7 Hikes in the Central Cascades

Summer Hess

Give the more popular and overcrowded trails in the central Cascades a break by exploring these other options. 

  • Fourth of July—A steep but beautiful 5-mile trail climbs 5,000 feet to the top of Icicle Ridge. Turn left at the top and go 1/2 mile to the site of an old fire lookout.  
  • Chatter Creek—A 5.5-mile trail that gains 3,800 feet into a beautiful alpine basin and ridgetop. 
  • Blackjack Ridge—A steep 3.5-mile climb of 4,000 feet through shady forest and then an open alpine ridge with some of the best views of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. 
  • Icicle Creek—A mostly flat, easy trail through beautiful lush old growth. 
  • Round Mountain and Nason Ridge—The Round Mountain trail climbs steeply for 1 mile to join Nason Ridge Trail. Turn left for a more gradual 3 miles to Alpine Lookout with great views of Lake Wenatchee, White River and Little Wenatchee valleys, and Glacier peak. 
  • Rock Mountain—A steep 4-mile and 4,000-foot climb to the site of an old fire lookout. The trail passes near beautiful Rock Lake in an alpine basin. 
  • Lanham Lake—An easy day hike of about 3 miles round-trip. It enters a nice stand of old growth forest to reach the lake and views of Jim Hill Mountain. 

Originally published as “Find Your Next Favorite Hike” as a sidebar to the “Loving Leavenworth” feature story in the July-August 2020 issue.

Photo by Summer Hess.
Jumping into Icicle Creek. // Photo: Summer Hess

Resources for more trail information:

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