New Hiking Trailhead, 70 Car Parking Lot Planned for Mt. Si Road, Residents Voice Concerns

Snoqualmie Valley residents know they live in beautiful area that draws thousands upon thousands of tourists and outdoor enthusiasts each year, but some areas of the Valley experience the traffic associated with those visitors more directly than other areas.

Residents of Wilderness Rim and Mt Si Road know they live in a tourist zone, with their neighborhoods in close proximity to the extremely popular and busy hiking destinations of Rattlesnake Ridge and Mount Si. These residents are no strangers to weekend traffic and seeing area roads turned into makeshift parking lots.

That said, you might think Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) plan to bring a new trailhead and parking lot to Mt Si Road might be a welcome development, but some residents have reservations and want their questions answered before DNR moves forward.

And they are hoping other Snoqualmie Valley residents will join them at an upcoming DNR Meeting about the new trailhead on January 26, 2016.

According to a letter sent to area residents, DNR is in the early stages of planning a new trailhead for Mount Teneriffe in the busy Mount Si hiking area of North Bend.

DNR said the new trailhead would alleviate the current parking situation at the end of the Mt Si Road – near the school bus turnaround – where the two-lane road often becomes a hiker parking lot during summer months.

Per the letter, DNR looked at multiple sites over the past few months, hosting several meetings with close neighbors of potential sites and a community meeting in North Bend, as they worked to narrow down the new location.

With that site identified, they are now inviting the community to the January 26th meeting where they will provide an opportunity for residents to learn more about the project and ask the DNR team questions. They will also be discussing their Snoqualmie Corridor Recreation Plan and other future public access investments.

Resident Concerns

 

Residents near the new proposed trailhead say its construction will include clearing land to build a new 70+ car parking lot – land they say is currently home to a local elk herd – and might increase traffic on the road they describe as narrow, dangerous and already crowded with large amounts of traffic due to the popular Mount Si Trailhead.

They are concerned about the condition of Mt Si Road and say as far as they know, there are no plans to address its condition before a potential new trailhead is added.

They also worry that the new trailhead, with its close location to the Mount Si Trailhead, will be used as its overflow parking lot, putting more pedestrians on “an extremely narrow and dangerous portion” Mt Si Road as they walk to access the Mount Si trail.

Residents said they’ve often issued complaints about hikers using the narrow road as a trail and not paying attention to cars – another safety issue they say isn’t being addressed.

So with concerns in hand, this group plans to be at the January 26th meeting looking for answers…. and they say they hope more Valley residents will join them for the important meeting.

  • Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016
  • Time: 7PM  – 8PM
  • Location: US Forest Service Conference Center, 902 SE North Bend Way, North Bend
Proposed Mt Teneriffe trailhead site along Mt. Si Road in North Bend.

Proposed Mt Teneriffe trailhead site along Mt. Si Road in North Bend.

 

Area of proposed Mt. Teneriffe Trailhead along Mt. Si Road near 473rd in North Bend. Photo: Google Maps screenshot

Area of proposed Mt. Teneriffe Trailhead along Mt. Si Road near 473rd in North Bend.

 

Comments

  1. Dave Schuba says

    I would love to see a bigger parking lot at the “school bus turnaround”. On weekends, i have got to get there early to find a spot to park. Even on weekdays too, since I don’t want to get towed for parking in the turnaround- I’ve seen vehicles towed away. It wouldn’t make sense for hikers to park at the Teneriffe Lot and walk the road to the Mt Si Trailhead since there are at least 2 ways to get to Mt Si from the new Teneriffe Trail though this may take a little education and some good signage for them to catch on.

    We need more trails and adequate parking for them. The current school bus turnaround is not really even a parking lot. It Is a shame to have miles of new trail without enough descent access to them.

  2. Joe Sixpack says

    I’m not sure that adding a parking lot is going to increase traffic on Mt. Si Road. Out-of-town visitors are going to show up whether there is a parking lot or not. The worries from residents are over-blown.

    The current parking lot at the Teneriffe trailhead is way undersized. Expanded parking is a welcome development.

  3. Debbie Dill says

    Sharing my property line with a busy parking lot is not welcome, hikers are already allowed parking space at the front of our house. We would lose the peace here completely and the game trail that crosses our land is valuable to elk and us.

  4. Wendy Spear says

    There is adequate parking if people will:
    1) Buy the parking pass and park in designated areas
    2) Cars parked on the road without a pass need to be towed. Cars parked in the road need to be towed, cars parked at the NO PARKING signs need to be towed. Keep towing cars and the public will get the message.
    2) Park in the “bus turn around” lot where all cars can get in/out easily (all park nose or end car in and not sideways)
    3) LEAVE if the lots are full! That tells you the trail is full and why hike on a highway? There are many trails to hike, move onto another one.
    BTW – I am a local resident and we are NOT blowing this out of proportion. I drive down the road now and people are walking in the middle of the road on blind corners. I do the speed limit and have had to hit the ditch too many times now because people just do not care. People park, blocking our driveways or roadways and then tell us to F*off when kindly asked to move. Deal with this all the time, and you will see a different side of the issue.

  5. This section of the Mount Si NRCA really needs more off street parking than the small bus turn around area. Even years ago before the official trail to Teneriffe Falls went in it was barely enough. A well-signed connecting trail to the main Mt Si trail would solve a lot of the walking-on-road problem and also make for some nice loop hiking possibilities. The alternative of not adding more parking is worse.

  6. I’d like to add my three cents worth.
    $0.01: Two years ago I wrote letters to Peter Goldmark, head of DNR,, the King County Sheriff and over a dozen other state and county elected and appointed officials about the illegal parking on Mount Si Road. The DNR says it doesn’t have jurisdiction on county roads, and the Sheriff’s department is responsible for parking enforcement. A letter from the Sheriff stated that they don’t have the enough deputies to issue citations to the illegal parking.
    $0.02: As far as building a new trailhead and parking lot- It will be like spitting into the wind. “Build it and they will come”. With the rapidly growing population in King County, the new lot will be easily filled and we’ll have two sections of the road full of illegally parked cars with no parking enforcement.
    $0.03 I live on Mount Si Road between the current Mt. Si Trailhead and the proposed new trailhead and parking lot. I just learned about the DNR proposal and “public meeting” yesterday evening. I didn’t see anything about it in the Valley Record, the SnoValley Star, or the Seattle Times. I’d like to know where were notices posted/published. (Anyone know?) None of the neighbors I spoke with had heard of the meeting in advance. The DNR needs to hold another meeting, with plenty of advanced notice and published/posted where people can attend the meeting if they so choose.
    It seems the DNR is either incompetent in getting the word out or are trying to pull a fast one over the residents of the area.

Speak Your Mind

*

%d bloggers like this: