Trip Report    

Cairn Hill and Old Pass Hill, Wenatchee Crest

Fun loop route along the Wenatchee Crest following the road in places, but also with substantial off road travel, navigation skills required, tagging Cairn Hill and Old Pass Hill.

  • Thu, Feb 16, 2023
  • Wenatchee Crest
  • Snowshoeing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles

We made a nice loop including Cairn Hill to Old Pass Hill, and the two other provisional peaks along the ridge line. We started by parking the car at a pullout on Hwy 97 at about the 3450’ elevation, across from where FR 9700-126 takes off. See map for detailed location.  There would be enough room for maybe three cars, but would not recommend using this location when the snowplows are working on the road.  We followed this road until its end, right where the slope up to Cairn Hill gets steep. From there, it is a climb of about 1100’ to Cairn Hill, be sure to use your heel lifters! After Cairn Hill, we headed north along the ridge with sometimes difficult travel due to having been logged and occasionally choked with smaller trees until we hit the main Wenatchee Crest road. We followed that a ways until turning off to nab an east to west traverse of 4415, before quickly rejoining it again. But only briefly, as after one more bend or so, we headed up the east ridge to Point 4675. After that, one more smallish bump, then the final ride to Old Pass Hill which offered great views and a nice lunch spot. After lunch, we retraced our steps, except for turning onto what Gaia called the Rocky Face road. This partway worked and partway was clogged with alder, so would recommend that future travelers just go back over those two bumps again. Then, very shortly after regaining the main Wenatchee Crest road we headed southward to a prominent point overlooking the valley to the south. From there, the ridge trending generally southeastward went very very well, merging us back into where spur roads 126 and 127 merge. Then, the main problem was crossing the road safely to get back to the car. Trip stats: 5.25 miles and a shy 1800’ gain/ loss.  Plus zero other humans on this Thursday, although many animal tracks!