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The Best Hikes in Wenatchee National Forest

36 Triplog Reviews in the Wenatchee National Forest
Most recent of 9 deeper Triplog Reviews
16.65 mi • 5,640 ft aeg
Starting at Montezuma Pass TH, going along the Crest Trail to Miller Peak, then along the Crest again to Carr Peak, and then all the way back to Montezuma Pass.

My first hike as a resident of the county. At the first overlook (not even .5 mi from the TH), a startled coati bolted through the tall grass into the nearby rocks. An auspicious start to living/hiking here.

Didn't see anyone else until I was on Miller Peak--two guys were on the far end of the southwest ridge that stretches away from the peak. Looked like hunters doing spotting prep work.

I hadn't been along the Crest from Miller to Bathtub Spring since I did the AZT a decade ago. Absolutely wonderful. The pine forests on the top of the sky islands really are God's country.

While I enjoy the "more open + tall grass + occasional pines" scenery that dominates after Bathtub Spring, it makes for much hotter hiking. The climb to Carr Peak was toasty.

On the way out, as I descended from the big juniper that's 2 miles from the TH, I kept hearing voices, so I assumed I would catch some hikers in front of me. I never caught them, but I kept hearing them. When I started looking hard, I realized there were 4 people doing a bushwhack straight down from the big juniper (where the Crest trail curves to the west of the canyon). They were maybe .5 mile down, and had quite a way to go through steep, rough country to reach the road at the bottom of the canyon. I hope they made it.
24 mi • 6,457 ft aeg
Back in February, a friend and I entered the lottery process to get one of the much sought after permits to the Enchantment Lakes. Although our 1st choice for a permit in the Core Enchantment zone was declined, we still managed to walk away with a permit to the Snow Lakes area.

We put together a group of 7 hikers of varying skill level and spent the last several months getting everyone up to speed. Two of the group had never been backpacking before, let alone ever been on a real tough hike, so it was an interesting learning process for everyone. When the day finally arrived, we started out in 2 different groups.

The main group departed Portland around 7am and made it to the trail by mid afternoon. Another more experienced member and myself opted to sleep in, so we departed Portland just after noon, fully prepared to hike in after dark. The first group set up camp near the dam between upper and lower snow lakes and my group joined them about an hour or two after dark.

On day 2 we planned on day hiking up into the Core Enchantment Zone. I had difficulty sleeping the night before and had been up since at least 430am, but most everyone else was still in bed until about 0930am. So for a good 5 hours I explored the upper/lower snow lakes area and paced around camp making progressively louder noise until people began to wake up. We finally hit the trail around noon and explored the upper enchantments up to Inspiration Lake. Pictures cannot possibly do this place justice- the crystal clear blue and green water of these glacial lakes has to been seen in person.

