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Backpacker Magazine – March 2011

Rip & Go: Goldmyer Hot Springs - Snoqualmie NF, WA

Track beneath waterfalls and icicle-hung trees to a soothing soak.

by: Nathan Barnes and Jeremy Barnes

Goldmyer Hot Spring (hikingwithmybrother.com)
Goldmyer Hot Spring (hikingwithmybrother.com)
Tin Cup Joe Falls (hikingwithmybrother.com)
Tin Cup Joe Falls (hikingwithmybrother.com)

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KEY GEAR

In late winter, trail conditions can range from a thin layer of rock-studded ice to six feet of slushy, layered snow hollowed out by melt-down channels. Locals dub the latter “Cascades cement.” Call Goldmyer Hot Springs (206-789-5631) for conditions, and if it’s icy, pack Kahtoola Microspikes ($59, 12.5 oz., kahtoola.com). These crampons-writ-small hold firm on icy trails and hardpack snow, and ½-inch, stainless-steel points resist bending or breaking, so you won’t have to remove them to hike over rocky sections. The easy-on, burly rubber bindings grip toe and heel firmly, but are pliable enough to fit a wide range of boot sizes. Conditions more like wet concrete? Find a pair of snowshoes with the perfect blend of float and traction at backpacker.com/snowshoes.

SEE THIS

NORTHERN SPOTTED OWL
Equal parts poster boy (to conservationists) and whipping boy (to loggers), the spotted owl claims the ancient boreal forests north of Snoqualmie Pass among its few remaining habitats. Its brown plumage is dotted with white slashes, and just after dusk, it waits on high tree branches for its favorite meal (flying squirrel). A breeding pair requires between 2,000 and 5,000 acres of uninterrupted forest, where it nests at the tops of broken trees, in abandoned northern goshawk nests, or other natural crevices. During the day, look in deep shade high on mature trees to spot one of the estimated 10,000 individuals.

LOCALS KNOW Cascading more than 200 feet over three tiers, Tin Cup Joe Falls is exactly the kind of waterfall that shutterbugs and dayhikers would seek out—if the trail to it didn’t act as a natural deterrent. Route-find and scramble your way to a solo viewing a mile from the Cripple Creek Bridge, which is five miles northwest of Goldmyer Springs. Where two small streams join Cripple Creek, .9 mile up the trail, stay to the right and scramble 50 feet up bare rock cliffs (beware of ice) to find the top two tiers that are hidden from below.




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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
LeftHandElias
Mar 28, 2013

Oh, Goldmyer, you magical place of mystery and power. I have loved you with passion for 15 years, and get excited to share you with any friend who needs the restoration you provide. Now I shed a tear for the secret that breaths. Hypocritical in the extreme, and only a symptom of my jealousy of your love. My respect is boundless, as is your worthiness!

Anonymous
Oct 14, 2012

awesome ya you rock totally.
The last thing Goldmeyer needs is more people you fuckin' parasites.

Helen Ratford
Apr 18, 2011

The ingitients of the food looks good. And some of the recipes I tried is really good but listen to this... I have 3 kids. 2 daughters, and 1 son all including myself have done the Wonderland Trail,Mt. Rainier National Park. We did it in sections. My kids enjoy the food! Even though it has vegtables in it! They don't seem to notice the vegtables at all.Which is wonderful.Anyways thanks.Bye.

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