Mount Margaret Loop

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
johnspeth
Posts: 119
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by johnspeth » May 9th, 2019, 12:22 pm

Schrauf wrote:
May 8th, 2019, 7:44 pm
Isn't this Ridge Camp? Several picts here. https://www.theoutbound.com/washington/ ... ridge-camp#
I could be wrong but I think the pic at that web site has misidentified Ridge Camp. That looks like the view from about a mile uphill from Coldwater Lake somewhere near trail 211 along Coldwater Creek. Maybe it's from one of the lakes around Heart Lake. Ridge Camp is actually a large sandy flat area near the junction of trails 230 and 230A.

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-Q-
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Joined: July 5th, 2008, 10:42 pm

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by -Q- » May 10th, 2019, 12:57 pm

Agreed. That pic could be from near Coldwater Saddle.
I saw people illegally camping there last season.
Ticked me off something fierce too :evil:

JustSomeHiker
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Joined: July 4th, 2017, 9:26 pm

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by JustSomeHiker » May 11th, 2019, 2:56 pm

So, I just got back from hiking up to Ridge Camp and back. Those pictures definitely do not appear to be from the camp itself, the view doesn't quite match. I was losing daylight and didn't have time to explore further, but If I had to guess I would assume they were taken from somewhere further east along Coldwater Trail #230, and outside of the official campsite.

I know those pictures are fairly small resolution, but they don't appear to be set up inside the designated tent pad spots (which I thought all campsites in the Mount Margaret area had), which further suggests they were camping out of bounds.

keithcomess
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Joined: April 24th, 2019, 8:04 pm

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by keithcomess » May 11th, 2019, 8:01 pm

Thanks for the info on the Ridge Camp area. Any info on water in the vicinity?

RE: the use of non-designated campsites is a major problem due to more demand for wilderness than available space. The worst I've seen was the Wallowa Loop last year. It was so over run by backpackers that tents were nearly abutting each other at many of the sites: no effective regulation per the one ranger we encountered about 10 miles from the trail head. Plus, the lack of sanitary facilities (an unfortunate necessity given the traffic) was evident. Having been an avid backpacker since 1970, the change I've seen in the "wilderness experience" is very obvious and discouraging, especially when people aren't using designated sites in heavy use areas.

JustSomeHiker
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Joined: July 4th, 2017, 9:26 pm

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by JustSomeHiker » May 11th, 2019, 8:39 pm

I approached Ridge Camp from the Coldwater Trail, then exited the area following the South Coldwater Trail to form a loop. I remember reading this thread before doing the hike and was intending to look for springs or other water sources, but can't for the life of me remember seeing a reliable spring anywhere near the camp itself. If you are approaching from Coldwater lake, I would recommend filtering at the far east end of the lake where several different streams feed the lake, most of them look like they will be reliable year round. This would force you to carry the water a bit over 2 miles uphill to the camp, but it beats running out water if you don't luck out and find something closer.

keithcomess
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Joined: April 24th, 2019, 8:04 pm

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by keithcomess » May 12th, 2019, 6:46 am

JustSomeHiker: Thanks!

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teachpdx
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Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by teachpdx » May 13th, 2019, 12:22 pm

Pardon the slightly off-topic question, but this forum is active and I cannot find any answers to this anywhere...

Where exactly are the bounds of the camping restrictions in the Mt. Margaret Backcountry? The generic map of the Monument shows "camping permit required" in the entire northeast quadrant, but another map just shows the Lakes and Boundary trail area as the Backcountry.

Is camping allowed east of the Norway Pass TH at places like Ghost Lake? North along the Green River toward Vanson Peak? Off-trail destinations like Venus Lake or Heart Lake? The generic map shows *all* of these locations as part of the Backcountry and therefore closed to camping outside reserved sites.

Any insight on the exact boundaries of the Backcountry would be appreciated.

keithcomess
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Joined: April 24th, 2019, 8:04 pm

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by keithcomess » May 13th, 2019, 12:44 pm

There is no legal off-site camping or hiking off-trail and, from what I can gather, that edict is enforced by rangers (unlike in other areas). Permits are required on the Lakes Trail (e.g., Snow Lake, Shovel Lake) and all along the Boundary Trail (e.g., Dome Camp, Ridge Camp). Environmental recovery is the reason given.

Schrauf
Posts: 73
Joined: June 17th, 2014, 10:28 am
Location: NE Portland

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by Schrauf » May 13th, 2019, 1:17 pm

See this map. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 004860.pdf

No camping in Zone 1, 2 and 3 (the tan color) except maybe you can camp in Zone 2 in the winter on snow if you can find a flat spot above 4.8k. MMBC (the black outlined portion of the dark green color) requires a camping permit and camping only in designated sites. The black outline does not stand out well.

The dark green area outside of MMBC is the remainder of the MSH National Volcanic Monument where general Forest Service backcountry camping regulations seem to apply. The road at Norway Pass is east of the MMBC, for example, so you should be good east of there, or north near Vanson Peak.
teachpdx wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 12:22 pm
Pardon the slightly off-topic question, but this forum is active and I cannot find any answers to this anywhere...

Where exactly are the bounds of the camping restrictions in the Mt. Margaret Backcountry? The generic map of the Monument shows "camping permit required" in the entire northeast quadrant, but another map just shows the Lakes and Boundary trail area as the Backcountry.

Is camping allowed east of the Norway Pass TH at places like Ghost Lake? North along the Green River toward Vanson Peak? Off-trail destinations like Venus Lake or Heart Lake? The generic map shows *all* of these locations as part of the Backcountry and therefore closed to camping outside reserved sites.

Any insight on the exact boundaries of the Backcountry would be appreciated.

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teachpdx
Posts: 52
Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm

Re: Mount Margaret Loop

Post by teachpdx » May 13th, 2019, 1:43 pm

Schrauf wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 1:17 pm
See this map. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DO ... 004860.pdf

MMBC (the black outlined portion of the dark green color) requires a camping permit and camping only in designated sites. The black outline does not stand out well.
Thanks for pointing out that black outline on the map! This one looks more recent than other ones I have seen that don't have that handy black outline.
keithcomess wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 12:44 pm
There is no legal off-site camping or hiking off-trail and, from what I can gather, that edict is enforced by rangers (unlike in other areas). Permits are required on the Lakes Trail (e.g., Snow Lake, Shovel Lake) and all along the Boundary Trail (e.g., Dome Camp, Ridge Camp). Environmental recovery is the reason given.
Agreed on no off-site camping in the MMBC but it's outside the "restricted zone" so off-trail travel is certainly permitted. Only the tan area #3 on the map linked above (south of the Boundary Trail) restricts off-trail travel.

I'm just asking because I kinda want to hit up Mt. Venus and/or Venus Lake sometime this summer, so it looks like it'll just be one very long day hike in order to comply with rules/regs. My MMBC permit camping isn't until early October, and I'm not holding out hope that conditions will still be very favorable at that time.

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