11/21/2015 – Dickey Creek Trail – 553

Date of Hike: 11/21/2015
Location of Hike: Dickey Creek Trail
Trail Number: 553
Weather during Hike: Sunny and cold
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 11:45 AM
End Time: 3:15 PM
Hike Distance: 6.5 miles
Pictures: Link
Hike Map:


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Hike description
Today’s hike was to get Bodie out while he is still able – and for me. The weather was BEAUTIFUL, so a hike just had to be made! I decided to hike the Dickey Creek trail since I was unsure if I could get to any higher trails due to snow. We’ve had quite a bit of upper level snow in the last couple of weeks, and the nearest snotel at 4000′ had about 5″ of snow reporting, so I decided to play it safe and do this hike, which is much lower.

I haven’t hiked this trail since the moved the trailhead back about a half mile – they decommissioned the old road and turned it into a trail. Here is the new trailhead:

I was surprised to see another vehicle there when we arrived. As we were getting ready, another truck came down the 164 spur, which also surprised me. After getting ready, we headed down the old road, soon getting to the old trailhead (which also continued down an old road that was converted to trail – the first mile or so of this trail is old roads). After heading down the road and crossing a creek (there are still remnants of an old bridge there), we got to the “bad section” – this is a section that drops very quickly, and the tread was never built well. It heads straight down hill – no switchbacks and the ground is very unstable. When Carly and I did this several years ago, we literally slid down the hill on the way down and climbed and slipped up the hill on the way back. It was very difficult. Since I’ve been on this trail, this section has improved somewhat. They have installed steps on several areas of the steep sections:

There are still a few sections that could use steps, but it is much improved over what it was. We continued down the trail, thru the old cut area until we got into uncut timber. This is a beautiful section of trail – probably my favorite on this trail. Big old trees, lots of moss. We stopped to eat a bit and while sitting there, I noticed this beautiful ray of sunshine coming thru the trees:

And I had to take a picture of Bodie – he was having a good time:

After eating a little bit and drinking some water, we continued down the trail. It was rather cool, and when we got to an overlook of Dickey Creek, we saw these frosty trees:

Continuing down the trail, we shortly headed into a very brushy, low, swampy area where this very large tree had come down. It will be tough to remove this, and it is pretty tough to get over.

And this is the “Alder Swamp” area – it is very similar to the “real’ alder swamp off the Collowash, but this one is smaller and apparently un-named.

While hiking the north side of this swamp, I tripped over a root that was in the middle of the trail. I took a pretty good fall, and bumped my knee – I almost thought I was going to have to turn around, but I ended up “walking it off”. We continued down the trail until I saw this Section Line Tree right next to the trail. I can’t believe I never noticed it before:

Somewhere in this area, we met a backpacker and stopped to talk with him for a few minutes. He had camped at Big Slide lake the night before. I asked if there was any snow there and he said not really, but he could see snow up on the peaks around the lake. I think my decision to not try a higher elevation hike was probably smart. We parted ways and continued down the trail. We had to get back home relatively early, so we were kind of racing to get to our objective – the creek crossing at Dickey creek. We managed to get there just about at our turnaround time:

One thing I did notice – the trail continues on the north/west side of the creek – I saw a definite blaze past the current crossing point. I wonder if the trail used to cross farther up creek? Something to research.

We quickly ate a bit more, drank some water and then headed back – the goal was to get back to the truck by 3:00. We missed it by 15 minutes, but still got home in plenty of time. When we got back to the truck, the backpacker we met was at his truck packing up. He went a little slower than we did on the way back I think. That climb back up the hill is not easy, especially with a backpack. Glad to see he made it out OK.

A WONDERFUL day in the woods – the weather was SPECTACULAR! It was too good to waste and not hike.

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