CHS 2 Hike - Fourth of July Creek

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 2 Hike - Fourth of July Creek

Go-Getter Hike along Fourth of July Creek up to Icicle Ridge near Leavenworth. This trail switchbacks up steeply over open slopes with small groves of Ponderosa Pine and colorful wildflowers, to a lookout point with views of the Cascades. CHS 2 hike led at a pace of 2.0-3.0 mph.

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  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,900 ft
  • Pace: 2.0-3.0 mph

We'll meet at the Fourth of July Trailhead off Icicle Creek Road / NF-7600 (about 5 miles further down the road from the popular Snow Lakes Trailhead) at 8:00am.

Prepare for a challenging (given the significant elevation gain for the mileage) but highly rewarding  hike on the east side of the Cascades. 

Hiking in late May, we're likely to be greeted by sunny skies, tons of wildflowers, and gorgeous views at every switchback that *almost* distract you from the consistently steep grade and the workout it'll give your legs. At the top, those who are interested can access the former site of the Icicle Ridge Fire Lookout, with expansive views in all directions.

Notes so you can come prepared:

  • There's limited shade for most of the hike, and we'll be climbing an exposed, south-facing slope - so be prepared for some sun.
  • Given the nearly 5,000ft elevation gain from the trailhead and the exposed nature of the peak, you'll want to come prepared for hotter temperatures (potentially in the 80s) down below, and wind chill in the low 40s (or colder!) at the top.
  • We'll likely encounter snow for the majority of the last 1/2 mile or so. It shouldn't be deep, but may be slippery, so prepare accordingly.
  • I should probably mention in advance that this is rattlesnake country, though beyond staying aware, there's no special precautions to take and it's very unlikely to become any cause for concern.

Note that given the elevation gain we'll likely stay on the slower end of CHS2 pace, and be sure to take breaks to enjoy the views.


Fourth of July Creek

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)

Additional Equipment

+ 1 to carrying plenty of water, as the sun and heat may be considerable for a large portion of the hike. Thought we'll be following Fourth of July Creek much of the way, it will not be accessible for filtering water from. Also recommend considering adding an electrolyte supplement to help with hydration. 

Hiking poles also highly recommended.

I'd also suggest at least carrying microspikes, as the last half mile of the hike / several hundred feet of elevation are likely to remain snow covered. While it's generally navigable without traction, hikers may prefer the option of a little additional sure-footedness.

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