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Tell Us About It: What Do You Think of the Mountain Loop Highway?

The Mountain Loop Highway has a ton of recreation options but needs investment to improve visitor experience and environmental help. Tell us what you like about hiking here and help shape the future of this gorgeous place.

Now that spending time outside is basically all we can do, more people than ever are hitting the trails and we're seeing even more evidence of the need for investment and a new approach to managing the growing number of people who spend time on trail.

But even before the pandemic hit, the Mountain Loop Highway was a recreation destination. And nearby communities — already some of the fastest growing in the nation — have continued that trend. Snohomish County is one of America's fastest-growing counties and the town of Granite Falls is projected to double in size in the next decade. With investment, this area can absorb the projected growth in regional population and resulting public land visitation could enhance economic growth and stability for adjacent communities.

Your Thoughts Needed

In order to know where to focus, we need to understand what parts of the Mountain Loop Highway the people who visit value and what they want to preserve about the experience here. What do you like, what would you change or improve and what creative solutions can you imagine for the future of this beautiful place?

Tell us by taking a 10-minute survey. By completing the survey, you’ll help us improve our understanding of how people spend their time here and what they value.

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Some folks love getting outside with friends, or simply seeing a friendly face on trail. Photo by David Burd.

Be part of the trail system of tomorrow

The trail system accessed from the Mountain Loop Highway — the road that runs through the forest east of Granite Falls, loops up through Darrington and comes back out to Arlington — is part of WTA's Trail Rebooted campaign. The area is home to popular locations like Lake 22, Mount Pilchuck, Gothic Basin and the Big 4 Ice Caves, and has seen an increase in visitation in recent years.

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Trails all along the Mountain Loop welcome hikers but are also important habitat and fragile ecosystem. Photo by Fred Quigley.

It provides access to campgrounds, boat launches, wilderness areas, historic sites, trailheads and more than 200 miles of trail. But a majority of the recreation facilities along the loop were not designed for their current use.

WTA's Trail Rebooted campaign is finding solutions for places like this by improving existing trails, championing the construction of new ones and helping hikers see the role they play in the future of trails.

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Decompressing in nature is an essential part of some hikers' needs for an outing. Photo by Christina Neigh

Why now?

Now is the perfect time to craft a creative vision of what this place could be: Accessible recreation opportunities on a sustainable trail system in an area that still honors areas of environmental, cultural, and historical importance and supports small-town recreation economies.

You can make a difference in the future of this area by telling us what you love about it. We can't wait to hear from you.

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Comments

Eric Burr on Tell Us About It: What Do You Think of the Mountain Loop Highway?

Your Mountain Loop survey wouldn't accept any input, but my interest from the Methow perspective is very supportive of any trails enhancement there. The Methow is getting overrun with vacationers, way more than we or the USFS can handle. Any areas closer to Seattle that could absorb some of this influx would be appreciated. I'm a retired Wilderness ranger and have picked up enough toilet paper flowers already.

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Eric Burr on Jul 29, 2020 07:40 AM

AnitaRose on Tell Us About It: What Do You Think of the Mountain Loop Highway?

I too had trouble submitting the form. This after spending WAY more than 10 minutes filling it out. When I clicked the Submit button, I got a "Failure to submit" with an error message "Cannot read property 'closest' of null". I almost gave up, but I fiddled a bit and the form finally submitted. I cannot tell you what sequence of clicks made it finally submit.

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AnitaRose on Jul 30, 2020 04:43 PM

elevatedtv on Tell Us About It: What Do You Think of the Mountain Loop Highway?

Survey worked fine on an iOS platform. Hoping enhanced LNT education and a shift from an extractive to conservation mindset will help.

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elevatedtv on Aug 01, 2020 04:58 PM

LizzyRN on Tell Us About It: What Do You Think of the Mountain Loop Highway?

I was able to complete survey without difficulty on a MAC and Safari.

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LizzyRN on Aug 01, 2020 05:59 PM

PowerByCaffeine on Tell Us About It: What Do You Think of the Mountain Loop Highway?

The "Failure to submit" error message, detail "Cannot read property 'closest' of null" appears to be caused by leaving a field blank (e.g. Salary) even though the instructions say you can skip fields. Suggestion: Enter or select something close enough and hit Submit again.

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PowerByCaffeine on Aug 19, 2020 03:29 PM