It was time to
head east for some flowers and sun. Also time for another brand new
trip. Suzanne, John, Barb, and I met in Bellevue at 7:00 am and we
picked up Tisha in Issaquah. We headed east on I-90 over Snoqualmie
Pass to Cle Elum then north to Highway 2. A few miles east on Highway 2
brought us to the left turn to Peshastin Pinnacles State Park. We
arrived at 9:15 and found no other cars in the lot. It was sunny and
warming. It was in the 30s at Blewett Pass but already in the 50s at
the trailhead. We headed up the trails to the top of the state part
then up a steep short section to the ridge top. Views extended from the
valley below to the peaks of the Enchantments area.
There were some balsamroot blooming but most were past their prime.
Lupine was mixed in too. We headed along the ridge top as it dropped
and climbed in small sections The balsamroot improved as we ascended. a
number of other flowers also began to appear. We crossed an old road
and continued up. The summit came into view. Our route climbed the
ridge to the left of the summit and curled around to the right for a
steep final climb to the top. At one point we could see the road up
Olalla Canyon below to our left. The road climbs to near the summit.
The open meadow ridge was a lot of fun to hike. Some shade in trees and
lots of sunshine. We passed one campsite with benches and a table.
There is no water anywhere on this route. I won't be back on a day
beyond mid spring. It would be awfully hot in the summer. Another ridge
to our right makes a smooth climb to the summit. The downside is the
steep climb down and up to get over to it. We chose to stay on the left
It's about 4 miles to the summit with 3800' of gain including ups and
downs. Most of the elevation gain is in the last mile. the ridge
narrowed as we ascended and different flowers began to appear. I
stopped at one patch of white bitterroot and did not see another one
the rest of the way. Prairie star, blue bells, and yellow bells began
above 3500'. The views kept getting better. Mission Ridge to the
southeast, Big Jim Mountain to the west, and some of the Teanaway peaks
came into view.
The last part was the steepest though not nearly as bad as it had
looked from farther down the ridge. After three hours of hiking and
photo stops we finally reached the top. The rest of the Wenatchee
Valley came into view including the Columbia River at the city of
Wenatchee. The temperature was probably in the mid 60s and it was very
pleasant. We had a nice long stay on top. Paragliders were taking off
below us where the road ends. One climbed high above us as the thermals
created a lot of lift.
The trip down was much faster, at least most of it. I missed the
bitterroot this time though I was looking for it. When we reached the
camping spot we found a group of about ten folks there. They were the
only people we saw until reaching the parking lot. Back at the top of
the ridge above the pinnacles we stopped. Several of us, who will go
unnamed, looked at the gentle ridge to the right. It looked like there
was a trail tying back into the park trails. Besides, if we went that
way we would avoid the short steep loose section we had come up. Maybe
not such a good idea...
Down we went on an obvious trail. It was a little cliffy to our left so
we kept going down. Down and down. Three quarters of the way down we
headed left down the slope on a narrower trail. It looked like we could
reach the bottom then cut across to the main trails not far away.
Except for the fence. At the bottom we could now see a tall fence to
keep the deer out of the orchards. Uh oh... Suzanne and John went to
the bottom to find no way through the fence. Tisha went high above one
pinnacle and out of sight. As Suzanne and John headed up Barb reached
the fence and found a hole in it. Down we went again.
We made it through the fence and headed towards the trail. Tisha came
down and was on the other side of the fence. We needed to get back
across the fence to get to the trail. All this instead of retracing our
steps from the ridge. Suzanne, John, and Barb headed back and began to
climb around the pinnacle. Tisha yelled that there was a gate. I went
back for the rest of the group. Finally we were all through the fence
and back on route. In just a few minutes we were back at the trailhead.
Our little adventure took a lot of time and effort but did work. I
would not recommend that anyone try heading to the far west side to get
up onto the ridge. It was in the low 70s and felt like 85. The first
warm days of spring feel a lot warmer. Summer is not too far away now.
After the trip we took a short detour to the Icicle Winery before
heading on home. This proved to be a nice trip. Warm but not too hot.
Lots of elevation gain but with many flower stops it never felt like a
grind. Good company, good weather, and a new trail made for a fun day.
Suzanne's report is here: Nwhikers Report & Photos