Wanna Get Muddy?
Well, this trail may not be so muddy any more, but it's still beautiful!
Where Big Gulch in Mukilteo. I haven’t walked Big Gulch Trail from the library to the west end for several years. At that time, it was full of boot-sucking mud, devil’s club, and nettles, and the hike required a fair bit of bushwhacking. Very few people made it through. I hear that the city of Mukilteo has made substantial improvements, so I’m going to hike it again on Sunday. One cacher I know hiked this trail recently and logged: The top part of the trail system from the library down to the bottom of the gulch, which used to be the best part of the trail, is now easily the muddiest, and it's really not that bad, with just a few spots here and there that will get your feet dirty. Life lesson - don't wear white shoes while caching. Once at the bottom, the muddy area where you used to wander through the bottom lands of the ravine has been replaced by a nice and dry and well graveled trail system.. . .I decided to follow the rest of the trail to the end. As I suspected, it ends at the road access from 95th Place SW.
Who can come? Anyone! You’re welcome whether or not you've ever geocached before, whether or not you have a GPSr, whether or not you're even interested in geocaching. As long as you can put one boot in front of the other, you’re welcome to come along. However, I'm limiting the size of this group--the trails just aren't that wide! If you are interested in caching, there are nine caches along the part of the trail we’ll be walking, and another nearby if you can solve an easy puzzle.
Can I bring my dog? Yup.
How difficult a hike is it? I think it's pretty easy. It's probably only four or five miles round trip, with a bit of a downhill at the beginning and a bit of an uphill at the end. The middle is pretty flat. I hear that the trail is now a nice gravel one with bridges and boardwalks over the formerly muddy areas. The gulch is beautiful, with lush green ferns and big old trees all around you. Unless you spot houses high above you at the edge of the gulch, you'd never believe you're in the middle of town!
What do I need to bring?: You will need to wearboots and bring water and might also want to bring a trekking pole or two, a pen to sign cache logs, and a GPSr if you have one. Dress for the weather, which will probably mean rain gear. Smart phones may not work consistently.
When and Where Will We Meet? At the Mukilteo Library
What caches will we be finding?
GC3GEWE Billy Goats Gruff
GCIDJBB Springboard Notch
GCIDK0H big gulch trail
GC23MN4 Almost Gone
GC234WM Suburban Oasis
GC440MX Whale Rider
GC223M2 Here It Is
GC223M2 Can you see if Danamber is coming?
If you are a Premium Member and like to solve puzzles, the final to GC45FXY miscellanea is nearby. There are also lots and lots of caches in Mukilteo that you can find on your own before or after the hike.
Most of these caches are PMO, Premium Member Only, caches, and you won't be able to see the cache page unless you're a paying member. Don't worry; you can still find the caches and sign the log book if you're out caching with a Premium Member (that would be me), and I'll tell you the legal way to log them online. Also, don't be alarmed by the high terrain rating on some of the caches; as I said, the trail has been much improved, and the newest cache has only a 2-star terrain rating. A couple of the older ones have high ratings because the cache owners didn't know the easier ways through the gulch (I do!), and based the terrain rating on the unnecessarily difficult ways they chose!