Read the Signs When Parking at Trailheads
By now, you are well aware of the Forest Pass, which is required at most hiking trailheads within National Forests. I noticed some new signs on the Mountain Loop Highway at the Lake 22 Trailhead entrance.
The signs read, very prominently, no parking! Darrington Ranger Station wants hikers to use the overflow parking area only 100 yards up the highway at Hemple Creek Campground.
Unfortunately, I saw cars parked all over the road just down from the entrance to the trailhead. The signs are there to keep cars off of the shoulder, and hikers are just parking on the shoulder, away from the signs.
It is important to use good judgement when parking at hikes anywhere. Sometimes, as in Lake 22, the rangers are simply trying to make it a safer experience for everyone. Other times, like at a road's end, you may need to consider leaving room for a turn around spot. There are surely other reasons, so if there are posted signs, then please read them!
By Rudy Giecek