Sunday, January 25, 2009

Middle Fork Road Status - Jan 24, 2009

I did a recon up the Middle Fork on Saturday, January 24th to see what the floods have done. This road closed sign is right at the Mailbox Peak Trailhead (mile 2.5).

First the goods news, someone has fixed the two streams that had carved into the road by the river at about mile 3, they are passable.

The road becomes predominately snow and ice at about mile 3.

At mile 4.5, just past the river gaging station there is a washout from the river below. You can see that it cuts pretty deeply into the road but still passable. This is one of those washouts that goes all the way to the river and is going to cause some problems repairing (I would guess). If anything else slides, the road is cut here.

After that there is little or no damage for several miles. There is snow and ice on the road and you will need high clearance to get over it (my guess is trucks OK, Subarus are going to bottom out).

At about mile 9, just before the CCC road, there is a tree down. It has blocked the road and only one jeep seems to have driven past it.

The real damage is at mile 10 (where the washout was last November). The river has torn out a couple of hundred yards of the road. These two pictures are taken from the middle of the washout looking each way. There are several streams running through the road bed and, in general, there is not road.

I ditched the bike just past here because the snow got too soft to ride on and walked to the Middle Fork Trail. The trail is in great condition.

So, what next? We shall have to see what the repair situation is going to be on the road and if that washout at mile 4 does anything more.
Once someone goes in with a chainsaw, road should be passable to the CCC road. That being said, you don't want to be over that washout if it lets go and it is against the law to drive past a "road closed" sign.

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