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Whitepine Loop Overview - Introduction to Crazy

 

This was a trip originally intended for 2015, but cold and stormy weather conditions decided otherwise. It was worth the wait. Conditions in 2016 were as good as you could ask for.


 


To find this little-used area, locate the Whitepine Road on the south side of Highway 2, about 3.7 miles west of the Nason Creek Rest Area. Take the old unpaved road 3.8 miles to the end, avoiding the spur roads occasionally forking left or right. It is sometimes a little rough, sometimes a little narrow, but generally easy enough if you aren't in too much hurry. The trailhead used to provide a horse loading facility, but that is now broken and unmaintained to counterbalance the increased fees.

I generally don't like to publicize quiet out-of-the-way places, but in this case I'm making an exception. These were solidly constructed, top-class trails in their day; long decades of general neglect are have taken their toll. Only the passage of boots and volunteer twig tossers keeps these trails going. Long may they continue.

Four days minimum are needed. You would not regret spending five days if you had them. Total mileage is not particularly severe, and rates of elevation gain and loss are moderate, but otherwise conditions are about as woolly as you could want. The thick brush alone is enough at times to make you rethink the whole idea. About half of the mileage is on unmaintained trails or unofficial off-trail routes that are difficult to follow. You need good topo maps and back-country route finding skills, because you can't depend on navigation technology or marked routes to keep you out of trouble. In short: it is a major project, and not for everybody.

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