Beehive Mountain located just outside of Wenatchee is a fairly popular family hike in the region. The summit itself only has 200 feet of prominence so often many peakbaggers tend to skip this mountain. But this peak once was home to a fire lookout from 1931 until 1973. Some of the markers can still be seen from the lookout. It is very easy to see why this peak once was home to a lookout. There are good views of the entire eastern front of Mission Ridge as well as of Horse Lake Peak and of other mountains in the surrounding area. The only view that is clearly obscured is the view toward the city of Wenatchee. Other that that though views on this peak makes this little gem worthwhile to visit.
In the summer this makes for a good family time summit to visit. Forest Road 9712 leaves from Mission Ridge Road and go much of the way up to the Beehive Reservoir. From there a gated road just north of the Beehive Reservoir will take you directly to the summit in a mile round-trip and under 300 feet of elevation gain/loss. For most that will under an hour. The only issue with this peak in summer days is that summers in Wenatchee tend to be very hot and dry. Also there area has been known to have forest fires in the past couple of years so keep that in mind if you are planning on heading to Beehive Mountain.
In winter though Forest Road 9712 is closed. The road being closed adds 1000 feet of elevation and an additional 4 miles to the trip making this peak a very good snowshoe peak provided enough snow falls in this region. Still at 5 miles and 1200 feet of elevation gain this peak makes for a nice winter outing and is still extremely doable.That was not quiet the case when I went there in December of 2013. It also should be noted that because this peak is very much in the rain-shadow of the Cascades it receives of less precipitation that the other Cascade Mountains in the region. Therefore this peak will make a good backup destination when other mountains in the region do not seem to be available.
Getting ThereFROM WENATCHEE: Take South Mission St until it turns into Squilchuck Rd. You will want to continue onto Squilchuck Rd for 7.0 miles. There a large sign will point to Mission Ridge Ski Resort. Make a right there and take the Mission Ridge Road 1 mile to Forest Road 9712 on you right. You know area because it will be a bend in the road. If the road is open take the road two miles up (gravel road) and the gated dirt road will be on your right. In winter this road may be gated. If that is the case this park to the side of the road where there are a couple of spaces for cars.
Red TapeIf the road is gated during winter then there is no red tape. However during spring and summer a Northwest Forest Pass is required if parking in one of the recreation area slots.
When to ClimbThis is clearly a four season mountain. In spring, summer and fall the route is much shorter due to forest road 9712 being open. Summers though tend to be hot on trail so I would avoid this peak in summer. In late October there are a grove of western larches in the region which would add quiet a lot of color for anyone heading up during this time. The winter season would give a much longer approach time but also a unique view due to a fresh coating of snow.
CampingCamping is not allowed by the Beehive Reservoir. This is a day use area. However it should be noted that they do allow boats in the reservoir.
External LinksBeehive Mountain Peakbagger Page
Beehive Mountain Fire Lookout Page
Winter Beehive Mountain Trip Report
Another winter trip report