DSC_4625.NEF-001 Th Crk bridge.jpg

Trip Report    

Seattle Basic Backpacking Field Trip - Thunder Creek

One-night student backpack on Thunder Creek trail - a lush forest trail, abundant spring wildflowers and a few mountain views

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail cleared and in excellent condition at least to McAllister.  Several easy rock hop stream crossings and a few bridged streams.  Muddy, wet trail sections and wet trailside vegetation outbound on Sunday after light evening and during mostly rainy day.

Leader reserved McAllister Stock Camp, which WIC issued permit to new McAllister Hiker Camp (“all 4 pads”) as trail crew occupying Stock Camp during trail clearing and new Hiker Camp construction projects.   NOTE for Camp details.  

Our group enjoyed a sunny dry inbound backpack to camp, accompanied by abundant late spring wildflowers, bird calls and song, lovely lush forest with stands of old growth trees.   After crossing the large bridge across Thunder Creek, blooming bunchberry dogwoods and a variety of other wildflowers were common over  the mossy forest floor.

A congenial, well-prepared group supported each other along the trail and in camp.  Everyone was fully vaccinated. 

Three of our four assigned tent pads were snug for two tents.  We found two at least two more pads (one occupied) at the Hiker Camp, but not approved on our permit.  The cook site included a fire pit, and ample log seating.   We filtered water from the nearby stream before dinner.   We set up a siltarp over the cook site, for shelter during expected evening and morning rain.  Our group used a combination of food storage (canister, ursacks/bags) with some challenging bag hangs.  

We appreciated the trail crew for pointing out the nearby stream in the Stock Camp, and overall work on trail/camp projects.

DSCN4683 Th Crk TH group.jpg

DSCN4712 McA cook site.jpg

DSCN4705 Th Crk forest and Mtn view.jpg




Photos contributed by Richard Stradford & Linda Moore

NOTE ON McAllister Camps, access, water:  Thunder Creek student backpack June 12 13 2021.docx

New McAllister Hiker Camp recently replaced old McAllister Hiker camp (permanently closed, due to destroyed bridge access).  Trail crew and leader followed up with WIC, confirming WIC has corrected Hiker Camp pads to 8 from 4.

New Hiker Camp has temporary signed access trail through Stock Camp with 8 tent pads (mostly packed dirt base with a few small rocks, capacity/ea: 4 persons, 2 small tents), two large cook sites (see photo) with one for each group of 4 tent pads, and a pit box toilet.  Ursacks or canister food storage recommended for hiker camp, due to few suitable hanging trees.  Stock camp has more suitable food hanging trees, or use Ursacks/canisters. 

Adjacent group Hiker Camp (12 person capacity) will be constructed soon.   Stock camp will be available for campers as trail crew projects are completed.  Nearby water source (signage soon) accessed from short trail in stock camp.  Hiker camp bypass trail (detouring stock camp) should be completed soon.