Kachess Ridge Trail

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

Distance6.7mi
Elevation Gain3,567ft
Trailhead Elevation2,383ft
Top5,035ft
Elevation Min/Max2383/5035ft
Elevation Start/End2383/2383ft

Kachess Ridge Trail

Kachess Ridge Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Kittitas County, Washington. It is within Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. It is 6.7 miles long and begins at 2,383 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 12.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,567 feet. The Kachess Ridge Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. This trail connects with the following: Easton Ridge Trail and Kachess Beacon Trail.

Kachess Ridge Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Region (The Mountaineers Books)
Dan A. Nelson
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"Starting a hike with a serious climb is a good way to limber up your muscles and shake off any casual hikers. But crowds don’t pose a problem on this route—few hikers, it seems, know about this trail. It’s just minutes off the interstate, with grand views of the three big lakes of the eastern Snoqualmie Pass corridor (Keechelus, Kachess, and Cle Elum). You’ll also find panoramic views that encompass the peaks of the Cle Elum Valley and reach south to Mount Rainier. From the trailhead, hike the trail a short ways to the junction. Here, the trail to Kachess Ridge climbs to the left while a second path drops off to the right along Easton Ridge. The trail wastes no time in starting to climb, running steeply up the nose of the tall face of Kachess Ridge. As you climb, the forest opens periodically to provide views south to Mount Baldy, Domerie Peak, and Easton Ridge."
Mountain Biking Washington (Falcon Guides)
Amy & Mark Poffenbarger
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"Located just east of Snoqualmie Pass, this ride offers a convenient adventure for Seattle-area mountain bikers. This route has a long, steep climb along a forest road before hitting singletrack. The trail begins along a quickly eroding hillside, then becomes marvelous, jettisoning you across meadows and streams. The finale comes with steep, tight switchbacks. If you have the control, this racecourse-like trail is furiously fast and drops you into the parking area just a mile or so from where you began."
Best Hikes with Dogs: Western Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Dan A. Nelson
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"Starting your hike with a serious climb is a good way to limber up the muscles and distance yourself from any casual hikers who may crowd the trail around you. But crowds don’t pose a problem on this route—few hikers, it seems, know about this trail. That’s great news for trail dogs, as it means we can ramble unfettered. It’s just minutes off the interstate, with grand views of the three big lakes of the eastern Snoqualmie Pass corridor (Keechelus, Kachess, and Cle Elum). You’ll also find panoramic views encompassing the peaks of the Cle Elum River valley and south to Mount Rainier. From the trailhead, hike the trail a short ways to the junction. If you have a muscular trail dog, you'll want to keep the leash tied to his pack or harness, letting your pup pull you up the steep trail! The trail wastes no time in starting to climb, running steeply up the nose of the tall face of Kachess Ridge. As you climb, the forest opens periodically to provide views south to Mount Baldy, Domerie Peak, and Easton Ridge."

Kachess Ridge Trail Trip Reports

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9/6/2009
This is a really nice hike. The right turn from the frontage road is actually signed Kachess Dam Rd, not Kachess Ridge as the guide indicates. Mileage to the turn-off is .8 miles. A short, 1/2 mile, dirt road passes numerous camping sites before it dead ends at the trail head.

There is no signage past the initial trail head, but none is necessary. The first half of the hike is fairly easy on wide, well-maintained trails. The initial ascent might make you winded, but it levels off after .75 miles, as the guide indicates.

The last mile of the hike is pretty tough, in my opinion. The trail is difficult to pick up as it goes oup the rocky face of the ridge. It is non-stop, uphill, at least 50 degree incline. My Achilles tendons were screaming by the time I got to the top.

But it was well worth it. Stunning views of the Cascades, valley and lakes. Overall, not terribly difficult. Nothing technical to it. But check the weather before you go. It would be better on a nice, warm sunny day instead of the cold/rainy day I picked.
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6/22/2007
3 Night stay at Pete lake. Pretty busy on the weekends, but better than other lakes that day hikers come to. Good campsites and a really nice looking lake with views of some great saddles and passes packed with snow (you can see these best once you get to the lake). Excellent trail, very flat and mellow. Lots of water to jump and cross over, but it makes the hike interesting. Bugs only bad in the parking lot, but not bad at all around the lake. Beautiful clear Lemah Creek that dumps into the lake on the west side. Go during mid week to escape the crowds. On the last night we were there only 1 person stayed overnight. Great entry point to other areas further up. Rained on us the last half day and night, but was kind of cool watching the rain hit the lake as we pondered if we should head out to one of two very small islands in the lake. Great all around hike for anyone !!
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6/18/2007
Did an overnight at Pete Lake, June 18-19. Trail has a few blow downs and water over trail in places. One log to cross on river and one nasty wash-out area near the lake. Camp area is nice, lake is beautiful, fabulous views. Had a 4-point buck come into camp and stay for about 20 minutes. Only two other overnighters at the lake but I hear it is busy on week-ends. Cat tracks on the trail along with deer and elk. Well worth the walk. Only down side were the "skeeters" near the parking lot on the return.
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10/8/2004
A great hike with dogs. Not a lot of traffic and several places to place in the water. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy hike with unique scenery (old growth trees) within a couple hours of Seattle. We selected it since it was raining in other old growth forest areas around Seattle (e.g. Mount Rainier). Since it is east of the Cascades, we had better weather. Initially, the trail goes along Cooper River with nice views up and down the riverbed. It then crosses several dried-up tributaries that feed into the river. It was a very enjoyable walk with cool temperatures, dense plant life, varying ecosystems and endless numbers of old growth trees. Plus, we had never seen so many different mushrooms – white, yellow, brown, orange and purple! You pass several areas that are prime for individual and group campsites. Once you get close to Pete Lake, you turn the corner and see two enormous old growth trees. They were truly spectacular and really stood out. Great photo opportunity. Pete Lake was a perfect ending spot with a large campsite area and places to eat lunch down by the water. Spectacular views of the distant mountains leading up to the peaks of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Very peaceful and no one around. Oh, and you pass through Roslyn to get to the trailhead. It is a pretty cool tiny old town to visit for a quick beer, burger or donut!
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7/26/2003
This was my first ride at Kachess Ridge. The climb is relentlessly steep though no walking was required. Not a lot of protection from sun. The first mile of singletrack is unride-able. Very loose and steep hike-a-bike uphill portage follows 100 yards of ride-able trail. The next few miles are awesome. The downhills can be technical with multiple water crossings. It almost makes you forget what it took to get to this point. The final mile+ of descending is...uh, interesting. Very loose and dry rock-shale-dirt at times steep. Tight switchbacks with frequent exposure may not be everyone's comfort zone.

Given what it took to get the 3-4 miles of sweetness, I'll think twice about going back.
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6/1/1998
It's been a few years, but as I remember it, the climb to the top is on well graded gravel/dirt roads. At the top, you reach a saddle with interesting rock formations on the other side. The decent on single track was pretty rocky, and wet in places, making it a fairly challenging decent. Overall, a fun ride, but would probably be better later in summer when the ground dries up a bit more.
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Kachess Ridge Trail Photos

Trail Information

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Nearby City
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Wildflowers
Features
Snoqualmie Ranger Station, North Bend
Local Contacts
USGS Kachess Lake
Local Maps