OverviewLoser Ridge is the unofficial name given to a peak located in western Kittitas County, Washington. The peak is seen by thousands of people traveling Interstate-90 and is easily accessible, conveniently located near the southwestern side of large reservoir Keechelus Lake.
Despite these aspects, the mountain is seldom summited. The views from the summit are mostly obstructed by surrounding evergreen forests. The ascent is mostly to all via logging roads. Some peakbaggers might be interested in summiting the peak due to its minimum 920' of prominence. Some other peakbaggers might choose to visit the peak as a Winter destination due to its easy-to-follow road routes.
Loser Ridge can be summited year-round. However, it would be best to visit the peak (if at all) during late Autumn while weather conditions worsen mountaineering options elsewhere, or during Winter and early Spring as a snowshoeing destination.
FROM SNOQUALMIE PASS, WA:
1) Drive ESE along Interstate-90 until Exit 62.
2) At Exit 62, head WSW along Forest Road 54.
3) After 1.0 miles, turn right (north) onto Forest Road 5480.
4) After 1.6 miles further, shortly after passing the southwestern end of Keechelus Lake, turn left (west) onto Forest Road 5483.
5) After 1.6 miles further, turn right (north) and head uphill onto an unmarked logging road.
6) Follow the main logging road, basically northeast, north, and then west.
7) At approximately 4400' elevation, pass by the false summits of Loser Ridge and then begin heading downhill towards a saddle.
8) Within 0.25 miles beyond the saddle, the logging road sharply heads north and uphill along the upper eastern slopes of Loser Ridge.
9) Near where the logging road is at its closest point (~4450' elevation) due east of the summit, begin hiking west and uphill through an evergreen forest to the summit of Loser Ridge.
As of 2010, the route described above is drivable until the point near the summit where off-road hiking is required. This is why that approach is described here. However, a shorter yet gated approach is possible from the west side of the mountain, from which hikers can ascend a logging road eastward all the way to the summit of Loser Ridge.
Red TapeThere are several gates on or near Loser Ridge. No public motorized vehicles are allowed beyond any official gates, whether open or not. Non-motorized access is allowed.
Loser Ridge is best recommended to visit during weekends, while logging and Forestry activities are at a minimum.
CampingThere are no established campgrounds on Loser Ridge.
The nearest official campground is Crystal Springs Campground, located near Interstate-90 and Keechelus Lake.
Loser Ridge is located within Wenatchee National Forest. Please contact the Wenatchee National Forest headquarters for specific camping rules and regulations.