Charlie Hickenbottom sent us an interesting suite of hikes to the Ribbon Mesa area near Entiat and accessed directly from Highway 97. He compiled the hikes, parking information, and different walks into a very complete PDF RibbonScrambles-Hickenbottom which you can download and print. It’s a sizable PDF and takes a while to load and, so that you can get a feel for what the area offers without waiting on the download, here’s some of the lowdown directly from Charlie’s PDF:
“Looking for something a little different than Sage Hills or Saddlerock? Perhaps something a little wilder, a little less traveled? Look no further. Ribbon Cliff and the ridge top above known as Ribbon Mesa might be of interest to you. Itʼs located just a few miles north of Entiat, and youʼll have scramble routes and viewpoints pretty much all to yourself. But be prepared for route finding and making your own way without constructed trails. The slopes are steep, so consider trekking poles or even an ice ax to help provide a safe passage. Allow a few hours up to a full day, depending upon your itinerary for the day. Expect to gain about 1500 vertical feet on rough terrain to reach the ridge top views!
A hodgepodge of land ownership in the area suggests discriminate access and use. Most of the land above Highway 97A belongs to either US Forest Service (USFS) or Washington State Fish & Wildlife (WDFW), with some private parcels immediately adjacent to the highway. USFS and WDFS lands are open for recreation such as hiking/scrambling. However, a new Chelan County PUD switchyard just south of Ribbon Cliff is off limits for public access. An orchard to the north of Ribbon Cliff is posted as “no trespassing.” WDFW land in this area follows the same winter restrictions as Sage Hills. A voluntary closure period from December through March allows the land to be used for its primary purpose, mule deer habitat.
Logical and compliant hikers can enjoy the spring wildflowers and viewpoints along the top of the cliffs anytime after April 1. There are more pleasant places at higher elevations in the mountains to hike in the heat of summer. Be aware of possibly sharing the area with hunters in the fall.