Hooray! The Suiattle Road Finally Opens
On October 25, the Suiattle River Road, closed for 11 years due to washouts, was opened to the percussive beat of rain and much applause, restoring access to the Glacier Peak wilderness and a myriad of hikes in the area, most notably the Green Mountain Lookout. This widely-publicized destination is an extremely popular destination for hikers and history buffs alike. The road is also a boon for the nearby town of Darrington, which relies heavily on tourism dollars for the local economy.
This year has been a good one for hikers looking for new trails. From the River to Rock Trail at Beacon Rock State Park to the new route up Mailbox Peak in North Bend, ribbons have been cut, opening new trails all over Washington. But a recent, long-awaited ribbon cutting near Darrington opened access to more than one trail.
On October 25, the Suiattle River Road, closed for 11 years due to washouts, was re-opened to the percussive beat of rain and the applause of a damp but ecstatic audience. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was the culmination of 11 years of collaboration among state, local, and tribal governments to restore access to the Glacier Peak wilderness. This area is home to a myriad of hikes, from a casual river walk along the Suiattle, to a heart-pounding trek to an historic lookout.
Celebration after many years of work
The ceremony opened with a blessing song from the Sauk-Suiattle tribe, then representatives of state, local, and tribal governments spoke about the success that comes with opening the road and the benefit it will afford the local community of Darrington.
Since the road's closing in 2003, the town has seen a significant downturn in in tourism. But that is expected to reverse with the reopening of this road, as hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts take to the trailheads that line the road.
Trail work is around the corner
With 11 years of maintenance on those trails, Washington Trails Association is eager to begin hosting work parties on the Suiattle. Keep an eye on our trail maintenance schedule next spring for work parties on the Suiattle River Road. You can help restore this beautiful area to its former glory as one of the most beautiful hiking destinations in Washington State.
We've already seen lots of trip reports and photos flooding in from happy hikers visiting Green Mountain and the Suiattle River Road. If you've been up recently, be sure to file a trip report! We (and your fellow hikers) want to know what trail conditions are like on these newly accessible hikes.