Swakane Wildlife Area is a lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Wenatchee, WA that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and birding and is accessible from April until October.
From Wenatchee, take US 97A north up the west side of the Columbia River. There will be a sign that says Swakane Canyon about 5.5 miles up the highway on the left side. The trailhead for FR5215 is 2.7 miles up Swakane Canyon Rd and on the right. A Discover Pass is required for parking.
Not a bad trail. Constant uphill and downhill with little to no shade. Some great view of Wenatchee from the north side.
Awesome hike. Road to the trail head was pretty rough but if you go slow it's ok. Once the map app brings you to the trail, there is no easy way to see signage indicating where to go. You can see a cut in the mountain which is an old road that is the main hiking trail. The first half mile is steeper than most of the hike. We made it about 2.5 miles before needing to turn around due to another obligation later in the day. I would guess it's another 1.5 to 2.0 miles to the top. I would bring a lite jacket, as when we started it was 75 in Wenatchee, 70 at the trail head and probably 10 degrees colder where we turned around and it was more and more windy the higher you go. I would say this is a reasonable hike for all skills levels as the trail is in good shape and the incline is consistent but reasonable. I would do this hike again in a heart beat especially with more time.
This trail is soooo beautiful! I don't know what was better, the sparkling rainbow of quartz that littered the ground the entire way (bigger pieces higher up) or the fact the it was one of those days where it rained, hailed, and the sun peaked through the clouds at times too! I hiked into the clouds, and the higher up I got, the less I could really see. There was not another soul on the trail, and I saw plenty of wildlife and an array of gorgeous wildflowers. If I lived in the area, this would be one I would frequent. Be prepared! the turn around is at the 3 mile mark, making it a 6 mile round trip, or if you continue to the top it will be closer to 9. It is a steady uphill bruiser with breathtaking views. Bring plenty of water with you, this is forest service land.
Nice, better in the morning to catch the sunrise.
I hiked up the decommissioned FR 5215 which is now used as a trail. The road climbs gradually along the side of the canyon for many miles. The first 2 miles were snow free but after 3 miles I was sinking up to my knees and unfortunately I left my snowshoes in the car. I didn't see anyone else on the trail, only herds of deer on the hillsides. The snow dusted canyon was quite beautiful and a nice option for a winter hike. The dirt road to the trail-head was in great shape the first 1.1 miles. For the next 1.6 miles the road narrows and there are a few potholes and cracks to negotiate but its doable. A Discover Pass is also required.