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Mastering the Accidental Creek Plunge: Taylor River/Otter Falls Hike
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.11 - 16:31:18
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 183m
Participants: Lucas Earl, Kenny McDermith
Difficulty: 1: Easy grade, one creek crossing might be harder in high water.
Hike up the Taylor River Valley to Otter Falls
Weather: Cold and overcast, occasional rain and snow showers

Round trip distance: 9 mi

Late January was still right in the thick of the rainy season, but Kenny and I still felt like going out and thus were on the search for a nearby destination, where there might be something interesting to look at low down that wouldn’t be obscured by clouds. So we decided to check out the Taylor River Valley, up the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road, a mere hour from Seattle.

And so we drove east from Seattle, getting off I-90 at the major truck stop east of North Bend and followed the Middle Fork Road up into the mountains. At the time of our trip, major work was being done on the road, with closures during the weekdays. The end product was to be a nice paved road most of the way up the valley, but in January 2016 the road was in horrible shape, with numerous and deep potholes. Kenny’s Subaru certainly didn’t take them very well, and so we had one of the more bumpy rides to a trailhead in a while.

Fortunately we eventually made it to the bridge across the Taylor river, and the junction for NF-5640 to the trailhead. We parked at this wide u-turn in the road as just beyond a large washout prevented further progress to the original trailhead. Despite the relatively low 1200 ft elevation there was a little bit of snow on the sides of the road.

[photo]01_IMG_3827.jpg[caption]Parking at the start of NF-5640[/photo]

After our last chilly experience we left Lilah at home and so after getting all of our rain gear on we were off around 11 AM. We followed the old road beyond the washout for a short distance, to the original trailhead and area map, just south of the bridge across the Taylor River. The sign has seen a bit of vandalism,...

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