Tuesday, July 29, 2008

South Fork Tieton River

This is how finding and accessing wilderness trails should be. Kudos to the Wenatchee National Forest! There are great roads leading in and it was no problem finding. There was a lot of recent maintenance on the trail and I suspect a lot of that belongs to the Backcountry Horsemen, but it looks like other crews as well. Clearly, this trail is maintained for the horsemen. I saw a total of 8 while seeing only two hikers. The trail itself is in good shape except for the way the horses turn the tread to a fine powder. It’s like walking on dry beach sand for the better part of 9 miles. In other words, I used a few muscles that have not been properly exercised this summer.

I caught a photo of this fast moving and rare mountain wildlife.

Keep in mind, the Conrad Meadows are an active grazing allotment and that means the presence of some free range cattle. Look to avoid the bulls.

One group of cows I met was right on the trail. They gladly yielded, but a large bull that was resting just adjacent to the path was not so accommodating. He did stand to greet me, but then proceeded to stare my way in a menacing fashion. I chose to be the one to yield, leaving the trail and finding my way through the woods for 50 yards or so until I was out of the attention range of the large animal.

Mt. Curtis Gilbert dominates the landscape above Conrad Meadows.

To reach the Conrad Meadows, take Highway 12 to east of Rimrock Lake and turn onto Tieton Lake Road. Go for about 6 miles and turn south on USFS Road #1000. You will drive for 7 miles on single lane pavement and then the road turns to a wider, but well conditioned gravel road. Signs point the way to Conrad Meadows with little or no required guesswork.

The upper watershed of the South Fork Tieton River drains a portion of the Goat Rocks Wilderness.

The trail starts in the meadows about 4,500 feet above sea level and spends the first 3 miles in an almost flat layout. The early views are stunning. Open meadows with patches of pine and fir provide a foreground for the rugged peaks of the Goat Rocks in the background. The scenes remind me of many photos and post cards that are placed into my memory of Colorado. Unfortunately, the amount of bug-killed timber that dots the lower elevations of this hike reminds me of places all over the west, which caused my mind to consider the debate about how to best manage such resources.
Lodgepole Pines have been killed by the Mountain pine beetle while other trees in the area were hit by the Spruce bud worm.

There is a major bridge were Conrad Creek joins the South Fork of the Tieton River.

After a couple of river crossings, the trail splits and begins a loop around a large cirque that forms the drainage of the South Fork Tieton River. I chose to turn left and go counter clockwise. Immediately, the trail started climbing, switch backing between two smaller creeks. One of them had a significant waterfall that caught my interest, but access for a photo looked pretty tough. About 30 or 40 minutes later of moderate uphill hiking, I found myself on the shores of Surprise Lake. I rapidly took off my boots and waded out into the crisp waters to watch fish jump and take in the spectacle under Conrad Mountain.

A salamander swam right under me during my dip into Surprise lake.

After the lake, there was about 30 minutes worth of brilliant, high mountain meadow scenery as you follow the natural give of the geology. The trail gradually dips into the forest with occasional stream drainages of interest, but largely, only modest flower gardens kept my attention from the doldrums of the slow decent.

A small creek cut a small gorge in the walls of the ccanyon.

Even though the weather was perfect for them, bugs were a minimal problem.
The scenery is great and I had a perfect day of weather. Overall I looked at this trail like an amusement ride where I had to wait in line way too long...there was a lot of hiking for a short period of class A scenery. I would try Snowgrass or Berrypatch before driving the extra hour to Conrad Meadows.

Beautiful Surprise Lake was a wonderful stop.

Hiking Silver Star

Some places are special because of what they are supposed to be. Such is the case at Silver Star Mountain, a hiking area northeast of Vancouver in northeast Clark County.

The namesake of the area stands at just over 4,300 feet in elevation.

The difference at Silver Star comes from a combination of geology and biological history. The entire region was once an active volcano, but in 1902, the Yacolt Burn, a forest fire that took over 238,000 acres of vegetation with it changed the area. The ground became unstable and has resisted natural recovery . The net result is alpine scenery well below alpine elevations.

Ghosts from a historic forest fire still stand among young new trees.

