Visiting Squilchuck: Details, Details
Attractions. As of 2015 there is an increasingly diverse and varied network of mountain biking trails and skill-development features at Squilchuck. The area is well situated as a hub for rides in the park, into the Stemilt Basin, through the Naneum Ridge State Forest, up to to Mission Ridge, through the Beehive Reservoir, over to and down Devils Gulch, and even to Twin Peaks. Squilchuck’s mountain location also tends to put it above the stagnant air trapped by the Columbia River Valley during the middle of summer. When heat or smoke smother our low lands, the high forests of the park usually provide a considerably cooler, fresher escape.
Uses Allowed. Mountain biking, trail running, hiking (best on the older trails), dog walking (leash required). Motorized use of all the trails in the park is prohibited.
Skills and Fitness. The area is currently best for beginner and intermediate riders. In coming years, more features and trails will be built for experts.
Access. From the south end of Wenatchee, follow the Squilchuck Road toward the Mission Ridge Ski Area. The State Park is 7 miles up the Squilchuck Road on your left. If the gate into the park is closed, park in a small gravel parking lot beside the gate and then walk/ride into the park. If the gate is open, drive another third of a mile up the park’s entrance road and turn right into the parking area. Regardless of where you park a Discover Pass is required.
Mountain biking options.
- The Skills Park and the newest trails can be accessed from the downhill end of the main parking lot inside the park (find these on the same side of the entrance road as the parking lot). Try the different balance features at the Skills Park and ride the new trail which is nicely graded so even beginning riders can climb the trails easily. The trail loops through the woods and beginners can easily master the trail riding slow while advanced riders will enjoy the flow of the trail as they ride it fast.
- The older trails are on the opposite side of the entrance road from the parking lot (across the street from the lowest entrance to the parking lot). Initially these trails climbs fairly steeply (riders with strong intermediate climbing skills will be able to ride up everything) and then mellow out into more undulating terrain once you’re several hundred vertical feet higher. These trails form a number of short loops. About halfway along the eastern boundary of the park, a spur trail leaves the park and climbs up an abandoned dirt road into the Stemilt Basin and toward the Wheeler Reservoir. This is a good route linking to many dirt roads in the Stemilt Basin as well as to the many dirt roads in the Naneum Ridge State Forest. Enjoy exploring these roads once you’ve figured out all the trails within the park.
Maps. See our topo map of the park.
Permits. A Discover Pass is required to park in Squilchuck as well as to use the parking lot beside the gate at the bottom of the access road.
Leave It Better than You Found It. This should be every outdoor enthusiast’s creed: leave no garbage behind, pick up litter found along the way, stay on the trails, pick no flowers, and do no harm to the lands you visit.