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Trip Report

Duckabush River — Monday, May. 28, 2012

Olympic Peninsula
Ken hikes the section of trail between the two sets of switchbacks going up Big Hump. USFS crew cleared this.
The Duckabush trail is closed for very good reason. The burn area starts just past 2-Mile (River) Camp. Charred snags and huge fir and cedar supported only by burned roots with the soil gone from underneath present significant danger. Loose rock and branches were coming down with no wind at times. Our WTA crew wore hardhats at all times. The problem is, things seem just fine until they aren't, and one loose rock or canopy wind can take out a tottering snag. I'm not generally a doom and gloom kind of gal, but unless you are with an approved work crew, please stay off this trail! I hope my pics at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51278183@N05/sets/72157629945878746/ are enough to quell your curiosity until this wonderful trail re-opens. If personal safety is inadequate motivation, the Forest Service is tracking scofflaws who choose to hike this trail despite the warnings, so prepare for a ticket if you're reckless enough to disregard the trail closure. And please, please, if you choose to have a fire backcountry, put it out COLD! The river was only a few feet away from the human fire that burned nearly 1,300 acres of beautiful forest. Despite the burn, sedum, trillium, paintbrush, monkey flower, false Solomon's seal, strawberry, rhodies (first part of trail only) and salmonberry were blooming in protected damp spots.
Greg and Becca work just above Five Mile Camp - this is pretty typical of what the trail looks like in areas not yet cleared.
Gary, Mark, and Wayne try to coax this guy we cut down the skids.
Next crew, please. This was where we stopped, about 3/4 mile from 5 Mile Camp. Even the sections we did have lots still to do (tread, a blocked switchback, logs under burned snags too dangerous to take, etc.).