In reality, hiking along the ridge around Silver Star reminded me a lot of hiking the Mt. Margaret Country area around Mount St. Helens. The main difference is that the Yacolt Burn was over a hundred years ago while the eruption of Mount St. Helens was a mere 28 years ago. When comparing the two, one realizes the level of heat and ferocity leveled upon this landscape by the 1902 Yacolt burn.

This week was the height of lower season at Silver Star.

The main difference is about 1000 feet in elevation. Most of the Mt. Margaret Backcountry is between 4,500 feet and 5,500 feet. Baldy Peak, the highest point I climbed to was just under 4,000 in elevation and the vegetation was strikingly similar to the aforementioned St. Helens area. Huckleberry, Blueberry and Salmonberries were the staple vegetation while prominent flowers included paintbrush, lupine, agoseris, columbine, spirea, penstemon and bunch berry among others. This year, the third week of July is near the height of the summer flower season at Silver Star. While my views were cut short by clouds in all directions, a good day will feature Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams as well as the Columbia River near Camas.

The view from most of the trail features a view down into Copper Canyon which drains the northwest part of the mountain.

I had some problems finding the trailhead but in my defense, the trailhead I wanted to hike was inaccessible by my car. Upon reaching a key junction, I asked a gentleman in a Ford Explorer about the condition of the road. He said that his vehicle just about bottomed out just reaching Copper Creek let alone reaching the titled Silver Star trailhead just a couple miles from the 4,390 feet peak. He also informed me that there were multiple signs warning of wash-outs. It was on to plan B.

Me and Silver Star over my right shoulder.

Do plenty of research ahead of time, but I had two maps with me and they were of limited help, especially in the towns of Amboy and Yacolt. I chose to enter the area via the Bluff Mountain trail about 5 miles farter east. I suppose I had better start from the beginning. A good place to start would be at the town of Yacolt. Reaching Yacolt is easiest via Cedar Creek Road from Interstate 5 in Woodland. Drive to Amboy and follow the signs to Yacolt. Once in Yacolt turn left and go 2 blocks where you will take a right on Railroad Avenue and then drive for 3 miles. Take a left on East Fork Lewis River Road and drive 7 miles to Sunset Campground. At the campground, turn right and follow the USFS Road #41 for about 7 miles to the highest point. Just before it takes a sharp left turn down the other side of the ridge, you should see a parking area. Let’s just call it a clearing in the dirt. There are no signs, just a beautiful view with the opportunity to walk on what looks like a “jeep” road that straddles the St. Helens and Mt. Adams Ranger Districts of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Near Sunset Campground, some falls of the East Fork of the Lewis River were a nice diversion from the search for the trailhead.

The road peters out in about 2 miles and becomes a handsome, well-maintained trail. At first it is under the cliffs of Bluff Mountain and then wanders through two stands of Noble Fir before working behind or south of Little Baldy Peak. I chose the latter as my end point due to time. Like many before me, I made the 100 meter scramble up the talus slopes to the summit and ate some lunch. Due to my navigational errors earlier in the day, I would not be able to go any further towards Silver Star Mountain today. After all, it would just be another fantastic two miles or so to the summit. I turned, once again determined to return.

"Little Baldy" in the center of the photo is a prominent point near Silver Star. It is also the peak that I climbed.

I had heard that this was one of the greater Vancouver’s backyard playgrounds, but on this day I did not see another human being until I reached the parking lot.

Silver Star Mountain and the area around it are a real surprise. Almost from the start you are in what appears to be an alpine environment with impressive views and scenery for the entire hike. The day doesn’t have to be perfect, but enjoyment of the landscape will meet your expectations.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mt. Rainier National Park, An Accidential Urban Experience

Sunday morning, I realized why I am so careful about where and when I visit certain places in the Cascades. Mt. Rainier National Park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon was going to be costly.

Now call me snobbish, but you have to laugh! A fifteen minute wait because nobody has cash and everyone uses credit cards, at the entrance gate just to show off my annual pass. Every pull-out and trailhead was full of vehicles. Then there is the stop and go traffic while trying to find a parking space at Paradise. Next there are the numbers of people gawking at the power of Mt. Rainier above from the security of pavement and concrete at the visitor center. This time I didn’t even try to negotiate the poorly arranged gift shop that resembled a crowded retail outlet on December 23rd.

