July 23, 2011
Trail report for Mission Ridge / Devils Gulch.
Central Cascades – Stevens Pass – East
Okangoan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District, Leavenworth
Getting there: Take I-90 to Rt. 970 towards Rt. 97 (exit 85). Follow 97 to Rt. 2 and head east on 2 until you get to Cashmere. Take the first exit for Cashmere and go straight on Division street and follow it as it bends right and turns into Pioneer Street. Go to Mission creek road and turn left. About half a mile later turn right at unmarked intersection. Cross Mission Creek and take first left… back onto Mission. You then follow the road about 7 miles until you get to a “T” where all the junk is, you can’t miss it. Take a right and watch out for dogs, cats, and horses in the road. Follow road to end and park at Red Hill Parking lot.
Guide books and Maps:
Green Trails Wenatchee No. 211S
Fees or Passes:
NW Forest Pass Required
The Facts: Supplied by the Evergreen Bike website.
The ride was Red Devil to Devils Gulch to Mission Ridge and back to the Red Hill parking lot via Red Devil.
Mission Ridge, Tr# 1201
|Total trail||9.6 mi.|
Devils Gulch, Tr# 1220
|Total trail||12.4 mi.|
Red Devil Trail, Tr# 1221
|Total trail||6.2 mi.|
Current Conditions: The trails are 99% dry except for a few puddles spread throughout the ride. There is one section that water is flowing down the trail for about 100′ that will get you muddy (this was on Devils Gulch). Other than that the soil conditions are great.
There is limited damage from the motorcycles. The biggest issue was on Devils Gulch Trail, which was lack of shrub maintenance. There were many areas where the trail was getting over grown. Even the grasses along the trail were so tall that they hit your face at times. This ride would be terrible if it had rained recently.
What to expect: Horse/motorcycle activity was heavy at the trail head parking lot at Red Hill but we did not run into anyone but cyclist on our ride. When dry you can expect excellent trail conditions but when wet Red Devil and Devils Gulch can be slick. Leave the waffle tread at home. Red Devil is an up and down roller coaster all the way to the intersection of Mission Ridge/Devils Gulch. There is some exposure as most of the trail is side hilling. If you’re not one for exposure, narrow trail, and drop offs you might just ride the road.
Devils Gulch is mostly a climb when you start from Red Devil Trail. At first it’s just like Red Devil but soon the roller coast stops and the climbing begins. There are multiple stream crossing but at this time none are an issue. At the third crossing of Mission Creek at mile 7 the true climbing begins. The next 1.9 miles is all up hill to the junction of Mission Ridge.
Once to the junction the climbing isn’t over. This is a good rest stop as Mission ridge is not a trail you want to stop on. It’s much better to just ride non-stop. When you leave the junction at 4400′ you’ll have at least 4-5 small up hills that will test you as you descend. Take my word for it, even if you have done this trail before you’ll always think your on the last one and sure enough there’s one more. Finally Mission Ridge does turn downhill in earnest and when it does the fun really begins. Take note that Mission Ridge is heavily used by motorcycles and the trail can have large whoops and get sandy at times. At times there’s also some ruts from the bikes. You add all this up and throw in more exposure and steep drop offs and you have a testing descent.
You can expect a this loop to take at least 3 hours of moving time. Overall ride time is closer to 4+ hours. The trail data above suggests it’s 28+ miles but my GPS said around 26. As you can see I stopped my GPS unit some how and the ride is broken up into two files. Hopefully they give an accurate picture of the ride as a whole.
Local Groups/Clubs/Bike Shop:
Get out there!