Pacific Crest Trail Major Repairs in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Completed

New Suiattle River trail bridge for the Pacific Crest Trail. Photo by Gary Paull, US Forest Service

The final repairs to the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) were recently completed opening the trail to hikers for the first time in eight years. An epic flood in 2003 destroyed nearly every trail bridge along the PCT in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Contractors completed work on a new bridge across the Suiattle River and also a new approach trail to the bridge. The Suiattle River crossing is the most significant river crossed by a trail bridge on the PCT in Washington State.

Access to the bridge site involved constructing about 3.25 miles of new trail. The new trail increases the length of the PCT by about 5.5 miles. The repairs also incorporate about 3.75 miles of the Suiattle River Trail into the PCT. The new bridge is located on bedrock footings, unlike the washed out PCT bridge and is arguably the best bridge site on the entire length of the Suiattle River.
While major repairs have wrapped up, there is still a backlog of maintenance work to complete including removal of several large diameter trees, rootwads and rocks. This work is expected to be completed next summer so stock users can make use of the trail. Hikers can easily get past these obstacles.

The trail work, funded by the Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration under the Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads (ERFO) program, also includes the replacement of other destroyed PCT trail bridges in the White Chuck and Milk Creek valleys in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.