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John Guilford's Hikes

Squire Creek on 1994-07-03

Date: 1994-07-03

Location: Squire Creek

People: (including myself): Pam

			My Alt.	Real Alt.
Start:		2:45	2680
Start up rocks:	4:20
Turn around:	4:45	3260
Down rocks:	5:10	2980
Out:		7:00	1760
Darrington:	7:15	(5.5 miles)
We got a late start today, so we wanted a fairly short hike.  Squire Creek Pass trail is a fairly easy trail that climbs the valley just to the East of Whitehorse and Three Fingers.  Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day (no rain, though) and the peaks were in the clouds the whole time, so we never got a view of the summits. 

To get to Squire Creek, drive through Darrington until you get to the T.  Turn right, as if you were going down the mountain loop highway.  Just before the end of town, take a right on a road that has the sign "to city center".  Follow this road straight and it eventually turns from paved to a graded dirt road to a poorer quality dirt road.  The road to the trailhead is fairly long (5.5 miles from the city edge) and takes about 15 minutes to drive, starting off westerly and then turning southerly.  Officially, it is forest service road 2040.  The road runs between Jumbo Mountain and Whitehorse Mountain and ends just before a washout.  The trail starts off pretty flat (the first quarter mile used to be a road before the washout, though it is mostly overgrown except for the trail) with a couple of creek crossings. 

The trail was pretty good, particularly near the beginning.  Further along the trail, however, it got muddier, though it wasn't too bad.  The trail continues south, gaining elevation, eventually passing below Jumbo Mtn. and switchbacking up to Squire Creek Pass in about 4.5 miles (with a 2000 ft elevation gain).  We didn't go that far.  We continued along the trail until just past a giant rock that is tipped over another rock, forming an overhanging shelter.  This formation is unmistakable and looks like it would provide excellent shelter from a storm.  Just past this rock, the trail crosses a 'river' of large rocks that cascade down the hillside.  Instead of following the trail, we elected to follow the trail of rocks up the hillside.  The bugs weren't too bad on the hike, but got a bit worse on the rock slope.  There really weren't mosquitoes, but there were gnats.  Annoying small gnats.  They weren't bad while moving, but if you stopped for any length of time, they formed a cloud around your head and became pretty annoying.  At 4:45 we had to turn around due to time, but it looked like another 20 minutes would have put us in position to bushwhack up to the top of Jumbo mountain.  Even though we couldn't see the top of the peaks, we did have a good view of the sheer cliffs on the side of Three Fingers.  From up on the rocks we got a good view of Squire Creek valley, particularly the cirque at the head of Squire Creek and a view of the shelf that sits above the far side of the valley (heading up to Mt. Bullen).  It is a much different view than one gets from the trail down in the valley. 

On the way down the rock slope we found that tightening our boot laces really helped take the pressure off of our toes and made it more comfortable.  I loosened my boot laces once we were again on the trail. 

On the hike back out to the car, we stopped for a bit at the 2nd to last stream crossing where Pam noticed lots of gold-colored iron pyrite in the creek bed.  We collected some of this to take back to the girls. 

According to the map, once past Squire Creek Pass, the trail continues down the other side eventually ending at the end of Clear Creek Rd, forest service number 2060.  The trail is shown on the forest service map, though 101 Hikes says that it is (or was, the book is several years old) overgrown and hard to find.  The current status is unknown.  After the hike, Pam and I tried to find the other end of the trail, but we didn't have a map and didn't know that the other end was on road 2060, and so didn't find it.  From the map, it looks like the trail from the Pass to the road is only about 2 or 2.5 miles long, though switchbacks may make it longer. 

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Last updated on: Mon Jun 8 16:50:16 PDT 2015