Kachess–Domerie Loop

This is a 12.8 mile backpack loop hike starting from the south end of Lake Kachess, following the Kachess Ridge Trail, taking the Silver Creek Tie connector and then back via the Domerie Divide and Easton Ridge Trails. This loop offers “sprawling alpine meadows” and some great views of both Kachess Lake and Cle Elum Lake.

getting there

From the north side of I-90, Exit 70, turn left and follow Sparks Road, parallel to the highway. At 0.7 mi go right on Kachess Dam Road, and follow it first north, then northeast for about a mile.  Turn right on the gravel road that leads to the trail head for Trail Nos. 1212, 1308 and 1315 (2,400 ft).

on the trail

Kachess Ridge

6.0 miles round trip with 2,200 feet of elevation gain, 4,600 ft high point

Hike the Kachess Ridge Trail 2.2 miles to the intersection with the Kachess Beacon Trail. Turn left and continue one mile to Kachess Beacon, the site of a former air traffic beacon.

Silver Creek

10.0 miles round trip with 2,300 feet of elevation gain, 4,700 ft high point

Hike the Kachess Ridge Trail 2.2 miles to the intersection with the Kachess Beacon Trail. Continue straight and up along Silver Creek to the base of French Cabin West Peak. This is an excellent wildflower hike with views in the upper basin.

Kachess-Domerie Loop

12.8-mile loop with 4,000 feet of elevation gain, 5,500 ft high point

Start from the south end of Lake Kachess, following the Kachess Ridge Trail to the Silver Creek Tie connector. Turn right (south) on the Domerie Peak Trail and take it to the Domerie Divide and Easton Ridge Trails to complete the loop. Notes: This loop is best done clockwise. Consider side trips to Kachess Ridge and Mount Baldy.

Scramble Routes

Little Kachess Peak (5,194 ft)

8 miles round trip with 2,500 feet of elevation gain

Follow Trail No. 1305 (Silver Creek Trail) for 1.9 mil to the ridge. A boot track leaves the trail, traversing open rock left (west) to the ridge line, at about 3,700 ft. Continue west, then north, to the old radio tower called Kachess Beacon. Follow the ridge north to the peak at 5,194 ft, which unofficially is called Little Kachess.

Littler Kachess Peak (4,884 ft)

7.0 miles round trip with 2,500 feet of elevation gain


French Cabin Mountain/West Peak (5,724 ft)

12.0 miles round trip with 3,000 feet of elevation gain
Difficulty: Strenuous 3, Technical 2-3

Option 1 (Technical 2): Follow Kachess Ridge Trail (No. 1315) along Silver Creek for 5 miles to ~4,700 ft. Trail branches right and gradually ascends French Cabin Mountain to ~5,000 ft. Follow the rock ridge ~0.25 mile to the summit. Near the summit drop below the ridge crest on the west side and follow the grassy, dirt boot path in order to avoid Class 3-4 rock.  This is a Technical 2 (T2) difficulty option.
Option 2 (For Technical 3): Follow the Kachess Ridge Trail (No. 1315) and leave trail to left at the first gully after crossing Silver Creek (dry in late season).  Work up through cliff bands where you can follow a scramble route up the mountain.  Gradually work left and up.  Helmets are recommended for this variation because of loose rock.

notes

  • Kachess Ridge Trail (No. 1315) is open to horses and mountain bikes.
  • Some of this trail is likely poorly maintained with blow downs.
  • Multiple crossings of Silver Creek might involve getting feet wet and some rock hopping.
  • If camping overnight, get water from Silver Creek and camp near the West Peak of French Cabin Mountain.
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking, Day Hiking, Scrambling
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast.
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 12.8 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,000 ft
  • 5,500 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX
  • Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208
  • USGS Kachess Lake
Activities

Upcoming Activities

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Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Kachess Ridge
  • Silver Creek
  • Little Kachess Peak
  • Littler Kachess Peak
  • French Cabin Mountain/West Peak
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