Pratt River Trail

It was only two weeks ago that I made my first visit to the Pratt River Valley. That trip report has much detail and 48 annotated photos. This one will be shorter with some addtional photos. The first trip was on an unseasonally warm 70 degree March day. I wanted to return when a dark sky provided a different feel to the trip. I know Kim would want to visit so we headed out Sunday morning for the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road. The road was regraded to the National Forest boundary just a day before my earlier visit. Smooth as silk before the last badly pot holed 3.5 miles. This time it was good but the smooth part already has some pot holes again. It was 9:30 am when we arrived. There was a lot of new snow in the mountains the past two days. I was very surprised to find it on the road at an elevation of barely 1000'. There was about two inches of snow in the parking lot. One car had arrived that morning. The other was covered in snow. It was just a few degrees above freezing when we started out.

While the forecast called for rain most all day we had none. At least from the sky. The trees were dumping rain and chunks of ice all morning. Umbrellas helped keep us dry and deflected some large and heavy ice blocks. The trees were dry most of the way back.  Morning overcast gave way to bright blue sky much of the day. The green forest was much different with the mixture of white. It made for a much different experience. A lot more new growth just in the past two weeks. More trillium though most were bent over by the snow. Kim did point out some fiddlehead ferns that were just "unfurling". They are usually hard to spot amongst all the green. The green ferns against the white ground stood out nicely.

We stopped at the end of the old road section by the river. It was warm enough in the sun to finally take off my gloves for a while. I pointed out the old wire cable that supoorted the long gone bridge over the Middle Fork. We took a lunch break in the sun and headed up the Pratt Valley. Two weeks earlier there were creeks but the trail was mostly dry. This day it was much wetter with more mud. Hard to believe the difference in so short a time. A few sections of clay were especially slippery. There was snow on much of the trail up the Pratt River but not enough to make navigation a problem. We headed up to the junction sign. From there is was on to the Big Tree. The dry railroad grade before was a flowing creek this time.

We had a nice break at the tree and then headed back. When were were back near the Middle Fork we met the first and only other hiker on the trail this day. He continued on. The trip back has a lot of ups and downs with more up than down to the upstream trailhead. Much of the morning snow was already gone along the trail. At the Gateway Bridge there was still some snow but much less. The parking lot was bare dirt. Just a day of sunshine on a mid 40 degree day was all it took to melt several inches of snow. It was a long day as we did not get back until 5:45 pm. I seldom revisit a trip so soon. With the cool weather and fresh snow it was very different. A fun day in the mountains was had by all.

Snow In The Parking Lot
A Little Snow At Start
Snow On Bridge
Down River
Up River
Snowy Trail
Dark Green
Rainy Creek Bridge
Rainy Creek
Snowy Branch
New Growth
First Prints In Snow
Interesting Shape
Fiddlehead Ferns
MF River
Bridge Cable
Mossy Goodness
View Up Slope
Dark & Light
Very Old Cut Log
Kim On Trail
Faint Trail
Trail To Big Tree
Lit Up Moss
Closer Look
Really Green
More Moss
Mt. Garfield
Snow Free Bridge
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2013