Entiat River Trail

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

Distance14.3mi
Elevation Gain5,374ft
Trailhead Elevation3,155ft
Top5,503ft
Elevation Min/Max3142/5503ft
Elevation Start/End3155/3155ft

Entiat River Trail

Entiat River Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Chelan County, Washington. It is within Glacier Peak Wilderness Area and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. It is 14.3 miles long and begins at 3,155 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 28.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 5,374 feet. The Entiat River Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: Cow Creek Trail, Emerald Park Trail, Ice Creek Trail and Larch Lakes Trail.

Entiat River Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"The headwaters of the Entiat River hide some of the most scenic country in Washington. The river’s main branch flows down from a mountain wonderland filled with dramatic lakes, cliffs, and peaks. The North Fork’s scenery is more subdued, but includes pleasant meadows, views, and terrific fall colors. Take your pick, but I promise you won’t be sorry if you visit both. The North Fork is outside of the designated wilderness—an unforgivable situation that must, someday, be corrected—so the trails here were formerly abused by motorcycles. Fortunately, the Forest Service closed the trails to machines in the early 1990s–not the permanent protection that wilderness would provide, but it’s a good start and the Forest Service deserves praise for this move." Read more
"The Glacier Peak Wilderness features so many great hikes it was difficult to select only a few representative backpacking trips. The decision to include the Entiat River Loop, however, was an easy one. With an eastside location this area enjoys more sunshine than westside hikes, and crowds are thinner due to the longer drive from major cities. In addition, wildlife is commonly seen and the scenery features two of the grandest destinations in Washington. Set in a deep mountain basin, surrounded by 9000-foot peaks, and carpeted with wildflowers, Entiat Meadows is one of the most beautiful mountain meadows in the state (and that’s a category with plenty of competition). By contrast, the equally impressive Ice Lakes feature a stark alpine setting with twisted trees, glacier-scoured rocks, and icy summits towering all around. Add to these two climaxes the many miles of lovely forests, view-packed ridges, heather meadows, and deep glacial canyons, and you’ve got a fabulous mix of world-class splendors." Read more

Entiat River Trail Reviews

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9/9/2011
My wife and I did a 3 day loop as our first foray into backpacking and really enjoyed this route. Day 1 was 6 miles in to the Fern Lake junction, where there are several beautiful campsites next to the Entiat river in a winding meadow. Take some time to explore this area, the sites are separated from each other and you'll discover them as you walk through. The river is gorgeous in the fall and we didn't hear a peep from the other campers due to the babbling of the water. Day 2 began with challenging steep switchbacks up towards the Saska pass junction. The trail thankfully levels out as it travels along the ridgeline and there are many great views of the mountains to the west. Dropping down into the Grouse pass basin, there was a small creek in a meadow allowing us to refill water and break for lunch. The climb back up to Grouse Pass is not an easy one, but the view at the top is well worth it. An enormous rocky outcropping is a great place to sit in the shade and enjoy a vista few people ever see. The descent on the backside is also pretty steep but the campsite at the base is amazing! Rustic table, benches around a huge firepit carved out of a boulder, and even a bear box to store food/garbage. There is room for multiple families and it's close to water, and butts up to a huge mountain meadow that is a nice view to wake up to. At the junction of trails 1433 and 1439 is "3 Tree Camp", with a bear box, firepit, and marginal access to water. Instead of climbing Pyramid Mt we followed the trail SW along Pyramid creek. This is an easy and beautiful way to finish the hike. We never felt like we were in danger of not finding water along the way and could usually hear a river not far off. The campsites marked in the guide are good choices and we passed very few other hikers. The trails are well marked and well maintained, and this loop has both difficult ascents and walkable hikes. Our loop (I uploaded the GPS route) was 23 walking miles.
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8/1/2009
Ice Lakes would be the only redeeming part of this hike and the only reason it gets 3 stars. It is pretty hard hike up the valley to get there and even worse coming down. Otherwise, the flies were terrible and due to the fire that ravaged the area a few years back, the Entiat River valley is not terribly scenic. For pictures around Ice Lakes, go to www.scottlefler.com and look for Glacier Peak Wilderness, August 2009.
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10/15/2006
Great hike, go for it.
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8/30/2005
The trail was very nice and extremely well marked. We hiked in 12 miles and stayed at one of the nicest campsights I have ever seen. Then we hiked 11 miles out the second day. We have heard that we missed out by not going to fern lake or pyramid mountain. Next time we will incorporate those stops and make the trek a three day trip. It is very secluded, we did not see another hiker... There was a lot of water! Also lots of flies...not out of control, but enough to annoy you. We did not bring repellent though. We saw lots of big birds, deer tracks, several marmotts and one fish in a river.
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10/24/2002
Along the first few miles you hear the roaring of the North Fork of the Eniat River to your left. A wonderful mixure of Western Pines and Douglas Firs engulf you as you wander further into the depths of solitude. With a number of creek crossings, (some, rather exciting), you''re never far from some much needed water...not to mention you''re never more than 100 yards from the raging Entiat. The next three hours are invested in spectacular vistas from rock ledges and out croppings as you ascend to Fern lake at 6,900 ft. As you crest the top, the crystal blue water encircled by icey edges and snow captures your heart. You feel completely alone with the bowl of rock and snow stretching to the sky around you and the serine lake. A cool breeze passes as you stretch your eyes over Pugh Ridge, on to Pyramid Mt. and Grouse Pass. From the top of Pugh Ridge (7,100 ft.) you''ve peeked over the mountain lake you''re at now, into the heart of the Cascades. From the peak of Pyramid Mt. (8,000 ft.) you''ve seen even further, over and above both Pugh Ridge, Fern Lake, Cardinal Peak and a myraid of other snow laiden ridges. In the other direction you''ve looked down into the dark blue of Lake Chelan, following the white trails behind the boaters. All of these vistas and many more are at your feet''s beck and call, and all originating at the trail 1437 trail head. The loops that are possible could take as many as five or more multi-day trips to cover and all covering new areas. The best times for these loops are July-September, as are most trails in the Cascades. Maximum elevation gain is about 3,900 feet and there are mosquitos at every level. Except for the ascent to the top of Pyramid Mt., most trails are well covered with shade from the sun. Only a Northwest Forest Pass is needed to expand your taste of this wilderness. As you drink from the whitewaters of the Entiat, whisper hello for me.
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Entiat River Trail Photos

Trail Information

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Nearby City
Glacier Peak Wilderness Area
Parks
Moderate
Skill Level
Entiat Ranger District
Local Contacts
Green Trails - Holden (#113) & Lucerne (#114)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018