Chiwaukum Creek (Jun 11, 2017)

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chiwaukum_creek_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Winton
Area: Leavenworth, WA
Reference: Day Hiking Central Cascades
Stats: 9.82mi, 1680' gain (round trip)

The weather forecast was a bit unsettled this weekend. I wanted to get out for an overnight but wasn't sure about the forecast for rain and thunderstorms. In the end Steve and I decided on just a day hike. In hindsight, the weather wasn't all the bad and we could have done the overnight. Oh well.

I picked Chiwaukum Creek but 10 minutes down the trail Steve says it's familiar. Darn...he's right. We hiked the trail almost exactly a year ago.

Getting to the trailhead was easy, highway 2 and then a left onto Chiwaukum Creek Rd and then it's only about 1/4 mile to the trailhead and gate. There is private property between the gate the wilderness boundary. The road though is really somewhat pleasant for a road walk. I've done worse. We only had to hike about 1.25 miles to get to the real trailhead (marked).

The trail starts out in a recent burn area (the fire was back in 2014. The property owners have signs along the beginning of the trail asking hikers (primarily mushroom hunters) to stay on the trail. Hopefully people do as asked.

Along the length of trail we hiked we went in and out of burned areas. There are lots and lots of wildflowers out today (lupine, paintbrush, queen's cup, Tweedyi, star flower, larkspur, honeysuckle) so there is lots of color to see. There are also a LOT of burned snags that have come down across the trail. Most are easy to step over, many require a walk around. Hikers are beating in lots of new trail around the downed trees. This trail really, really, REALLY needs a saw crew in there to remove the downed trees. Steve and I stopped a few times to try to clear the trail in some of the bad spots. Mainly just snapping off small branches so it was easier to step over the downed trees. It did seem to work because we noticed other hikers taking advantage of the clearing.

We hiked to about 1 mile shy of the footbridge over the creek. Steve found a nice spot for lunch. Then...after lunch...the hike out.

The 59er Diner is burned down a ways back. Still no evidence of new constructions. So...Steve and I stopped a Zeke's for burgers and shakes. It must be summertime!
Chiwaukum Creek Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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