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Home News Blog Hooray! The Suiattle Road Finally Opens

Hooray! The Suiattle Road Finally Opens

Posted by Anna Roth at Oct 30, 2014 06:20 PM |

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.

Suiattle Ribbon Cutting anna roth
Smiles gleamed through the rain as representatives of state, local, and tribal governments cut the ribbon on the Suiattle River Road. Photo by Anna Roth.

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.

delbene + eberlien gary paull
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Forest Supervisor Jennifer Eberlien, and Congressman Rick Larsen beam after the ribbon cutting ceremony. Photo by Gary Paull, US Forest Service.
cars in the suiattle parking lot kim brown
Cars line a parking area along the Suiattle Road for the first time in 11 years. Photo by Kim Brown.

 

new suiattle road muledeer
The new Suiattle Road rolls out ahead, as rocks from the old road sit on the sidelines. Photo by muledeer.
rankin+eberlien+delbene gary paull
Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and Forest Supervisor Jennifer Eberlien enjoy the sunshine that came out during the tour of the newly opened Suiattle Road. Photo by Gary Paull, US Forest Service.
group on Boundary Bridge suiattle media tour Gary Paull
The first group of visitors on the new Suiattle Road hang out on Boundary Bridge, which provides access to Rat Trap Pass and the White Chuck River. Photo by Gary Paull, US Forest Service.
hiker on Suiattle River Trail muledeer
A hiker stands in the lush forest of the Suiattle River Trail. Photo by Muledeer.
green mountain lookout erdeman
Trip reporter Erdeman headed up to Green Mountain after the road opened and provided WTA with the first trip report of the area. Photo by Erdeman.
view from green mountain erdeman
His view from Green Mountain was foggy, yet inspiring on the first trip up to the lookout since the road reopened. Photo by Erdeman.

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