For someone that sees as much trail and serenity as I do, it was comical.

Among them, there are the National Park Visitors that I learned to respect so much. They are the ones that ask questions at their intellectual peril, they seek knowledge about our great natural places and are the ones that seek experience beyond the shallow tourist shops and windows. Most likely, those were the vehicles at the trailheads.

It was a reminder to me about the choices and values that I have. I am hoping that land managers continue to carefully plan for our most valued landscapes. The rumors that special places like Mt. Rainier had fallen out of fashion are clearly false. The true outdoor experience is missing for those that don’t seek it. Perhaps, this is what should be planned into every visit to a National Park; an accidental wilderness experience.

Spontaneous Camping Is Endangered

You would have thought that 15 years working around some of the most popular natural attractions on the west coast that I would have learned. To even think that you could leave your house at 2:00pm on a Saturday in mid-July and expect to find a campsite in our near one of our nation’s premier National Parks was foolish.

This is the story that led to our ride on the Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad. I just wanted to be somewhere other than home. We have been home all week. Let’s do something and if done right, it may only cost $15 plus gas.

As we entered Mt. Rainier National Park, we clearly saw the signs that all stated “All Campgrounds full”. Good call on their part; bad on my part, although it was not completely unanticipated. My plan had a back-up. We turned around and headed into the neighboring National Forest. At Big Creek Campground, the gate was partially closed with a sign that read, you guessed it, “Campground Full”.

Eagle Peak at sunset.

Now we were headed east on Skate Creek Road toward Packwood where I would check to see if La Wis Wis Campground shared a similar condition and to a final option at a private campground in the area.

As it turned out, dispersed camping saved my stern once again. Driving along, I noticed an intriguing pull-out that had a van in it, but no tents or sign of an active camp. When I pulled in, I asked the folks if they were camping and I was returned a rather unusual “you are crazy” look and the reply I was hoping for.

Our campsite was beautiful along side the Nisqually River right next to a sign that indicated we were as close to being in the National Park without actually being in it. We had several hundred yards of beach to enjoy, and at one point, I dipped my feet into the river which I am sure was inside the National Park.

Jared, Laurie and Kyle at our campsite next to the Nisqually River.

Now, unlike hundreds of cars that pass by that little nothing pull-out along Skate Creek Road, it now means something to us. We were intimate with another small piece of ground in Western Washington. It was far better than another summer evening spent in front of a television and oh ya, it only cost us gas!

While I was able to make good on one of my freedoms; the ability to leave, relatively unplanned and find a place in the woods where I can set up camp it is rapidly becoming a thing of the past Adjacent to the outdoor recreation-crazy populations of Seattle and Portland, it is tough to do. Reservations for a piece of ground on public lands are becoming widespread and to the determent of those inclined to be spontaneous.
The Nisqually River and Eagle Peak.

Take a Ride on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad

Finding a train to ride in this area is not a difficult endeavor. Finding one under one of the northwest’s most famous mountain peaks is just an extra step. There are three prominent tourist steam railroads in our area. The Chehalis-Centralia Steam Train presents a look at railroading history in Western Lewis County. In Amboy, the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad offers an excursion from Yacolt to Lucia with a 30 minute stop at Moulton Falls State Park in Northern Clark County.

Thanks or no thanks to the storms of November 2006 and a damaged trestle over the Nisqually River, the Eastern Lewis County community of Mineral is now the full-time host of the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad.

Mt. Rainier looms behind the open air viewing car of the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad's excursion train.

Today, we rode this excursion train because some of our best friends gave the four of us a gift certificate as their guests.

According to volunteer Conductor Brain Brundridge, the Mineral location, although more complicated to find over the Elbe station along Highway 7 in Pierce County, has no shortage of railroad ridership. “We get a lot from the local campgrounds” he said of the lakeside facilities next to the renowned Mineral Lake. It generally runs from about 120 to 140 people per excursion but has been as high as 210. The previous route from Elbe to Morton featured a stop in Mineral, but not an opportunity for all of the guests in Mineral to get on board. There are now two trips scheduled each Saturday and one on Sunday. A 2:00pm trip scheduled for Thursday afternoons is powered by historic diesel power and may be subject to special group reservation.

