Ahtanum Camp-out & ORV Trails Clean-up

Ahtanum Camp-out & ORV Trails Clean-up
By Clay Graham

On Tuesday July 26th, 2011 we set up camp at the Ahtanum Sno-park for the “Ahtanum Camp-out” hosted by Eastern Washington Adventures. This is an open event to pre-run the trails before the “Ahtanum ORV Trails Clean-up” hosted by the Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch Association.

On Wednesday July 27th, 2011 we headed out of camp around 10 AM with four XJs (Tiny, Test Dummy, Don & Ceg) and one TJ (Foxracer). We took North Fork Ahtanum up toward Divide Ridge. We stopped off at Snow Cabin Campground to help the DNR pull the old sign post since a new Snow Cabin Campground sign was going up to reopen the campground that week. Test Dummy used his winch to pull the post and then we were on our way. We turned up the Blue Lake Trail and then onto 4W615 to Blue Lake. We stopped for a short break to let the kids and dogs run. It was a very nice day to be up there.

After a short break we headed up 4W615 toward Blue Slide Lookout. A long the way we found a patch of snow to drive across. Foxracer having the best built rig was the only one to get stuck. We helped him out and continued to Blue Slide Lookout to take in the view.

We headed on down the ridge on FS1020 crossing a long snow drift. We had to play a little before moving on. Again Foxracer got stuck. The guy was just having to much fun.

Next we turned down 4W613. That is where the work began. There were many trees that had fallen into the trail that we had to move. People had starting to making new bi-passes even though the snow just had melted enough to use the trail. We had to wheel over a few patches of snow to get down Foundation Ridge. A long the way we stopped for lunch at the Lower Meadow and stopped for breaks at the view points overlooking Rimrock. Dropping down toward Louie Way Gap, I ripped off my XJ’s tail light in an off camber section on a tree. Two other XJs drivers had to winch the rear of their Jeeps up the hill not to get smashed up on that same tree.

Once off 4W613 at Louie Way Gap, we ran C1000 out toward Nasty Creek Corrals. At Nasty Creek Corrals we gave Don some air and he headed home with his son. We headed back to camp in the Ahtanum Sno-park. Tiny headed home later that night.

On Thursday July 28th, 2011 we talk with the DNR and then headed out after 11 AM with two XJs (Test Dummy & Ceg) and one TJ (Foxracer). We headed up the Mid Fork Ahtanum and onto Whites Loop Road. Next we turned up Whites Ridge 4×4 Trail. We had a few trees to moved a long the way. We checked out the view points and picked up the trash we found. At the end of the trail we back tracked down to McLaine Canyon Road and ran it to the Mid Fork Ahtanum. We took the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road up to Eagle Nest. We hiked up to the view point and took a quick look. Next we drove up the Darland Mountain with a drive through of Cover Flats Campground on the way. Up on Darland Mountain we found a new sign that was broke. We guess someone drove on it when the snow was still deep. After a break on Darland Mountain we headed down the North Fork Ahtanum, across Whites Ridge on McLaine Canon Road, down Whites Ridge 4×4 Trail and then the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road to camp at the Ahtanum Sno-park. Guido was there waiting for us. Test Dummy and Foxracer had to head home since the both had to work the next day through the weekend.

On Friday July 29th, 2011 we headed out of camp around 10 AM with a XJ (Ceg), a TJ (Guido) and a quad (shared by the 4 kids). We ran the roads and trails of Sedge Ridge clearing the down trees that we could move. Some could not be moved because of there size.

When we got back to camp, we found TJ40 and his son was waiting for us.

My wife “99” came up after work that evening. Not long after 99 got there, our son “Doc” crashed his bicycle and 99 had to take him to the hospital for stitches. Late that night they came back to camp. Doc said he did not want to go home. Doc did not want to let me down by missing the clean-up.

On Saturday July 30th, 2011 we had people signing for the “Ahtanum ORV Trails Clean-up” hosted by the Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch Association around 9 AM. Different groups spread out across the Ahtanum State Forest to pick up trash. Over all the forest was pretty clean. There was 23 volunteers on this work day. Some of the volunteers were members of one of these clubs: Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch Association, Cascade Quad Squad or Jeeping Nomads.

On Sunday July 31st, 2011 we packed up camp and said our good byes. It was nice to be home but a lot hotter than where we were camped during the week.

Thank you! I want to say thank you to the volunteers that helped during this week. All these volunteer hours go to match funding to help the Ahtanum State Forest. I hope everyone will come back next year for another good time.

Here are some pictures of the great time we had:

Tuesday July 26th, 2011 we set up camp at the Ahtanum Sno-park for the “Ahtanum Camp-out” hosted by Eastern Washington Adventures. This is an open event to pre-run the trails before the “Ahtanum ORV Trails Clean-up” hosted by the Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch.

Wednesday July 27th, 2011 we headed out of camp around 10 AM with four XJs (Tiny, Test Dummy, Don & Ceg) and one TJ (Foxracer). We took North Fork Ahtanum up toward Divide Ridge. We stopped off at Snow Cabin Campground to help the DNR pull the old sign post since a new Snow Cabin Campground sign was going up to reopen the campground that week. Test Dummy used his winch to pull the post and then we were on our way.

We turned up the Blue Lake Trail and then onto 4W615 to Blue Lake. We stopped for a short break to let the kids and dogs run. It was a very nice day to be up there.

After a short break we headed up 4W615 toward Blue Slide Lookout. A long the way we found a patch of snow to drive across. Foxracer having the best built rig was the only one to get stuck.

We helped Foxracer out and continued to Blue Slide Lookout to take in the view.

We headed on down the ridge on FS1020 crossing a long snow drift. We had to play a little before moving on.

Again Foxracer got stuck. The guy was just having to much fun.

