7/18-7/20/2008 – Fish Creek Backpacking

Date of Hike: 7/18-7/20/2008
Location of Hike: Fish Creek Basin
Weather during Hike: Sunny and warm during the day, cool at night
Hiking Buddies: Larry, Andrew, Alex, Gabe
Hike Distance: ~25 miles
Pictures: Link
Hike Map


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Description of Hike:
This was a hike that I planned for quite some time, and it demonstrated the need to be able to adapt to current conditions. I have hiked up Fish Creek on the old 54 road several times, especially during the winter, since it is a relatively low elevation hike. I have only been able to hike up the road about 5 miles, getting to the second bridge. After some discussion and investigation on the trailadvocate.org website, and hearing others talk of exploring the southern part of the Fish Creek basin, I decided to do a backpacking trip to do some real exploration.
The plan was to head up road 45, and make our way down to the point where the road was closed, and make that the starting point for the trip. I guess it was not to be, since we didn’t get more than 1/2 mile off road 45 (close to the Memaloose Lake turnoff), and there was a HUGE boulder blocking the ENTIRE road. I wish I had gotten a picture of it, since it couldn’t have been more perfectly placed to close the road. Well, this is where the adaptation comes in…..We talked about it, and decided to hike in from the North (the same way I have hiked before), and we hoped that we could get in far enough to see some of the southern areas. We ended up hiking in a little over 6 miles, and camped on the 3rd bridge that crosses Fish Creek. It was about the only place we could find that was reasonably flat. It actually worked out really well, and it was a very pretty area with plenty of water close by.


We ended up making that our base camp, and did a couple day hikes to explore the area a little more. We hiked about another couple miles up the road, and found a beautiful waterfall. It was difficult to see due to the heavy undergrowth, but we did get a pretty good glimpse of it. We went up a little further and decided to turn around.

On Saturday afternoon, I tried to explore the old road that went down Wash Creek. WOW was that a tough hike! The old road has been quickly reclaimed, and lots of it is VERY overgrown and tough to navigate. I only hiked a couple of miles, but I was BEAT. Sometimes I wonder if not being able to get to the southern “trailhead” was a good thing. Maybe it would have been a very difficult bushwhack up from that side. The reports I have seen from people that have been that way say that it isn’t too bad, and that the Wash Creek road is the worst of it. Someday I’d love to see for myself.
On Sunday morning, we decided to hike up the creek from our base camp, trying to get to the falls. It was an interesting trip, with some gorgeous views that you can’t see from anywhere else, but we didn’t make it to the falls. The creek kind of falls into a canyon, and continuing hiking would have been very dangerous, so we turned around and then headed for home.

It was 3 days of hiking in a beautiful area that looks very close to wilderness now. The only reason that the hike up old road 54 is still passable is that ATVs use it, and there is a narrow path they have created. Normally, I don’t like ATVs, but in this case, it is the only thing that is keeping that road open, and I can’t say that is a bad thing.

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