Evan's Creek Trip Report
September 22nd 2012
This past Saturday some friends and I headed down to Evan's Creek which is about an hour-ish southeast from downtown Seattle. This is one of my favorite ORV areas and has some good mountain / forest trails to run. It's particularly fun in the spring and fall when it's wet. The trail conditions this day weren't particularly wet and sloppy, mostly damp. The area hasn't been hit by much rain as it's been a very dry summer and the fall weather is just now starting to turn. But there was a lot of mist and fog clinging to the hill sides making for a interesting day on the trails.
There were three rigs in our group. Me in the yellow TJ with 33's with the only winch, I took the middle spot on the trails that day in case I needed to reach the other two guys with the winch line. There was my friend with the 4-door JK Rubicon on 35's. And our other friends in the bone stock red TJ who did some amazing wheel'n that day.
We ran the 311 trail first which is more or less my personal baseline to compare other trails to. There are tougher trails and there are easier trails but the 311 is just a good fun trail and usually doesn't require any winching. Today was no exception. We had fun playing on the hill climb at the end of the first section of trail. Including busting out my friend's new rock crawling RC truck. After letting another group wheel through us, we packed up the RC truck and continued on to finish the rest of the entire 311 trail.
From the top of the 311, we shifted into 2WD and cruised down on the gravel roads back toward the campground where we made a pit stop, then headed across from the campground up the 520 trail. There were a few tight squeezes on this trail but the JK handled it just fine. At the top of the 520 there are a number of intersections with the other trails. We ended up heading down the 198 toward the bowl end of the trail, played around the bowl a little bit, let the kids stretch their legs, and then off to the 197.
Normally the start of the 197 gives me trouble but it has gotten worn down to the point that with the dry trail conditions we all walked right up it. However, not much farther we came across another group who were trying to right a flipped rig. After they told us what happened I still can't figure out how they managed to flop the rig on its side but it happened. So we were spectators watching them get the rig on it's tires again. Once things were to rights again they let us through and we motored on up the 197.
AT this point the trail got a lot tighter for my friend in the JK. He cracked one of the rain rails on his hard top on a tree, rubbed the paint off the corner on the other side of the top. Then managed to bash a rear fender flare into a stump and sheer all the fasteners. Other than that, I don't think the fender flare was damaged, however. Oh, and then he got stock trying a bypass to save the fender. I had to winch him backwards. It would be that he'd be the only one needing a winch or a tug the whole day, which we mercilessly reminded him of from time to time. There were a few more tricky sections but we finally exited the 197 back at the top near all the intersecting trails.
We made our way back down the other half of the 198, working our way further back into the Evan's Creek area and down to a gravel access road. Then out to the start of the 519A. We did a semi-hidden hill climb and scrambled over several rock outcroppings. For a moment it was looking like we'd need to town the stock red TJ up the rocks but with some careful spotting he motored right up.
The day was starting to wear on and it was time to work our way back to the entrance to the ORV park. We crossed the mountain again but this time on the 520 trail that ran across the rock garden. Then back down the 198 to the gravel road and took trail 102 back to the start of the whole ORV trail system. The 102 had a great number of hair pin switch backs and it was long on the trail before we had our headlights on driving through the almost pitch black woods. It was quite odd being in almost total darkness but for the occasional glimpse of sunset through the trees.
That was our day at Evan's Creek. We managed to run every single trail in the ORV park that day. Damage was minimal and everyone had a good time. I'm hoping to head back down there sometime in November when it's wetter.
Evan's Creek 9-22-12 Photo Album
Starting up on the 311 trail.
Working our way up the hill climb at the end of the 311A trail.
We were playing on the hill climb a bit and let another group motor through.
Exiting at the very end of the 311 trail.
The big JK starting up the fun part of the 520 trail.
I like the towering trees along the 520 trail along with the lush underbrush.
The rest of us following the metallic orange JK, which is called Glitter.
Coming down the 198 back toward the bowl at the start of the trail
we drove over these lumpy rock outcroppings.
We took at break at the bottom of the trail where my son sloshed through the mud puddles.
Not far into the 197 we came across this rig that had flopped on its side.
The guys were well into getting it turned upright again.
All the winch lines rigged up for the recovery efforts.
The driver got back into the Jeep to help keep control of things once it was back on its tires.
His friend was observing things from up the trail.
Getting through one of the many pinch points on the 197.
My friend got his JK stuck trying a by-pass to avoid damaging a fender. He was the
only one from our group that needed at winch this day.
By pass fail.
Working our way between some big logs on the 197.
On the 197 trail.
My turn to get through this section of trail.
On the 197.
The Might Stock TJ followed us everywhere, and unlike the JK didn't need a winch.
Working out way over the rock outcroppings on the 519 on the backside of Evan's Creek.
Crossing the rock garden on the 520 trail late in the day. This was our only hint of sunshine all day long.
The sunlight beaming through the trees on the 520 trail.
My son's hands after playing in the mud.
We finally got back to the entrance at 7:30 or so. It was pretty dark
coming down the 102 and they had changed some access on that trail
since the last time I had been on it. So we had some night wheel'n at
the end of the day.