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Proper Wilderness Stewardship on Teanaway Ridge
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.28 - 08:04:19
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 713m
Participants: Lucas Earl, Kenny McDermith, Ethan Barrett, Lilah (the dog)
Difficulty: 2: Some snow slide-hilling on the way to Miller Peak, otherwise on trail.
Hike up to Iron Bear, and then along ridge to Jester Peak to below Miller Peak.
Weather: Warm and sunny to start, becoming windy and partly cloudy later

With wintery weather ending, everyone was feeling the cabin fever, and a sunny weekend forecast meant we wanted to get out and do something. The Teanaway area near Cle Elum is a good option in the springtime, as it tends to have less snow and is drier and sunnier than places farther west. We selected Teanaway Ridge, which offered nice views, early flowers, and a potential summit if we felt like going the extra distance.

After a last minute cancellation due to feeling ill, our group consisted of three humans and one dog. In Kenny's new Subaru Forester, we made the standard eastward journey over Snoqualmie Pass, through Cle Elum, north on US-97 to the somewhat poorly marked Iron Creek Road (NF-9714).

[photo]01_97jct.JPG[caption]View of NF-9714 jct, as seen NB on US-97[/photo]

This road is one lane but generally in good condition, and there are some good dispersed campsites along the creek. The very end of the road requires a small ford that any medium clearance vehicle should manage, and would likely dry up later in the year. We parked near the end of the road beside a twin Forester and headed out at 11 am.

The first part of the trail follows an old road uphill, before transitioning to a more narrow track. There is a large sign indicating that this is the "Iron Cr. Bear Cr. Tr. No 1351". On many maps and online resources it is referred to as the Iron Bear Trail.

[photo]02_ironbearsign.jpg[caption]Trailhead sign[/photo]

The trail quickly breaks out into the open along sunbaked slopes above upper Iron Creek. There were some nice early season wildflowers in this section, including some Indian Paintbrush. The reddish rock and dry environs are common for this...

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