dogs on leash
Wenatchee National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in Washington. With an area of 1,735,394 acres (2,711.55 sq mi, or 7,022.89 km²), it extends about 137 miles along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range of Washington, USA from Okanogan National Forest to Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The forest is located in Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima counties.
Hiked out here yesterday with friends, it sure was a beautiful day for it. I was disappointed that the wildflowers weren't in full bloom so my friends could see how beautiful it can be. I'd give it 2/2 1/2 weeks and they should be in full bloom. I'm glad we got there early, we past many people on our way back down and there must have been at least 20 cars at the trailhead.
One of the most beautiful hikes I've been on. Just gorgeous. Jaw dropping views at every switchback.
We were equipped for hiking but not snow hiking (no snow shoes or crampons, just poles). We'd planned a lower altitude hike further along Icicle Creek Road, but it was closed due to weather, so we doubled back and gave Snow Lakes a try.
First mile was lovely, amazing views everywhere, and we had the trail pretty much to ourselves this early in the year. Some snowy and icy patches here and there, but nothing too worrying.
About a mile and a half in, once we got past all the switchbacks up the mountain and onto a straightaway, the snow got a lot more dense and the trail more treacherous. We weren't really equipped for the snow, and at this point in the trail one wrong foot would have sent one of us plummeting down a sheer cliff side into a ravine, so we turned back at the stream that crosses the path. Lovely until then though! Pack appropriately!
Did this Hike Last summer Late July ... I think this is definitely a strenuous hike . No time to warm up the second you get on the trail your climbing at a incline . I went up with a group with out poles or a map . Would of given it 5 stars if the trail was easier to follow but either way it was a good hike . Following the pile of rocks is confusing but doable. Didn't see any of the goats which sucked but it was a great hike ... was a 95 degree day in the Yakima valley that day but was only 75-80 degrees at the top and the lake was freezing . Well worth the hike . I used a fit bit to track my hike out and back to rig was 12 miles ...
It was a fun hike with kids, but the views weren't as spectacular as I had hoped. The trail itself was good- a decent incline which had us all sweating in some spots. We enjoyed the hike and are glad we did it once, but probably won't choose to go again.
Dave S. on Ski Hill Trail
BLUF(Bottom Line Up Front): Absolutely the perfect hiking venue for those wanting to optimize mileage vs reward, offering expansive views of Leavenworth and the Enchantments the whole way up. Hikers beware, the signage is poor so plan your route ahead of time.
The family and I (myself, wife, and two dogs) set out from the Ski Hill trailhead about 1130 on Monday, April 2nd. When we first arrived, we were startled to find a no dogs sign posted. After talking to a couple locals, that is only for the winter months. For spring and summer hiking, it is very dog friendly.
Being located so close to town, we assumed it would be very busy but were pleasantly surprised at how few people we saw there. That being said, I would largely attribute that to it being a Monday and early enough in the season that the higher trails weren't on many peoples' radars yet. The trails were mostly snow free until we got about 2.5 miles up near the top, where we encountered a number of small snow fields. They were easily passible with boots, no yak tracks required. Also impassible by mountain bikes, adding to our seclusion.
For those new to the area, like myself, Ski Hill is a multi-use trail complex with a spiderweb of trails. We began by taking the New Lodge Connector in and to the right until it met up with the 4 the Boys trail. Both of these trails are very well built and maintained and offer views of Leavenworth and the Enchantments. We then joined up with the Rosy Boa trail and followed this for the next couple miles. It was on the later portions of the Rosy Boa that we encountered snow fields. One critique I have is that the trail junctions are very poorly marked. There are a couple signs, which we were lucky to have stumbled upon and taken a picture of early on, but do not expect this throughout your adventure.
We then ate lunch at the Rosy Boa and Ski Hill trail junction (there is no sign, this occured by happenstance). Wanting to make a loop back to the trailhead we opted to take Ski Hill back down which was advertised on the trail map as being completed in Summer 2016. As we progressed down Ski Hill, it became abundently clear that the trail was not completed. Eventually, our leisurely hike turned into a walk in the woods trying to spot the next ribbon tied to a branch. Finally, the ribbons went straight down a very very steep hill. If you are not comfortable with exposure very steep grades, and route finding, I would advise you not go this way. The Ski Hill trail on the map showed that this would instead be a series of switchbacks. It may be in the future but it was not today. After an arduous half mile or so of down climbing and side hilling, we stumbled upon the end of the developed trail.
Once on the developed trail, it was smooth sailing to the bottom of Ski Hill. This trail from the base up is a series of expertly built switchbacks. It just does not go to the top and loop around as is advertised on the trail map.
All in all, I would highly recommended hiking at the Ski Hill complex and we will definitely be going again. I would recommend planning your route ahead of time and recording your hike with AllTrails as you go.