The easiest access to iconic Image Lake is currently blocked by washed out Suiattle River Road.
innocentspy, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Multiple flood events have made the Suiattle River road impassable, extremely limiting opportunities to explore some of the best hikes, lakes and peaks of Glacier Peak Wilderness, such as iconic Image Lake and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
- Alternative A: No Action. Would result in no repairs to any of the eight flood-damaged sites along Road 26.
- Alternative B: Full Road Restoration. Repair Road 26 at all eight sites, with relocations away from the river and rehabilitation of abandoned sections of the 23-mile road.
- Alternative C: Limited Road Restoration. Repair Road 26 at five sites, with 20 miles of road open to vehicle access (to the junction of Green Mountain Road), but not beyond.
- It will reopen important recreational resources that provide opportunities for all ages, interests, and ability levels to explore the wildlands and waters of the Suiattle, Glacier Peak Wilderness and beyond. More than 120 miles of trail is accessible via the seven trailheads along the road; 113 miles (93 percent) of these trails are within the Glacier Peak Wilderness area.
- There is broad public support for reopening the road. 86 percent of the 406 comments received on the March 2012 Environmental Assessment support Alternative B.
- Reopening the road would allow the Forest Service to properly manage and maintain facilities along the road and in the wilderness. Motorized access along the entire road is critical to providing adequate public safety, regulatory compliance, and maintenance of National Forest recreational sites and facilities.
- Reopening the road would increase visitors to the area, thereby increasing economic activity in the greater Darrington area. Road closures have resulted in fewer visitors to Darrington area businesses.