Next we turned down 4W613. That is where the work began.

There were many trees that had fallen into the trail that we had to move.

We had to wheel over a few patches of snow to get down Foundation Ridge.

Strobach Springs

Fixing a trail drain.

We stopped for lunch at the Lower Meadow.

Odo riding with Foxracer.

The Dome Peak Fire Area had a lot of trees down.

This is a fun part of the trail just north of the Upper Meadow.

We stopped for a breaks at Strobach Mountain Vista. Mt. Rainier overlooking Rimrock.

Dropping down toward Louie Way Gap there is a off camber area that is tight for the longer rigs.

I ripped off my XJ’s tail light on that section.

Test Dummy could not get the rear of his XJ to stay up hill.

They had to winch the rear of his Jeep up the hill not to get smashed up on that same tree I hit.

Here Hank is airing up the tires on the down hill side.

Tiny’s turn. He also got the rear of his rig winched over to fit through the trees.

Here we are at the view point of Louie Way.

We picked this guy a long the way.

Regrouping. 4W613 at 4W608.

Once off 4W613 at Louie Way Gap, we ran C1000 out toward Nasty Creek Corrals. At Nasty Creek Corrals we gave Don some air and he headed home with his son. We headed back to camp in the Ahtanum Sno-park. Tiny headed home later that night.

Thursday July 28th, 2011 we talk with the DNR and then headed out after 11 AM with two XJs (Test Dummy & Ceg) and one TJ (Foxracer).

Leaving to Ahtanum Sno-park.

We headed up the Mid Fork Ahtanum and onto Whites Loop Road. Next we turned up Whites Ridge 4×4 Trail. We had a few trees to moved a long the way.

We checked out Norm’s Check Point.

Next we moved on up to Make-out Point.

Great view of Mt. Adams from there.

Moving up the trail removing down trees and trash for the Whites Ridge 4×4 Trail.

At the end of the trail we back tracked.

A great view of Mt. Rainier.

Coming back down Whites Ridge 4×4 Trail.

Down at McLaine Canyon Road we headed to the Mid Fork Ahtanum. We took the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road up to Eagle Nest.

We hiked up to the view point and took a quick look.

Ceg and his kids.

Next we drove up toward Darland Mountain. We drove through the Cover Flats Campground on the way.

Right before the top of Darland Mountain we stopped to get some pictures.

Mount. St. Helens

Mount Adams

Here we are on the top of Darland Mountain. Mount Rainier in the background.

On Darland Mountain we found a new sign that was broken. We guess someone drove on it when the snow was still deep.

Foxracer on the rim of the Super Bowl of Darland Mountain.

Down on the North Fork Ahtanum.

Miles down the North Fork Ahtanum we turned off to run across Whites Ridge on McLain Canon Road. Then we turned down Whites Ridge 4×4 Trail.

Dirty trail riders!

We headed over to the Mid Fork Ahtanum Road to camp at the Ahtanum Sno-park. Guido was there waiting for us.

My kids gave Guido something to do. LOL

Foxracer played us some songs.

Test Dummy and Foxracer had to head home since the both had to work the next day through the weekend.

Friday July 29th, 2011 we headed out of camp around 10 AM with a XJ (Ceg), a TJ (Guido) and a quad (shared by the 4 kids).

We headed up the Red Saddle Road and then ran A2430 onto 1490.

At the “End Of Green Dot” on Sedge Ridge over Tampico.

Doc

We headed across the top of Sedge Ridge and onto the Sedge Ridge 4×4 Trail.

At the Rocky Climb I towed the quad to the top for safety reasons.

We stopped because of a tree in the trail and Odo found this cool hat.

Where the South Fork Ahtanum Road runs onto the Sedge Ridge 4×4 Trail.

We turned around at the Cultus Hole View Point. We took a break for lunch there.

When we got back to camp, we found TJ40 and his son was waiting for us.

My wife “99” came up after work that evening. Not long after 99 got there, our son “Doc” crashed his bicycle and 99 had to take him to the hospital for stitches. Late that night they came back to camp. Doc said he did not want to go home. Doc did not want to let me down by missing the clean-up.

Saturday July 30th, 2011 we had people signing for the clean-up around 9 AM. Different groups spread out across the Ahtanum State Forest to pick up trash.

Jeepscum, Monster and Bubz riding off for trash.

We stuck around Base Camp to sign people in and out. We picked up the Sno-park as we waited for people checking in.

Education items to give out.

Doc after his trip to the hospital.

Jeepscum’s group coming in.

The Cascade Quad Squad coming in.

Most of the Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch Association member that came to help on Saturday.

Dropping the trash off in DNR dumpster.

Don and his wife came back late with a Jeep full of trash.

Over all the forest was pretty clean. There was 23 volunteers on this work day. Some of the volunteers were members of one of these clubs: Yakima/Kittitas Forest Watch Association, Cascade Quad Squad or Jeeping Nomads.

Sunday July 31st, 2011 we turned in some items to the DNR tool shed. On the way we saw tow rabbits.

We got back to camp and saw two deer in the Sno-park.

We packed up camp, said our good byes and headed home. It was nice to be home but a lot hotter than were we camped during the week.

I would like to thank 4WheelingPlus.com for the use of the trailer. This really helped with the work parties.

Thank you! I want to say thank you to the volunteers that helped during this week. All these volunteer hours go to match funding to help the Ahtanum State Forest. I hope everyone will come back next year for another good time.

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About Clay Graham

Photojournalist at Selah Sweets / Eastern Washington Adventures - Our mission is to help communities on the east side of the Cascades in Washington State by promoting responsible outdoor recreation, promoting tourism, and community involvement. Our vision is to see Eastern Washington as a destination point to do bring more things to do.
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