The walk up this peak overlooking town is very close to Wenatchee yet feels surprisingly remote. It offers beautiful views of the Cascades, Columbia River, and Wenatchee River and, in early morning and late afternoon, the sunlit ridges and shadowed faces of the foothills are magnificent. This is a particularly enjoyable walk in autumn when the slanted light and increased mist in the air gives the Cascades a dramatic aura reminiscent of a painting from the romantic era. The spring wildflower season (May to through June) is also spectacular up here.
Map: See map below for more information.
Activities: Hiking, mountain biking, family fun, trail running.
Nearest Town: Wenatchee.
Skill Level: 2
Fitness Level: 1
Distance: About 3 miles round trip.
Elevation Gain: 500 feet.
Recommended Seasons. Spring and autumn are prettiest, but the walk is a nice escape from the heat of the valley in summer.
Access. From intersection of Highway 97 and Easy Street in the Old Station part of Wenatchee, follow Easy Street 0.2 miles north and turn right on Peters Street. Burch Mountain Road takes off to the left in about 50 yards. Turn left and drive uphill until pavement ends. Set the odometer here. Drive about 3.8 miles to the One Tree Pullout/Viewpoint (elevation 3,340 feet), offering a lower parking option. Or drive another 1.2 miles farther up the road and at mile 5.0 from the end of pavement, the road flattens out quite a bit as you enter the trees (el 4,000 feet). There is a small camping/parking spot on the right for parking. No permits are needed for either parking area.
- From the lower parking area (el 3,340 feet) hike the road for 1.2 miles to the upper parking area (el 4,000 feet). From the upper parking area, hike the the road another 0.5 mile to a Y in the road. Go left here.
- In another hundred yards, reach a gate blocking the road and an ‘End of County Road’ sign. Motorized vehicles are not allowed beyond here.
- Walk around the gate and stay on the road for another third of a mile.
- Just before the road makes a big bend to the right and starts climbing up to radio towers, take a much smaller trail on your left and walk a short distance to the ridgeline.
- Once on the ridgeline, follow it in a westerly to northwesterly direction. As you approach Eagle Rock, you’ll see a steep trail switchbacking up its east-facing slopes. Follow this trail to the summit ( el: 4,522 feet).
Cons/Hazards: There is no signage so pay close attention to the distances stated in the instructions. Also, the summit of Eagle Rock has some substantial exposure. Carelessness could deliver some harm—watch small kids carefully.
Uses Allowed. Walking, biking. Motorized vehicles are not allowed past the gate mentioned in the trip instructions.
Fees/Permits: None needed.
Reporter and Date: Andy Dappen, 9/22/2008
April 2014 Update: The dirt portion of Burch Mountain Road has seen some extensive grading and is currently in better shape than it has been for years. Now normal vehicles, not just high-clearance vehicles, can reach the 3,340-foot lower parking area. More work is taking place higher on the road and we suspect the upper parking area will also be accessible by passenger vehicles this season.
Action Item. We recommend that hikers and mountain bikers notify the county commissioners (Keith Goehner, Ron Walter, or Doug England) thanking them for having Burch Mountain Road graded in the spring of 2014 so that normal car owners can enjoy the area. Also, ask the commissioners to gate the road much earlier in the fall and throughout the winter so that four-wheel-trucks and mudders don’t waste taxpayer’s money by ruining the road when it’s too soft for responsible travel.
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.