Volunteer Conductor Brian Brundridge, stationed at the front of the train, is the “eyes” for his engineer as the locomotive pushes the train from behind.

Might I say, there is a lot more scenic in the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad then the Elbe -Mineral Route which featured farms and backyards along much of the route. The new route goes south out of Mineral toward Morton through mature forests, open meadows and adjacent to rivers and wetlands. On the far southern end of the excursion, you are dramatically backed over an impressive, curving trestle that spans a deep canyon of the Tilton River. Regardless, if you had ridden the Mt. Rainier before, the current route should not be missed. The next couple of months may be the last opportunity as the repair of the Nisqually crossing is anticipated to be complete this October.

The Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad excursion train crosses the “trestle” between Mineral and Morton.

The Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad is a non-profit, preservation organization disguised as a tourist railroad. It is more like a group of steam railroad enthusiasts bent on preserving railroad history and allowing the public to enjoy it. There are about 35 volunteers and four full-time employees that keep the operation running despite taking mother nature’s best punches each year in a time of skyrocketing liability and insurance costs.

To get to the Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad, drive to Mineral on Highway 7 about 14 miles north of Morton. Once there, turn left from Mineral Hill Road, or go straight on Front St. (This is the road that passes the Lions Club campground.). There are some signs pointing the way, and we were glad that we were familiar with the area. About a mile north of Mineral, the train will be in an open meadow on your left. You can buy tickets on site, online or at the station in Elbe off of Highway 7. Adult tickets are $20 with seniors and military receiving a discount. Kids are $15.

Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad locomotive #17 is the main power for weekend scenic and historic excursions out of Mineral.

The mix of riders on the train was intriguing! Young families with children, groups of adults and senior citizens not to mention tourists from all over the world that stumbled on to a little piece of Americana in Eastern Lewis County. What is important is that the fares continue preservation of a bygone era display. Not your average weekend adventure!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Scenes from the “Pretty Boy Fire”

The media is full of major wildfires these days and sure, millions of people live in places that are affected by smoke or adjacent to actual flames, but by far, the majority of all forest fires are small pieces of nothing incidents.

A firefighter wets down a "hot spot" on the "Pretty Boy Fire". Mt Rainier looms in the background.

Take for instance, the “Pretty Boy Fire” in Eastern Lewis County today. The IC (Incident Commander) arrived on scene and saw flames. This was a first for her. She has been quarantined in a wet part the Washington coastal foothills where the most excitement in her firefighting career has been extinguishing warm dirt. She received a career boost as she climbed the ladder of experience in wildland firefighting. It was all good.

A vast number of wildfires are small and insignificant. In the ranks of wildland firefighting, somebody has to fight those, and who says that school is not in session?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My New Camera

About three weeks ago, I bought my first major camera. The newspaper has been supplying me enough photography business that I thought it would not only be a good business investment, but I really wanted one!

I bought a Canon Xti Rebel body and then purchased a Tamron 28-300mm zoom lens. It is far more complicated than I thought to run. But I am beginning to learn a few tricks. My first photos were embarrassingly washed-out in the backgrounds.

The jury is still out on the lens. I have not had much time to put it on a tri-pod and play with the longer zoom lengths or exposures.

One thing I can't do is set the camera on automatic. The background will wash out. I am turning back the aperture a couple of spots and I get true colors.

I still have quite a bit to learn regarding depth of field. The one thing that I have not figured out how to do is take photos of flowers and such. I don't believe this lens will allow it. I suppose that I will be in the market for a wide-angle 28mm lens soon.

The photos are from a newspaper job yesterday at Toledo Cheese Days.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Packwood Lake is NOW a Wilderness Icon

When you think of the words, Packwood Lake, you have to think “icon“. It is a local icon, just like the iconic photo of little Angus Island and the beautiful pure waters of the lake itself. I visited Packwood Lake over the 4th of July weekend and enjoyed my stay thoroughly. When I arrived there were about 25 cars in the parking lot, 4.5 miles distant from the lake itself on what I thought would be one of the busiest weekends of the year. As I hiked in, I met family after family who were there just for a day hike. They accounted for almost half the visitors that day.

Agnus Island on Packwood Lake is associated with in a most unusual fashion (like Wizard Island at Crater Lake in Oregon), the first-time memories of a lot of visitors to Packwood Lake.

