Green River Trail MSH

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Rollin
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Joined: June 19th, 2008, 9:00 am

Green River Trail MSH

Post by Rollin » October 5th, 2021, 4:16 pm

The Green River Valley North of Mt. St. Helens has some of the best examples of PNW old growth forest. This section of primordial forest is basically untouched. It was shielded from the 1980 eruption by Mt. Venus. It is little disturbed except for a few trails going through it. It is far away from any major city and rarely visited. I was the only person there this day!

It offers great single track mountain biking for beginners because it only has a moderate incline. It offers great off trail opportunities for those who feel adventurous and perhaps some of the largest Douglas Fir trees in this section of the Cascades.

I take my car as far as it can go, and continue on my bike to the areas I wanted to explore. This trip was done in October of 2021.

If you'd to see more like this subscribe! I want to do more videos of old growth forest types.


johnspeth
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by johnspeth » October 6th, 2021, 8:14 am

Thanks for the Green River pitch. This area is at risk of being destroyed by business desires to locate metals mines there. Read about it here. Such use will alter the area ecology forever, and not for the good. The desire to mine has been active for years.

At this point, they want to do "exploratory mining". The mining company claims no environmental impact from the work. It's laughably not believable. I weep to think what happens next if they determine profitable mining can happen.

johnspeth
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by johnspeth » October 6th, 2021, 8:31 am

Rollin wrote:
October 5th, 2021, 4:16 pm
I take my car as far as it can go, and continue on my bike to the areas I wanted to explore. This trip was done in October of 2021.
This USFS link for the Green River trail #213 hints at poor road conditions.

The Green River trail has a few access points (west end at Weyerhauser Rd 2500, middle at the end of Rd 2612.036, the Green river horse camp at the end of Rd 2612.027, and near Ryan Lake). What was your route? Where did you park? What kind of car did you drive? I'm asking because I drive a Honda Civic and it doesn't like mountain roads.

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Rollin
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by Rollin » October 6th, 2021, 1:29 pm

It was trail 213. I went up to the Randle route since that's what showed as being the fastest from Portland. It's paved all the way to the turn off at Ryan Lake. I followed that FR 2612 as far as I felt comfortable (I have a Tesla Model 3). It isn't so much that the road is rough, it's one of those roads that the branches go right up to the side of your car and can scratch it so I parked at a turn out maybe 1/2 mile from the trailhead. The yellow track is where I took the bike(but the bike wasn't really needed). It looks like you could get to the horse camp if you wanted to park at that trailhead.
gps track.jpg

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Rollin
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by Rollin » October 6th, 2021, 2:15 pm

I didn't know about it until after the video. It seems hard to believe they would consider putting a mine in up there. There are more trails up on goat mountain too. I see one goes to Deadman's lake etc. I had great video of the river. I was thinking it probably supports salmon/steelhead and the link you posted confirms it. A mine sounds like a lot of waste water and particles that would go into the stream and further on into the Cowlitz River.

Years ago I went off trail all the way up to Island Lake and encountered an Elk. It was amazing. I've never been off trail and seen so much scenery. I was going to go up there again but it takes time. The old growth forest and taking video was too much of a distraction : )

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bobcat
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by bobcat » October 9th, 2021, 7:20 am

A section of the upper lower Green River Valley was included in the National Volcanic Monument (signed into law by none other than Ronald Reagan), which was created for "research, educational, and recreational" purposes only. That old growth area, which was undamaged by the blast, is mentioned in Steve Olson's book Eruption, in which he described the fight for the NVM (which long preceded the blast but became a whole lot easier after it). So at least the big trees are protected.

Unfortunately, the proposed mining concession is just outside the NVM boundary, actually west of it at the headwaters of the Green River the old growth. Any mining contamination would carry down the valley and into the Cowlitz.

querulous
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by querulous » October 10th, 2021, 9:52 am

Actually the uppermost Green is in the monument (about three miles, heading at Norway pass), followed by about four unprotected mostly National Forest miles adjacent to Goat mt, followed by the big-tree monument section (also about four miles) before hitting Weyerhaeuser ownership. Like a lot of things related to MSHNVM, it's complicated and confusing.

Regarding getting to the old-growth section, forget about coming in from the bottom over Weyerhaeuser ownership, unless you are rich and/or stupid. They charge some hundreds of $ for an annual pass to drive around their degraded, cut-over ownership. That's the only legal access. Bikes are also verboten in there, although I imagine there is little in the way of enforcement. The trail definitely goes downstream all the way to Weyerhaeuser road # whatever, but there is no trail sign there, so you would have to know what you are looking for (right at the bridge crossing the Green river).

As for coming in from above, on NF roads, that is also confusing, and you have multiple options. Go S on the 26 road up Quartz creek; turn right onto the 2612 road once you crest the pass into the Green river watershed. First left, downhill off the 2612, to the Horse camp, brings you to Green River trailhead #1. Continue on the road to the next fork; left-hand, also downhill, ending at an old concrete bridge across the green, crosses the trail a bit over a mile farther up from the horse camp trailhead (trailhead #2) . Take the right fork instead(FS 2612-036, but I don't think it is signed) and go three-quarters of a mile farther to the end of drivable road. (trailhead #3)This is the farthest-down-valley trailhead, closest to old forest. A faint informal path leads from the end of this road to the trail proper in about 400 yards. No trailhead sign, though.

I have an ordinary slightly high-clearance street car (subaru wagon) and had no trouble getting to trailhead #3. If you are super-fastidious about your car you might opt for trailhead #2. In no circumstances would I start at the horse camp, which buys you nothing but 1+ extra miles of boring salvage-logged blast zone plantation forest.

Just to be clear, everything connected to administration of the monument is patched-together, ramshackle, and barely working. No money + forest service admin= dysfunction.

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bobcat
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by bobcat » October 10th, 2021, 2:22 pm

querulous wrote:
October 10th, 2021, 9:52 am
Actually the uppermost Green is in the monument (about three miles, heading at Norway pass), followed by about four unprotected mostly National Forest miles adjacent to Goat mt, followed by the big-tree monument section (also about four miles) before hitting Weyerhaeuser ownership.
Thanks for the correction. That area always puts me in some mysterious vortex of misdirection. I'll correct my post.

Webfoot
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by Webfoot » October 10th, 2021, 4:40 pm

querulous wrote:
October 10th, 2021, 9:52 am
(trailhead #3)This is the farthest-down-valley trailhead, closest to old forest. A faint informal path leads from the end of this road to the trail proper in about 400 yards. No trailhead sign, though.
Do you have GPS coordinates for trailhead #3?

querulous
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Re: Green River Trail MSH

Post by querulous » October 10th, 2021, 8:32 pm

Webfoot wrote:
October 10th, 2021, 4:40 pm
querulous wrote:
October 10th, 2021, 9:52 am
(trailhead #3)This is the farthest-down-valley trailhead, closest to old forest. A faint informal path leads from the end of this road to the trail proper in about 400 yards. No trailhead sign, though.
Do you have GPS coordinates for trailhead #3?
No GPS coordinates. But Google maps and google earth both have the general configuration right, but show the #3 spur much too short. It is drivable basically to just before the visible big meadow in the green slide paths that come off of goat mt.

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