NAHAHUM CANYON – SWAKANE CREEK LOOP
Submitted by Larry Glickfeld
This is an excellent non-technical route for reasonably strong but not necessarily experienced or highly- skilled mountain bikers. With the first & last six miles on asphalt, the balance of the ride is on dirt road, except for the two miles of “beginner” single-track. Here’s a map of the route.
0.0 miles, 800′ elev. Park in Cashmere – Martin’s Market at the east end of town is the preferred place, with a large parking lot and plenty of food and drink supplies available, and restrooms as well, for before and apres-ride. From Martin’s, go north across Highway 2 and immediately turn left (west) onto the paved Frontage Road.
0.8, 800′. Turn right onto Nahahum Canyon Rd. and start a long, steady climb on pavement, through mostly private farm or ranch land.
6.0, 2400′. Road turns to dirt (Forest Road 7412) and climb steepens considerably. Terrain remains open.
7.5, 3250′. Road junction at ridge. Enter forest. Stay to left on road 7415. Road flattens, and actually has a short stretch of slight downhill. But the climbing starts again about a mile beyond the ridge junction. Numerous washout gullies occur on the steeper sections here, which climb at perhaps 10% over some very short sections.
9.0, 3600′. VIEWPOINT : Just off the road to the left – well worth the stop. Excellent view of the Stewart Range as well as Ollala and Hay Canyons below. Continue north along road 7415, with more climbing but relieved by some short downhill along the way.
10.2, 4000′. Right turn at JUNCTION with road 7400. (The road to the left descends to Peshastin). Stay on this flat stretch of 7400 until you see a trail to the right.
10.5. 4000′. Right turn onto NF trail # 623. Note that topo maps actually show this as a road, but don’t believe that. It’s a beautiful stretch of single track— apparently one of those that was once a road and, not being maintained as such, has over-grown except for the piece that is now used by mountain and trail bikes. Inexperienced mountain bikers will like this single track, since the trail itself is generally smooth and well-packed and, running through a valley (and along the former roadbed), there’s none of the usual steep drop-offs that sometimes make less adventurous riders a bit hesitant.
12.3, 3400′ Stay to right at junction with Upper Swakane Road.
13.0. 3200′. Right turn onto dirt road. Road is curvy but reasonably flat.
14.0. 3200. LEFT TURN @ junction with NF Road 7415 – the road you came up. This completes the loop.
15.0. 3250′ RIDGE. Continue straight ahead, with steep descent (the one you came up earlier). Leave forest for open area.
16.5. 2400′. Pavement begins. Clamp down the forks and put it on the big chain-ring for 30 mph descent.
21.7. 800′. LEFT TURN onto paved frontage road.
22.5. 800′. CROSS HIGHWAY 2 and turn left to Martin’s Market.
See a map of the route.
NOTE: No odometer was used for this tour description, so your mileage may vary.
Skill Level (2-): This is, technically, a ride an advanced beginner or weak interemediate rider could complete.
Fitness Level (2+ or 3 -). The ride spans a fair distance and dishes out a significant amount of climbing. It’s best suited for strong intermediate (or better) fitness level.
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 not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.