4th of July to Icicle Ridge, WA

trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles

One of the best hikes in Washington State out of Leavenworth.

… Don’t let this hike’s bad reputation dissuade you from reaping its good views. Sure, it’s one of the snakiest trails in the Icicle Valley-save it for a cool day. And yeah, it’s one of the steepest trails in the valley-hottest too-best to save it for a cool day. And total vertical feet-oh boy, you’ll gain plenty-so save it for a cool day when the serpents are sedate.

Are you getting the picture?

But the views are amazing: from the Chiwaukum to the Entiat to the Stuart ranges and beyond-savor the panorama on any day! …

Washington Trails Association

With warnings like this, I decided to start late in the afternoon on a hot August day. Temperature turned out to be no problem.

I parked my vehicle at the Icicle Ridge trailhead on (the paved) Icicle Creek Road (Forest Road 76) and cycled from there to the 4th of July trailhead, perhaps 7mi further into the mountains.

I saw no snakes.

Steepness was not really a problem, either.

Sections of the two trails were overgrown in places, though. 4th of July is a nice grade.

Once intersection with the Ridge, it’s plenty pretty. Often wide open with big views. Lots of flowers, even in August.

It was a pleasure working my way back down the ridge towards Leavenworth.

More photos from my Icicle Ridge Trail hike.

I underguestimated my slowness this day, finishing in the dark (PHOTO) without headlamp. Oops.

No shout out for the busy, grumpy (and even misinformed) staff at the Leavenworth Ranger station. Only one, a younger female, I found helpful and pleasant.

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