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Boulder Creek Trail (North Fork Stillaguamish River area) — October 2001

By Brenda Senturia

This beautiful trail follows Boulder Creek upstream for many miles, passing a couple of waterfalls which cascade down the steep sides of the valley. The grade is very gradual, making this an excellent choice for a family hike. This trail (approx. 1500' elevation) is an excellent choice for the in-between seasons - early spring and late fall. In some years, the trail may be snow-free during much of the winter.

The trail follows an abandoned road bed and is forested all along the way. You are never far from the sounds of Boulder Creek. There are large Western Red Cedars and Western Hemlocks with an under story of Sword Fern, Lady Fern, Salmonberry, Coltsfoot, and Miner's Lettuce. Look for Goat's Beard in the moist areas. After crossing a bridge, you'll come to a kiosk and junction with Trail #134. The under story here consists of Bleeding-Heart, Sweet-Cicely, and Devil's Club. The trail continues through young Red Alders. There are carpets of Star-flowered Solomon's seal. False Lily of the Valley. Wood Fern, Western Starflower, and Deer Fern can be seen. Look for Maidenhair Fern, Licorice Fern, and Goat's Beard on the rock walls. Other plant species along the route include Enchanter?s Nightshade, Mitrewort, Sitka Valerian, Ocean spray, Thimbleberry, and Red Huckleberry. At about ½ mile you will reach the entrance to Boulder River Wilderness. Rounding a curve to the left, you will find yourself in a sunnier habitat with a change in plant life. Bracken Fern, Wild Strawberry, Twinflower, and Oregon Boxwood are found. There are some nice campsites at the top. Watch for a delicate waterfall on the right.

At 1 mile there is a larger waterfall. Vine Maple and Salmonberry are abundant. Creeping Raspberry is found along the trail. At approximately 2 miles, look for Bunchberry, Hooker's Fairybells and, a bit farther on, Skunk Cabbage. There is some water on the trail through this section, so mud boots are advised. The trail ends at campsites by the river. This is a great place for relaxed lunch. Although I hiked this trail in May, I imagine that it would be very picturesque in the autumn due to the Vine Maples found along the route.

To reach the trail head.
Go north on I-5 to exit 208 (Silvana, Arlington). Go east on Rte. 530 through Arlington. Just past MP41 (before reaching Darrington), turn right on Forest Rd. 2010 (very near a bus stop). Drive about 3 miles to the end of the road (past French Creek Campground). There is "pull-off" parking. The trail begins at the end of road.

Updated: July 2, 2016
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