Hike Fourth of July Creek to Icicle Ridge

Rate this Adventure 12 miles 4800 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Rose Freeman

This steep and relentless trail takes you through fields of wildflowers, rattlesnake country, and high above the city of Leavenworth to a ridge with breathtaking views from the valley below to the craggy peaks of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.  A perfect adventure for a cool morning!

Most adventurers travel down Icicle Creek Road to visit Colchuck Lake and the Enchantment Basin.  But, if you're looking for an adventure for a cool summer morning without the crowds, continue past the Colchuck/Stuart forest road and explore this trail!  Expansive views of the entire Stuart range will take your breath away.  

The trail begins in a shaded forest and crosses Fourth of July Creek twice before you ascend for the sky.  The relentless switchbacks take you directly up a south facing slope to the ridge.  Snow generally melts out by May because of this south-facing slope.  Enjoy the lupine and balsamroot decorating the pine forest floor and keep an ear out for rattlesnakes!  This is one of the more common areas for snakes in the Leavenworth area.  Keep alert.

Continue to climb and peak over your shoulder and take in the views of the Stuart range.  In the early season, there is a creek that flows at the 4 mile mark, but don't depend on it!  Just past the little creek, traverse through a rocky and burned forest on a deceptive ridge.  A lot of the trees in this burnt forest have fallen with 2015-2016 windstorms, so take your time to watch for the trail.  

Continue above the burned forest into a different world as the trail traverses through grassy slopes dotted with white granite rocks.  At 5.7 miles, you've made it to Icicle Ridge!  At the wooden sign, take a left to continue up another 1/2 mile to an old lookout site at 7,029 feet!  Take in the panoramic view of Cashmere Mountain, Eightmile Mountain, Jack Ride, Mount Stuart, Arganot Peak, Colchuck Peak, Dragontail Peak, McClellan Peak, Mount Daniel, and even Glacier Peak to the north on a clear day.      This ridge is worth the climb!

Check out my video of the hike!

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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