Day 3 was another late start. We had planned on hitting a brewery in Leavenworth before making the drive back to Portland, but the group wasn't on trail until about noon. The group pace was a bit slower than I am accustom to, so I would occasionally run ahead and wait for them to catch up. When we were about a mile from the parking lot a trail runner passed our group. Someone jokingly suggested that I run with him back to the parking lot- so I darted off in hot pursuit. I quickly closed the gap and hung about 10 feet behind him and held steady. I knew I wouldn't have an opportunity to pass since the trail was too narrow, but I would be content just keeping pace with him up to the parking lot. I chatted with him for a bit before he eventually stepped to the side of the trail and let me run ahead. By the time I reached the parking lot I had a full 3 minute lead on him!!! Granted he had been thru running the whole trail from Aasgard Pass that morning, but I still had a 24 pound backpack on, so I was pretty proud of my victory!
12.3 mi • 2,147 ft aeg
Beautiful day for a hike. The last push up to the lake is steep, overgrown and a tough slog. But the lake is nice and water felt great. On a hot day like today you don't want to be doing at last leg right around noon. Glad we stuck with it and made it to the lake. One group was there swimming when we arrived but no one else showed up while we had lunch. Going back down wasn't much faster but we made. The rest of the trail is pretty tame and while there are some stretches out in the hot sun, there were good stretches of nice shade as well. Berries were starting to get ripe and the few I tried were pretty tasty. And yes, there even some signs of fall foliage!
8.73 mi • 749 ft aeg
Mostly cloudy as the predicted by the forecasters but still a good day on the trail. Fall colors were great today. A few people and horses on the trail but not too crowded. Pete Lake is very nice and it's easy to see why it makes for a good intro backpacking destination. And if you like mushrooms, this is the hike for you -- lots of varieties to see.
7.55 mi • 2,103 ft aeg
You don't go to Rachel Lake to enjoy the peace and quiet -- you won't find that on this popular hike. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't go! Nice day along the trail. I was surprised by beauty of the trail side creek and small waterfalls which were an added bonus. The Lake has crystal clear water and when it's not windy, you get a nice reflection. Trail was in decent shape. A couple of blow downs and some wet/muddy areas but all in all not too bad. It would definitely be a different story earlier in the year when I assume the trail would be very wet and slick during the steep climb to the lake.
9.4 mi • 2,969 ft aeg
Was a little concerned about the weather heading out from cloudy Seattle but once we got close to Snoqualmie Pass, the sun came out, making for a beautiful day of hiking. Lots of blueberries along the trail. Once you reach the junction for Lake Lillian and Margaret Lake, the trail gets a little overgrown in places. There are also some pretty steep sections. Lakes were great. We stopped at Lake Lillian for lunch and soaked my feet in the cool water. Saw some kind of vermin along the trail on the way back, can anybody identify it?
4.38 mi • 350 ft aeg
When we arrived in Seattle our son said he found a "cool" trail called Snow Lakes trail in the Cascades. So Saturday we loaded up the truck, Ma, Pa, Spawn and our dumb but happy granddaughter Bonny. Bonny has four feet btw. Anyhow we had a beautiful 2 hour drive only to arrive at the trailhead with a temp reading 95. Wth! We didn't come to WA. to hike like we're in AZ. Then we noticed the no dogs allowed sign..wth! There were two rangers there checking cars to make sure people paid and after chatting with the "nice" one, we learned that 12 more miles up the road was a nice loop trail that we could take Bonny and if she were hiking that day that's where she would be. As we were chatting the hikers coming in looked like, well us HAZ hikers with that thousand yard heat burnt stare. So duh we went there instead, nice hiking area, great day to be with our son.......and Bonny. :y:
7.07 mi • 1,138 ft aeg
Under mostly cloudy skies we were the only ones on this trail today. The first 1.5 miles is along a road that grants access to the few private home owners in the area but with the creek roaring along the side, it's not that bad. The trail never strays too far from the creek. The further in we ventured, the more patches of soft snow we ran into. That made for slow going so we picked a lunch spot about 3.5 miles in, had our lunch and returned. Didn't see a single soul on the trail today which was a nice break from the crowded Seattle area hikes we've done recently.
8 mi • 1,800 ft aeg
Fantastic hike. An easy hike at the beginning with some switchbacks and elevation gain at the end. The lake is smaller than I expected, but clear and beautiful nonetheless. It isn't very deep, less than three feet for sure, all the way across (but that varies each season). It's pretty muddy though, so who knows how many feet of silt are in there. We didn't try to go in it. There were plenty of camping spots, which was good because we shared the lake with about five other parties, one party being a boy scout troop with several young kids.

An interesting side note, it's actually called Gallaher Head Lake, named after James and Eliza Gallaher, two Pennsylvania natives who moved to Roslyn in the late 1800's and staked mining claims in the mountains of the Teanaway. Apparently from 1961-2006 USGS mapmakers thought they were correcting a misspelling, but actually were misspelling it themselves.

Starting elevation - 3800 feet.End at 5600 feet.


Here's the description from our hiking book, which gives a more accurate picture of the trail: "At 3/4 mile cross De Roux Creek on a log or however [bridge was in place]. Shortly beyond, at 4100 feet, the trail forks. Keep right, following the waterfalls, the way steepening to gain 800 feet in the next long mile. The way gentiles out in forest and at about 2.5 miles walks a log over the creek, here sedately meandering, and enters a meadowy vale, 5000 feet [elevation]. From the head of this 1/2 mile long valley switchbacks ascend to the lake basin at 4 miles and how sweet it is."
Spring, Ira (1998). 100 Classic Hikes in Washington. Seattle, Wa: The Mountaineers.
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