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Trip Report    

Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trail

An excellent trip, and IMO a wonderful early season trip option. Generally easy going, lovely terrain, plentiful water along the way, a good and large camping area option at the old horse camp (and of the road, near Hardscrabble Creek).

We did this as a clockwise loop, starting from the Dingford Creek trailhead crossing the river there and hiking the trail (Middle Fork Trail #1003). At Goldmeyer Hot Springs we opted to stay on that side of the river, and crossed instead at the excellent bridge that's not too far short of where we camped.

We camped at the campground right where the road ends, at approximately 10T 624520 5263177. We were the only ones there on this sunny Saturday, and it's an extensive area, a group of any size could camp there comfortably, albeit with some challenge in putting tent stakes into the impacted ground in some places (not a problem everywhere however).

To go back, we simply followed the road. The road is closed to normal traffic right from the start (Dingford Creek TH), and we saw just one car en route. So think of it instead as more like a wide and easy trail in the woods along the river.
If doing this again, I'd do it just the same way, take the trail in and the road back out. Joe Rodriguez used his GPS to estimate the trip distance at about 8.3 miles on the way in (on the trail) in 5-1/2 hours with 2142 feet of elevation gain, and 7.5 miles on the way back in 3 hours, with 1477 feet of descent.

Mosquitos were out but very few of them, and somewhat lethargic. I estimate the low temp on our June 21 - 22nd outing was perhaps high 30's or low 40's.

If you camp at this site, the best water source is perhaps 100 meters up the trail at Hardscrabble Creek (it's obvious, and there's a nice bridge there). Getting water from the river is certainly do-able, but by the time you figure out how to scramble a bit down to the river and get into it to get water, you might as well do the short hike up to the creek for an overall better water source.

A nice alternative to consider for this as an early season hike would be to make reservations ahead of time at Goldmeyer Hotsprings. They allow only 20 guests there per day, so collecting money in advance and making a reservation would be a must, but this could be a fun early season trip. It would still be a "backpacking trip", as you backpack in and you camp there, so basically doing the same thing we were doing, with the added bonus of the hotsprings. I would probably get an earlier start to the day if doing this so as to have more time to enjoy the hotsprings if so. Our group met at Eastgate Park & Ride at 9 am, got going at perhaps 9:15 from there, got to the trailhead at 10:37, waited for a full hour for some no-shows, so by the time we got to our camp it was perhaps 5 pm.