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Thread: Spider Camp Wild River Wilderness

  1. #1
    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    Spider Camp Wild River Wilderness

    Anyone have any recollection of a cabin in the W.R.W. in the vicinity of the eponymous Spider Bridge?

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    Yes. Back in the early 80s when I was an adopter of the Black Angel trail, the FS used to have one its summer interns stay at the cabin. They would pick up their food supplies at AMC Cold River Camp. One time when I worked with the full time ranger and the young guy who was the intern I heard them talk about the cabin, but never knew exactly where is was located. Since then I have bushwhacked around in there looking for the abandoned Sanctuary Trail, but never found anything that looks like a cabin site. In fact I was in there looking just last summer. I think I recall hearing that the FS burned it long ago.

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    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    I met a guy at Spruce Peak Shelter on the LT about a dozen years ago who told me about it. The details are hazy but if I remember them correctly it had been a cook shack for the logging company and had been hauled in on skids over the snow. After logging operations ceased it was left behind. It was used periodically by those that knew of its existence, mostly FS personnel but never maintained and fell into disrepair. This fellow had a friend, former FS, who enlisted a bunch of helpers and repaired the decay. They had a reunion in it on a certain weekend every winter but that eventually came to an end when the FS tore it down and burned the remains. He said it was very close to the former Spider Bridge but in a stealth location so the average person was unaware of its existence.

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    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    There is, or was a similar cabin in the valley leading up to the Captain from the south. On my PC map it shows up as the Livermore branch of the Sawyer River on US TOPO 2008. That is one of the routes I used to access The Captain. I never searched for it, but saw some curious brush trimming up in there also years ago. Someone had lopped branches close to the ground at one place far up into the valley where it didn't make sense since there was no official trail up into the dead end valley. There was a big cutting operation up there in the 70s so a cook shack would make sense in the valley.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    If you look at this 1937 topo, Spider Camp is the name for the area, or something, in the vicinity of the W.R. xing which later? became Spider Bridge. The location of a structure isn't obvious but it appears to be part of the "X" marking the bench mark location. Not so obvious on the '37 topo but a bit more likely if you look at the '42 topo.
    Last edited by bcskier; 12-30-2017 at 05:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hillwalker's Avatar
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    That's the end of the old Sanctuary Trail too. I'm pretty sure I found and followed it way up onto the shoulder of the ridge on the north side of Eagle Crags ridge. The initial parts of it were quite obviously an old tote road out of the valley. After I return from Spain next summer I may tow my little camper into Wild River campground and do some more exploring. It's hard the get a camper in there as there only about three trailer sites.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bcskier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillwalker View Post
    That's the end of the old Sanctuary Trail too. I'm pretty sure I found and followed it way up onto the shoulder of the ridge on the north side of Eagle Crags ridge. The initial parts of it were quite obviously an old tote road out of the valley. After I return from Spain next summer I may tow my little camper into Wild River campground and do some more exploring. It's hard the get a camper in there as there only about three trailer sites.
    Should be a fun bit of sleuthing.

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