The Peaks of Nason Ridge

The Peaks of Nason Ridge
Nason Ridge is a collection of peaks, lakes and smaller ridges between the Stevens Pass Highway and Lake Wenatchee, a high sub-range of the Central Cascade Mountains. The ridge runs east and west for approximately 15 miles and is three to five miles wide and is well trailed throughout. Its peaks are easy to climb, mostly on trails, with imposing mountain views, notably to Glacier Peak and Mount Stuart in close range and Mounts Rainier and Baker in the distance. The Nason Ridge Trail wanders, roller-coaster style, through the area for 25.5 miles from Rainy Pass on Smithbrook Road to Highway 207 near Wenatchee Lake. Exposed rock is largely gneiss and schist. The ridge is accessible from the Bavarian simulation town of Leavenworth. Green Trails maps #144(Benchmark Mountain) and #145(Wenatchee Lake) cover most of Nason Ridge.
 

Round Mountain

Round Mountain is a 6,237 foot high spot at the south end of Nason Ridge, crowned by the Alpine Lookout, which awaits with long views to the north and south. The moderate Round Mountain Trail, #1529 begins on Butcher Creek Road, north of US Highway 2 from just east of a rest area.

 
 

Mount Mastiff

Mount Mastiff, at 6,741, presiding over Lost Lake, was named for its profile, which looks like a dog's head from Lake Wenatchee. Access is taken from the Nason Ridge Trail, via the Merritt Lake Trail (#1588, 13 miles east of Stevens Pass), up the southwest slope of the mountain. It can also be easily reached from the summit of Mount Howard by their connecting ridge.

Mount Howard

The tall, stately centerpiece of the Nason Ridge peaks, 7,063 foot Mount Howard offers summiters a 360 degree view. Approaching from Snowy Creek Trail (#1531) on the Lake Wenatchee side or Merritt Lake Trail from Highway 2, the easy climb through areas of exposed gneissic rock leaves the trail near Crescent Lake.

Rock Mountain

Rock Lake hangs elegantly below the 6,852 foot summit of Rock Mountain, which is just a few steps of the steep, dry Rock Mountain Trail (# 1587), originating 9 miles east of Stevens Pass off Highway 2.

Bonus Mountain - Lichtenberg

Just west of Nason Ridge, an easy half mile scramble from Lake Valhalla, lies the scabby-rocked, 5,488 foot summit of Lichtenberg Mountain, above its attendant Lichtenwasser Lake.

 

Article Written By Barry Truman

Barry Truman has published many outdoor activity articles in the past five years with International Real Travel Adventures, the Everett Herald and Seattle Post Intelligencer newspapers, Backpacking Light Magazine and Trails.com. He has a forestry degree from the University of Washington.

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