East Fork Trail #139

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East Fork Trail #139

Post by TwoPaw » June 2nd, 2019, 7:08 am

June 1 - There are paths being loved to death and there are hikes than could use a little more boot tread and East Fork Trail #139 is the latter.

Trip to trailhead pretty is much as described in Field Guide. Forest Roads increasingly are unmarked, yet the way is clear enough, and the potholes are still there. No problem for a sedan, just ease up on the gas and the dodge the hazards.

10am on a Saturday - no one parked at TH. Is this a good sign or a bad one? The decommissioned road is quickly becoming more trail like. It’s a delightful stroll on a lush green pathway parallel to the East Fork Lewis River

The one issue I was (kind of) ready for was fording the river. I switched into Chacos but had forgotten my poles. I made it across okay holding my boots in one hand. The current’s not bad but the river bed is a bit slippery and my poles were missed. The Second East Fork crossing - a gorgeous spot for a break - is easier to cross (though I slipped on the return trip).
2nd E Fork.JPG
Just before this crossing the bullet riddled remains of the old stove are still visible. Also, an old wheel-barrel sits, whose tire is still inflated. Doesn’t appear anyone has actually camped here in quite some time.

As described, the trail actually becomes a hike now, gaining serious elevation yet mercifully the way is mostly shaded with nice wildflowers here and there.
Approaching FR41 I could hear a vehicle pass, and then on the road itself a couple mountain bikers whizzed by. I shook off the passing disappointment of a hard hike to reach an easily accessible spot.

I took the spur road to the saddle between the Lookout Mts. It’s a bit of a sad spot with some trash and TP strewn among the short trees there, and tire tracks partway up each mountain (see attachments below)

Finally I headed up user trail up the north side of Lookout Mtn which is faint at best, yet its easy to intuit the path. A welcome breeze blew.

Arriving at the top I said hello to a man with his Land Rover surveying the views, and perhaps keeping an eye out for Sasquatch. Except for his companion no one else was around. Still, I opted for a more private spot on the north face where St. Helens, Rainer, Tatoosh, Adams lined up for a great show while the sun warmed my back.
I descended back to the TH. Still no one parked there.

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Re: East Fork Trail #139

Post by justpeachy » June 2nd, 2019, 7:09 pm

Nice! I assume this is the hike you're referring to?

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Re: East Fork Trail #139

Post by TwoPaw » June 3rd, 2019, 12:48 am

Yes that's the one.

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Re: East Fork Trail #139

Post by miah66 » June 3rd, 2019, 7:24 am

That's cool! I was on mtn bikes up there on Saturday, on Bluff mtn trail. I have wondered about the E Fork trail, and I assume it's lesser used since there is a river ford. It's amazing how much of a barrier that can be to some folks, though not at Ramona Falls!
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Re: East Fork Trail #139

Post by JayWalk » June 3rd, 2019, 4:36 pm

Thank you for the report, a group from Vancouver has spent a few days brushing downhill from the 41 rd as a compliment to the fine work that Washington Trails Association has been doing starting at the Lewis river.

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Re: East Fork Trail #139

Post by K.Wagner » June 5th, 2019, 3:52 pm

Thanks for the report. I was up there perhaps 8 weeks ago, and there was no way anyone was fording it that day! I was wondering when it would drop low enough. A couple of year ago, there was a huge log jam just above the trail crossing, that made it possible to cross in almost any condition, so now that it is gone, I have been wondering how that upper trail was holding up. Sounds like it is still useable.

The lower trail has been improved by the WTA folks. I think that they've done a great job on it.
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