This is a pretty ride in late spring when the hills are brilliant green, but it’s, arguably, even prettier in mid to late October when the surrounding broadleaf maples are brilliant yellow and new snow sprinkles the slopes of the Enchantments and the high Cascades. The route follows dirt roads and is technically easy, the ride is a good heart-pumping grind as you climb 2,500 vertical feet.
Maps: USGS 7.5-minute series: Peshastin, WA. View our topo map (8.5’x11” portrait/landscape or 8.5”x14” portrait/landscape). Note: use ‘Print Preview’ before printing to properly scale this map to a full sheet of paper.
Activity: Mountain Biking
Nearest Town: Peshastin
Skill Level: 1+ to 2-
Fitness Level: 2+
Distance: 12 to 14 miles depending on descent options followed.
Elevation: Start, 2,200 feet. Top, 4,687 feet. Gain 2,487 feet.
From Highway 2 a few miles east of Leavenworth (milepost 103.6), take the bridge over the Wenatchee River toward the town of Peshastin. Drive a few hundred yards (you’re on Main Street) to a T intersection just beyond the railroad underpass. Turn right and parallel the Wenatchee River .8 miles before hooking hard to left and entering Derby Canyon. About 2.4 miles up the canyon, the road splits, stay right on Road 7400. About 4.5 miles after entering the canyon, Road 7402 branches off on the right at 2200 feet. Park in a small pull-off on the left side of Road 7400.
Ride uphill on Road 7402 to a good viewpoint (2,700 feet) where the road hooks hard left–single track takes off here on right. Continue uphill on the road and pass Spur 7402-125 taking off to the right and leading toward Dryden. Keep riding uphill (sometimes steeply) to a T-intersection with Road 7402-315. If you go right, you can circumnavigate the mountain staying at a pretty steady elevation on Road 7402. For now, go left and keep climbing. Stay on the main arterial as you keep grinding uphill (a few spur roads that are obviously less traveled branch off) and you’ll reach the top. The summit is partially forested but still offers nice views over the Cascades and the Wenatchee Valley.
The easiest option: Reverse the climb. The more interesting alternative is to retrace the route for about 5 minutes to the 4100-foot level where a decommissioned road has some berms bulldozed across it to seal off traffic. Turn right and follow the decommissioned road on a long, generally descending contour for about 1.5 miles. At and elevation of 3,680 feet, meet Road 7402 (this is the road mentioned earlier that contours around the mountain). Option 1: Turn left and descend quickly to the Derby Canyon Road (2,960 feet), where you’ll turn left and ride about two miles back to the car. Option 2: Turn right, contour some 4.5 miles to the T-intersection you passed on the ascent, turn left, and descend to the car.
Uses Allowed: Motorized and non-motorized use allowed.
Land Designation: Forest Service Lands.
Permits: None needed.
Trip Reporter: Andy Dappen 10/2006
More Rides: Maps and details of over 100 regional rides in our mountain biking guidebook.
Leave It Better Than You Found It: This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull noxious weeds along your route, disperse old fire rings (they encourage more fires), throw branches over spur trails and spurs between switchbacks (make it harder to do the wrong thing than the right thing).
Important Disclaimer: Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Things change, conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes, fail to give complete information, or may not know all the issues affecting a route. So forget about finger pointing: If things go wrong, you are completely responsible for yourself and your actions. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.