ATTRACTIONS: Quickly accessed snow zone with relatively light snowmobile traffic. This trip is a pleasant, solitary mosey up logging roads below about 4000 feet. Above that there are some wonderful subalpine meadows and ridge tops with great gentle terrain and sublime views of Miller and Navajo Peaks and the Enchantments.
Skill Level: 1+ (advanced beginner)
Fitness: 2 (intermediate)
DISTANCE: 14 miles round trip (or less if you prefer)
ELEVATION: 2,550’ @ trailhead / 5,200’ @ ridgetop / 2,650’ gain
ACCESS. Proceed south on Highway 97 from its intersection with Highway 2. After about 13 miles, look for the Scotty Creek/Old Blewett Pass turnoff to the right (it’s about 1 mile south of King Creek). Take this right where the first 50 yards are plowed. According to the Wenatchee River Ranger District, this is not an official Sno-Park.
–Follow the Old Blewett Pass road south for about 0.6 mile, take the first right onto the bridge across Scotty Creek and head west up Shaser Creek on Forest Service road 7322. (Not all the roads are signed so keep track of the intersections).
–After about 0.5 mile on your right, you will see a trailhead kiosk at the gate across the 7322 road that follows the North Fork of Shaser Creek. This route is reserved for OHV traffic during the dry season and is quite popular among snowmobilers. Rather than taking a right through the gate, stay to the left on the 200 spur of 7322. This follows the Middle Fork of Shaser Creek. Ignore the first three roads–a gated road leading left toward the creek after 0.3 mile and a switchback to the right after about 0.5 mile and the 210 spur of 7322 to the right leading up Middle Shaser Creek.
–About 0.25 mile past the 210 spur, the 230 spur leads to the right, uphill and away from the South Fork of Shaser Creek. Follow this spur uphill for 2 to 3 miles of switchbacks. At about 4100 feet, the road forks near the top of a clearcut. Take the right fork and after about 0.25 mile there is a hard switchback to the left. The road lays in a gunsight notch that has been blasted in the rock.
–After another quarter mile you’ll be on an open, weak spur ridge at about 4,200 feet. The best views are to be had from here up. Head up this ridge for another 800 feet or so. The ridge is relatively steep and narrow so I recommend using lightweight climbing skins. At about 5,000 feet, you’ll cross another road on your way to the ridgetop. If you’re nervous about bushwhacking, this road is a fine place to take a break and enjoy the view before heading down.
RECOMMENDED SEASON. Gloomy winter days in the valley when the snowmobilers are at home and the sun is out above the inversion.
ACTIVITIES ALLOWED: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling.
CONS / HAZARDS: The Old Blewett Pass highway and the North Fork of Shaser Creek are popular snowmobile routes. However, machines don’t seem to make heavy use of the South Fork and I saw evidence of only one machine on my trip.
LAND DESIGNATION: Mostly Longview Fibre with some Forest Service.
FEES/ PERMITS: As of 2006, the parking area was not an official Sno-Park.
MAPS: See our topo below. The roads are bit of a maze. I recommend purchasing a Fireman’s Map from the Forest Service. If you get lost, simply retrace your route back.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Lightweight skinny skins for climbing will great ease the climb from the road to the ridge (see ‘Trip Instructions’).
TRIP REPORTER (and date): Matt Dahlgreen , 01/2006
Leave It Better Than You found It. This should be every user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull noxious weeds along your route, disperse old fire rings, throw branches over unwanted spur trails…
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.
Leave a Reply