Area: Middle Fork Snoqualmie

Length: 9.2

Elevation: 1030 + 600 - 200

Condition: generally good, rough places

Solitude: high

Appeal: medium

Features: river views, deep old growth

Difficulty: easy

Administered: North Bend RD

Trailhead: Dingford TH

Connects to:
Lower Middle Fork trail
Dutch Miller trail
Dingford Creek trail

Guides: none

Maps: Green Trails Mt Si, Green Trails Skykomish



The foot traffic that reaches Dingford Creek is either headed north, out of the Middle Fork valley, or west, back to the main Middle Fork trailhead. As you head east, the feet become fewer and the trail gets better and better. The alternative: the unappealing jeep-jolter road now gated off at Dingford Creek. That saves 1.8 trail miles and everything worthwhile for faster arrival at the Dutch Miller trailhead.


The trail starts where the lower portion of the Middle Fork trail ends — at the junction to the Dingford Creek bridge across the Snoqualmie River — but gets wilder, narrower, and better as it continues east. At about 1.5 miles, cross Wildcat Creek on boulders. At 3.1 miles, reach Rock Creek. The trail suddenly dodges downhill on a short switchback before crossing the creek. This was once meaningful; just on the other side of the creek crossing, look left and downhill over a trail-side log to find an abandoned way trail down to some pretty gravel bars. There was once an important river ford here.

Back on the main trail, regain the bit of elevation lost on the other side of Rock Creek. After recovering the lost elevation, pass the junction forking right to the Rock Creek trail, the "back door" to Snow Lake. Then proceed quietly and evenly to mile 5.4. The trail reaches Burntboot Creek, but follows upstream for 0.3 miles. There is a big cold ford here, but not dangerous during reasonable times of the year. On the other side are numerous and popular camps west of Goldmyer Hot Springs (private; get reservations from the Web if you wish to visit).

You shouldn't have too much trouble finding the trail that continues on the river bank. Don't get sidetracked to the new bridge across the river. The next short section of trail on your side of the river has some of the densest, darkest old growth canopy I have seen. Imagine what it was like when the entire river valley was once like this.

I was thrilled to capture this photo of a shelf fungus. This was taken at high noon, in the brightest mid-day sun, hand held, with a 1-second exposure at ASA 200.

At 7.1 miles, reach another historical river ford. Fording is an option, but again not a very good one. A relatively new piece of trail continues to 8.1 miles, and then crosses the river, ascending about 300 feet to rejoin the old and crusty Dutch Miller road at 8.3 miles. Following the road 0.9 more miles, and at 9.2 miles, reach the old Dutch Miller Trailhead, once a giant turn-around loop for horse trailers (imagine that!) but now more of a camp.


If you are paranoid and antisocial (RidgeRat will understand), you can seek a wilder camp. After rejoining the road/trail, in about 0.3 miles watch on the uphill side for an old road fork. Jammed with brush, that old jeep grade can be followed 0.4 miles up to a pond and a historical logging mess — there were plenty of reasons for moving the trailhead down the hill beside the river. Round to the north side of the pond to locate the first 0.4 miles of the historical Dutch Miller route, crossing Hardscrabble Creek and joining the new trail about 0.5 miles past the current trailhead/camp. Or a gifted tracker can probably find the wheel-eroded route from the west side of the pond leading up the face of the ridge, reaching a more horizontal miner road leading to a faint path into the Hardscrabble Valley and two delightful lakes.