Burch Mountain is adjacent to Wenatchee yet, despite its proximity to the town, it feels a world apart. 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 gorgeous. This trip is also a very pretty wildflower outing in the spring.
Activities: Hiking, Mountain Biking, Family Fun, Trail Running
Nearest Town: Wenatchee
Skill Level: 1
Fitness Level: 2
Distance: About 8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: About 750 feet
Recommended Season: 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 five miles from the end of pavement. At mile 5.0, the road flattens out quite a bit as you enter the trees. There is a small camping/parking spot on the right–park here.
–Start the trip by continuing to walk up the main dirt road.
–Mile 0.5: Reach a major Y in the road. For this trip, go right.
–Keep following the road for about another 3.5 miles. Over all that road, which heads in a NW direction climbs as it undulates. There are some minor forks in the road, when in doubt, stay on the largest road and/or the road that keeps you heading steadily in a NW direction.
–After a few miles the road follows the ridge crest with Swakane Canyon down on your right and the Wenatchee River Valley down on your left.
–Go as far as time and energy allow. The road ends on a little peaklet about 4 miles from where you parked. (A smaller path continues along the ridge if you’re game to travel father)
–Retrace the route back to the car.
Cons/Hazards: It’s a long, hot climb with plenty of sun exposure. Bring plenty of water. The lower mountain has been degraded by steep, eroded, unsustainable spur roads.
Uses Allowed: Walking, biking, and motorized vehicles all allowed.
Land Designation: County road. The surrounding land is a mixture of private, State Wildlife, and Forest Service land.
More Rides: Maps and details of over 100 regional rides in our mountain biking guidebook.
Leave It Better Than You Found It: This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull noxious weeds along your route, disperse old fire rings (they encourage more fires), throw branches over spur trails and spurs between switchbacks (make it harder to do the wrong thing than the right thing).
Important Disclaimer: Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Things change, conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes, fail to give complete information, or may not know all the issues affecting a route. So forget about finger pointing: If things go wrong, you are completely responsible for yourself and your actions. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.
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