TenasGeorge-205-0028[1]

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.

Activity: Hiking
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.

Trip Instructions:

  • 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.

TenasGeorgeCanyon[1]

Additional Information: Nice place to take an overnight hike.

TenasGeorge-205-0050[1]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 TenasGeorge-205-0061[1]portions.

Land Designation: State Wildlife and the Forest Service.
Fees/Permits: None

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.

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2 Responses

  1. Sharmagne LEland-St. John

    Tenas George was my great-grandfather, George Williamson Runnels. He married in 1861 my great Grandmother Skoo Kum Analyx, daughter of Que Que Tas, Chief of the Nespelems. Her brother N Chief Nespelem George served his people as a peacemaker and mediator after thir father went to live with the ancestors. “Tenas” means “Little” in Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon Trade Language). Tenas George was a successful miner and well respected by the Caucasians and indigenous people as well.

    Reply
  2. Sharmagne

    GEORGE W. RUNNELS (Tenas” George
    George W. Runnels, who resides at Keller, Washington, is one of
    the heavy stock owners of this part of the county. In addition to owning
    stock, he pays considerable attention to mining. He was born in Edmundstown, Washington county, Maine, on October 9, 1835, being the son of Thomas and Eliza (Morong) Runnels, natives of Maine. The parents moved to Washington in 1878, locating in Seattle, where the father did lumber business. He died in 1894 and his widow died in 1901. Our subject was educated in the common schools of his native place until ten years of age; then he commenced a seafaring life. He learned the art of cooking and working in that capacity and went to all the leading ports of the world. For eleven years he continued in that business, and in 1858 came to Puget sound by way of Cape Horn, sailing in the bark Oak Hill. In 1860 he came to what is now Okanogan county and since that time has lived in the central part of Washington continuously. He has been occupied as a stock raiser, store keeper, and prospector for all these long years. He located the Mountain Lion in Republic, the Last Chance and the Flatiron, besides many others. In 1897 Mr. Runnels located at Keller, where he now lives, and since that time has opened up several fine prospects. Among them is the Copper King and the Iconoclast. The latter is being developed and Mr. Runnels owns about one third of it. In addition to these properties, he has about two hundred and
    fifty head of horses in Okanogan and Ferry counties.

    In 1861, by the Indian ceremony, Mr. Runnels married Skocum Analix.
    In 1872, this marriage was confirmed by the United States laws and to this couple, fifteen children have been born, ten of whom are living, named as follows: Elizabeth, Mary, Fred, Clara, Hiram, Louis, Thomas, Josephine, Katherine, and Nellie. Louis and Thomas are being educated at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, while Mary is attending one of the well known educational institutions of the east. Mr. Runnels is a Democrat and takes an active interest in the affairs of his county.
    He is more familiarly known as “Tenas George” and the full account
    of his life would make a very interesting book. It is of importance to
    note that over thirty years ago Mr. Runnels discovered the lead of the
    Iconoclast. He took samples of the ore to Dr. Day in Walla Walla, who pronounced it first-class ore. From that time until the reservation opened, he kept watch of the property and for some months prior to the proclamation of opening this portion of the reservation, Mr. Runnels was obliged to personally stand guard over the property with a Winchester. While the temptation was great, “Tenas George” was too well known for any man to attempt to jump that claim in the face of his Winchester. He is respected both among the Indians and his own people, having shown himself governed by a true sense of honour. It is said of him that when the test came as to whether he should have the Iconoclast or not, he shouldered his Winchester and said to his wife: “If I lose my life in defending that claim, bury me there.” He is a careful reader and the author of several poems and ballads of considerable merit. “Tenas” George died November 17, 1917

    Reply

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