Starting at the Dutch Miller Gap Trailhead (at Dingford Creek) gate, horseman, cyclists and hikers travel along the closed portion of Forest Service Road 56 following the north side of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Pass a junction with the spur trail to Middle Fork Trail 1003 and Goldmyer Hot Springs and cross a foot bridge on the south side of the Middle Fork River at milepost 4.5.
From here the road climbs steeply to Hardscrabble Horse Camp with open views of rockslides, waterfalls and jagged peaks. At about 7.7 miles the road/trail ends at the horse camp. Bicycles are not allowed beyond this point.
The road disappears and the trail crosses Hardscrabble Creek before entering the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. From here you gently ascend the Middle Fork Valley, winding through forests and traversing open avalanche slopes with wildflowers or wading through deep bracken fern, depending on the season.
The avalanche slopes provide excellent views of Burntboot Peak, Overcoat Peak and Iron Cap Mountain. A short steep stretch of trail takes you a quarter mile to the upper valley where the forest thins to park-like stands with many large open areas and lots of huckleberries in August and September. At about milepost 13 cross a steel bridge over the Middle Fork at a campsite known locally as Pedro Camp. Reflections of Bear’s Breast and Summit Chief Mountains grace a quiet pool of the Middle Fork River. From the bridge, wander through heather and huckleberry meadows to the junction with Williams Lake Trail 1031 at 14.2 miles, where you can go left a mile to Williams Lake with good camping.
Continue on the Dutch Miller Gap Trail through high open meadows approximately a mile to lonely and scenic Dutch Miller Gap at 5,000 feet, where the Dutch Miller Trail changes number (1362) and descends to Lake Ivanhoe in the Wenatchee National Forest.
At a Glance
From North Bend, Wash,. travel east on I-90 for to exit 34. Then follow 468th Avenue north. In 0.6 miles turn right onto the Middle Fork Road (Forest Service road 56). Stay on Forest Service road 56 for 12.0 miles, at which point it veers to the right. Continue for another 5.0 miles; the parking area is on the right side of the road and the Dutch Miller Gap Trailhead is on the left.
Alert! The road is very rough and high clearance vehicles are recommended.