Date Index Person/Place Index Person/Date Index Place/Person Index Place/Date Index Time Index Home

John Guilford's Hikes

Lower Railroad Creek Trail, Holden Village on 1998-07-28

Date: 1998-07-28

Location: Lower Railroad Creek Trail, Holden Village

People: (including myself): Pam, Rich Wilson

			My Alt.	Real Alt. Approx. Miles
Start (Holden):	7:45	3220	3226	0
Leave Road:	8:00	3220		0.7
RR-Creek Trail:	8:05	3220		1.0
GP Wilderness:	8:25	3360		1.7
Wilson Creek:	8:30	3360		1.8
Dole Creek:	8:55	3360		2.7
Sevenmile Creek	9:15	3240		3.9
unnamed Creek:	9:30	3040		4.2
Tenas Creek:	10:00	3100		4.9
Klone Creek:	10:50	2740		6.3
Tumble Creek:	11:15	2820		6.8
unnamed Creek:	11:45	2720		8.0
Burn Creek:	12:15	2760		8.8
Start Lunch:	12:37	2360	2278	9.7
End Lunch/Wild-
erness/Trail:	1:10	2340	2278	9.7
Domke Lake Trl:	1:30	2260	2182	10.6
Domke Mtn Trl:	1:45	1860	1708	11.9
Gate:		1:55	1540		13.2
Out (Lucerne):	2:05	1300	
Ferry Landing:	2:10	1280	1100	13.5 miles
This was a pleasant, one-way, down hill hike.  You start at an elevation of 3224' at Holden and descend to Lucerne on the shore of Lake Chelan at 1100' and then take the Holden bus back to Holden.  While there is a few stretches of the trail that gain elevation, most of it is a descent.  The first ten miles gradually lose half of the elevation with the last few miles switchbacking down the other half of the elevation. 

The earlier part of the week had been hot, very hot.  This day started off with a partially overcast sky and cooler temperatures leading to more pleasant hiking conditions. 

We picked up the Lower Railroad Creek trail by heading down the road a half mile (towards Lucerne), crossing Railroad Creek on Svend's Bridge, and skirting the east side of the lower tailings pile until we picked up the Lower Railroad Creek trail.  Along the way one passes by several padlocked monitoring wells used to measure the amount of ground water contamination leaching from the tailings pile.  Some of the trail around the southeast side of the pile is probably in the worst condition.  It looks to be a somewhat rutted section of old road.  It is still in plenty good enough condition to hike over.  It is just that the rest of the trail is in real good shape. 

Not too far down the actual Lower Railroad Creek trail, one passes the boundary entering the Glacier Peak Wilderness, but this doesn't affect the hiker.  Almost immediately one arrives at the first of a multitude of creek crossings.  Like most, this one had a large log "bridge" over the creek.  The top surface of the log was flattened and grooves were cut to provide traction.  One or two of the later crossings had more primitive logs meaning that they were smaller with a rounded top.  None were really that difficult to cross.  A couple of the crossings were a ways up above the creek bed.  Someone with a fear of heights might find a couple of crossings a bit anxious, but they really aren't that bad. 

There are a couple of gradual up hill sections of the trail but it mostly runs flat to a gentle down slope.  From what we could tell, the trail that is marked on the USGS doesn't really correspond to the actual trail.  The USGS shows the trail rising to almost 3700' at the Wilderness boundary but neither my nor Rich's altimeter indicated any such gain. 

We passed a couple of hikers coming up the valley.  One group didn't have time for the full hike so they only went part way down and were coming back.  Another hiker spent the night at Lucerne and was coming back up the valley. 

The last major creek crossing is Burn Creek.  This is a relatively deep cut in the side of the valley and the trail takes a large detour to the side to keep at a relatively constant elevation.  Across the creek the trail does its only sustained elevation gain to avoid some cliffs further down Burn creek. 

Just after the creek Rich proposed stopping for lunch.  Due to some bugs (which on the whole were pretty negligible for most of the hike) and a lack of view and lack of good place to set, we decided to continue on a bit and see if something better would show.  About a mile later, after climbing out of Burn creek and traversing across the top of a little knoll, something better did come along - a picnic table! This *obviously* was the correct place to stop for lunch, which we did.  This is immediately before the Wilderness boundary and a trail junction to the Emerald Park Creek Trail. 

Our trail then turns NE and passes about 1/4 mile from Domke Lake.  The next trail junction is a trail that would take one to the lake in about a half mile.  Not knowing how long it would take us to get down, we opted to skip the side trip, though in hindsight we could have made it easily. 

One starts getting views of Lake Chelan about here with one later overlook giving a pretty unobstructed view up and (partially) down lake. 

The trail then starts descending in open forest in a series of switchbacks.  Part way down a third trail leaves to the south leading to Domke Mountain. 

About a mile further on we came to a gate across the trail.  There was fencing on either side that keeps one from walking around the gate so we merely opened the gate, went through, and closed it.  It wasn't clear what the gate was for as it isn't marked on the USGS. 

One shortly arrives at a road and a couple minutes later at the ferry landing. 

We got there about an hour before the ferry (which was running about 15 minutes late that day).  By this time the sun had come out and the day was warming up though it wasn't nearly as hot as it had been earlier in the week.  We took the opportunity to stick our feet in the lake which was surprisingly warm.  In fact, it was warm enough that I ended up going swimming in my hiking shorts (not having brought a suit).  It was a bit cooler in deeper water but it was still surprisingly pleasant.  Rich took his watch thermometer and set it on a rock in about 1' of water.  After several minutes it read 76 degrees.  The water didn't seem *that* warm, but it was really pretty warm. 

It was a pleasant hike and we'd brought about the right amount of water.  Between Pam and myself we went through out 2 one liter bottles of water plus a 1-1/2 liter bottle we'd borrowed from the Hiking Haus at Holden


[ PIX2 ] Lower Railroad Creek at night. 

Date Index Person/Place Index Person/Date Index Place/Person Index Place/Date Index Time Index Home
Please send comments or corrections to
Last updated on: Mon Jun 8 16:50:16 PDT 2015