Monthly Archives: December 2016

Middle Fork road gets plowed

An unexpected benefit of the paved road became apparent after two snow storms in early December left 6″ of snow on the Middle Fork road. Snow like this is not unusual, but typically doesn’t stick around on the valley floor very long and the road slowly becomes more accessible as trucks and other high clearance vehicles create ruts.

So it was surprising to many visitors that King County plowed the road on Monday, December 12 and then again in the morning on Tuesday. The plowing went as far as the Middle Fork trailhead, including the parking areas there and most of the parking pullouts along the road up to that point. Beyond the trailhead, driving was significantly more difficult because of deep ruts and the monster potholes that begin at the Taylor River bridge. Some vehicles were getting farther up the road, but not all (see photo below). With expected cold weather in mid December the slushy snow will turn to ice. Warmer weather is forecast before Christmas and the road will thaw out but continuing snow accumulation will continue to make it challenging to drive to the Dingford trailhead.


Plowing on both Monday and Tuesday made for an easy drive despite the heavy snow accumulation


The plowing extended all the way to the Middle Fork trailhead, including the various pullouts along the road


The Middle Fork trailhead would have been inaccessible without plowing. The bathroom is open but not serviced in the winter so bring your own TP.


Beyond the Middle Fork trailhead the road was not plowed and only passable to high clearance vehicles with good traction


Taylor River bridge potholes before the most recently snow storm. They can be slippery and difficult to drive through when traction is reduced by slush and deeper snow.


Whether walking or driving, winter in the Middle Fork can be beautiful. Here the sun shines through cold fog at the Taylor River bridge.

This Chevy Trailblazer tried to drive up Hell Hill and ended up stuck in a muddy ditch. Later his friends came in a pickup to pull the vehicle out.