It felt more like an excursion than a hike today. Mountain Loop is plowed up to the turn off for the boat launch, after that it gets interesting. Best bet would be to go through the parking lot to continue up the road as there is a tree, while cut and passable, gets a little close. Slippery heading up to the trailhead both ways but not impossible. Trail has a few blowdowns early on, first one was the worst, yet still easy enough to go around. Stays relatively snow free until around 4 miles in where it got a bit deep. Some good stream and muddy crossings, nothing terrible. Past the campground to the parking lot was a nightmare. Deep snow and trees down everywhere. GPS helped me finish the last half mile. Decided to walk NF 23 back. That road is screwed beyond belief. About 8 trees across the road, one particular was feet across and massive. However, the bigger issue is the road is sunk down about a foot at mile marker 4. Nice views on NF 23 on the way back. Used snowshoes for just a little bit, no spikes though. It seemed the snow was either gone or really deep. Both the road and trail are in dire need of clearing. Beautiful area and it was a nice, quiet, wet, and extremely long walk today.
White Chuck Bench — Friday, Jan. 6, 2023