The rest found campsites among the lakes 15 to 20 “dispersed” sites. Of course you can’t just drive in. Most pack their materials on their back like me, but I suspect a few took advantage of the “other” route.

There are actually two trails leading to the lake. Both are about 4.5 miles long. The hiker’s trail is the high road. A modestly undulating, gentle trail that leads the hiker behind the old ranger station at the north end of the lake. The low road is the remnants of the old right of way that led vehicles to the old Packwood Lake Resort now open to all kinds of traffic including ATVs and motorcycles. The lower road is still a considerable bone of contention with locals. It was washed out, never to be reopened by the U.S. Forest Service causing the demise of a legendary resort. Perhaps a few haul their gear in on the right of way that is now open to ATVs, but there is no reason to be judgmental.

Every campsite available has a high quality view of the lake!

To get to Packwood Lake, take Highway 12 and then turn right on Snyder Road and drive to the end (about 5 miles) where the U.S. Forest Service maintains a large parking lot. You will need a federal parking pass (Northwest Forest Pass or equivalent).
About 1/2 mile into the trail, I saw my first blooming Beargrass of the season!

I was warned that spending the night on the shores of Packwood Lake could be a noisy affair. I was pleasantly surprised to find nothing but respect for the landscape in hushed tones. Only the sound of children playing around the shores of a lake even remotely sounded disrespectful of the environment.
Playing with the timer on my camera....

For hikers of a more hard core nature, Packwood Lake is a good jump-off location for other Goat Rocks Wilderness adventures once the snow melts away. The 78 trail continues to the east where you can pass Lost Lake and the lovely little Lost Hat Lake on your way to the Clear Lost Trailhead at Highway 12 near White Pass itself or the Clear Fork Trailhead at the terminus of the USFS 46 road. It would make of an excellent two night, three day back packing adventure. I would suggest starting in the east and working back towards Packwood Lake for more moderate elevation loss and gain.
If you continue on the 78 trail above Packwood Lake, a steady climb puts you at little Mosquito lake. On this trip, this was the end of the line due to snow.

By traversing the 81 trail (Upper Lakes) a hiker can traverse to the top of the “Packwood Saddle” and have a host of choices before them. They could make about a 16 mile loop by returning to Packwood Lake via Chimney Rock and the 78 trail, or they could pass the dreaded glacier crossing at Elk Pass and hike into the heart of the Goat Rocks high country.

Regardless of your reason to visit Packwood Lake, it will clearly fill your senses with beauty and perhaps emotions that you had not felt in a while. I know I found my solo mind hard at work enjoying the scents and coming up with new philosophical expressions inspired by a piece of iconic wilderness.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Meet the Newest Member of Our Family

This guy's name is "Granite". Our family has a love afair with life as we know it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Goat Creek Trail adds to my Frustration

I don't have the same vigor when hiking a trail a second time and such was the case when I returned to the Goat Creek Trail #205. I had been there once last year ad was turned around by a massive downed tree. I was there earlier this season only to be turned around by snow. Yesterday and still today, I am determined to see as much of this trail as I can.

I started late and finished late. I arrived at about 1:30pm and returned to my car at about 6:30pm. I took the Goat Creek Trail #205 and made it about 4 miles to the 3500 foot level before losing the trail in snow. By far, the highlight of the trail is “Cathedral Falls”, but there many unnamed, waterfalls joining the flow towards the Cowlitz River. I was hoping to get to Vanson Lake or at least the top of the ridge itself.

Cathedral Falls is the most impressive point in the trail that I have found so far.

The trail is usually streamside through mature forest and is in excellent condition until it gets into the snow. Much of the forest was burned in the last hundred years or so, but a mosaic of much larger, very impressive trees exist.

This is a low budget trail and there is a lot of water in the creeks. There are no bridges or engineering to help hikers across the streams it crosses. There is about a 300 meter section of the trail where I just took off my boots and went barefoot to save them from becoming inundated with water. It is a good hike for a hot day!

