Wilderness access road reopened near Darrington

DARRINGTON — The U.S. Forest Service opened North Fork Sauk Road No. 49 on Friday, restoring access to the Glacier Peak and Henry M. Jackson wilderness areas along with the Pacific Crest Trail.

Two major access points into the wilderness are available, the North Fork Sauk and Suiattle River Road, which is closed at mile 12 until repairs can be made.

“I’m excited this road is open,” said Darrington District Ranger Peter Forbes in a statement. “We have been working hard to open access back into the wilderness.”

Hikers and climbers also can get to the Bald Eagle, Lost Creek Ridge, North Fork Sauk Falls and Harold Engles Memorial Trail along with the Sloan Peak climber’s route. Snow still covers many of the higher elevation trails and hikers will need back-country and route finding skills to navigate.

Construction closed North Fork Sauk Road last spring for road upgrades and culvert replacements. The closure was needed to protect natural resources and improve the road for public safety, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest officials said.

“The road may be a little rough, but it’s open for the season,” said Forbes.

Call the Darrington Ranger District at 360-435-1155 for more information.

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