This trip offers views of scenic shrub-step and ponderosa habitat as well as views over the Columbia River and the town of Wenatchee. Close to Wenatchee, this hike is low on people and, in spring, high on game (chukars and deer) and flowers. In early morning or late evening, there is a beautiful interplay of light on the hills.
Nearest Town: Wenatchee
Skill Level: 3
Fitness Level: 3
Distance: Some 14 miles of straightline distance. About half the distance (all of the highest terrain) is on dirt roads. Ridges up to the highcountry are all cross country.
Elevation: Starting: 720 ft; Ending: 4600 ft; Total: 3900 ft elevation gain
Recommended Season: Spring and fall. Winter too if the snow level is high. Definitely not a hike to do in the afternoon in the summer.
Access: From the Visitors’ Center turnoff at Rocky Reach Dam drive roughly 3 miles north on Highway 97A. Formerly we recommended parking at milepost 207.3 but this is no longer an acceptable parking area. In November of 2013, Charlie Hickenbottom sent us this information on Tenas George access, which is the recommended access now. Here’s a satellite photo of TenasGeorgeAccess that Charlie prepared.
- Work uphill on bearing of 299 to knoll at 1190 feet. An old narrow road cut contours into the gut of the canyon.
- Cross the canyon and then work uphill along the ridge following a bearing of 353.
- At an elevation of 1800 feet you will move into FS property.
- At an elevation of 2600 feet keep following ridge but now along a bearing of 339. At an elevation of 3650 feet you will hit a road.
- Follow the road NW then west then SW then S then SE for 6 or 7 miles (sometimes follow the ridge rather than the road).
- Go past Rattlesnake Spring–a pretty area with nice ponderosa pines. We camped at a little peaklet (elevation 3923) on the SE side of knoll with a nice little glade.
- Eventually at elevation 3760 ft at a switchback in the road, leave the road and, on a bearing of 123, follow the ridge down.
- At 2400 feet, follow a bearing of 101 (still on ridge).
- At 1800 feet follow bearing of 86 (still on ridge). This takes you down to the car.
Maps: USGS 7.5 Minute Series: Rocky Reach Dam. View our topo map below. Note: use ‘Print Preview’ before printing to properly scale this map to a full sheet of paper. Note: The access to this route has changed and now uses dirt the road immediately south of the access shown on this map. See the ‘Access’ info listed above.
Additional Information: Nice place to take an overnight hike.
Issues: Parking at bottom—private homes around.
Uses Allowed: Hiking and snowshoeing. Would be fun with general touring/light metal edged skis in winter (hike skis uphill and then ski the roads). Motorized vehicles are allowed on the road portions.
Land Designation: State Wildlife and the Forest Service.
Trip Reporter: Andy Dappen, 2/25/2005. New access info provided by Charlie Hickenbottom.
Leave It Better Than You Found It. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.