August 27, 2011
Alder Creek Trail 1523
Upper Mad River Trail 1409.1
Pond Camp Tie Trail 1409.2
Chikamin Tie Trail 1561
Minnow Ridge Trail 1524
View Alder Creek in a larger map
Central Cascades — Entiat Mountains
Okangoan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District, Leavenworth
You can take either Hwy 2 where you’ll turn left at Hwy 207 towards Lake Wenatchee to Coles Corner. After about 5 miles, come to a ‘Y’ and take a right (almost straight). Take a left at the second road (Chiwawa River Road / FS RD 62). Continue on Road 62 for about 12 miles until you see the sign for Alder Creek. The trail head is about a half mile past the creek.
Or you can take I-90 to Hwy 97 (north) to Hwy 2 west towards Leavenworth. In Leavenworth turn right on Chumstick Road. Follow Chumstick/Hwy 209 through Plain Hwy 207. You’ll end up a short distance from the “Y” described above.
Guide books and Maps:
Green Trails Plain, WA #146
Wenatchee adn Leavenworth WA Trail Map by Adventuremaps.net
Fees or Passes:
NW Forest Pass Required
(based on J. Martins Garmin Edge 500)
Single Track: 93%
Dirt Road: 5%
Pavement: 2% (can be ridden as single track)
Elevation Gain: 5793
Moving Time: 4:34:50
Total Time: 5:15:50
Minimum Elevation: 2239
Maximum Elevation: 6350
The trails are all super dry and dusty. The soil is like moon dust. (Yes, I’ve been to the moon, so I know). There were a few trees down on Pond Camp Tie as it is really in the middle of no where. Other than those few trees the trails were clear and the under brush was not a issue. The other issue with Alder Cr, Pond Camp Tie, Chikamin Tie and Minnow Ridge was the dirt bikes have made deep ruts which can make pedaling and also descending difficult.
Water could be found two or three times on the climb going up Alder Cr. After that you didn’t see any streams until Chikamin Tie (not counting Mad Lake). Minnow Ridge offered a few more places to fill up.
This area is heavily used by motorcycles so be aware others will be on the trails. You might call the Entiat ranger station in advance to find out whether the trails in the area are snow free and open to motorized bikes as there are seasonal closures for them.
What to expect:
You should expect to climb right out of the gate if you start at the Alder Cr. trail head. The climb is a relentless 3800′ of climbing over 10 miles. There are a few areas to rest but not much. Even though the switch backs are made for motorcycles they are still very challenging. Alder Cr. had ruts and lots of small rock gardens to make you work. Oh, and don’t forget the multiple false summits.
Upper Mad River Trail meanders through some beautiful alpine meadows. Wild flowers are abound up here if you go at the right time. Enjoy this short section of trail because Pond Camp Tie is next and is mostly one long up high rut before a short descent to Chikamin Tie.
Chikamin Tie’s upper sections reminded me of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail cuts right across two large rock fields and riding is not always an option or wise. The lower half is in the forest so take in the views here. The remainder of Chikamin Tie and Minnow Ridge are in the forest and mostly down hill with some short climbs along the way.
Local Groups/Clubs/Bike Shop:
Get out there!