Here are a couple of artful photos of Cathederal Falls.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pacific Corp Restricts Yale Lake Shoreline

Due to recent events, Pacific Corp has closed 12 miles of Yale Lake Shoreline to motorized vehicles and camping due to a series of unfortunate events. The road was originally operated by International Paper but has become an area for dispersed camping. Recently, behavior in the area has included arson, fighting and a well documented illegal use of firearms. A man was allegedly firing a weapon towards a legitimate campground on the opposite shore that sent campers diving for cover.
Pacific Corp also states that wildlife habitat was being damage by the unmanaged recreation. The company’s long term plan is to build a non-motorized trail even though a group of Cougar ORV enthusiasts are lobbying to use it as well.
The area will still be open to day use activities which would include hiking, boating or biking is still permitted.

Didn't I just talk about this kind of behavior?

Dispersed Camping is Available in the National Forests

It used to be a part of the lifestyle in Southwestern Washington. Large timberland owners managed much of the recreational land, and allowed camping. Along many of our region’s most famous rivers, families could pull off the pavement and camp next to the stream. It was one of the few places that campers could set up without hiking into the backcountry.

The practice has largely stopped along many rivers and streams as large land owners began to restrict camping due to resource damage and occasionally vandalism among other issues. In the National Forests, access is freely allowed in most areas.

Dispersed camping (read, camping anywhere you want) outside of a campground is allowed in the national forests unless there is signage that indicates otherwise. It is the step between a developed campground and backpacking. Humans however are drawn to water so most of the most notable dispersed camping areas in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest are along the Cispus, Lewis and Green Rivers south of Randle and Skate Creek between Packwood and Ashford.

We stumbled onto a beautiful spot along the Cispus River underneath Juniper Peak.

With campsites priced at $15 or more per night in most Forest Service or Park Service campgrounds, many people choose to “rough it” without water or bathroom facilities. There are extra responsibilities and skills that are necessary for dispersed camping. It is important that campers recognize and choose sites that are already “set-up” for camping rather than clear space, build a new fire ring and disturb more ground. That also includes leaving vehicles on barren ground and doing everything possible to not pollute lakes, creeks and rivers.

Campgrounds are carefully planned, regulated and maintained. They limit the number of camping locations closest to the local creek or river. Unless you camp on weekdays, the chances of you occupying some of this prime camping real estate, is fairly remote. It seems that there is always someone that never works and has the most enjoyable locations. Dispersed locations and a little luck can get you some of the best scenic locations on the forest.

Unfortunately, there can be an adversarial relationship between dispersed campers and their neighbors. With little enforcement around by camp hosts or rangers, behavior and ethics can be a little lax. Every spring, a group of Packwood area residents and outdoor enthusiasts pick up tons of garbage left by campers along Skate Creek Road.

My boys and I have a great dispersed location on Nason Creek in the Wenatchee National Forest near Steven's Pass. It has a beach and a great view of the tracks.

My boys and I share a very popular dispersed location on the Wenatchee National Forest near Levenworth with scores of faceless other visitors. We tend to be there on weeknights and most dispersed spots are busiest on weekends and holidays. Once last summer, we were awoken by a couple of young men looking for their friend at about 1:30am. I pointed to an location upstream a couple of miles where we had been hearing loud music all afternoon and evening. Again, the ethics of a few dispersed campers are not up to your standard forest user.

A campfire can be another variable. In almost all seasons in this state, you are allowed a fire in a developed campground. In undeveloped locations, campfires are tolerated, often restricted during fire season, or not allowed at all, even if there is what appears to be a safe fire pit. For my boys this is a deal breaker in the debate where we camp. Dispersed campers must know and obey the regulations. Our favorite spot is often marked with a fairly clear statement posted on one of the trees; No Campfires. In many cases, it is a gray area. Campers need to have an understanding of the true fire danger.

My boys building an access bridge with "resources" left behind by other campers.

In all, dispersed camping requires more skill in addition to a determination of the camper to allow the lightest impact possible. It is a wonderful opportunity, but everyone must realize that it is not something we can take for granted. With Forest Service budgets going in the tank and maintenance and enforcement at an absolute minimum, it wouldn’t surprise me to see dispersed camping become an activity of the past, just because a small percentage have poor ethics about how they treat their federal lands. Here in Southwest Washington, we watched private landowners do it over the last two decades. Let’s not give the feds reason to even think about it!
eXTReMe Tracker