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.
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