, the trail is more brushy as it climbs above the creek, passing a campsite at 2.6 miles.  At 3.8 miles, the trail enters a meadow with a large aspen grove.  There are campsites in the meadow, but the prime campsite in this area is on a bench below the meadow and just above the creek.  After the meadow, the trail shallows to a very gradual climb and alternates between forest and avalanche chute runout. 

Snow patches start at 4.0 miles, but are not really significant to hikers.  The campsites at 4.3 and 4.5 miles are still snow covered. 

After 4.6 miles, the stream crossings get continually more difficult.  The spring runoff covers most of the rock hops, but a log crossing can usually be found upstream to keep dry boots.  At 6.1 miles is a major stream with crossing choices of: a ford, a 7" diameter springy log, or two 10" logs about 100ft upstream.  At 6.4 miles, reach West Fork Cedar Creek, currently quite full with the spring runoff.

After evaluating the two crossing choices, a 30ft balancing act on a 20" diameter log without a handrail about 4 ft above the creek, or a ford amongst the boulders in the 2 ft deep stream, I decided I was tired enough to call it the turn around point for the day hike

After checking out the three small campsites above the trail, I continued on game/boot trail up about 100 vertical feet to the base of some beautiful stairstep falls.  A slightly sloped, but flat rock provided a great place to relax, have some lunch, listen to the falls, and enjoy the view.

I was able to see over to Abernathy Pass, which is still snow covered on the north side.

Too soon, it was time to head back to the car.


Posted by:

outdoor girl on Jun 16, 2017 05:05 AM