A hill climb that’s a nice hike, run, or a short training ride that’s good for exercise before work, at noon, or after work. The gravel road up to where the road is gated is immediately accessible from town yet, in a matter of minutes, you feel well removed from town and you’re enjoying nice views of the Sage Hills, Wenatchee River Valley, Twin Peaks and Burch Mountain.
Maps: Street map published by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce. View our topo map. Note: use ‘Print Preview’ before printing to properly scale this map to a full sheet of paper.
Activity: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running, Family Fun
Nearest Town: Wenatchee
Skill Level: 1
Fitness Level: 2
Distance: About 5.3 miles round trip from the end of pavement to the end of the county road. 7 miles round trip from the intersection of Dawn Avenue and Horselake Road to the end of the county road.
Elevation: 1,100 foot gain
Recommended Seaon: Spring, fall, early morning or early evening.
From the Maiden Avenue on the north end of Wenatchee, turn north on Dawn Avenue. In a few hundred yards turn left at a stop sign onto Horselake Road.
- From the above intersection, ride north on Horselake Road past older homes and then past new housing developments. After a few hundred yards, the road drops and then takes a sharp hook to the west (left). About a half mile after this sharp bend, the pavement ends.
- Follow the winding gravel road uphill, riding in what is generally a westerly direction. About 2.25 miles after the road turns to gravel, you’ll reach a Y (elevation 1740 feet) in the road. The right branch is private, stay left.
- In another 0.25 mile the road hits a gate and the ranch beyond (Horselake Ranch) is private. Turn around here and retrace the route.
Winter Use of Road. In the winter of 2012, the county installed a gate across the bottom of the dirt portion of this road and closed the road to winter driving. We applaud this effort — it keeps 4-wheel drive vehicles from driving the road in winter when it is too soft and when motor vehicles leave deep ruts in the road bed that cost thousands of dollars in road-grading costs to remove in spring. While closed to motorized use in winter, the road can still be walked or, if dry enough, ridden on a mountain bike (don’t ride if you’re leaving ruts).
Uses Allowed: Bicycling, walking, running, driving.
Cons/Hazards: The road is wide and non technical but provides much exercise.
Land Designation: County road
Trip Reporter: Andy Dappen 9/26/2005, updated March 2012
- The private property capping the top of this county road (Horselake Road and the Burts Ranch) were both put up for sale during the summer of 2005. Because this property is important winter range for mule deer, elk habitat, open space for recreation, and important in maintaining the open, wild aesthetics of the Wenatchee foothills, the Chelan Douglas Land Trust worked in conjunction with the Wenatchee Sportsmen’s Association and other conservationists to raise $2.3 million to purchase and preserve the 1500 acres making up these two ranches. The area is now run as a natural reserve and the public may walk some of the old roads on the Horse Lake Ranch (stay on those that get mowed) as well as some of the new trails the Land Trust has built.
- By securing these properties, there is now nearly 3000 square acres of interconnected open space in the Sage Hills (PUD has 960 acres, BLM has 320 acres, the DNR 160 acres) as well as an important linkage with the Forest Service Lands on Twin Peaks. If you live in Wenatchee and use the trails in the foothills (especially in the Sage Hills) think about this a minute: With public access to these lands we can literally head into the Sage Hills and hike or mountain bike to Blewett Pass.
- If you’re a local outdoor enthusiast, ride or walk this road. Check out the views across the open lands toward the Sage Hills and Twin Peaks, look down on the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers and, as you get higher, gaze across the open hills at the Enchantments. At the viewpoints where you can look down on the Wenatchee River, also look directly across the valley at the development on the slopes of Burch Mountain (Sunny Slope and Eagle Rock area). A similar checkerboard of ranchettes (which will eliminate wildlife habitat, block public access, and change the aesthetics of our foothills) will spread up these hills if we don’t support (financially and by volunteering time) the non-profit groups working to conserve the western foothills.
- To get involved with the Chelan Douglas Land Trust’s check their website or call 667-9708. To get involved with the Wenatchee Sportmen’s Association see their website.
Leave It Better Than You Found It: This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others and pull noxious weeds along your route.
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.