Midnight Creek / NF Road 7010

Greenwater, Washington (King County)
Last Updated: 01/23/2018
Information
Nearby Trails
Status: Seasonal Closure
Permit Information: Permit Required - Click Here
Difficulty: 1-2
(EASY)
Length: 8.3 miles
Highest Elevation: 4800 feet
Duration: About 45 minutes
Shape of Trail: Out & Back
Best Direction to Travel: N/A
Nearest Town: Greenwater
Nearest Town w/ Services: Greenwater
Official Road Name: FS-7010
Management Agency: Mt. Baker / Snoqualmie National Forest
District:
Distance:
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Highlights

Highlight: Midnight Creek / NF Road 7010

In and around the town of Greenwater all the way up to the entrance of "Mt. Rainier National Park" and the Crystal Mountain Ski area have a network of connecting Forest Service roads that can make for a day of fun and adventure. While most of these roads are not true "Jeep Trails", they do present some spectacular scenery with their stunning views of Mt. Rainier and surrounding mountain valleys. These roads are also a great way for a novice to get to know their rig if they are new to the sport or a way to just explore and see what lays around the next corner. The spring flowers are really nice and most bloom well into mid-summer. There are camping areas all along these roads that are free to use though expect no facilities.

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Route Information

Technical Rating: (1-2)
(EASY)

Dirt road. Dry, or less than 3" water crossing depth. Some ruts. Slight grades, up to 10 degrees. 2WD under most conditions. Rain or snow may make 4WD necessary. Usually one and a half to two vehicles wide.

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Description

Midnight Creek / NF-7010 is a Forest Service road that climbs from 1800 ft to a mountain top at 4800 ft. and is suitable for all stock vehicles. There is plenty of room for oncoming traffic. There is an elevation gain of about 3000 feet with beautiful views of the surrounding hills and valleys not to mention Mt. Rainier on a sunny day. The last two miles of this road becomes a single lane and vegetation starts growing in close. You will know you've come to the end when you encounter a large boulder that has fallen onto the road. Don't attempt to bypass it as the road only continues about another 500 yards to a huge landslide washout area. While the road is well maintained there are no protective barriers and 1000 foot cliffs are common during the drive. Some of the side roads that lead to clear-cuts might be a bit overgrown.

Waypoints

1. Road Start

This is the start of the Road at an intersection of NF-70 and NF-7010. It is plainly marked with signage and a large gate over a bridge. If the gate is closed then you're probably here between October and June, those are the seasonal closure months.

2. Trail Intersection / #323 (1.9 mi)

Stay on the road, there is a small trail to the left that goes up into the trees about a 1/4 mile to a nice private camping spot.

3. Trail Intersection / #7012 (2.5 mi)

At this intersection the road becomes NF Road 7012 if you continue straight. Take the hard left turn to stay on NF Road 7010.

4. Vista View (3.2 mi)

There are so many beautiful views on this road, this is the first one.

5. Another Great Vista View (4.2 mi)

Another spectacular view of Mount Rainier and the surrounding valleys.

6. Trail Intersection / #3154 (4.5 mi)

This trail intersection on the left is not on the map and is yet unexplored. Feel free to see where it goes.

7. Trail Intersection / #3424 (5 mi)

This trail intersection looked pretty overgrown and again has not been explored. Go ahead and get some forest pin striping.

8. Vista View (5.3 mi)

As you climb higher the views just get better.

9. Trail Intersection / Divide Trail #1172 (7.6 mi)

At this waypoint you can see the "Divide Trail #1172" connecting and following the road for about 1/2 a mile. This trail is described as single track walking & hiking trail and rated moderately difficult. The total trail length is about 7 miles and visits several hidden lakes only accessible by this trail. This would make a wonderful diversion to explore if you have the time.

10. End of Road (8.3 mi)

This is the end of the road. The boulders blocking the road are rather large and there is a steep drop off on the left. Please do not try and bypass these obstacles as the road only continues about another 500 yards further ending at a slide area where the road is totally impassible.

Directions to Trailhead

Trailhead Coordinates: 47.131361, -121.602160

From the town of Greenwater start your vehicles trip meter at the Greenwater general store and continue south east on highway 410 towards Mount Rainier National Park. At 1.7 miles turn left onto Forest Road 70 (NF-70). At 3.2 miles you will see the Road Intersection and the start of NF-7010. The road is well marked and identifiable with a large bridge at the start.

Camping

There are many private camping spots along this road. Most of the Waypoints along this trail lead to a campground. There are no services in these areas so please police your trash and practice leaving these places better than you find them.

Land Use Issues

This road is not accessible during winter months, typically from November 15th to June 15th. The gate being open will be the tell-tale sign.

Writer Information

Michael Graham

Mapping Crew - Washington
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Michael Graham is retired from the U.S. Army as an Infantry First Sergeant with 23 years of service. He did a tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He presently owns a Process Service Company in Tacoma. He is originally from Upstate New York but after being stationed in Washington knew immediately that this part of the county felt like home. He had a Jeep CJ5 as his first 4x4 but back in the 80's there wasn't a lot of hype and add-on parts as there are today. Building your rig is half the fun, making it your own style. He has actually found it to be an addiction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, in the Tacoma / Puyallup area and loves the sport of "wheeling" which allows access to so much more than a hiking trailhead. He enjoys organized rides and poker runs and the freedom and exploration this sport allows. Finding this website and authoring trail write-ups has really enhanced this sport for him. If you are new to the sport or just looking for someone to show you the trails he would love to hear from you.

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Offroaded on: 01/23/2018