by Lori Nitchals and the Wenatchee 55+ Weekday Hiking Group
Attractions. This is both a family-friendly and dog-friendly hike through old forests. Not only does the trail provide a shaded and naturally cooled stroll on a hot summer’s day but the huge, triple-trunked cedar tree reached at the ford across Whitepine Creek is a site in and of itself. It’s a physical connection to centuries of history. This tree sat here for centuries before trains and highways crossed these mountains and before the first Europeans settled the state. Get in the right frame of mind, and it’s humbling to be in the presence of something that has stood so long and weathered so much.
Map: See our map or Green Trails Wenatchee Lake #145 and Chiwaukum Mts #177
Activity: Hiking, trail running.
Nearest Town: Leavenworth, WA
Skill: 1 (beginner). Fitness: 1 (easy)
Distance: 5 miles (round-trip). Elevation Gain: 400′
Recommended Season: Summer and fall
Access. Whitepine Road is on the south side of the Highway 2, about 6.5 miles west of Coles Corner (milepost 78.6). Turn onto it and follow it 2.7 miles to a Y junction. Bear left here and drive about another mile to reach the trailhead. Elevation: 2,800′
Trip Instructions: Head along the mostly forested trail, crossing numerous small, seasonal creeks. When the trail occasionally opens up at brushy slide areas you have views of Arrowhead Mountain and Nason Ridge. After about a mile you’ll pass into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (there’s s sign). Indeed, for reasons unknown to us, there is another wilderness sign a bit further on! At about 2.5 miles you’ll reach the junction with the Wildhorse Creek Trail. Continue to the right and in another few hundred yards you will be at the Whitepine Creek fording area. Later in the summer it is said to be easily crossed without getting too wet, where upon you could continue hiking along a trail that sees much less maintenance. In June of 2015 (a particularly low snow year with low runoff, the creek was still knee high and more than we wanted to attempt. Nonetheless, this was a good place to have lunch and photograph the gigantic triple-trunked cedar tree that stands nearby. On our return trip we hiked up the Wildhorse Creek Trail for 30 minutes to gauge the quality of the trail. The trail was brushy in places but mainly in good shape.
Hazards: Stream crossing could be hazardous except late summer
Allowed / Not Allowed: Wilderness regulations apply.
Photo: Happiness is a cold stream.
Land Ownership: US Forest Service
Fees/Permits: NW Forest Pass required for parking
More Info/Links: A good link with useful info.
Miscellaneous. On our trip in mid June, mosquitoes and other biting insects were not an issue.
Reporter (and date): Lori Nitchals and the Wenatchee 55+ Weekday Hiking Group, 6/17/2015
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, throw branches over poor spur trails…
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. You are completely responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.