Chewuch River Trail (Jun 27, 2009)

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chewuch_river_coverConditions: city walk
Area: Seattle
Stats: 2.45mi, 106' gain (round trip)

Remember the line from good Morning Vietnam and Robin Williams character is commenting about "it's hot...damn hot". Well that was Chewuch River yesterday. Thankfully there were a couple of shady spots (only a couple) and there was a breeze.

I'd been wanting to head to this trail for some time. Back in 2004 a group of us headed into the Pasaytens for a near week-long climbing trip. We planned to enter via this TH but one person in the party reminded the group that at the time, the trail was closed because of the "recent" fires. The trail had been closed due to the danger of snags falling.

Well we sure did miss a nice trail. Leaving the parking lot the trail crosses one mighty purdy bridge over the Chewuch. Then the trail follows and old roadbed for a while as it ascends (most of the gain for the day is in the first mile). First you hear and then see the rapids from the river. This then changes to an awesome stillness as the river widens and hardly seems to move at all. Then the river moves back to a narrow channel a bit further in.

Lots of burn in the area but it does seem to be recovering well. I don't know if he area was aerial seeded but there do appear to be new trees that are anywhere from 3-5 feet high. Lots of fireweed and lots of other flowers.

I pretty much had the trail all to my lonesome. The only people I saw were backcountry horseman (?) that had taken saws in to clear the trail. The trail is clear of downed snags to just shy of 5 miles in. I went another mile plus to the junction with the Cathedral Drive TR No. 510A. (about 6 miles in). After the logging stopped the downfall was frequent but not bad. About every 15-100 feet there would be a tree down across the trail. Most were easy enough to just step (or straddle) over. Some have new routes around them.

Lots of birds out. Saw a few deer in the river where it's wide and calm.

When I got to the trail junction 6 miles was incredibly hard to resist the urge to head all the way into Remmel Lk. Garsh I miss that place.
Chewuch River Trail Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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