Thunder Creek Trail / 雷霆溪步道

Ridgeline from Thunder Creek Trail
Ridgeline from Thunder Creek Trail

See more trip photos here.

We’ve had a good run with excellent weather on Memorial Day weekend the past several years. So my original plan for the long weekend was to climb some peaks in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. But as the weather outlook worsened, I had to forego Saturday due to the high possibility of rain and snow. Then I decided on another objective doable in two days.

It was my fault for not doing my homework thoroughly. I should’ve checked out the latest trail conditions on the forest service website before going on the trip. Everything appeared to be okay while I was getting my permit in Marblemount that I didn’t ask. But later I wondered why the ranger station staff didn’t say anything about a washed out bridge.

The Lowdown on Thunder Creek Trail

Access: Thunder Creek Trailhead
Round Trip: 13 miles
Elevation Range: 1240′-2000′
Gear: none

GPS Track: available

Hiking on Thunder Creek Trail

The pup and I spent our first night of the season car camping just off Highway 20. The next morning, we woke up early to get ready for the trail part of the approach. We arrived at the Thunder Creek Trailhead shortly before 7 AM under a cloudy sky. Holiday campers had crowded the Colonial Campground; it was full.

I remember the last time I walked on this trail, and that there wasn’t a whole lot to see. The path stayed in the dense forest most of the time, with the occasional views through small openings. Once we crossed the bridge, we were along the east side of Thunder Creek for the remainder of the hike. We met three groups on the way in, and all of them had come from McAllister Camp at mile 6.5.

See more trip photos here.

En Route to McAllister Hiker Camp

Beyond Neve Camp, Some trail work had been done to get hikers off a stretch of muddy trail. I also remembered the massive landslide by the major clearing. Soon after we hiked past the McAllister stock camp, we came upon the hiker camp junction. But just as we were preparing to cross the bridge over Thunder Creek–um, there wasn’t one! That’s when I realized I should’ve checked with the ranger station of the current trail conditions.

The pup and I spent the next two hours testing out various spots to ford the creek but to no avail. Oh well! Guess now we had to leave our original plan behind and have fun elsewhere. Though, it was hard to give up plan A when we didn’t have a plan B. Ha! But we made a hike out of the outing and with a pack full of gear as training weight.

See more trip photos here.


Despite today’s cloudy weather, many people still came out to enjoy the day. We met several groups on the way back to the trailhead.

Heading out
Heading out

See more trip photos here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu