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Geologic Publications for Mount Rainier

2007 archaeological inventory, lower Stevens Canyon Road, Mount Rainier National Park

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Author(s): Benjamin M. Diaz

Document Type:
Publisher: Mount Rainier National Park
Published Year: 2007
Pages: 23
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

Mount Rainier National Park (MORA), in conjunction with the Federal Lands Highway Program (FLHP), proposes rehabilitation of Stevens Canyon Road scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2011. Rehabilitation of the entire road corridor was conceived originally as a multi-phased project. However, currently the phases have been combined to consist of the single project Stevens Canyon Road Phase I and IV. Phase I involves the rehabilitation of the first five miles of the road beginning at the Stevens Canyon Wye and ending at the Stevens Creek bridge. Archaeological survey was completed for the Phase I section in 2005 and documented in the 2005 Archaeological Inventory Upper Stevens Canyon Road (Diaz and Burtchard 2005). Phase IV involves five mile lower east section of Stevens Canyon Road form the curve at Backbone Ridge to the Stevens Canyon park entrance.

The current project is the first formal archaeological survey specifically directed at the lower Stevens Canyon road corridor. The complete survey consists of the 18 mile corridor from the Box Canyon picnic area east to the Stevens Canyon park entrance; including the five mile Phase IV section noted above. Map Figure 1 on the following page shows the entire length of the Steven’s Canyon Road; emphasizing sections inventoried in 2005 and in 2007.

The body of this report consists of data derived from 1) previous results of surveys and reports related to the general lower Stevens Canyon area; and 2) the results of new survey completed in the fiscal year 2007 focused on the lower Stevens Canyon road corridor. The report consolidates known sources of archaeological survey, testing and research information relevant to this portion of the road through 2006; outlines survey field procedures employed in 2007; discusses results of findings; and recommends mitigations, and future management actions for archaeological resources in the lower Stevens Canyon Road area.

The first section below provides environmental and archaeological background to the general area. It addresses characteristics of the area environment as they relate to long-term human land-use patterns of the lower Stevens Canyon area, and summarizes the known archaeological status of the project area prior to the present reconnaissance. The second section describes field procedures and results of the 2007 archaeological inventory of the project area. Summary recommendations conclude the report. Results presented here should provide a notion of the range of prehistoric and historic archaeological properties in the vicinity of the lower Stevens Canyon road corridor. While we have made a good faith effort to conduct a thorough investigation of cultural properties in the area, systematic pedestrian surface surveys such as the ones described here never cover the area completely. Surface visibility, weather and steep terrain are some of the variables which hinder survey completeness and are present in this area.

Results should be taken as a substantial sample of the range of resources that may be encountered during highway rehabilitation in the project area. It is possible, perhaps likely, that these results will be expanded through mitigations such as monitoring and, if necessary, subsurface testing efforts concurrent with the construction process.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Diaz (2007) or (Diaz, 2007)

References Citation:
Diaz, B.M., 2007, 2007 archaeological inventory, lower Stevens Canyon Road, Mount Rainier National Park: Mount Rainier National Park, 23 p..