This trail is open to motorcycles, hikers, horses, and bicycles.
Creek crossings and sections of the trail are difficult even for experienced motorcycle riders. The route starts at FR 23 and climbs gently at first along Dark Creek through old growth forest. The grade ramps up steadily, becoming quite difficult by the time you cross the creek. The trail passes through Douglas fir and Western Hemlock, before crossing Dark Creek (at mile 1.5), and climbing steeply toward the Dark Meadows area.
The steep terrain continues as the trail works its way up towards Juniper Ridge. Occasionally, the trees open to some brief views of the valley below. Eventually, the grade mellows a bit as you work your way around the shoulder of a lower ridge to meet with Juniper Ridge Trail #261.
This trail is named after John Dark who built a cabin in the meadows in 1895 while prospecting in the area. Take a look at the huge boulders in Dark Creek as you're hiking. These are excellent examples of what melting glaciers can leave behind.
From Randle, Washington travel south on State Highway 131 (Forest Roads 23 and 25). Veer left in 1 mile at the Y of Forest Road 23 and Forest Road 25. Follow Forest Road 23 about 22.5 miles.
Trail is off Forest Road 23.
This trail is maintained by the US Forest Service. Check with the USFS/Gifford Pinchot National Forest for the latest trail status.
Local Trail Association
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance - Cowlitz-Naches Chapter
(www.evergreenmtb.org) Please consider joining or donating to the local riding association to support trail development & maintenance.donate to earn trail karma!
More Stats for Dark Meadow Trail #263 mountain bike trail
Altitude change-1,699 ft
Altitude min2,568 ft
Altitude start4,267 ft
Altitude end2,568 ft
Distance climb3,039 ft
Distance down3 miles
Distance flat98 ft
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