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Trip Report    

Backpack - Entiat River Meadows & High Country

Late June trip up the Entiat River Valley

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Road to the TH is in excellent shape, with a few potholes and a couple of places where a very small amount of water is across the road.  Road is paved at least 30 of the 38 miles.  Large, roomy trailhead parking area.

    Trail has been logged out almost until the very end at the head of the Entiat river valley. We ran into two groups working on the trail on this trip. Past the turn off for Myrtle Lake there are several "spicy" stream crossings that currently require either wading  thru deep water or walking/butt-scooting on logs just above deep, fast-moving water.  Trail is in pretty good shape given how burned over the area is.  Not a lot of shade on the route!  At the junction with the Ice Lakes trail about 8.5 miles upriver, follow the Ice Lakes trail down towards the river a short distance and look for an unsigned path to the left, this leads to a nice roomy camp by the river. Back at the junction there is a backcountry toilet behind two large rocks.

    The only bridge across the Entiat river is the one to Myrtle Lake, so the Ice Lakes trail and second Larch lakes trail require fording the river. This year the water was running high and cold, both in the river and in the various streams we crossed and waterfalls we saw across the valley.

    The main river trail passes through a huge area that was subject to a high-intensity crown fire that killed almost all the trees. While in the process of growing back, the effects from the fires the past 20 year are still quite dramatic.  Several trails that show up on maps no longer exist on the ground.  There are lot of dead, black tree snags.  Almost the entire river basin has been severely burned.  One side effect is that views up/downriver are easy to find and one can see the surrounding peaks easily. 

    Upper Entiat meadows had greened out but not a lot of flowers yet.  We ran into snow patches in the upper basin, which ends in a gorgeous cirque ringed by the dramatic cliffs of Maude, 7FJ and Fernow, among others.  

    Not many mosquitoes, one person did find a tick. 

    Lots of snow above 5,000 in north-facing bowls and cirques. Some dramatic cornices visible on ridgelines .