Hiker Headlines: New E-Bike Rules, Enchantments Parking Changes, Fire Control
A new federal policy changes the rules regarding e-bikes on trails. Parking is no longer allowed along Eightmile Road. Upcoming road closures may mean re-routing your adventure. And planned fires may have some hikers smelling smoke.
It’s Thursday, Sept. 5. A new federal policy changes the rules regarding e-bikes on trails. Parking is no longer allowed along Eightmile Road. Upcoming road closures may mean re-routing your adventure. And planned burns may have some hikers smelling smoke.
Here’s what you might have missed while out on trail this week:
E-bikes on trail: The Department of Interior now allows the use of electric bicycles on trails where any other form of bike is permitted. While WTA supports multi-use trails — and the use of mountain bikes on trails — we are concerned about the lack of opportunity for public comment and the lack of proper evaluation of the potential trail and safety impacts from this change. We’ll continue to monitor the rule change through its implementation phase alongside our partners like the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and The Wilderness Society. Read International Mountain Bicycling Association’s and The Wilderness Society's responses to the new policy. Also, stay up to date on the policies that affect your favorite trails.
Diverting drivers: As of Sept. 3, drivers planning to park along Eightmile Road in order to access either the Stuart Lake or Eightmile Lake trails, both of which serve as gateways to the Enchantments, will be met with “No Parking” signs. As part of a widespread effort to aid in parking congestion and potential safety issues at these popular trailheads, drivers will be diverted to other parking areas or trailheads when the Stuart or Eightmile parking lots are full. Want to experience the Alpine Lakes Wilderness minus some of the crowds? Check out other hikes in the area.
Road re-routes: Graves Creek Road in the Quinault Valley of the Olympic Peninsula is closed to all foot, bicycle and stock access as of Sept. 3 to allow repairs to three sections of washed-out road. In the Colville National Forest, culvert replacement will close Lower Barnaby Road, which accesses White Mountain, until Sept. 21. Hikers can still access White Mountain via Kettle Crest South.
Fire prevention: Controlled burns are planned this fall in both Scatter Creek Wildlife Area and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, which may affect trail access. Meet a wildland firefighter Trail Community member who spends his free time clearing and re-building trails with WTA.