Be Geohazard Aware!
Detailed geohazard information is available at park visitor centers and from scientists at the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory.
The more time you spend in an area where there are geologic hazards, the greater the chances that you could be involved in an emergency event. While most people consider the danger to be relatively low, you must decide if you will assume the personal risk of visiting these potentially dangerous locations. When you arrive in the park, be sure to review posted geologic hazard, evacuation, and escape information. Longmire, Carbon, and the campgrounds at Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, and White River are all vulnerable to geologic hazards. Many trails pass through geohazard areas. Remember, ANY river in the park is at risk of a debris flow.
Rising water level, shaking ground and a rumbling noise may signal a debris flow or lahar. If you are near a river and notice:
Geohazard Warning Sirens
Listen to the Geohazard Siren.
Geohazards & Trails: Tahoma Creek Trail
Since the road closure, Tahoma Creek continues to have floods and debris flow events, the most recent in August 2015. Each event has impacted the road and degraded existing sections of the trail, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to navigate Tahoma Creek Trail.Hiking Tahoma Creek Trail is not recommended. Debris flows contain large volumes of water, mud, boulders, trees, and anything else picked up along the way. They almost always occur suddenly and move rapidly downstream. If you are in the debris flow corridor you may have no avenue of escape.
Tahoma Creek Trail has not been maintained since the events in the 1980s. All efforts to maintain both the Westside Road and the trail are repeatedly undone by subsequent flood and debris flow events.
Tahoma Creek Trail is an example of a trail particularly hard hit by geohazard events, but it is not the only trail in the park at risk of floods and debris flows. Most trails in the park pass through geohazard zones. Remember, if you notice a change - either a sudden drop or rise - in water levels, feel the ground rumble, or hear a loud roaring sound, move to higher ground immediately!
Last updated: September 22, 2020